Welcome to our offices in Birmingham & Sylacauga! We understand that each patient has different health needs, aesthetic goals, and expectations about treatment. We have set aside a special time to discuss these questions regarding you or your child’s orthodontic care. After you have scheduled a new patient consultation, please go online and take the time to complete and submit the New Patient Form. For your first visit, please take the time to complete the new patient form that was sent to you. By completing this form prior to the consultation, we can begin your visit without delay. You may also complete and submit the your new patient form online.

If you do have insurance benefits, please complete the appropriate information on the new patient form regarding your insurance coverage. During the new patient consultation, our insurance coordinator will determine your total amount of benefits and schedule of payments so this information will be available to you before leaving your appointment.

Upon your arrival, you will always be kindly greeted by our Scheduling Coordinator. She will notify our Treatment Coordinator that you have arrived.

Our Treatment Coordinator will greet you in our waiting room and escort you or your child to one of our consultation rooms for your first visit with Dr. Backus.

Our Treatment Coordinator will escort you and/or your child to obtain diagnostic records prior to the exam.

After diagnostic records are obtained you will meet Dr. Backus to discuss treatment. Because the diagnostic records are obtained at your first visit, Dr. Backus is able to obtain basic information regarding any current or potential orthodontic problems. She can then properly address your individual concerns and needs. If treatment is indicated, Dr. Backus will:

  • Address the nature of the orthodontic problems
  • Type of orthodontic treatment required
  • Estimated length of treatment time

All information will be conveyed with strong visuals using our state-of-the-art ScreenPlay graphic communication system. Once the initial examination has been completed, our treatment coordinator will provide you with:

  • An examination report of problems and recommended treatment
  • Information regarding future appointments
  • The estimated cost of treatment
  • Payment options available through our office
  • And, if you should have orthodontic insurance, determine your maximum benefit prior to leaving the appointment

Please allow approximately 90 minutes for your first visit to our office.

At the end of your appointment we will give you a brief tour of our office and introduce you to our Financial Coordinator. She will handle all financial arrangements and, as a courtesy, gladly handle all aspects regarding your orthodontic insurance.

If you are satisfied with the proposed treatment plan and financial arrangements and Dr. Backus has indicated you or your child is ready to initiate treatment the process of starting orthodontic treatment can begin.

What are Diagnostic Records?

Orthodontic records are obtained at the consultation appointment.

Records confirm Dr. Backus diagnosis and treatment plan and serve as documentation of your teeth, lips and profile when treatment is initiated. Typical records include the following:

Panoramic Radiograph

A Panoramic Radiograph reveals the position of both erupted and unerupted teeth, missing or extra teeth, general condition of bone and supporting tissue, and any possible decay.

Cephalometric Radiograph

The Cephalometric Radiograph is a lateral (side) picture of the head. This picture is traced and measured to illustrate the outline of the nose, lips and chin; how the upper and lower jaw is related to the head; and how the front teeth are related to each jaw.

Cephalometric Radiograph

Extraoral Photos

The extraoral photos consist of a relaxed and a smiling frontal picture of the face and a lateral profile. The pictures help evaluate facial balance and soft tissue contours.

Extraoral Photos

Intraoral Photos

Intraoral photos help evaluate the appearance and condition of the enamel and gingival tissues.

Intraoral Photos

What will be the length of treatment?

The length of treatment varies from patient to patient. It depends on the severity of the bite, the degree of correction, age and the level of cooperation achieved. However, most cases are completed within 18-24 months. We are constantly reviewing treatment progress and make an effort at each appointment to give you an update regarding you or your child’s treatment status.

What if treatment is not recommended at the first appointment?

If treatment is not indicated, a recall appointment will be scheduled at either 6 to 12 months to monitor the child’s growth and dental development. Ninety percent of children seen in Dr. Backus practice should be monitored until the majority of permanent teeth have erupted before initiating orthodontic therapy.

What is my responsibility once the braces have been put on?

We remain in close communication with your regular dentist. It is necessary that check-ups and cleanings continue to be scheduled throughout orthodontic treatment every six months.

The patient must also maintain regular visits to our office throughout your orthodontic treatment. These are usually scheduled every 8 to 10 weeks to monitor your progress, check your hygiene, and adjust your braces.

Orthodontics is very different from medicine or general dentistry. The orthodontist and the team cannot do all the work for you. Successful treatment is a team effort: patients, parents, team and the orthodontist working together. The rewards are your pleasing smile, healthy teeth and your glow of new confidence.


When and Why

Does my child need to see an Orthodontist?

Most malocclusions can be treated effectively once the majority of the baby teeth have been lost. However it is recommended by the American Association of Orthodontists that a child’s first evaluation by an orthodontic specialist be done around the age of 7. If you or your family dentist suspects an orthodontic problem before age 7, an orthodontic specialist should be contacted for an earlier evaluation.

During this period, concerns associated with crowding, undesirable habits, and disproportionate jaw growth, may first need to be addressed. Other problems associated with tooth alignment or bite correction may best be addressed subsequent to the eruption of most permanent teeth.

The following are indications that an orthodontic problem may be present.

  • Crowded Teeth
  • Early Loss of Teeth
  • Underbite
  • Mouth Breathing
  • Thumb and Finger Habits
  • Missing Teeth
  • Protrusion of Front Teeth
  • Crossbites
  • Speech Difficulties
  • Poor Facial Profile
  • Low Self-Esteem from Teeth Misalignment

These are just a few of the early indications that orthodontic problems may exist.

What are the benefits of Timely Treatment?

  • Improve self-confidence and self esteem
  • Influence growth of the jaws to improve tooth relationship
  • Increase the width of the dental arches
  • Reduce the need for extractions
  • Reduce the likelihood of future jaw surgery
  • Reduce the risk of trauma to protruded front teeth
  • Eliminate harmful oral habits
  • Reduce the treatment time for future orthodontics
  • Improve speech development
  • Guide the permanent teeth into a more favorable position
  • Improve lip closure
  • Gain space for erupting permanent teeth
  • Better cooperation before teenage years
  • To prevent unbalanced or asymmetric facial growth

Intra-oral Scanner

Our scanner allows Dr. Backus to create a model of your teeth WITHOUT an impression and you get 100% precision every time.


Our cone beam imaging allows Dr. Backus to view your jaws and teeth via a 3-D image. With your child’s safety in mind, Dr. Backus’ CBCT is FDA approved for pediatric use.