First Visit

Welcome to our office! We're glad you and your family have chosen our office for an orthodontic screening. We will give you information about your orthodontic needs, treatment options, costs and financing. We will gladly answer any questions you have, and this first visit is complimentary!

This is an exciting time! We will have the opportunity for us to get to know you and for you to learn more about what we have to offer. While our office may look like a dentist's office, what we do here is different. We focus on helping you achieve a beautiful smile with correctly aligned teeth and proper bite function. Let's start with the initial consultation.

Initial Consultation

You should plan to spend at least 30 minutes with us the first time. That's to ensure that no one has to rush, and that you get plenty of time to ask any questions you may have. You will meet one of our assistants, who will take some information from you and bring you through the office. Then it's time for some diagnostic work and an exam.

You will spend time with Dr. Windhorst to determine your needs and discuss treatment options. She will address any concerns you have at this time. One of our experienced clinical chairside assistants will tell you about our office, explain the various appliances, and tell you what to expect at following visits. Our office manager will discuss fees, insurance and financing.

Please assist us by providing the following information at the time of your first visit:

  • Any panoramic X-rays taken within the past six months. You can ask your dentist to e-mail them to our office at [email protected].
  • If you have orthodontic insurance, bring your insurance card. By providing this information at the first visit, we will be able to give you an estimate of your costs.

Our goal is to take excellent care of our patients, and we are looking forward to serving you. Below are the forms which should be completed for your first visit. For your convenience, you may print these off and complete them to bring with you:

Since this is a screening appointment only, it is designed to introduce you to our office, help you make decisions about your treatment, the timing of your treatment and give you financial information. There is no charge for this screening. We may be unable to give you a specific diagnosis or treatment plan until after records (impressions, X-rays, photographs and a thorough clinical exam) are completed. That will happen at your second visit.

Second Visit – Diagnostic Records and Exam

We take diagnostic records to help determine if treatment is necessary and what orthodontic issues need to be corrected. It also helps us determine if starting treatment now would be beneficial or if it would be better to wait. Our procedure starts by taking a set of regular photographs of the teeth in their present state. Next, we'll take a series of radiographic (X-ray) images. X-rays show us how the bones and joints are positioned beneath the gum line as well as any teeth that have not erupted.

We will also take an impression (mold) of the teeth. This lets us make an exact replica of the bite, which helps us understand exactly what the problem is and how best to treat it. If we need to do this, we will ask you (or your child) to bite down on some soft putty-like material for a few moments; then we'll remove it and make the mold in our lab.

After diagnostic records are taken, Dr. Windhorst will conduct a careful examination of your mouth, teeth and jaws. In addition to looking in the mouth, she may ask if there have been any noticeable problems such as difficulty swallowing or chewing, and if the jaws have been making any sounds when in motion. This information, along with the diagnostic records, helps Dr. Windhorst diagnose the orthodontic problem and develop the appropriate treatment plan.

Your Treatment Options and Plan

Following the exam, we will let you know whether you are ready to begin treatment or if we may need to wait to start. Many times, we'll advise you to return for a periodic checkup, until we determine that it's the best time to start. We will discuss with you treatment options and finalize a treatment plan. We will also finalize our treatment fees and discuss all our financing options in detail.

When leaving our office, we want you to have a clear understanding of your specific needs, what the treatment will consist of and how long it will take. Are you ready to take the first step toward a beautiful, healthy smile? Call us today!