If there are no immediate dental concerns such as pain or swelling, a new patient’s first exam will involve a comprehensive evaluation of their oral cavity. The dentist will conduct a complete assessment of the oral cavity to analyze and evaluate its current status. With this information, the dentist can then diagnose problems and create an individualized treatment plan that meets the needs and desires of the patient to ensure maximum health, comfort, function, and aesthetics.
In our office, the dentists prefer to meet every new patient and complete a comprehensive exam before the patient is scheduled to see a dental hygienist. This comprehensive exam is a data-gathering appointment. During your first exam, you will be discussing your medical and dental history with your dentist. This is the best time to share any desires, preferences, or concerns about your oral health with the dentist.
The dentist will begin your exam by conducting an in-depth examination of your head and neck, including the face, neck, jaw joints, and lymph nodes. Next, the dentist will do a thorough dental examination of your teeth, gums, lips, and the entire oral cavity. This will involve checking for cavities, tooth decay, periodontal diseases, damaged and loose teeth, worn-out fillings, and any other dental concerns. X-rays will be taken to aid in the examination and diagnosis of any dental concerns. The dentist will also check existing dental restorations and your bite to determine if a recommendation for orthodontic treatment should be made.
After gathering all of this data, your dentist will discuss treatment recommendations and any referrals to specialists that are recommended. In addition, your dentist will determine, based on this information, which type of cleaning you should schedule next with one of our dental hygienists.
Examination of the Teeth
The dentist will examine your teeth and any previous dental treatment that you have received for fracture, cracks, stains, deformities, excessive wear, movement, decay and other sources of potential issues. Following the thorough examination, the dentist will notify you of any potential treatment considerations.
Oral Cancer Screenings
For all new patients, an oral cancer screening is performed. The dentist will conduct a visual and manual examination of the head, neck, face and mouth to locate any abnormalities or suspicious areas. Even though oral cancer is not widely prevalent, oral cancer screening is an essential preventive measure that can help uncover potential problems early.
3D CT Scan
In specific cases, the state-of-the-art cone beam CT scanner is used to obtain a three-dimensional view of your mouth, teeth, jaws, and head. The 3D scans help provide detailed information for certain situations, such as diagnosing pain or discomfort, or planning dental treatment like root canals or dental implants. These scans will be discussed with you for their potential benefits if they are indicated.
This involves gentle measurement of the depth of the gum tissue around the teeth to determine your periodontal health. Loose teeth are evaluated and the receding gums are measured. Along with any bone loss determined from your x-rays, this part of the exam gives the doctor information needed to evaluate you for gum or periodontal disease. The dentist will discuss any findings with you during the appointment.
Consultation and Treatment Options
Upon completion, you can discuss and go over the results of the exam with your dentist. With the guidance of your dentist, a treatment plan can be designed to meet your specific dental and financial needs. In many situations, multiple treatment options are available. Our dentists will review those options with you to determine which treatment best suits the dental outcomes you seek and your budget.
Call us at (928) 774-4412 or contact us online to schedule an appointment with one of our dentists!