Q: I have been referred to Dr Acton by my Doctor/Dentist, what happens now?
A: If you would like to see Dr Acton, please telephone us to make an appointment for an initial consultation. For any concern regarding your teeth or jaw, it is imperative that you bring with you a current (taken within one year) Orthopantomogram (OPG) x-ray which displays your whole mouth. For some consultations, an OPG is not required, however; this is not usually the case and we will advise you when making an appointment. This x-ray requirement is so that Dr Acton can complete a thorough examination. During the initial consultation, Dr Acton will discuss your condition, concerns and any planned surgery including the risks and costs thereof. After this consultation, if required, a surgical date can be made if you would like to proceed. Dr Acton does not operate on the same day as the initial consultation except in emergency situations. This is to allow you time to completely consider your options in an informed manner without pressure. We do not believe this can be done within the time allowed for an initial consultation. Also, Dr Acton will give you literature for your perusal about your condition and any planned surgery. It is very important that you understand your options and feel completely informed before any surgery takes place. Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Q: Do I need to do anything before the consultation in terms of my medications?
A: Please DO NOT alter any medications before seeing Dr Acton. She will guide you at the initial consultation if any change is necessary. This includes Warfarin, Aspirin and any prescribed medications. It is imperative to bring a list of current medications and doses to Dr Acton as this will be asked during the initial consultation to ensure your safety during any planned treatment. For this reason, it is important to notify Dr Acton of ANY medication you are taking.
Q: How long does an initial consultation take?
A: Normally about 30 minutes, depending on what is involved.
Q: Does Dr Acton run on time or will I be waiting for hours in a packed waiting room?
A: We always endeavour to run on time and we are very proud of our on-time performance. Your time is very important to us, as is informing you personally about your treatment. With a full, noisy waiting room, personal, one on one attention is almost impossible and for this reason, running late is avoided. There are some situations which are out of our control unfortunately. These include emergency surgery. In this eventuality, we will call you beforehand to advise you of the situation and any schedule change.
Q: I can’t get a consultation appointment for 6 weeks, how long will I have to wait for an operation after I see Dr Acton?
A: We endeavour to be able to offer patients an operation within four weeks of seeing Dr Acton for an initial consultation.
Q: Why can’t I book an operation at the same time as my initial consultation?
A: The number one reason we cannot book an operation before an initial consultation is that we don’t know what your personal requirements will be. These requirements include; treatment options (you may not even need surgery), local or general anaesthesia options and whether the hospital selected is appropriate in terms of facilities for your condition or level of insurance. Also, we don’t feel it’s fair that a booking for a patient we haven’t seen yet (and don’t know their requirements), may delay the treatment of a patient we are seeing today.
Q: How much will my surgery cost?
A: Surgical fees are always quoted by Dr Acton during your pre-surgical consultation so that you are well informed before your operation and can check with your health fund about rebates. We will never quote for surgery over the phone before seeing a patient. This is because everyone is different and before examination, we do not know what is required. We feel it is better to inform you correctly the first time rather than approximating a figure that would almost certainly be erroneous.
Q: After my initial consultation, do I have to continue with Dr Acton?
A: Absolutely not. We feel very strongly that this is completely your decision. There is no obligation after seeing Dr Acton for an initial consultation to continue with Dr Acton. Decisions about your body and surgical changes to your body are, in our opinion, the most important decisions you have to make. For this reason, you have to feel completely informed and comfortable with your options so that you can make informed, unpressured decisions regarding your medical care. Any Surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Q: How much will I get back from my Health Fund for Dr Acton’s fee?
A: The short answer is; we don’t know! Each health fund is different and rebate levels will differ considerably within the same health fund depending on your level of insurance. Also, health funds do not make this information available, otherwise we would ask on your behalf. For these reasons, we always give you the item numbers for your proposed procedure and an approximate surgical fee before any planned surgery so that you can find out from your health fund what they will rebate. Financial awareness is a very important part of any treatment and it is imperative that you have all of the information before any surgery.
Q: How much will the Anaesthetist charge and what can I claim back from their fee?
A: Due to the complexity involved, we prefer the anaesthetic practices we choose to work with to quote you directly before your surgery. They are the experts in specialist anaesthesia and will be able to give you a far more accurate indication of cost and also the rebate for your personal condition and planned surgery. We provide the contact details for your anaesthetist at the time of your initial consultation and strongly encourage you to get in touch before your surgery.
N.B. The above FAQ is only a guide and patients do need to see Dr Acton for a preoperative consultation, during which, individual needs and medical conditions are discussed more thoroughly. Therefore, please do not hesitate to contact us with any queries by either telephone or email.