Your First Office Visit
Before We Meet You
After calling to book your first appointment, a Welcome Packet will be mailed to your home. This packet will contain additional information about our offices including several forms which require your completion prior to your first visit. If you choose, you can also download these forms by accessing our Online Forms section to complete the required paperwork.
Your First Visit
During your first visit to our one of our offices, you will meet our team and learn more about the timing and need for orthodontic treatment. The timing of your treatment is very important. You or your child may or may not be ready for treatment. Therefore, this visit will allow us to better understand your needs.
Dr. Carcara will review your medical and dental history and perform a thorough clinical examination to evaluate your orthodontic needs and discuss potential treatment options. You will also receive information regarding the estimated timing and length of treatment as well as an estimated cost for treatment. This appointment is approximately 30 minutes.
Growth Guidance Program
At your first visit Dr. Carcara may determine orthodontic treatment is not needed at that time and that more permanent teeth must erupt before evaluating your child for orthodontic treatment. If this is the case, your child will be placed in our complimentary Growth Guidance Program. As part of this program Dr. Carcara will continually monitor your child’s dental growth and development at periodic recall exams to determine the appropriate need and timing of future orthodontic treatment. Learn more about Treatment Timing
Diagnostic Records & Treatment Planning
If it is determined orthodontic treatment is necessary and no outstanding dental treatment is required, you will schedule a diagnostic records appointment before leaving your initial exam appointment. Diagnostic records are required to confirm the proposed treatment plan discussed during the initial exam and are helpful in tracking the progress of treatment as the teeth move under orthodontic care. These records include diagnostic study models and digital orthodontic X-rays (emitting significantly lower radiation than conventional X-rays) and photographs for thorough diagnosis and treatment planning. This digital technology enables us to store all patient information in the computer which facilitates computer-based analysis and communication / treatment planning with your dentist and/or specialists.
This appointment is approximately 20 to 30 minutes. *If the schedule allows, records can be taken the same day as your first visit.
Please assist us by being prepared with the following information at your first visit:
- Whether the patient requires antibiotic phophylaxis (i.e., due to heart murmur, mitral valve prolapse, rheumatic fever, etc.)
- A list of medications the patient is presently taking as well as any allergies the patient may have (i.e., metal or latex allergies),
- Recent panoramic or cephalometric X-rays.
If for some reason you cannot keep your initial appointment, please contact our both our offices at 201-664-4443 to alert us and reschedule your appointment. By providing proper notice, you also allow another patient to utilize that designated time. If you are calling after hours, leave your name, number and a brief message on our answering machine and we will return your call the next business day.
Diagnosis and Treatment Consultation
After Dr. Carcara has reviewed your diagnostic records, you will meet with him for a treatment consultation. Dr. Carcara will provide a complete clinical diagnosis regarding the nature of the orthodontic problem and review your detailed treatment plan options. You will be provided ample time for questions. Once a treatment plan is agreed upon you will set up the necessary appointments to begin orthodontic treatment and discuss the fee schedule. This appointment is approximately 30 minutes.
Pre-Treatment Dental Care
Before undergoing any orthodontic treatment, your family dentist should make certain all cavities have been treated and the health of your gums and underlying bone are free of periodontal disease. You should schedule and maintain cleaning and check-up visits with your dentist during your orthodontic care. We reinforce the need to keep your regular visits with your family dentist as we are only an aid to your family dentist — not a replacement. In addition to your general dentist, other dental and/or medical specialists may work in cooperation with Dr. Carcara to address your orthodontic needs. Dental specialists who may be involved in your treatment plan include but are not limited to oral surgeons, periodontists, endodontists, prosthodontists, and pediatric dentists. Medical specialists who may be involved in your treatment plan include but are not limited to ear, nose, and throat specialists and allergists.
Initial Bonding/Banding Appointment
Braces or other appliances are placed at the initial bonding/banding appointment which will take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes depending on your individual treatment plan. Banding appointments are longer appointments and therefore are scheduled during morning and early afternoon hours.
Periodic visits are a crucial part of your orthodontic treatment. After appliances are placed, you will return every four to 12 weeks (frequency varies based on your individual treatment plan) to check your progress and adjust your braces/appliance as needed. These appointments take approximately ten to 20 minutes.
It is your responsibility to keep your appointments, follow instructions, maintain proper eating habits and practice good oral hygiene. Missed appointments and lack of patient cooperation can result in the extension of your treatment time, therefore it is critical you keep all of your appointments and follow the instructions of the doctor.
Length of Treatment
Your braces may be on for six to 30 months or longer depending on the age of the patient, the severity of the problem, the patient's cooperation, and the degree of movement possible. Rest assured, the shortest and most gentle treatment protocols are used for your treatment due to the advanced brace and wire technology used in our offices.
Once your braces are removed, retainers are utilized to hold your teeth in their new position until your bone, gums, and muscles adapt to this new position. We offer fixed and removable retainers, as well as clear invisible retainers. Dr. Carcara will prescribe the retainer best suited for you. You will return to our Allendale or Westwood office periodically for retention appointments as determined by Dr. Carcara. The retention period is an important part of your overall treatment and must not be neglected.