Dr. Tom Ellerhorst, DDS, MSD
Board Certified Orthodontists in San Mateo, CA
San Mateo Orthodontics specializes in Braces and Invisalign for children and adults in San Mateo, Burlingame, and Hillsborough, California.
Dr. Tom Ellerhorst welcomes you and your family to their San Mateo orthodontics office. We hope you will enjoy getting to know our wonderful staff and familiarizing yourself with the excellent work we do. Our office has a strong reputation for providing the highest quality orthodontic treatment in the San Mateo, Burlingame, and Hillsborough areas. Through a close association with your family dentist, we strive to improve your oral health and appearance. We believe that both children and adults can enhance their lives by achieving a beautiful, lasting smile.
The goal of our orthodontic team is to efficiently deliver the most beautiful, healthy smiles possible in a professional, yet relaxed and caring environment. Our San Mateo orthodontic office is state of the art while offering a fun, family-oriented atmosphere. Our treatment philosophy centers on delivering the best possible care in the most proficient manner. We provide treatment that is backed by solid, scientific research in order to achieve the highest outcomes. It is very important to us that you feel comfortable with the treatment plan developed and encourage you to ask questions.
San Mateo Orthodontics offers orthodontic treatment for both children and adults. You can read more on this page about specific services.
Braces for children and adultsInvisalign for teens and adultsSurgical OrthodonticsMulti-disciplinary Treatment2 Phase Treatment when necessaryRetainer Fabrication (bonded or removable)Dental positioning prior to implant placementCosmetic Contouring to remove minor chipped egdes and enamel defectsSpace Maintenance for the eruption of permanent teeth
Dr. Ellerhorst works hard to ensure that your treatment progresses in the most efficient manner possible. His fun nature makes each visit a pleasant and enjoyable experience and results in a higher standard of care.
No patient is ever rushed, and there is always time to answer all of your questions. Collaboration allows for input in determining the most appropriate, customized treatment plan. Your input is always heard.
Our office is nearly 100% paperless. This is not only more environmentally friendly, but it enables us to have immediate, detailed information sharing with your dentist and any other health professional involved in your care. The end result is a more comprehensive, personalized plan.
Dr. Ellerhorst is very proud of his commitment to continuing education always exceeding more than the amount required by law. This allows him to stay on the cutting edge of the most current, efficient methods of treatment, including Invisalign. You will not find an orthodontic team more dedicated to meeting your specific needs. The San Mateo Orthodontic Group has recently teamed with Orthocad; a dental company that enables enhanced patient comfort and superior results in a shorter amount of time. Orthocad has developed an intra-oral scanner that takes the place of dental impressions; we are one of the only offices in the Bay Area that uses this technology. This means, traditional alginate impressions (the gooey material that can often activate the gag reflex) are not necessary; instead, unobtrusive photographs are taken with a wand inside you mouth. No mess, no gagging. The models are then stored digitally for easier, immediate sharing with your dentist. With Orthocad IQ, mathematical algorithms are used to place brackets on teeth with extreme accuracy, resulting in more efficient movement and a shorter amount of time spent in braces. The end result is a better orthodontic experience unique to our patients only.
Our Office and Staff
Comfort and convenience are the hallmarks of San Mateo Orthodontics. This page provides you with the information you need about our hours, location, appointment scheduling, insurance and billing.
Tom Ellerhorst DDS, MSD
256 North San Mateo Drive
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 343-0709 Fax
Monday: 08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
Tuesday: 08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
Wednesday: 08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
Thursday: 08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
Friday: 08:00 AM - 02:30 PM
Insurance and Billing
Agreements between insurance companies and employers vary and most insurance companies only pay a portion of the orthodontic fee. Our Treatment Coordinators will be happy to check into your particular insurance benefit program. We will make a comfortable payment schedule with you to pay the orthodontic fee, and we will work with you to obtain insurance payments for our services directly from your insurance carrier.
Many employers offer individual flex spending accounts. Please check with your human resources department for information on how your particular plan works. Our Treatment Coordinators would be happy to work with you in this area.
At your first appointment the Treatment Coordinators will provide you with an estimate for the proposed orthodontic treatment. This fee covers all aspects of the treatment performed in our office, except for lost or broken removable appliances (like retainers). Procedures done in other offices (i.e. cleanings, extractions, X-rays, restorations, etc.) are not included. We accept MasterCard, Visa, or Discover for the full fee or individual payments. Of course, personal checks and cash are also accepted.
Our Treatment Coordinators are happy to discuss in more detail any of the following payment options:
Initial payment of 25% and equal payments over the proposed active treatment time. (This is the typical plan chosen and is INTEREST FREE.) We are also willing to discuss customized payment arrangements for special circumstances. Please speak with a Treatment Coordinator to find a plan that best suits your needs.
Appointment Scheduling Details
The goal of our office is to provide you with the best service possible. In order to do so effectively, we have set up an organized, flexible appointment system. Orthodontic force systems must be adjusted and monitored every few weeks for treatment to proceed as planned. We recognize, however, that office visits may conflict with work, school, or other activities. In order to balance the necessity of regular appointments with the need to minimize missed school and work hours, we have designed our office scheduling system to accomplish the following:
We want to see each patient at the time of his or her scheduled appointment. Your time is valuable -- It should not be wasted in our reception area. We allow enough time at each appointment to do the necessary adjustments, plan the next visit, discuss treatment progress, and answer any questions you may have.
Orthodontic treatment proceeds in stages. Long appointments (placing braces and removing braces) are usually scheduled during school and work hours, with shorter appointments (adjustments, impressions, appliance checks, etc.) scheduled before or after school and work. This way, we do not reserve an entire afternoon for one or two patients, but rather we can see as many patients as possible with short appointments. Consequently, the office tends to be quieter in the middle of the day and busier in the early morning and late afternoon. During the initial months of treatment, when more significant movement of the teeth takes place, it is only necessary to arrange appointments every 6 to 8 weeks. Later in the treatment process, when smaller movement of the teeth occurs, patients are seen every 4-5 weeks.
Our scheduling system is designed to maximize doctor time with each patient. Therefore, arriving late or missing appointments can pose a problem. Dr. Ellerhorst will see every patient during every appointment, so we will try our best to accommodate late patients, being careful not to inconvenience the other patients who have arrived on time. However, we may have to reschedule a late patient, as there may not be an opening to fit them in. All failed or late appointments should be rescheduled as soon as possible. If you need an emergency appointment, we will do our best to get you in as soon as possible.
When you arrive in the office, please check in at the touch screen computer adjacent to the front desk. The Treatment Coordinators can help if needed. Before you are called into the clinic area, feel free to brush your teeth with the pre-pasted toothbrushes at the sink (there is even floss there if you are in the mood!). Remember to bring your toothbrush back into the clinic area with you, as Dr. Ellerhorst will point out any areas you may be missing. When your appointment has concluded, please be sure to check out at the front desk, setting up your next appointment and/or verifying the correct address to mail you an appointment reminder card.
At San Mateo Orthodontics our friendly, capable staff is extremely dedicated in the delivery of orthodontic care to our patients. We are here to help you, the patient and parents, have an enjoyable experience with your orthodontic treatment. We strive to be considerate of your time through efficient scheduling and the use of the latest technology in orthodontic appliances and materials.
Our Orthodontic Assistants are graduates from the College of San Mateo Dental Assisting Program with a combined 18 years of experience. They are Licensed Registered Dental Assistants.
Our Treatment Coordinators have extensive experience helping patients and parents with their insurance and financial matters. They will assist you in scheduling your orthodontic appointments so your treatment progresses as quickly and conveniently as possible.
Tom Ellerhorst D.D.S., M.S.D.
Dr. Tom Ellerhorst, aka "Dr. Tom", grew up in San Mateo, attending Junipero Serra High School, where he was selected Valedictorian and Varsity Soccer Blanket Award winner. He studied at the University of San Francisco graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and chemistry. He earned his Dental and Masters degree at the University of the Pacific, in San Francisco.
Dr. Tom is a second-generation dentist following in the footsteps of both his mother (Dr. Ann Marie Silvestri) and father (Dr. Thomas Ellerhorst). He joined our team in June of 2004 and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Orthodontists (Board Certified), an active member of the American Association of Orthodontists, San Mateo County Dental Society, California Society of Orthodontists, American Dental Association, California Dental Association and Invisalign Premiere Provider.
Dr. Tom had the opportunity to aid in the repair and rehabilitation of over 175 children born with cleft lip and/or palate in Guatemala and found that volunteer mission to be the most humbling and rewarding experience of his life. He continues to help those in need, performing free dental screenings for the County of San Mateo. Continuing education is also a very important aspect of Tom's professional life, including the 2-week Tweed Course, widely considered one of the most intense orthodontic courses given today.
Family & Hobbies:
Dr. Tom married his high school sweetheart, Kacie, and currently lives in Redwood City, playing basketball whenever he gets the chance -- which is not as often as he'd like, as his children, Kaylee and Connor, keep him constantly on the run. He loves coaching soccer and T-ball and is an avid videogame player. He also loves going to the movies (almost anything with Adam Sandler) and spending time with his family and friends.
Maria Cooper -- Patient Care Coordinator
Maria has been in the dental field since November 2010. Her rigorous training and experience has guided her to strive in the specialty of orthodontics. Her friendly, positive personality and compassionate attitude is the perfect addition to our team. In addition to traveling, listening to music, and anything Disney, Maria loves spending time with her family and friends.
Mari Medrano -- Patient Care Coordinator
Mari has been in the dental field since 2017, she graduated from San Francisco State University in 2019 with a bachelors in Sociology and minor in Criminal Justice and Labor Studies. On her free time she loves to spend time with her family, especially with her 6 month old, Emilia. She likes to binge watch shows on Netflix and go on walks with her daughter.
Meghan Harvey, RDA -- Assistant
After graduating from Terra Nova High School, she joined our office in 2008. She is devoted to continuing education and thrives to make each patient experience memorable. Her outgoing personality and enthusiasm are a constant in the office. Meghan's compassionate nature is truly evident in the care she provides our patients. She and her husband love spending time and creating new memories with their new daughter, Samantha.
Brandi, DA -- Assistant
Brandi was a former patient of our office who joined our orthodontic team in Sept 2014. Brandi enjoys working with kids, which is evident in the consistent care and compassionate interactions she shares with our patients. Brandi has an infectious laugh that makes our patients’ experiences more enjoyable and memorable—you can’t help but laugh with her. She enjoys traveling, going to country music concerts, and hanging out with friends and family.