What does a new patient appointment involve?
Each new patient appointment consists of a medical history questionnaire, a comprehensive dental examination and a series of digital X-rays. We will make notes of your existing dental conditions, perform a thorough oral cancer screening, check your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and bite relationship, and chart periodontal (gum) measurements of all your teeth. Finally, we will take digital photographs of each tooth, spend the time to review our findings and explain any treatment recommendations in detail.
It is our goal that you feel comfortable and relaxed throughout the appointment, have all of your questions and concerns addressed and never feel rushed. For your comfort, we will offer you a warm neck pillow and a bottle of water. If your treatment needs are straight-forward, our staff can provide you with a treatment estimate when you leave. However, if your treatment plan is more extensive, our office will e-mail you an estimate after further studying your case.
Why do you take X-rays?
Our office utilizes the latest in digital (lowest radiation) radiography and intraoral cameras. By incorporating digital X-rays into our daily practice, we are able to reduce the radiation exposure by up to 90% compared to traditional film X-rays. Each image will appear immediately on a computer monitor allowing for greater efficiency, detail, and magnification. A complete series of digital X-rays is paramount in allowing us to accurately assess your dental conditions and provide sound treatment recommendations. In particular, we are able to view any cavities developing between the teeth, the depth of a cavity in relation to the tooth's nerve, bone levels, prior root canals, and any infections around the roots of the teeth. Many of these conditions are not visible with the naked eye and X-rays provide extremely valuable diagnostic information.
What can digital photos show?
Using a high-resolution, pen-shaped intraoral digital camera, we can show you in detail what your teeth look like and help you to visualize and understand your dental conditions. In particular, the photos assist us in better diagnosing decay (cavities), leaking fillings, fracture lines, soft tissue conditions, and clearly visualizing plaque and tartar levels.