Children And Adolescents
What to Expect at the First Visit
There will be NO CHARGE for the first visit, regardless of whether an x-ray is taken.
Prior to the appointment you will be asked to complete some forms including a medical and dental history for the patient and contact and insurance information.
Depending on the age of the patient and the stage of dental development, we may take a panoramic x-ray. This will enable Dr. Driscoll to assess the development of unerupted permanent teeth, in order to aid in determining whether treatment is needed at this time or should be delayed.
Next Dr. Driscoll will review the medical and dental history with you and ask you about the concerns that have caused you to seek an orthodontic examination.
The examination is very quick, easy, and painless! Dr. Driscoll will look in the patient’s mouth to see how the teeth are aligned and how they fit together. She will also examine the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) to look for signs of clicking, popping, pain or limited range of motion. Finally she will look at the patient’s smile, tooth to lip relationship and profile.
If Dr. Driscoll determines that the patient can benefit from treatment and that now is the appropriate time for treatment, she will give you a brief, general idea of the type of treatment needed and she will have the office manager provide a fee estimate and an explanation of payment options. To be eligible for certain payment options, you will need to provide credit information. Before any treatment is rendered, the patient will be scheduled for diagnostic records and then a consultation. If time permits, we may be able to make your diagnostic records on the same day as your initial exam. At that consultation visit, Dr. Driscoll will go into more detail regarding the treatment and be able to answer all of your questions.
If Dr. Driscoll determines that the patient will need orthodontic treatment in the future, but is not ready at this time, she will place the patient on observation. This will enable Dr. Driscoll to monitor the patient’s growth and development so treatment can begin at the ideal time. There is no charge for the doctor to observe the patient until they are ready for treatment. Dr. Driscoll may also recommend the extraction of certain baby teeth to help certain permanent teeth erupt properly.
What to Expect at the Diagnostic Records Visit
Diagnostic records include a 3-D digital model of the teeth, photographs, a cephalogram (x-ray of showing the side of the head), and a panoramic x-ray (if not already taken on the day of the initial exam). On the day records are taken, the doctor is looking exclusively at the quality of the records to make sure they are adequate and will not be able to answer any questions regarding the treatment. You will then schedule an appointment to return for a consultation.
What to Expect at the Consultation Visit
Prior to your consultation, Dr. Driscoll will perform a thorough analysis of the diagnostic records and develop a detailed treatment plan. At the consultation, you will be able to see the plaster casts of the teeth and the photographs so you can gain a better understanding of the problems. Dr. Driscoll will provide you with a written summary of the orthodontic problems, objectives for treatment, the plan of treatment, and any limitations that could affect the result. She will explain the treatment, the time line, and what the patient can expect in terms of discomfort. She will then cover the risks of orthodontic treatment and answer questions. If more than one parent or if grandparents will be involved in bringing the patient to appointments or supervising the patient’s cooperation with treatment, it is very helpful to have everyone at this appointment. This eliminates the problem of arriving home and having someone say, “Why didn’t you ask her…?”
Once Dr. Driscoll has explained the treatment and answered your questions, the office manager will go over the financial arrangements with you and schedule the appointments to begin treatment.