At first glance, some patients might feel the first visit would be a waste of time and an unnecessary expense. After all, their doctor knows they need a root canal. However, many times, the diagnosis is not straightforward, and your dentist may want our opinion regarding the treatment plan. In addition, most patients want us to discuss all the options they have and the expenses associated with each one. In some cases, we are able to combine the evaluation visit with the endodontic treatment.
Our reception area is designed for your comfort. While you are providing your health, insurance, and dental information, coffee, juice, cookies, and soft drinks are available. The patient coordinator will be available to answer any questions you might have regarding these forms. For your safety, a complete list of any medications or supplements you are presently taking is necessary before initiating any treatment. A typed list is appreciated and will reduce the time for your visit. If necessary, we are able to consult your physician regarding your proposed treatment to see if any alteration in treatment or medication is necessary for your safety.
All pertinent information related to insurance will be taken, so we can work to maximize your benefits. Should you have any questions regarding your dental claim, our insurance coordinator will be available to discuss utilization of your insurance policy with you. We will do all that is possible to have your claim paid promptly. On occasions, insurance companies require additional information to understand the nature of your procedure. With years of experience advocating for our patients, we anticipate those requests and routinely send the additional information in the form of a narrative detailing your diagnosis and treatment plan with the initial filing.
Please bring any referral forms, x-rays, or notes your restorative dentist has given you when you come for your first visit. Your x-rays are helpful in determining your diagnosis and treatment plan, however additional necessary radiographs will be taken on your first visit. Specialty care requires multi- view digital radiographs typically not necessary at your restorative dentist.
Appropriate treatment is based on accurate diagnosis. In your dental history, you provide us with valuable information that becomes an integral part of the diagnostic process. Necessary digital periapical radiographs, panoramic radiographs and, in some cases, CT images are taken. The images that these advanced technologies provide were previously unavailable but are now critical in determining your treatment plan. The results of the periodontal evaluation and pulpal vitality tests are combined with the radiographic information in making a final diagnosis. Our specialty training, combined with decades of experience treating patients with similar problems, makes this complex diagnostic process a routine event in our office.
Once the correct diagnosis is made, we will be able to provide you with the information you need to determine the treatment best for you. We find most of our patients want to know what they have, what their options are, how long the treatment will take, how much it will cost, and what they can expect when the treatment is completed. Once all of your questions have been answered to your satisfaction, we reduce our conversation to writing and both sign off on the plan. This is what we call an informed consent.
Our fees are determined by the difficulty of your treatment, not the fee schedule of an insurance company. Some cases are more complicated and require more time than the average case. These cases usually demand a higher fee. The fee will be quoted in advance of your treatment, and unless informed at the initial consultation, will not exceed the quoted fee. The entire fee is the responsibility of the patient, not the insurance carrier. Remember, if you have a dental emergency in the night or on the weekend, you call us, not the insurance company.
If the patient is under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must accompany the patient to the initial visit. The examination process cannot be initiated if the parent or guardian is not present.