A DAY IN THE LIFE OF AN ORTHODONTIST

May 5th, 2020

invisalign

I think everyone's lives are so unique and exciting. One of the reasons I love reading so much is I get to glimpse people’s thought process and their daily lives. That's what I thought it would be interesting for people to see what the life of an orthodontist is.

Thank you to all the amazing patients who allowed me to film so that everyone can see an orthodontist’s life in Allen, TX.

WHAT'S A SUMMARY OF YOUR DAY AS AN ORTHODONTIST?

WHAT DOES AN ORTHODONTIC CONSULT LOOK LIKE?

Consults typically like 10 minutes or so, but this is probably the most important part of my job. If you get this wrong, the results can be awful. I like to go over treatment in detail with patients, and I love using videos, models, and X-rays to show patients exactly what we will do. I want to be sure that when I walk out of the room, the patients know what to expect and how their results may look. You may be surprised to hear this, but I really love it when the case is complicated. It makes me use all my knowledge and come up with a unique treatment plan.

WHAT IS AN ADJUSTMENT APPOINTMENT?

An adjustment appointment is really just a check-up to make sure things are going as planned. Patients are surprised when we do not change wires at every adjustment. I only use roughly four wires in total so that you won't get a wire change at every visit. Some wires take longer to get the results we want. It does not benefit the patients to move up in wires unless the wire has completed what it was supposed to do.

An adjustment is a time I may ask the patient to wear rubber bands, start power chains or go any additional information we see.



hi, We're Drs. Coughlin

Hello, friend. Welcome to Thrive Dental & Orthodontics. We're here to support you and answer your dental questions so come say hello!

In Allen, our office is open from 10 am to 6 pm, and because it's a newer location, it's not normal as the past few years have been. Typically I get to the office a little early to review the schedule, meet with the team, and review any issues we may have that day.

I see, on average, 30-60 patients a day. Being an orthodontist, you get used to seeing more patients, and you have orthodontic assistants helping you out a lot. They are the best part of my day, and they ensure that every patient is treated well.

The majority of patients are what we call "adjustments.” An adjustment is when the orthodontic patient comes in for a wire change, reinforces elastic wear, etc. These are the short appointments that last 30 minutes or less.

Some of the patients are "bonding" appointments, and this is where we are putting on braces. There is typically only a handful of these a day, and they last a little longer.

The remaining 5-15 patients are consults. A consult is when I need to be at my best because this is when we develop a patient plan, so they get the smile they want.

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO PUT ON BRACES?

Putting on braces is actually really easy! There is no drilling, no filling, no needles, and honestly, the only negative is your mouth gets really dry. We use a plastic device to keep your teeth dry, and we bond or glue the braces on your teeth. The actual process takes roughly 15 minutes to complete the top and bottom arches.

The reason our bonding appointments are typically 60 minutes is that it takes time for you to sit down, put glasses on, check the Netflix on our TVs, etc. but to actually put on the braces is relatively quick and painless.




END OF THE DAY

I rarely leave at 6 pm. I make sure notes are completed, cases have been sent, pictures are correct, etc. An owner orthodontist’s life is not your typical 9-5 pm, but I love it. This is also the time I may look at Invisalign cases and review any issues with our managers.


CONCLUSION

The life of an orthodontist is kind of hectic, but it's also amazing. We see many patients and have to make sure our brain is in top shape because there is a lot of thinking involved. You need a great team to get through all the adjustments, bondings, and consults.

If you want to learn a little more, check out my video below and as always, if you want me to answer anything specific, please email me at [email protected] and just type "Question for Dr. Nathan" in the title. Also, if you are in Allen, Texas, are come in and say hi!




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