Corbett Smiles

The Appointment Process

The Initial Appointment

At Corbett Smiles we are interested in being friends with our clients. We want all of our patients to be at ease and feel at home in our office. This starts even before your first appointment, but the initial appointment is when we really start to get to know each other. Dr. Corbett's friendly personality and all-inclusive approach to all members of the family will make your first office visit a memorable experience.

What Makes Our Office Unique

Upon arrival you will be greeted with the smile and exuberant voice of Linda, our friendly and outgoing receptionist. She will assist you with two short documents for you to fill out that will give us the information we need to proceed with the appointment and contact you in the future if we need to.

Linda will then escort you into our private exam room where Dr. Corbett will greet you and your family. He is very much interested in meeting your family and will want to meet all family members who are present (brothers and sisters, mom and dad). He will probably also ask you about your dog, cat, horse, pet turtle and any other family that is not present. Dr. Corbett likes his patients' families and will do everything in his power to make you feel like part of the office family.

Once Dr. Corbett has set you at ease and everybody is comfortable, he will look at the health history that you just filled out. No doubt he will ask some questions about or make comments on the information on the form. This will clarify in his mind anything that he may not understand as well as he should and that may be pertinent to your treatment or concerns. He will ask you why you have come to see him; for what purpose did you come, or whether there is any specific thing you would like him to address as he talks to you about your orthodontic needs. Moms and dads are asked to participate in this also, if Dr. Corbett is examining a younger person and the parents are present.

The Oral Examination

After addressing any questions, Dr. Corbett will continue your consultation with an oral examination. This will give Dr. Corbett information about your oral health, hygiene, bite, tooth alignment, tooth development, number of teeth present and the position of the teeth in relationship to each other.

If his observations reveal untreated cavities or other dental problems that could compromise your dental heath, Dr. Corbett will refer you to your dentist to address the issues. He will make notes on your condition, and may want an X-ray to see what is happening inside your jaws.

Once Dr Corbett has gleaned the information he needs from his examination and discussion with you, he will present you with a clinical diagnosis and treatment plan, including an estimate of time in treatment and the cost you can expect to incur. Dr. Corbett will carefully explain your condition to you, making sure you understand, using pictures and models, so you can make an intelligent decision as to what direction you want to proceed.

At this initial appointment, you will be given all the information you need to make up your own mind on this important personal issue. We will do our best to answer all your questions and give you all the time you need to discuss your condition with family, friends and your dentist. We want you to know you are, and will always be, free to make up your own mind and do what you think is best for you and your circumstances.

Insurance Assistance

As we complete the initial exam, you will have opportunity to talk to Linda about your insurance plan and what you can expect from them. She will assist you in dealing with your insurance and give you advice to help things move along smoothly.

If you want to move forward with the treatment that Dr. Corbett has recommended, Linda will schedule your next appointment. Our friendly staff will thank you for the privilege of meeting you, and you will be on your way, thus completing your initial visit to Dr. Corbett.

The Records Appointment

Once you have decided to have your teeth straightened at Corbett Smiles and have seen Dr. Corbett for your initial exam, you will set up an appointment for Records. The Records consist of a series of x-rays, photographs and models. These are the tools that Dr. Corbett uses to analyze your specific condition and needs. We call this a diagnosis and treatment plan.

At this appointment Linda, our friendly receptionist, will greet you and assist you to one of our clinic chairs where you will be introduced to the trained staff member who will be taking care of you for this appointment. All of our dental staff are certified dental assistants who have done additional training and are certified specifically for orthodontics.


First, we will take your x-rays, as they take about 20 minutes to process them, and as they are processing, we will work on the other procedures. The staff will take two x-rays for Dr. Corbett to examine. The first is called a "Panorex" x-ray and the second is called a "Lateral Cephalometric" x-ray. On occasion, Dr. Corbett may want an additional head film, called a "Frontal Cephalometric" x-ray.

The Panorex shows Dr. Corbett the upper and lower jaws in enough detail to evaluate the number of teeth and their location to each other. It is also very diagnostic in recognizing malformations in tooth root structure and pathology in the bones of both the upper and lower jaw.

The Lateral Cephalometric x-ray shows Dr. Corbett a lateral or side view of the head and neck. This allows him to evaluate the position of the upper and lower jaws in relationship to each other and to the cranial base or skull. This x-ray shows Dr. Corbett which jaw, if either, is out of alignment and how much. Sometimes both jaws are incorrect and need to be treated, other times only one has a problem. Sometimes both jaws are in the correct position and only the teeth are out of alignment. Other times there is a combination of problems involving both the jaws and the teeth, and Dr. Corbett will take all of this into consideration while completing your customized treatment.

Dr. Corbett personally examines every x-ray to ensure that your jaws are healthy and able to be treated.

Impressions and Models

Next, we will need to take an impression or mold of your teeth. This is accomplished by placing a tray with soft material into your mouth to imprint your teeth. The material sets up to a rubbery consistency in about 90 seconds, is removed from your mouth, and then the impression is poured full of "stone" or a plaster of paris in the laboratory. Once this stone is set, we have an exact replica of your teeth. In order to know the position of the upper and lower teeth in relationship to each other, we need one more thing from you: a bite registration, or an imprint of your occlusion or "where your teeth meet to eat." Once this impression and the bite registration are complete, we carry on to the final procedure and take a series of pictures to aid Dr. Corbett in his preparatory work.


The photographs are taken on a digital camera. We need seven shots so that Dr. Corbett will have an accurate and complete visual record of your mouth and teeth. Two photos of your face: one from the front smiling, one from the side (no smile); Five photos of your teeth: one from the front with your teeth together, one from your right side with the teeth together, one from your left side with your teeth together, one from the front of the occlusal surfaces of your upper teeth and one from the front of your occlusal surfaces of your lower teeth.

These photos are arranged to give Dr. Corbett a visual depiction of the way your teeth fit together.

The Importance of the Records Appointment

Dr. Corbett will take into consideration the information gleaned from the combination of the records taken, and develop a diagnosis and treatment plan specific and unique to your particular circumstances.

Now that the records are complete, you will again see Linda and, if she has not already done so, she can, at this time, set up your appointment to get your braces on and get started along the road to the straight teeth and the beautiful smile you deserve.

The Bonding Appointment

Some people expect there to be some pain and suffering at this appointment, but there is no need to feel that way at all. Dr. Corbett is dedicated to making sure that you are comfortable during the entire process. In fact we have a "universal signal" in our office to ensure that you or your child does not suffer through needless discomfort, the patient simply lifts their hand to signal they are uncomfortable. All of the procedures we do throughout your treatment should be painless. Whenever we see a hand go up at Corbett Smiles, we stop whatever we are doing and fix the problem.

Preparing The Teeth

One of our staff will briefly explain what we will be doing for you and will get started with a prophy or tooth cleaning procedure. This is done by using a rotary instrument with a rubber cup on it. The cup is filled with pumice, a finely ground rock from a volcano. This sandy material cleans all the organic material off the surface of your teeth, but not the organic material in the matrix of the enamel. (We will get to that later.) At this point we will need to isolate your teeth in preparation for placing the braces. The teeth must be kept dry and clear of saliva during the next few steps.

In order to accomplish this we place dry angles inside your cheeks to absorb saliva and then use a cheek retractor to hold the cheeks and lips away from the teeth. The organic material that is left in the matrix of the enamel now needs to be removed. This is done by placing a cleaning solution carefully on the surface of the tooth that actually penetrates the enamel and cleans it, leaving raw enamel rods exposed for us to bond your brackets to. We apply this solution to the teeth and let it work for about 15 to 30 seconds. It is then washed off and the teeth are dried with air. At this point the surfaces of the teeth are extremely clean and dry and appear to be frosty. This is the raw enamel rods exposed that will allow our sealer to penetrate into the enamel so that we get a strong bond between the tooth and the bracket. We then apply the sealer, and the teeth once again appear shiny and normal.

Now it is time to place the brackets. Most patients need 24 to 32 brackets. At Corbett Smiles Dr. Corbett puts a bracket on every tooth in the mouth that is erupted enough to receive one, including wisdom teeth if they are present and accessible. Once the teeth have the brackets placed, they are cured with light for 5-15 seconds, which aligns the molecules in the adhesive so they are held fast. At this point the cotton-rolls, cheek retractors and dry angles are removed and the patient is invited to rinse his/her mouth at the sink.

Fitting The Wires

Upon returning to the chair one of our staff will place wires in your brackets and instruct you on cleaning and maintaining your new braces. This entire procedure usually takes about 50 minutes, but we schedule one hour so we will have plenty of time to answer questions and make sure you are comfortable and know what you need to know before you leave our office.

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