orthodontics

What To Expect At Your First Orthodontic Visit

January 26th, 2023

You did it! You’ve made an appointment for yourself or for your child at Hester Morris Orthodontics. This will be your very first visit. The complementary consultation is a very important appointment for you and for us, our new potential patient; you may be wondering what to expect when you come into our office for the very first time. So here are some things you need to know, along with the highlights of that first visit.

1. Health history forms.

Just like a visit to any healthcare office, all new patients are asked to complete a health history form. This can be done in the office on your first visit or even can be done online before your appointment. These forms ask for general information about our new patient and any medical information about visits to our office. We must have all the necessary information so our team can provide the best orthodontic treatment for you or your child. When you arrive for your first visit, our friendly staff will be ready to greet you and give you a tour of our office. We want to ensure that you know who we are and what we can do for you; you can even ask any questions before we start the examination. During your first visit, we can discuss the various treatment options, costs, and insurance coverage. We pride ourselves on providing orthodontic services tailored to each patient's individual needs.

2. Nice to meet you!

Our fantastic front desk team greets every patient who comes through the doors of Hester Morris Orthodontics. No need to feel awkward about being new. Just let our friendly scheduling coordinators know who you are, and they’ll be glad to show you how to sign in for your appointment. They’ll most likely be on the lookout for you and welcome you into the office by your name when you arrive! Once you have let the front desk know that you’re here, they’ll invite you to have a seat in our lobby. Feel free to take advantage of the complementary coffee, cookies, and Wi-Fi, but we promise you won’t be waiting for long!

3. You’ll get x-rays.

Your consultation appointment for braces or Invisalign begins with dental x-rays of your teeth and jaw alignment. These are at no cost to you and are so very helpful for us to see not just what’s going on on the outside but to be able to see the roots of your teeth that you cannot see. Our treatment coordinator assistant will also photograph your teeth with a camera. They will take pictures of your teeth from all angles. This gives us a close-up look for us to discuss your smile concerns and will be useful to the doctor for recommending treatment.

4. Digital scans.

Years ago, patients had to endure messy goopy impressions to get a good placement of how their teeth look, but thanks to our iTero digital scanners, the process has been made quick and easy, with no mess at all! The scanner will quickly take images of your teeth and can even project before and after simulations of your smile. Pretty cool!

5. You’ll meet with a treatment coordinator.

Once all of your records have been taken, you will sit down and review the findings with one of our treatment coordinators. These ladies are here to answer all of your questions about braces or Invisalign and can explain the process to you in detail. They assist the doctor with note-taking his recommendations for improving your smile and will make sure you understand the plan of action!

6. You’ll meet our doctors.

Usually, at this point in the consultation appointment, one of our doctors will come in to meet with you and review all of his findings. We have two doctors in our practice, Dr. Hester and Dr. Morris. They will briefly examine your teeth and bite and recommend how to straighten your teeth best, align your jaw, and give you the beautiful smile you want. If the doctor recommends Invisalign, they will specify the specific details of the number of stages of aligners you will need and give an overview of how the process works. If the orthodontist recommends braces, they will explain how the process moves your teeth and give you a treatment time estimate for having to wear them. Meeting an orthodontist and having a personalized, detailed treatment plan laid out for you is something that only happens inside the orthodontic office. This is a step that is skipped by direct-to-consumer products. You can be assured that your smile’s individual needs will be addressed at Hester Morris Orthodontics.

7. Presentation of fees for braces or Invisalign.

Once your treatment plan has been laid out, discussed, and confirmed by the doctor, our treatment coordinator gets back to work working with you on the payment arrangements. Fees are presented based on whether the doctor recommends Invisalign or braces, the length of that treatment, and the complexity of the recommended treatment. In our practice, we do not require the entire treatment fee to be paid upfront. Instead, most people choose to make monthly payments. We do offer discounts for our military and our teachers. Visit our financial page for more information about how payments work. Choosing to get braces or Invisalign is a big decision and a great investment, but we believe the end result is worth it!

8. The choice is yours.

Once you’ve had all your questions answered, have met the doctor, received your treatment plan, and know the cost involved, you have all the information you need to make the best decision for you and your smile. Patients can start their treatment on the same day as their consultation. Still, there is never any pressure for you to do so. Sometimes, patients will choose to go home to talk about it with a family member or make financial arrangements, which is OK. When you’re ready to start the journey to see your beautiful smile, you call us, and we’ll schedule you to get started.

Our office is a warm and welcoming place, and our team will make you feel like part of the family from the moment you step in. Every patient gets a tour of our office with a staff member and learns more about our treatments and specialties. Our team can answer any questions you may have, so don't be afraid to ask. What other questions do you have about beginning treatment and Invisalign or braces? Be sure to leave them in the comments. Are you interested in setting up your first complimentary consultation appointment with us? Click here or call—our office at 229-245-1800.

What is National Orthodontic Health Month?

October 11th, 2022

October is national orthodontic health month! It’s a special time of year when we spend more time educating our patients and the community about the wonderful benefits of a beautiful smile, straight teeth, and perfectly aligned jaws. 

The benefits of orthodontics are not just cosmetic. Straight teeth are much easier to clean and floss, resulting in fewer cavities and healthy gums. Jaw issues can be corrected or even prevented by orthodontic care. And as we age, our teeth tend to shift, so proper alignment of your teeth can help prevent enamel wear over time.

The idea of having well-aligned teeth is not new. As far back as the ancient Egyptians and ancient Roman times, there has been an interest in shifting teeth into new positions.

In the 1700s and 1800s, horseshoe shape devices and wires were used to help move teeth into better alignment. In the early 1900s, dentists began rapping different materials such as wood, ivory, or even gold and would wrap them with bands that would help press the teeth into position.

Using stainless steel wires, the braces we are more familiar with today gained popularity in the 1970s.

Invisible braces and aligners started to become popular in the late 1990s, as well as clear retainers to help hold teeth properly in place after completing orthodontic treatment.

Orthodontists are dentists who, in addition to their dental school training, complete extra years of schooling, specifically in moving teeth and aligning jaws.

The average number of years that an orthodontist attends school is 11.

This extra education time gives them the knowledge and expertise to properly move teeth through bone and create pleasing and well-aligned smiles.

Dr. Wayne Hester and Dr. James Gregory Morris started their careers in south Georgia as dentists and then returned for further training to become orthodontists.

Dr. Hester has treated patients in south Georgia with braces for over 30 years. And Dr. Morris is South Georgia’s number one Invisalign specialist.

Both doctors have the education and experience necessary to give patients the best smile possible. Combining advanced techniques with individualized treatment plans, the doctors ensure each person achieves the beautifully healthy, confident smile they deserve!

Check out our other blog posts and social media during October for more tips and information about national orthodontic health.

Getting Braces? What You Need To Know.

August 2nd, 2022

If you're thinking about getting braces, there are probably a lot of questions running through your mind...

Where will my teeth be adjusted?

Will my bite be corrected?

How long will the process take?

How much will it cost?

When it comes to getting braces, there are many things to consider.  Like, what kind of braces will you get? What will your orthodontist tell you about them? And, most importantly, are you sure you want to get them?

We're here to help answer all of those questions and more. We'll give you the low down on everything you need to know about getting braces.

 

What to expect?

First of all, Orthodontists are specialists in braces. They're the ones who perform the initial evaluation, planning, and treatment of braces. They also prescribe the braces and other gear, like retainers and elastic bands. Most orthodontists also provide the initial and ongoing care and maintenance of your braces and teeth. You will want to see an orthodontist for information and treatment planning for your smile.

We'll talk about your smile and address your concerns during this appointment at no cost to you. After taking X-rays and scans of your teeth, our doctors can determine what kind of braces you will most benefit from.

There are many types of braces. For example, traditional braces are metal brackets cemented to the tooth. The use of gentle force to cause movement over time. Braces have come a long way over the years and are no longer seen as the embarrassing rite of passage they once were.
In addition to metal braces, we also offer an option with clear top braces that help to minimize the look of braces.

The fastest-growing orthodontic option in recent years in our practice is Invisalign. Because Invisalign aligners are clear and virtually invisible, it not only looks great, but it is also an incredibly efficient way to get straight, straight teeth without bracing. It is a new, computer-based way to straighten your teeth. It is invisible, removable, and comfortable. Using advanced 3-D technology, Invisalign takes clear, personalized digital impressions of your teeth and uses those impressions to make custom-made aligners. The process is completely safe, comfortable, and discreet. Invisalign aligners are a clear, removable, and comfortable way to straighten your teeth. You wear them just like you would your regular teeth. During treatment, you wear them 22 hours each day. You can take them out to eat, brush your teeth, floss, and still have a beautiful smile.

How long will braces last?

The length of your treatment will depend on the treatment option your orthodontist recommends and the severity of the dental issues needing correction.
At Hester & Morris, the financial arrangements can be worked out once a treatment plan and length are determined. You can use dental insurance to help reduce the cost of treatment, but it is not at all required. Nor do you have to pay the entirety of your treatment fee at once. Our helpful Treatment Coordinators are experts at working numbers and payment plans to help make the investment as affordable as possible.
It's also helpful to have a dental checkup close to starting treatment so your dentist can check for any cavities or areas of concern that could delay getting your braces on. Pending dental work needs to be completed before starting orthodontics.

Will braces hurt?

Many people are concerned about the pain that may be involved with Invisalign or braces. While it varies from patient to patient, you can expect slight soreness the first two days after having braces on your teeth. It's OK to take an over-the-counter pain reliever to help with this discomfort. Eating softer foods will be helpful, too, until you get used to the feel of your new braces.

With Invisalign, discomfort can happen the first day of each new aligner, but if you keep them on your teeth and resist the temptation to remove them, it will soon get much better and more manageable.

Getting braces or Invisalign is a big deal. It is also a big commitment. It is often difficult to make financial and emotional investments, so we hope we have helped you know what to expect ahead!

Tips for traveling with braces!

July 4th, 2022

african american teen with braces smiling in the grass holding an American flag

Tips for traveling with braces!

Summertime means a lot of busy people are on the go! So whether you’re getting out of town for a quick weekend trip or taking a full-fledged vacation, if you or your child wears braces, you definitely want to be prepared!

 

Here are a few tips to help make your next adventure easy on your braces and full of smiles.

 

  1. Make sure you keep any scheduled orthodontic appointments close to your time going out of town.

 

In orthodontics, these days, patients don’t have to come in for check-ups as often. 

 

However, giving your braces a quick once-over is good to ensure no loose brackets or long wires are present. These issues tend to worsen and cause discomfort.

 

 So if you have an appointment close to your vacation, make every effort to keep it just in case of minor repairs or tweaking.

 

  1. Have your braces-friendly travel essentials!

 

When you’re going on a trip out of town, be sure to have a basic travel kit that will keep all the supplies you may need for your braces. It should include:

  • Travel-size toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Extra rubber bands
  • Proxy or Christmas tree brush
  • Floss and floss threader,
  • Orthodontic wax
  • A small mirror
  • Nail clippers and tweezers
  • And over-the-counter pain relievers

Be sure to refer to our page on how to treat orthodontic emergencies at home or on the go!

 

  1. Continue with your home care routine, away from home!

 

Vacation is a fun time to relax and get away from everything physically and mentally, but it’s not a time to slack on your dental home care routine

Make sure you brush and floss regularly, and steer clear of any foods to avoid with braces. We give lists of these foods to all our patients when they get their braces on, but more information can also be found on our website.

Also, be sure to check out this fun TikTok as a reminder.

 

A few extra tips!

 

In the absence of a mirror, a cell phone camera works great!

 

 You can also use your phone to remind yourself about wearing your rubber bands and ensuring that you have brushed.

 

 Finally, Contrary to popular belief, your braces will not set off a metal detector - so you can relax when getting ready to board transportation.

 

Have you ever had a braces-related mishap while traveling? Leave us a comment and share your experiences and tips for traveling with braces

Why Orthodontics Is A Game Changer

April 19th, 2022

Local orthodontists in Valdosta, GA standing outside of their location.

You’ve probably noticed that people who have great smiles often seem to be happier than those who don’t. But what you might not realize is that orthodontics can do even more than that – it can improve your life in ways you might not even realize. For example, orthodontics can improve your self-confidence, which can have a positive impact on your relationships and your career. It can also improve your oral health, which has far-reaching health implications.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of orthodontics, though, is that it makes getting that beautiful smile much easier than it used to be. Invisalign is one of the most common forms of orthodontics, and it uses clear plastic aligners to help you straighten your teeth without any metal wires or brackets. Invisalign is a great option for people who want to get straight teeth but don’t want to wear metal braces every day. It’s also a great option for keeping your oral health in great condition because patients take aligners in and out for brushing and flossing. Parents of children also are choosing Invisalign because it means fewer trips to the orthodontist and no need for emergency visits, like so many of our patients with braces.
Our practice is fortunate to have one of the leading Invisalign providers in the state of Georgia, Dr. Greg Morris! In fact, Dr. Morris is the most experienced orthodontist in all of South Georgia when it comes to treating kids, teens, and adults with Invisalign. Of course, whether Invisalign or braces are recommended for you or your child, you can be assured that they will receive the highest quality of care with the most dedicated team. We look forward to helping you achieve the smile of your dreams!

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