What Are Orthodontic Records and Why Are They Necessary?

To adequately diagnose an orthodontic concern and develop an orthodontic treatment plan, Dr. Longfellow requires diagnostic records. These diagnostic records include:

Medical and Dental History

Questions regarding your child's overall health will be reviewed as well as specific questions regarding growth and development. The success of many orthodontic appliances is contingent upon the child's growth. We will also assess the family history (genetics) with respect to tooth and jaw position.

Study Models

Impressions and a wax bite are made so upper and lower plaster study models can be fabricated. These plaster molds of the teeth record the patient's initial “bite” and the position and inclination of all the teeth.

Panoramic X-Ray

This x-ray enables us to view the upper and lower jaws, all the teeth and supporting bone, sinuses and the joint. It enables us to see any pathology (i.e. cysts, abscesses, tumors), any extra or missing teeth, any problems related to eruption of teeth (i.e. impacted teeth, wisdom teeth), the angles at which the teeth are coming in and the general health and condition of the roots of the teeth and surrounding bone.

Facial and Oral Photographs

Photographs are needed to document the pre-treatment view of the face and the teeth. Facial photographs are taken to study the proportions of the face and to detect facial asymmetries. Photographs of the mouth itself allow us to study the color, contour, and integrity of the lips, cheek, tongue, and other soft tissues. Stains, discoloration, wear patterns, chips, cracks, etc. of the teeth can be documented as well. In addition, oral photographs serve to document any mal-positions of the teeth from various angles.

Cephalometric View

This x-ray enables us to view the entire craniofacial complex (skull, mid-face, upper and lower jaws, and supporting structures) from a profile or side view. This radiograph is important to view the upper and lower jaws in relationship to the cranium and mid-face to aid in diagnosing the orthodontic concern. It also allows us to analyze the relationship of the upper and lower teeth to both upper and lower jaws, mid-face, and cranium.

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