Your first visit to see Dr. Bourke will be a chance for us to get acquainted and answer any orthodontic questions you may have. We want this to be a pleasant, informative experience!
When you arrive for your initial examination, one of our friendly team members will greet you and show you how to use our computerized check-in station, which will inform our entire orthodontic team that you are here. This is one of the numerous ways in which we use technology to keep us efficient.
After we have obtained a completed patient information form and privacy consent form from you, our treatment coordinator will take you on a tour of our facilities. Following this, she will take some facial and intraoral pictures of you with a digital camera, which Dr. Bourke will use in his assessment of any existing orthodontic condition. Dr. Bourke will then conduct a thorough clinical exam and discuss his findings with you and answer your questions.
There is no such thing as a “dumb” question, so please don’t be shy about asking us anything! After your initial visit, we want you to feel confident, better educated, and fully informed. We know that orthodontic treatment is an investment that will last a lifetime, and that choosing the right orthodontist is an important part of the process.
Please set aside thirty to forty-five minutes for this appointment.
There is no charge for your initial examination, and a referral from your dentist is not necessary.
Dr. Bourke may decide, based on his findings during your initial exam, that now is not the right time for you to start orthodontic treatment. Although you may have an existing or potential orthodontic condition, you are not physically ready for orthodontic treatment just yet; your teeth and bones still have some growing to do. In this case, Dr. Bourke will recommend that you come back in six to twelve months, so that he can monitor your growth and decide when is the best time for you to start treatment.
These recall visits can permit Dr. Bourke to use certain strategies at specific stages of a child’s growth to:
- Reduce the need for extraction of adult teeth and minimize the risk of impacted teeth;
- Reduce the need for jaw surgery;
- Utilize predictable growth of the face to provide the most pleasing facial aesthetics and dental results;
- Provide a more stable final result with optimal function; and
- Improve treatment efficiency and minimize total active treatment time.
These appointments are usually quick, and best of all they are free of charge (because they are so important)!
Diagnostic Records Visit
When Dr. Bourke feels that you are ready to start orthodontic treatment, you will return to our office to have diagnostic records done. Diagnostic records usually consist of:
- Panographic x-ray which is a picture of all your teeth that will enable Dr. Bourke to check the health of your roots, look for extra teeth, missing teeth and impacted teeth (teeth that may be stuck up in your gums);
- Cephalometric x-ray which is a picture of your skull in profile. We use measurements to check the position of your upper and lower jawbones, the relationship between your upper and lower jawbones, the angle of your jawbones and the position of your teeth in relationship to your jawbone structure and skull;
- Study models are impressions of your teeth, which basically enable Dr. Bourke to see your teeth outside of your mouth to check your bite; and
- Photographs with a digital camera will be taken of your face and teeth from different angles and will help Dr. Bourke assess your facial balance.
Diagnostic records are important for Dr. Bourke in the process of determining a custom treatment plan just for you.
Please plan for your diagnostic records appointment to take approximately forty-five minutes.
Final Consultation Visit
This visit will be scheduled approximately five weeks after your diagnostic records are taken. At this appointment, our treatment coordinator will:
- Dr. Bourke’s evaluation of your orthodontic needs in greater detail;
- The customized treatment plan developed and recommended for you by Dr. Bourke;
- The cost of treatment and financial arrangements;
- Estimated length of treatment;
- Our office policies;
- Your responsibilities for your treatment;
- The importance of your cooperation.
- Schedule the necessary appointments to get your treatment started.
- Complete all of the required paperwork.
- Answer any questions that you may have.
In order to give our treatment coordinator enough time to complete all of these things, please expect this visit to take approximately one hour.
The appointment to place your orthodontic appliances (e.g. braces, expander, headgear, etc.) will take anywhere from thirty to ninety minutes, depending on the type of appliance Dr. Bourke has recommended for you.
You will then visit us every eight weeks for an adjustment, which will take approximately fifteen minutes each time you are here. At these appointments and under the direction of Dr. Bourke, one of our hygienists will adjust your appliances to facilitate your treatment. It is very important that you attend these appointments in order to keep your estimated treatment time on schedule.
We have arranged our schedule to run efficiently and on time throughout the day. We will do our best to accommodate you with the appointment time of your choice; however, depending on the type of appointment required, we may not always be able to do so. Our more lengthy appointments are usually scheduled between 9:00 and 3:00. This enables us to accommodate as many patients as possible with shorter appointments before and after school.
Each of your scheduled appointment times has been reserved especially for you and we make every effort to keep our daily schedule running on time, because we know your time is valuable. We ask that you please extend the same courtesy to us, by arriving on time for your appointments. If you cannot keep an appointment, please provide us with 24 hours notice. Please be aware that appointments that are missed or cancelled may be difficult to reschedule, since most appointments are booked 8 weeks in advance. Missed and cancelled appointments will likely extend the length of time you are in treatment.
We make reasonable efforts to help prevent missed appointments and cancellations. At each of your visits, you will be given an appointment ticket showing the date and time of your next appointment. We encourage you to post this ticket on your fridge and note the appointment time on your calendar or in your agenda.
In addition, we use a computerized reminder system that will call, email or text to remind you of your appointments. The system enables us to reach you at a more convenient time; in the evening, when most of our patients are at home, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. 2-3 days prior to their scheduled appointment. Please remember that our appointment reminder system is a courtesy only, and the ultimate responsibility for keeping all appointments is yours.