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Does the office accept insurance?

Yes. We accept most major dental insurance plans. As a service to you, our office will file insurance forms and accept direct assignment of benefits. We will investigate for you what coverage you have and do everything we can to make the process simple.

How frequent are appointments?

We schedule appointment intervals to maximize the efficiency and effectiveness of the treatment. The interval depends on the mechanical goals that we need to accomplish between appointments.
At the start of treatment most patients have long (8-12 weeks) intervals between appointments. In-the middle, the interval may reduce to about 6 weeks. Near the end of treatment visits may reduce to 1-3 weeks apart.

How long does the average treatment take?

Utilizing the newest technologies total treatment times average about 18 months from start to retainers. Obviously some more demanding cases can take longer and more basic cases can finish sooner, but we complete most of our cases in less than two years.

How long is an average visit in the office?

Most visits are 20 – 40 minutes in length. Appointments which require the application of any braces, either initial of during treatment may be longer. Most ‘brace application’ visits are performed during the morning hours as they tend to take longer and require more direct contact between doctor and patient. The day braces are first placed usually takes 2 hours.

How much does the average treatment cost?

There is a large range to treatment fees. A fee for comprehensive treatment of a middle school age child averages between $4700 and $5600. Adult fees range between $3000 and $6000. Some limited or interceptive treatment can be as little as $400. Fees in our office are inclusive of the range of services that we provide to diagnose, treat and retain an individual. We do not charge a fee for treatment and then numerous supplemental fees for records, retainers or additional services as is commonly done.

Is orthodontic treatment painful?

Most of our patients tell us that their teeth are sore for the first three days. Simple over-the-counter pain medication usually is all that is needed. I recommend the use of Ibuprofen. Prescription pain medication is not necessary. In addition we provide soft wax to place on any rough areas of your braces to minimize mouth irritations. Warm, salty water is also a good home remedy for oral discomfort.

What are the office hours?

Our typical week is Monday to Thursday. Our Monday through Thursday schedule is:
8:30 to 1:00
1:00 to 2:00 (break)
2:00 to 5:00.
The office is open on Friday from 8:30 to 2:00. However, we do not usually see patients on Friday. We occasionally are open on Fridays, but do not have weekend appointments.

What do I do to get started?

Call us at 616 392 1435 or 877 392 1435 for a complimentary evaluation appointment. When your appointment is made we will send a patient health information package which we request you fill out prior to your visit. When you come for the first appointment you will be met by our treatment coordinator who will brief you about the visit. Dr. Oppenhuizen will examine you (or your child) and determine the best course of treatment.

What happens at a typical visit?

Once the patient is seated, the chair side assistant reviews the chart to see what is planned for the appointment. Dr. Oppenhuizen is consulted prior to commencing work, and then the necessary procedures are performed. Dr. Oppenhuizen checks and reviews the work performed and plans the next appointment. All questions are answered and comfort is assured prior to the patient leaving. Most visits end with a review of the day’s work with the accompanying parent.

What happens if a patient is not ready for treatment?

We place all patients who are not ready for treatment in our “Orthodontic Guidance Program”. This allows patients to be observed periodically in order to assess their orthodontic development. To reduce the time in braces, we do not start until it is the most opportune time. We wait until we can do the best care, at the best time, for the best value!

What happens if an appointment must be missed or canceled?

We request our patients to call us as soon as possible to change an appointment. If the office is closed you may leave a message to cancel your appointment on our answering machine. You may then call back to reschedule or request the office to call you at your convenience. If appointments are canceled in adequate time, patients requesting sooner visits can often be accommodated. The sooner an appointment is rescheduled, the sooner a new appointment can be made which will keep treatment progress at the rate necessary for a speedy finish. One of the largest causes for extended treatment times is missing appointments. Delays in rescheduling may slow progress even further. So if an appointment must be missed please call to cancel and reschedule as soon as possible.

What happens when treatment is complete?

Patients enter a one year retention program following completion of fixed orthodontic treatment. Retainers are delivered at the end of treatment, final records are taken and reviewed and periodic follow up visits are scheduled to assure the beautiful result will last for a life time.

What should be done in an emergency situation?

If an orthodontic emergency arises (something causing pain or an inability to function) call our office at 616 392 1435 any time, any day. After hours the answering machine will provide you with appropriate instructions.

If there has been a serious accident: go to the nearest emergency room. In these rare situations Dr Oppenhuizen will be contacted by the attending physician, if it is appropriate.