Getting Ready for Your First Visit
Please arrive 15 minutes early with your dental insurance card and any records from previous dentists. Use the Records Release Form to request information from prior dentists. If previous X-rays aren't readable, our D4C team will take new ones at an additional charge to you.
If your child has any heart conditions, please get in touch with our office by phone before your appointment.
As our office prepares to go paperless, we have a new patient portal. This will give you access to your child's information, including appointments. Please call our office for further instructions on registering your child for our patient portal.
What to Expect
During your child's first visit to our family-friendly office, Dr. Thornton and her team will review your child's medical and dental history, dietary habits, and oral hygiene practices.
At the first visit, we'll clean your child's teeth, paint them with fluoride, and take X-rays. X-rays help Dr. Thornton examine your child's smile and create a personalized treatment plan. This is a better introduction to dentistry for your child, too, rather than rushing into the mouth with instruments.
The primary purpose of the first dental visit is to teach your family how to care for your child's teeth now and in the future. Please ask us any questions regarding your child's teeth or hygiene techniques. We want this first visit to be educational and fun for your child and the rest of the family.
Things to Keep In Mind
As a general rule, we find that children enjoy being the center of attention. That means they cooperate better if the parent does not accompany them into the treatment room. Let your child enjoy "Their Day." The doctors, hygienists, and assistants will discuss your child's dental health with you at the proper time.
Preparing Your Child for the Dentist
Talking about the dentist at home is important so your child understands why they visit our office. Always use positive phrases and avoid saying, "The doctor won't hurt you." Instead, say, "The doctor will be gentle while working and take good care of you."
Reading books is a great way to help explain what happens at the dentist's office. You can also explain what we will be doing in a language your child will understand.
Papoose procedures and other behavior management techniques will require your signature. We'll always have a thorough discussion with you before recommending these options.
Please don't be upset if your child cries—this is a normal reaction to fear. Children are sometimes afraid of new or strange things. We'll explain procedures and spend as much time as your child needs to feel comfortable!
We never intend to keep a patient waiting past their appointment time. For this reason, we ask that you be prompt for all appointments. However, please realize that a child may require more attention than was expected and may run into your allotted time.
We'll always give your child the exact attention they need when it's their turn. If an appointment needs to be canceled or rescheduled, please notify us at least 24 hours before.
Our appointment reminder system will call you two days before confirming your appointment. You can confirm by pressing "1" or cancel by pressing "2." We'll contact you the next business day to reschedule for a better time.
If you are unavailable, the system will leave a voicemail, and you can call back to confirm or cancel your child's appointment.
Scheduling & Timing Info
Since we care for children, giving everyone appointments in the late afternoon is impossible. We like to reserve these times for older children. Children under age five are in a better frame of mind and have more positive experiences in the morning.
We prefer to see children needing longer appointment procedures in the morning. This helps us be fair to our many patients who require shorter procedures by offering them more available afternoons when the school day is over.
Other Helpful Info
- If your child has a toothache, we'll only perform emergency treatment on that tooth.
- We want children to be comfortable and informed, so we don't do fillings on a first visit.
- We prefer seeing children six years and under, special needs patients, and uncooperative patients during our morning appointments.
- Once we finish your child's procedure, Dr. Thornton will examine their smile and explain things.
- If you prefer a specific doctor or hygienist, please inform the assistant who calls your child back to the treatment room. Otherwise, either or all doctors may examine your child.