Your First Visit
In order to ensure a thorough and accurate exam for our new adult patients, your 1st visit consists of a comprehensive new patient exam. (Children 16 and under will also have their cleaning done as well). During this appointment, the doctor and his team will perform a number of exams to gather information to customize a treatment plan just for you. These exams are:
- Clinical exam to check for cavities, broken teeth, defective fillings
- Periodontal (gum) exam to measure gum health and determine what kind of professional cleanings are appropriate
- Oral Cancer exam
- TMJ (jaw) exam
In order to accurately diagnose decay, malformed roots, unerupted teeth, and other conditions, radiographs (x-rays) are also needed to uncover any hidden problem areas. We use the lastest technology in digital x-rays using drastically reduced levels of radiation compared to the old-fashioned film x-rays. Using all of this information the doctor and you can work together to select the most effective and appropriate treatment for you. Depending on your dental conditions, your professional cleaning may be able to be done at the initial visit as well.
The initial visit also involves getting your medical history. When you share your medical history with the doctor, be sure to provide complete, up-to-date information on your health. Inform your dentist if you have experienced recent hospitalization or surgery, or if you have recently been ill. Also tell the doctor the names, doses, and frequency of any medications you are taking whether prescription, or over-the-counter products, and the name of your physician. Inform the doctor of any changes in your health or medications. It is also important to bring up any fears you may have about dental treatment.
Don't brush off recare/checkup appointments with your dental team!! These appointments are the most important to detect potential problems early so that you can avoid costly treatment later. We encourage recare and checkups AT LEAST every 6 months. In doing this your dental team can:
- Check for problems that you might not see or feel
- Find early signs of decay
- Treat oral health problems early while they are easier to fix and cost less
- Avoid having to extract teeth as the only option
Regular checkups include a thorough cleaning, polishing, and an oral exam by the dental team. During the oral exam the doctor and hygienist checks the health of your mouth, teeth, gums, cheeks, and tongue. At each visit, the doctor also checks old fillings and restorations because constant pressure from chewing, grinding, or clenching can cause them to wear away, chip, or crack.
Recare/checkup appointments usually last about an hour; patients are seen by appointment only. We make every effort to be on time for our patients, and ask that you extend the same courtesy to us. If you cannot keep an appointment, please notify us 48 hours before your appointment if possible. Our patients who are seen regularly are eligible for priority appointment and emergency times.