We are all about detail. After our new patient exam many patient’s comment on how thorough the exam was. We often hear, “No one has ever shown me pictures of my teeth like that!” Just so you know what to expect I’d like to detail each step of our 60 minute new patient exam.
We start with a full set of films. Many people have had some films taken at another dentist. We are all digital here so its easy to have records transferred electronically. Some offices require a records release. If we don’t have recent films we take a set of 18 films. These show each of the roots, jaw bone and crowns of the teeth. We can check for infection, pathology and other issues before they become big problems.
The doctor will then review your health history, dental history, and films. Then we set the chair back and check the cheeks, lips, palate, tongue and all the oral tissues. We screen for oral cancer, document existing restorations and conditions in the mouth.
If we find any conditions that need treatment like cavities, missing teeth, or gum disease we develop a treatment plan. In some cases there are more than one treatment option so a plan can become complex. In these situations we like to collect information at the comprehensive exam and then have the patient back for a consultation visit to review our findings and choose an appropriate plan. This also gives us the opportunity to collect insurance information and have an accurate estimate of cost.
We also do a detailed measurement of the gums getting 6 measurement points per tooth. These numbers provide a baseline for future measurements and tell us if gum disease is present.
Finally, we review a full set of photographs of the mouth. Most people haven’t seen what their teeth look like.
If you still have questions about our new patient exam or would like to schedule please give us a call at (360) 293-8421.