Your First Orthodontist Visit

Thank you for visiting the ORTHODONTIC ASSOCIATES of IOWA website!  We are so excited that you are considering our office for your orthodontic needs!  The first step to learning more about what orthodontic treatment can do for you or your child is to schedule a complimentary consultation.  Our objective is to make sure your visits with us are as pleasant and informative as possible. Your initial appointment will consist of an examination and a discussion of potential treatment options, the estimated treatment time, associated fees and flexible payment plans we offer.  This important visit is the first step in addressing the orthodontic needs of you or your child.  There are multiple options available to obtain a perfect smile and functional bite, so your initial visit is the best way for you to gain more information so that you can make an informed decision regarding your orthodontic care!  

Diagnostic Records & Treatment Planning

Following your initial exam, if it is determined that orthodontic treatment is indicated and you wish to proceed with our office, orthodontic diagnostic records will be taken. These records consist of  facial and intraoral photographs, orthodontic x-rays and digital study models.  We have two digital intraoral scanners, the 3Shape Trios and the iTero Invisalign scanner, so you won’t need to have gooey impressions or molds of your teeth!  Orthodontic records can usually be taken at your initial visit if it is convenient for you. 

 Dr. Kaci C. Vela will then thoroughly review your diagnostic records and determine a detailed treatment plan tailored to your specific orthodontic needs.   Once we have agreed upon the best course of action that will give you the most ideal outcome in the shortest amount of time, you are ready to begin your orthodontic journey!  

Successive Visits

Periodic visits are an important part of orthodontic treatment. Generally, we will see you every 4 to 8 weeks to check your progress and make adjustments to your appliance or  braces.  During this time, you will need to keep appointments, follow instructions, eat nutritiously and practice good oral hygiene  in order to achieve the best results in the shortest time.  It is also important to continue to visit your dentist regularly.

Once your braces are removed, retainers are utilized to hold your teeth in their new positions until your bone, gums and muscles adapt to the new teeth positions. The retention period is an important part of your overall treatment and should not be neglected!  

Length of Treatment

Orthodontic treatment time varies significantly depending on the patient’s presenting malocclusion.  Treatment can take anywhere from 4 months to 30 months or longer depending on the age of the patient, the severity of the malocclusion, the patient’s cooperation, amount of growth remaining and the degree of movement possible.   We will give you an estimate of your treatment time following your initial visit.  

Dental Care

Before starting orthodontic treatment, your family dentist should make certain that all cavities have been treated and your gums and underlying bone are free of disease.  This is to ensure that your teeth and supporting tissues are healthy so that you can maintain your new smile for a lifetime.  

First Appointment

We respect your time and want to make your first visit as efficient as possible, so please bring the information listed below with you when you arrive at your first appointment.  If you are unable to complete the Registration Form beforehand, please arrive 15-20 minutes early.  

Items to bring to your initial orthodontic appointment:
  • Completed Registration Form complete with any medical conditions (i.e. diabetes, high blood pressure, artificial heart valves or joints, rheumatic fever) and any medications (i.e. heart medications, aspirin, anticoagulant therapy, etc.) you are currently taking. 
  • A digital copy of your Panoramic X-ray, if applicable.
  • A copy of your DENTAL Insurance Card along with the primary insurance subscriber’s name and DOB so that we can help determine your insurance benefits.

Broken Appointments

If for any reason you cannot make your appointment, please contact our office at your earliest convenience at 319-385-5270 or 1-844-84-BRACES.  Although it is complimentary, we do reserve a block of time specifically for you, so please let us know in advance if you are unable to attend so that we may offer this appointment time to another patient.  If it is after hours, please leave a brief message with your name and number and we will return your call the following business day.  Thank you!