Day or night for
7:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Monday through Friday
First of all, please understand that you are always welcome - and even encouraged - to bring your spouse, family member or friend along with you to your appointment. Since you are going to be given a great deal of information, it sometimes helps to have someone else along to help sort through all the information.
This is perhaps the single most important appointment you will have with us. This is a "consultation" appointment, and "consultation" means to give expert advice in a particular field. Our goal is that at the end of the appointment, you will understand why your health professional referrd you to our care, why this matter compromises your dental health and/or your medical health, what the options are for treatment, and the pluses and minues of each of these options.
When you come in our door, we try very hard to welcome you and make your visit with us as comfortable as possible. If you have questions or concerns at any time, please immediately let us know. Your first visit with us will last from sixty to ninety minutes, and you will get to meet several of us. After we greet you and spend a few moments getting to know you, we will go over your completed Health History form with you. Your overall health is very important to us, so please bear with us as we make sure we are up to date on your physical condition, including any medications you may be taking. Please understand that even though you will go over this with an assistant first, your periodontist may - and probably will - want to ask a few more questions about your information. Maintaining and improving your general health is very important to us, and we want to make absolutely sure we know and understand any contraindications you might have to possible treatment.
Next, depending on the reason for your referral, is examination of your teeth and gums to make an independent assessment of your overall dental health, the periodontal health of each of your teeth, and to identify any conditions within your mouth that might influence either the outcome of any dental treatment or the type of care that may be recommended. Even though you may have been referred for a specific reason, involving a specific treatment in our office, your referring health professional is depending on us to make this independent examination of your current status and to recommend therapies to return your mouth to health. Almost always, there are choices - and we want you to have all the facts so that you can make the best choices about your treatment. Sometimes, the reason you were referred has a simple solution; but there are other times when the problem is complex and the solutions are not so straightforward. Either way, we are here to help.
When more information is necessary to give you the best recommendations, we will tell you what needs to happen next. This might be a joint meeting with your general dentist to go over the possibilities in complicated restorative cases so you can see the "big picture" of what the results of your dental treatment will be, or it might mean you will need to have a specialized kind of radiograph taken. Otherwise, we will give you a complete report on our findings, including:
- your current overall dental health
- the problem areas that might exist in your mouth
- the possibilities and priorities for treating these conditions
We understand that you want to know the choices you might have, and the potential outcome of each of those treatment possibilities. You will be given a great deal of information, so feel free to take notes. If you forget, we are here to answer your questions later.
After all your questions have been answered and you have learned all the pros and cons of each potential solution to your dental problem(s), we will give you the financial information for the therapy you feel is appropriate. Our office has a "case fee" policy - once a course of active therapy has been established, you will be given a fee which covers all the appointments necessary to accomplish that phase of treatment. We work with insurance companies, and we can also give you an estimate of what your insuance beenefits would be. Our Financial Coordinator can help you sort through the insurance jungle, and will also explain some of the payment plans we offer. Please do not hesitate to ask if you have questions - we are all here to help.
After your examination, the diagnosis, recommendations and financial information, you are ready to schedule. By this time, you know what is needed, what will be involved to reach the goal of your treatment, how many appointments you will need over what time span, and what will be done at each appointment. You might have specific needs for dates and times, or perhaps you might be more flexible and be able to take appointments at short notice. Just let us know, and we will do our best to fit our schedules together. Please be aware that depending on the type of therapy being done, some appointments are more usually scheduled at certain times of the day. This is on purpose, so that the doctors and staff can best be prepared. Please keep that in mind if we say there is a "usual" time for that type of appointment. We will not compromise patient care, and we ask for your understanding if, for this reason, we cannot be as accommodating to your schedule as you may want.
After scheduling, your part is done - but it's not quite that simple for us. We will send a letter to your referring doctor(s) to let them know you have been examined, what the findings were, what the recommendations for your care have been, and other pertinent information on the expected outcomes or prognoses. Then, throughout your course of therapy, we will keep them informed of your progress, with a final letter when your treatment has been completed and you are returning to their care. Sometimes you will be with us for only an appointment or two; but other times, we may be working with you over several months. Whether we see you once or many times, we look forward to meeting you and working with you to return your mouth to health and comfort. Please let us know how we are doing!