New Patients

Here you can find information on:

  • What information to have ready when calling.
  • What to do when coming into our office for the first time.
  • How we determine a course of action regarding your dental care.
  • How we explain the overall treatment and costs.
  • How we process your information.
  • What to do if you have a dental EMERGENCY.


Calling

If you are calling the office to schedule your first appointment with us, you should be aware of the following:

• Tell our operator that you are a new patient and wish to make your first appointment.

• Any questions you have regarding dental work can be answered when you visit us for your appointment. Our Operators do not have answers to questions regarding dental treatments.

• We have two (2) different office locations. One office is in Cerritos, the other is one mile away in Lakewood. The operator will give you directions upon request.

• You have a choice between these two offices in most cases*.

• You have a choice between 10 general dentists and specialists’ such as endodontist, periodontist and oral surgeon.

• If you have a specific need or problem, try to have relevant information or explanations ready so we may better place you with an appropriate dentist.

• Our Appointment Schedulers can only book appointments two weeks or less from the calling date.

• Our office hours are 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM, Monday through Thursday; 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, on Friday. We are closed for lunch from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, everyday, and are closed on major holidays.

• If you must cancel your appointment you must notify our offices at least 24 hours before the time your appointment was scheduled. Failure to do so will result in a $25.00 charge for a broken appointment.

*existing patients, orthodontic, endodontic, periodontic, oral surgery and pedodontic cases may be assigned to a particular location and/or doctor.

First Visit

If you are coming into one of our offices for a dental appointment for the first time, you must:

• Sign-in at the front desk. There will be a clipboard that says “New Patient Sign-In.” Please write your name (patient’s name) in the next blank line on the sheet.

• Please have a seat in the waiting room while your paper work is prepared.

• An Assistant will call you to fill out a New Patient Form (you may obtain a form from a staff member when you sign-in, as well). This form must be completed in-full, including employer, spouse, spouse’s employer, and insurance plan information, when applicable. Return this form to a staff member at the front desk and have a seat in the waiting room.

• If you have insurance and are not listed on one of our eligibility lists, you may have to be verified though your insurance plan’s Eligibility Verification System, meaning yourself or (if possible) one of our administrators may have to place a telephone call to verify your plan coverage.

• After a new patient chart file is created and a room prepared, an Assistant will call you to be seated in an examination room, where you will be examined by one of our friendly dentists.

Emergency Visit

If you have an emergency because you are in extreme pain or have a broken tooth or broken dental work, we can examine you without an appointment in most cases, during our regular office hours. You may be required to fill out a New Patient Form before we can treat you, however, and we are sorry if this causes any inconvenience. In some instances, we may not be able to handle your dental emergency, and you will be referred outside to a specialist. The dental specialist will be more experienced in your specific emergency treatment. Again, it is in the best interest of the patient to be seen by a specialist if necessary in emergency situations. We apologize for any inconvenience in this case.

If you have an extremely serious dental emergency where you need immediate care, like in an automobile accident, you should contact your medical doctor or physician first, call 911 if necessary or the local emergency room.

Examination

When you are seated in the examination room and with the dentist for the first time, it is helpful to establish a ‘rapport’ with your new doctor.

• Introduce yourself and get familiarized with your surroundings. There may be a Dental Assistant or Hygienist attending to you as well. If you need something to make you feel more comfortable, like blankets or reading materials, we will try to provide them for you.

• Try to clearly and fully explain any dental problems at this time with the dentist, as he will now begin to formulate a plan of action for your examination.

• The dentist will begin to examine your mouth, keeping in mind your comments, and looking for any additional problem areas.

• The dentist will “chart” his recommendations in your chart file, and begin to talk with you about his findings. The dentist’s recommendations are professional opinions, and are not biased or predetermined.

• After talking with the dentist, you must decide which treatments he has recommended to proceed with. At Lakewood Cerritos Dental Centers, we have ways of helping clarify the decision making process for the patient.


Treatment Counselor

When your initial examination is completed, you will be asked to choose which dental procedures to begin. You will probably have questions specific to each type of procedure the dentist recommends.

A Treatment Counselor will sit down and talk with you in their office to help answer any additional questions you may have. The Treatment Counselor will explain the steps involved in your proposed treatment, go over the costs of these treatments, and explain any insurance plan restrictions or patient co-payments associated with it. You will receive a list of the procedures recommended by the examining dentist, with the costs attached. In
cases with insurance, the patient’s co-payments are attached. The patient can see how much work is to be prescribed and how much it will cost. This allows you, the patient, to make the choices responsibly.

In this way we can place greater assurances on the quality of your dental care. With your procedural questions answered, you are now better able to decide what should be done to your mouth.

Once you have agreed to allow us to perform dentistry on you, you will be asked to sign a statement listing all the procedures that you have agreed to be performed. This statement is called a Treatment Plan, because this is a list of the treatments planned. This is to verify in writing that you are aware of the procedures and costs involved. By signing this statement you authorize us to begin with the treatments on this statement.

Do not sign this statement if you are unsure of any information contained in the document you are signing! We cannot begin treatment until the statement is signed, however.

Financing

When your initial examination is completed, you will be asked to choose which dental procedures to begin.
There are many financial factors that can influence your decision, which may include the following:

• The cost of your dental work may be beyond your budget.
• Your insurance plan may require a Co-Payment, meaning you are responsible for a portion of the dental costs.
• You may have used up your insurance benefits for the period or year, meaning you may be responsible for the cost of the treatment.
• Your insurance plan may not cover your particular treatment, meaning you may be responsible for the treatment cost.

These and other things may make you want to wait to perform certain dental procedures, but be aware that any problems that exist regarding your teeth may worsen over time.

At Lakewood Cerritos Dental Centers, we understand these considerations, so we have allowed our managers to offer Payment Plans and Payment Options. These financing plans are designed to help you pay for dental work through terms and monthly payments, spreading the cost over a longer period. This is especially useful when purchasing braces for your children, which are expensive.

Save time.

Fill-out your New Patient Form at home.


Email it back to us here: or bring it with you to your first visit.

 

Lakewood Office


5819 Adenmoor Ave., Lakewood Ca 90713

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