In the past few months, our office has attempted to find a solution to the extreme demand for after-school appointments for the majority of school aged children. As a fellow parent of a child in school, I realize the limitations that are placed on students on missing school time. It has become increasingly clear that quality orthodontic care could be compromised by "crowding" the afternoon schedule. Quality care is the main theme that would describe my feelings about my practice. It is my prime consideration for all of my patients.
Therefore, it is necessary to revise our scheduling policies in keeping with those of most orthodontic practices in order to maintain our high quality of care. Not all orthodontic visits can be scheduled outside of school hours. Patients will be asked to rotate their appointments between mornings and afternoons. If each patient is seen every 6 weeks then that would equate to 8-9 visits per year. Some of these appointments will fall during summer vacation and school breaks, so under this policy, 3-4 visits per year would be during school time. In summary, only 1-2 appointments in each semester will need to be scheduled during the school day.There are a few guidelines to be aware of:
- Missed after school visits will be rescheduled during school hours.
- It is recommended that parents make their child's next appointment at the end of the current visit. Waiting several weeks to call for an appointment will usually result in the patient having to be seen during school.
- We appreciate being notified as early as possible if you cannot be here for an appointment so that we may offer it to someone else.
- Visits requiring extensive work like repairs, the placement of additional braces, or the removal of braces will be scheduled during school hours.
- Non-school hours will be reserved for quick/routine orthodontic visits.
- When rotating appointments on an AM/PM basis, the morning visits cannot always be scheduled at 8:00 am or on "Late Start" days.
In closing, let me state that this new scheduling procedure is not being done for our convenience. It is being done to provide equal time for all patients so that each patient can receive an equal amount of my professional time. After all, that is what you are paying for.