Office Visits

New Patient Visit

Patient with beautiful smilePrior to arriving at your new patient visit, we encourage you to complete and submit your medical history forms to us electronically via our Patient Forms page. This will help us verify your dental benefits prior to your appointment, as well as reduce your waiting time in our office. We value your time and are pleased to offer you the opportunity to complete most of your new patient chart information online.

New adult patient visits include blood pressure screening, oral cancer examination, periodontal diagnosis, and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) evaluation. At your comprehensive first visit, we will create your confidential dental record, chart existing dental treatment, obtain necessary dental radiographs (X-rays), and develop your individual treatment plan.

If you need an emergency dental visit and are not a patient in our practice, please give us a call. Dependent on your circumstances, we may recommend a limited examination at an additional appointment, separate from your new patient visit. Many variables are evaluated to determine if treatment will be performed at an emergency appointment or at a later date.

Child's First Visit

Age for First Dental Visit

Happy Child

We recommend that your child see a dentist between six months and age 1 for his or her first dental examination. This recommendation replaces the "visit the dentist by age 3" idea. The parent or guardian who is brushing the child's teeth routinely should be at this appointment. The child’s guardian and dentist will sit on chairs facing each other, with their knees close together. Your child’s head will be in Dr. Steckelberg’s lap, so your child may see you. General instruction on how to brush your child’s teeth, as well as a dental examination is performed.

Earlier dental visits may allow us to diagnose developmental dental conditions, reduce improper dietary habits, and treat dental cavities when the problem is smaller. Starting proper dental hygiene habits with a child younger than one year is usually much easier than starting during the toddler years. The newest recommendations for children's dental care include establishing a dental care "home" by the child's first birthday. We have had great success when the first dental visit is scheduled during your child's most cheerful time of the day.

We realize that not all children are ready for their first dental visit by age 1. If your child has not seen a dentist by age 1, do not fret. When you and your child are ready, contact us to schedule your child for their first dental visit. The lap examination mentioned above is generally used for infants and children younger than 18 months. A more traditional new child examination is used for children 18 months and older.

If your child has special needs or requires extensive dental treatment that we are unable to accommodate, we will be happy to give you the names of some respected local pediatric dentists.

What to Expect At Your Child's Appointments (Age 3+/-)

Many children around the age of 3 are more cooperative when their parents or guardians are not within eyesight. A dental visit introduces many new things to your child. We like to show your child a positive dental experience in our office from start to finish. Whenever possible, we encourage your child to come back to the treatment room with our assistant, while you relax in our waiting area with a magazine and a cup of coffee.

If it is your child’s first visit to the dentist, it may be best to leave other children at home with another caregiver during this special appointment. This may be especially important if your child is having their first dental cavity treated.

General Information

You can learn more about infant dental care and formula, view tooth eruption charts and see photos of baby bottle decay.

Childcare During Dental Appointments

We regret to inform you that we do not have the staff available to provide childcare or babysitting services in our office during your dental appointments.

It is generally not a good idea to have your children back in the treatment room during your appointments. This will expose your child to unnecessary germs and may complicate your dental treatment, even during a cleaning. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us and speak with a staff member.


I’m a patient in your practice, what should I do if I have a dental emergency when your office is closed?

Patient with wide smile

Call the office right away. If you hear the voicemail message, make sure to write down the dentist-on-call emergency phone number. It is generally a good idea to call the on-call number as soon as you experience a dental emergency. If you do not reach the dentist directly, please leave a message at the on-call number. Your call will be returned as soon as possible. If Dr. Steckelberg is out-of-town, she will have arranged for another local dentist to cover any dental emergencies for our patients. Take a look at helpful hints for dental emergencies and injuries.

Life-threatening reactions to medications, difficulty breathing or serious facial trauma needs to be treated in an emergency room prior to any treatment by your general dentist.

What can I expect at my routine dental check-up?

We will check the status of your gingival (gum) health, update your medical history, perform a dental examination, and clean your teeth. If appropriate, additional dental X-rays may be taken. Please let the dental assistant know if you have noticed any dental problems.

I’ve got a dental problem. Will you fix that during my regular check-up appointment?

The amount of time scheduled for your routine check-up appointment is usually just enough time to complete your exam, take X-rays, and have your teeth cleaned. Therefore, we do not routinely perform dental procedures at your check-up appointments.

However, if time is available, we will make every attempt to treat your dental problem while you are in the office. Minor dental problems may be treated during your regular check-up. It is helpful if you can let our staff know before your appointment time that you are having a dental problem.

Why do you want to know my e-mail address?

We only want to know your e-mail address if you are interested in receiving communication from us electronically. For some of our patients, it is more convenient to receive an e-mail reminder about an upcoming dental appointment instead of a postcard or phone call. Patients who share their e-mail address with Steckelberg Dental may also receive an e-mail announcing when the office will be closed for vacation. We respect your privacy and will not share your e-mail address with anyone else.

More Information

The American Dental Association has compiled information on a great number of oral health topics. You can find tooth eruption charts, information about many dental conditions, and infection control information, just to name a few things, at Mouth Healthy.