Your appointment when you have your appliances fitted (braces, overbite correctors, expanders, etc.) usually takes 45–90 minutes. You’ll then see us at regular intervals around 6 – 10 weeks apart to have your appliances monitored or adjusted. These are shorter appointments of between 15 – 30 minutes. We have worked diligently to create a schedule for our patients that is convenient and achieves desired treatment results. As we mentioned before, orthodontic forces must be adjusted and/or monitored every 6–10 weeks for your treatment to proceed as planned. Many of the office visits will inevitably clash with work or school days. In order to balance the need for regular appointments with the need to minimize missed school and work hours, we have designed our patient schedule to accomplish the following:
We would like to see each patient at the time of his or her scheduled appointment. Your time is valuable and it should not be wasted sitting in our reception room.
We would like to have enough time at each appointment complete all necessary adjustments, plan your next appointment, discuss treatment progress and answer any questions you may have.
Orthodontic treatment proceeds in stages. At some stages, what is needed is a minor adjustment, requiring a relatively short appointment. At other times, major changes are required in the appliance, necessitating a longer appointment.
With this in mind:
We will schedule longer appointments during school and work hours and shorter appointments before and after school and work. In this way, we do not reserve an entire afternoon for one or two patients, but rather see as many patients as possible with short appointments. One consequence of a schedule arranged in this fashion is that the office is quieter in the middle of the day and busier in the early morning and late afternoon. Also, this arrangement usually results in patients having to visit our office only 3–4 times per year during school hours. We find this works extremely well and is greatly appreciated by our patients.
Because the schedule is carefully managed, arriving late, coming on the wrong day or missing your appointment all together can cause a problem. In fairness to our other scheduled patients, we cannot “force” a late arrival into the schedule. In this instance we may have to reschedule the appointment unless there is an unexpected opening in our schedule. All failed or late appointments should be rescheduled as soon as possible to ensure continuity of your treatment. Since the after school/work appointments are arranged several weeks in advance, it will be necessary to reschedule missed appointments during the quieter portion of the day. If you choose to wait until an after school appointment is available, it will extend your treatment time which is not ideal.
Bearing in mind these same time constraints, it may be difficult for our experts to perform the required treatment and personally discuss treatment progress with interested parents during the late afternoon appointments. If there is a specific question that requires an immediate answer, our team of Treatment Coordinators will be happy to talk to you. If you still wish to have a consultation with our expert team, we will be pleased to arrange an appointment time with you or we may be able to arrange a phone consult for existing patients only.
If you need an emergency appointment, please call first so that we may offer you a specific appointment time. If you drop by without an appointment, we may not be able to accommodate you. Also, if you have a broken bracket or archwire, please don’t wait until your regular visit to let us know. There probably won’t be enough time in the schedule to repair it. Call us if there is anything broken or just “doesn’t feel right,” and we will arrange an appropriate time for your repair.
Orthodontics is very different from general dentistry. Our expert team cannot do all of the work on your behalf. The outcome and success of your treatment depends on a partnership between the patient, the treatment coordinators and the expert team.
The Expert Team: diagnose the problem, recommend your treatment, create your bespoke treatment plan and carry out this plan step by step. They demonstrate the proper diet, efficient hygiene techniques, treatment objectives and how you patient must act and follow instructions.
Parents and Friends: are supportive, understanding, gently coaching and always caring.
The Patient: understands why the teeth are being straightened and the treatment plan, brushes after eating anything and flosses daily, avoids hard and sticky foods and minimises refined sugar in the diet, always wears their removable appliances/retainers/elastics and other appliances as instructed, and with the help of their family keeps all appointments and arrives on time, plus reports lost or broken appliances as soon as they occur and calls the office to arrange for repairs.
Without patient cooperation, the final results will be less than ideal.
Beginning with the first active treatment appointment for a young patient, it is not necessary for a parent to accompany them into the treatment area. We want the patient to feel empowered and responsible for their treatment, listen carefully to instructions, begin to know and trust us; and we, in turn, will be getting to know the patient. Experience has taught us that the patient is more receptive and more self-expressive without a parent present. Not much different, as most teachers advise, than in a school classroom. And this is particularly true in the case of children who are of a more nervous disposition than others. It is less likely that these patients will show any undue temperament when on their own. A contributing factor is that other patients are often being treated in the same treatment area at the same time. This seems to lend itself to a more relaxed and comfortable atmosphere, which we endeavour to maintain at our facilities at all times.
We want our patients to look forward to every visit in our office, beginning with the very first one. A part of our objective is to capture interest, which in turn will create good compliance. This will lead to a quicker and easier treatment. As parents, discernible enthusiasm will be a great encouragement to the child.