While an orthodontist must keep in mind a patient's goals, budget, and lifestyle, several other crucial, more technical factors need to be considered when creating an individualized orthodontic treatment plan.
There is no straightforward, one-size-fits-all approach. The approach entails careful evaluation and a multitude of steps, from diagnosis through treatment completion.
Identifying the patient's chief complaint is the first step. During the initial consultation, it is important to take note of this and also to clarify any myths surrounding the patient's chief complaint. For example, sometimes patients with severe overjet are only worried about a single proclined tooth. However, when educated properly about the pros and cons of malocclusion, they begin to appreciate what it means to have a healthy, stable occlusion. This plays a role in ensuring patients have realistic expectations and helps them understand the treatment.
"You don't know where you're going unless you know where you need to go." In other words, a diagnostic evaluation is a crucial second step. It is critical that all aspects of the diagnosis are accurate, including skeletal and dental classifications, overjet, overbite, crowding/spacing, periodontal architecture, crossbites, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) status, to name only a few.