Do you charge for an initial visit?
No. Dr. Michael Ragan is proud to offer a complimentary first exam so that we can take the time to determine the feasibility of braces or tooth straightening without charging a fee for the initial consultation.
Do I need a referral from my dentist to make an appointment?
No, we do not require a referral. Our complimentary initial exam will be used to determine a treatment plan, and if orthodontics is the right option for you.
What is the difference between an orthodontist and a dentist?
An orthodontist is a general dentist who has had at least 2 additional years of full-time training in orthodontics, resulting in a nationally-accepted specialty certificate. The orthodontist then limits his/her practice to straightening teeth and dentofacial orthopedics.
At what age do you start seeing patients?
As a rule of thumb, we like to evaluate young patients after the 6-year molars erupt and the front permanent teeth just start to appear. This is usually between the ages of 6 and 8. The American Association of Orthodontics recommends that all children be seen for the first time by age 7.
Why do you evaluate patients so young?
The purpose of early evaluation is to inform and observe, more than to start treatment. At this early age, the eventual needs may be identified and discussed. A small percentage of this young group may need some form of intervention. Habits are evaluated, medical issues are discussed, and an observation schedule is arranged until the patient is ready to begin treatment.
How long will the first visit take?
The first visit can last anywhere from 30 minutes to 1 hour, depending on how ready the patient is for treatment. We may just do a visual exam, and explain the situation or we may suggest one or more X-rays and complete diagnostics, including impressions of the teeth with photographs to document the current position.
Do you take patients transferring from out of town?
Yes we do. We handle a patient transferring into our office from another city just like a new patient. We gather complete diagnostic records to show the current status, and propose treatment to complete the work that has been started.
Do you have any adult patients?
Absolutely. A growing percentage of our patients are adults, and are oftentimes most interested in the clear Invisalign option, making treatment much more comfortable and convenient. Learn more here.
Can I make all my appointments in the afternoon after school and late in the day?
In order to have early and late appointments available for the majority of patient appointments, some procedures need to be accomplished during the hours of 9 am and 3 pm. We will do our best to work with your schedules to accommodate your family needs.
Do you see patients for emergencies?
Yes, our contact information for an emergency is posted on the website. Feel free to visit our emergency-care page for more information.
Can we make payments?
Yes. Whether or not you have insurance or a dental plan, we will structure a convenient payment plan that will allow you to pay for orthodontic services over a period of time that usually coincides with your treatment plan. Learn more here.
How do you handle insurance?
After verification of coverage, we will agree to bill and collect from an insurance carrier. However, we ask patients to understand that if coverage ceases or changes, the patient is still responsible for the agreed-upon fee.
Do you take American Express, Master Card and/or Visa?
Yes, we accept all major credit cards.
Do you have direct debit?
Yes, we have arrangements for direct debit, charge-card posting, as well as payments over the Internet.
Do you charge interest?
No, we do not.
Do you give family discounts?
We have special programs and fees for multiple patients from the same family.
Do retainers need to be worn after braces?
Yes, retainers are worn full-time for about 6 months, followed by night-time wear indefinitely.
Why do teeth get crooked after wearing braces or aligners?
Teeth move throughout life, whether you have worn braces or not. It is part of the natural aging process. This is why retainer wear is recommended indefinitely in order to maintain your orthodontic results over a lifetime.