Office Visits

office visits

We want to thank you for the opportunity to take care of all of your orthodontic needs. We understand that choosing to receive orthodontic care is a big decision, and we respect your reasons for wanting to improve the way you look and feel.

Our practice will work with you every step of the way to make sure your orthodontic care is as rewarding as possible. Our practice utilizes the latest technology, offering a variety of safe and gentle treatment options to give you the customized, individual care you deserve.

Your Initial Examination

At your initial visit, Dr. Smith will complete an initial orthodontic examination to determine if orthodontic care would be beneficial at this time or in the future. He will discuss the reason you chose to see an orthodontist, advise you of any orthodontic problems and provide preliminary recommendations if corrective treatment is indicated at this time. Typically, only a small mouth mirror is required for this examination. There is NO FEE for this initial examination and it typically lasts approximately 30 minutes.

At your initial visit, if Dr. Smith determines it is too soon to begin orthodontic treatment, your child will be placed in our Observation and Guidance Program. We will contact you to schedule periodic checkups to monitor your child’s growth and development pattern.

If treatment is indicated at this time and you are ready to begin the orthodontic process, we will need to set up two additional appointments. The first appointment will be Diagnostic Records and the second will be a Treatment Conference.

We value your time and understand the importance of minimizing time missed at school or work. If scheduling permits, we may be able to combine your Initial Examination and your Diagnostic Records appointments if you wish to get started right away.

Diagnostic Records

Once orthodontic treatment is deemed necessary, a set of diagnostic records will be obtained to allow Dr. Smith to study the case in greater detail. A thorough diagnosis is critical to understanding each patient as an individual and to tailoring the treatment plan accordingly.

Study models will be taken of both the upper and lower arches, as well as a bite registration. These “impressions” of your teeth are typically done with a 3D intraoral scanner, eliminating the mess and discomfort of traditional alginate impressions. Digital panoramic and cephalometric radiographs (X-rays), as well as digital intraoral and extraoral photographs, will also be taken to complete your records appointment. A formal diagnosis is made using these records and your treatment plan is finalized for review at your Treatment Conference.This appointment typically lasts 30 minutes. 

The Diagnostic Records fee is due at the records appointment. These records in no way commit you to treatment. For this reason, we charge this fee separately from our fee for orthodontic treatment. We will submit a claim form to your insurance company following the orthodontic records appointment.

Treatment Conference

After Dr. Smith has evaluated all of your orthodontic records, he will discuss the specific problems and our plan of treatment in greater detail. Parents and the patient are requested to attend. You will be given the opportunity to get answers to any questions you may have in order to make an informed decision regarding orthodontic treatment. Dr. Smith will be able to thoroughly explain your individual treatment plan, estimated length of your treatment, options for treatment, and retention requirements. Complete treatment fees will also be discussed, as well as our various payment options. If you have orthodontic insurance, we will discuss how to maximize your benefits.

Regular Appointments

Orthodontic appliances must be monitored and adjusted every four to eight weeks for treatment to proceed as planned. The length of appointments varies depending on the type, stage, and progress of treatment. Some appointment times may conflict with hectic work or school schedules. Below you will find a guide of our appointments and the length of time we need to see you in our office.

*Please Note: If you or your child is too sick to go to work or school, or is contagious to others, please call our office to reschedule your appointment. We want to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our patients and staff.

Short Appointments - “Adjustments”

The majority of our appointments will be approximately 30 minutes. These appointments are scheduled throughout the day and will typically involve an archwire change or adjustment.

Long Appointments

Longer orthodontic appointments (those requiring more than 30 minutes) are scheduled during the mid-morning and early afternoon time. These appointments typically involve adding/removing braces or obtaining progress records. To be fair to all patients, it is unavoidable that some school-time appointments will be necessary. By using these scheduling designs, we are able to accommodate as many families as possible during the after-school hours.

Repair Appointments

Repair visits are available during office hours. Please call our office as soon as possible so we can schedule this appointment accordingly and prevent a delay in treatment.

Late Arrivals

We understand that “life happens”! If you’re running late or need to reschedule, please let us know and we will do everything we can to accommodate you. In order to provide you with the best care possible, we wish to see every patient at the scheduled time. In all fairness to others who arrive on time, we may need to reschedule your appointment for another day, so our office can provide the best quality of care and see you for your entire appointment.

Missed/ Cancelled Appointments

Since we schedule appointments in four to eight-week intervals, missed or cancelled appointments may not be easily rescheduled for an after-school time. We will work with you to find a new appointment but want to stress the importance of regular appointments. Missed and cancelled appointments can delay your treatment process if not rescheduled in a timely manner.

Appointment Reminders

We provide email and text reminders two days prior to your scheduled appointment. Through our website, you also have 24-hour access to appointment details and can also confirm your appointment with our office.

Visiting the dentist during orthodontic treatment

It is very important that you continue to visit your family dentist at least once every six months for teeth cleanings and routine dental checkups, even during your orthodontic treatment. If extra dental care is needed, we will be happy to coordinate with your family dentist to make sure you receive the best possible care.