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
Katherine Kieu DDS, MSD
256 North San Mateo Drive
Suite #1
San Mateo, CA 94401
(650) 343-3603
(650) 343-0709 Fax
08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
08:00 AM - 05:30 PM
08:00 AM - 02:30 PM

Click here for door to door driving directions

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.

Payment Options
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 and/or Dr. Kieu 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 and Dr. Kieu 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.