What to Expect at Your First Orthodontist Visit

What to Expect at Your First Orthodontist Appointment

Here’s what you can expect at your first free appointment at Cardinal Orthodontics:

cardinal orthodontics what to expectFriendly Atmosphere

At Cardinal Orthodontics, we strive to make all patients feel welcomed. You’ll love our comfortable waiting area and friendly staff. We’re here to help you every step of the way, including paperwork, insurance, treatment, and more!

Personalized Care

At your first free appointment, you’ll get to meet your Treatment Coordinator who will work with you to ensure you receive personalized care and all your questions are answered. They’ll get to know more about you and ask about your smile goals. Next, the orthodontist will conduct a thorough examination of the teeth, bite, and facial balance.

Based on your smile goals, they will make recommendations on the best treatment options. The Treatment Coordinator will discuss the fee and payment options with you to help select a monthly payment plan that is comfortable and affordable for your family. If the patient is ready for treatment we may be able to start their treatment that day saving time away from work or school.

Complete Diagnostics Records

We take only the necessary x-rays to complete a thorough diagnosis. The orthodontist uses these records to develop a customized orthodontic treatment plan for each patient desiring braces treatment or Invisalign. These records are helpful in tracking the progress of treatment as the teeth move while under orthodontic care.


The first appointments to start metal or Invisalign usually take from one to two hours. After these initial appointments, you will typically be seen every 4 to 8 weeks for an adjustment, which takes approximately 30 to 40 minutes. If you cannot keep an appointment, please call us as soon as possible so that we can help you reschedule and keep your treatment on track. If you need to cancel a visit it may be difficult to reschedule later in the day because after school appointments tend to be booked further in advance.

Payment and Office PoliciesAffordable Braces St. Louis Missouri


At your first free exam at Cardinal Orthodontics, your Treatment Coordinator will present the treatment fee and payment options and discuss any insurance you may have to cover braces and Invisalign.

If you can provide us with your insurance information at the time you call for your appointment, we will gladly contact your insurance company and get an estimate of your benefits before you come for the free exam, making it easier for you to know your out-of-pocket cost. You will be able to discuss fees and the different payment options before treatment begins.

We have payment plans to suit most monthly budgets, including a no-down-payment option and an interest-free option. We are able to file with most insurance companies and accept payments directly from the insurance company. We work hard to make orthodontics affordable.


In an effort to keep orthodontic fees down while maintaining the highest level of professional care, we have established this financial policy.

  • If full payment is made at the start of treatment, we will offer a 5% fee discount. (If you have insurance, we will offer a discount for payment of your portion of the fee that will not be covered by insurance.)
  • To fit your individual needs, financial arrangements can be made to extend your payments up to 32 months.
  • For your convenience, we accept all major credit cards. You may also choose to set up autopay from your checking account or credit card.

In cases of serious delinquency, treatment will be discontinued, although we will make every effort to accommodate patients with temporary difficulties. If you have additional financial questions feel free to contact our finance and billing department at patientaccounts@cardinalorthodontics.com.


If you have insurance, our staff will help you estimate the coverage you have available. We ask that you assign your insurance benefits to us. The balance will be arranged for you to pay. Professional care is provided to you, our patient, and not to an insurance company. Thus, the insurance company is responsible to the patient and the patient is responsible to the doctor. We will help in every way we can in filing your claim and handling insurance questions from our office on your behalf. Stop by or call us today for more information or to schedule your free initial exam.