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Services & Procedures

What to Expect

The purpose of your first visit will be to determine if orthodontic treatment is indicated. You will be asked to fill out a questionnaire (which can be downloaded from this website) giving basic information needed for our files, such as address, health status, financial responsibility for fees, insurance coverage, etc.

Our office policy is to respect your time and remain on schedule. We see 100% of our patients on time and, if you arrive on time for your appointment, you will be seen on time.

Sufficient time has been set aside for Dr. Gillespie to examine you, review any records that are available, and make recommendations about treatment. At this time, Dr. Gillespie will determine if orthodontic treatment is indicated, and a letter will be sent to your general dentist informing him or her of the results of this initial examination.

What Happens Next…

If treatment is indicated, the next two procedures will be 1) to obtain diagnostic records (time permitting, this can often be accomplished at the initial appointment) and 2) to discuss the results and the evaluation of these records and present a definitive treatment plan.

Diagnostic Records

These usually consist of models of your teeth, x-rays, and photographs of both your teeth and face. We will take any records necessary to supplement those recent records which either you or your general dentist are able to provide.

Consultation Appointment

At this time, Dr. Gillespie will discuss with you his recommendations for treatment. Before the appointment, he will thoroughly evaluate the records and contact your general dentist and any other specialists involved in your treatment. He will then work out a treatment plan and present it to you at the consultation. Any questions that you may have concerning treatment will be answered at this time. In addition, we will review insurance coverage, if appropriate, and present payment options. (In certain less complex treatment, these two appointments may not be necessary and the treatment plan and fee can be determined at the initial appointment.)

Finances

We offer in-office interest-free monthly financing. We accept VISA and Mastercard, as well as personal checks, and we participate with Aetna and Metlife Insurance. We will also process and help you procure benefits from any other insurance plans with which you may be affiliated. The American Association of Orthodontists initiated a nationwide free examination offer from February to May of 2011. Our office will honor this free examination indefinitely.

For years, we have provided orthodontic treatment at a reduced fee for families employed by the Montgomery County Public Schools system (through Aetna Insurance) and for military families (through MetLife Insurance). Montgomery County Public Schools and the military have changed insurers, but we will continue to honor the reduced fees as stipulated by Aetna and MetLife for MCPS and military families. Please feel free to contact the office for further explanation.

Services Provided

Our Bethesda orthodontics office provides traditional mini metal/stainless steel braces with all of the different color elastic options which children enjoy. Clear/ceramic braces are a popular option for adults and older teens who prefer a less visible treatment alternative. The clear braces we use are made of ceramic crystals, second in hardness only to diamonds, and will not discolor like clear plastic braces.

We offer removable appliance therapy for less complicated cases, including retainers and clear aligners (Dr. Gillespie is Invisalign certified).

We also provide space maintainers, expanders, TMJ/splint therapy, as well as night-guards.

Please call today to see how orthodontic treatment can improve your smile, dental health, self-image, confidence, and that critical first impression.

A Note About Early Treatment

Early orthodontic treatment, also called phase 1 treatment, remains a controversial subject. Here is our philosophy:

Not every young child (age 7 to 9) requires early intervention, but when phase 1 treatment can reduce the severity of a complicated and challenging case, or possibly  eliminate the need for future permanent tooth extractions and/or jaw surgery, then early treatment is conservative and appropriate.

The goal of early treatment is to normalize a young child’s bite and/or undo the effects of a deleterious habit, such as thumb-sucking or lip-curling. Minor spacing and/or rotations are often best-treated when more permanent teeth are present.