NEW PATIENT EXAMINATIONS
We allow half an hour for an adult’s and fifteen minutes for a child’s new patient exam.
This is our opportunity to find out about previous dental history including past experiences and any presenting concerns or desires.
Medical history is checked.
We will ask about current oral hygiene measures and assess the current standard of care.
The teeth and gums are examined and charted. Problem areas are noted.
We screen the soft tissues for abnormal lesions, including oral cancer, which may be present. Referrals for further investigations may be instigated if necessary.
X-rays are normally taken to provide further information on decay, bone condition and infections.
Having gathered the necessary information, we are able to formulate and agree a treatment plan together with the patient.
A printed estimate is provided and will be updated should the plan need modifying.
These are made most usually at six or 12 month intervals. It will be agreed between patient and dentist and will be based on individual need. The interval is not set rigidly and is reviewed at each examination.
Teeth, gums and soft tissues are all assessed and x-rays may be periodically required to provide additional information.
We will automatically send a recall reminder via the post, both when examinations and hygienist appointments are due.
X-rays are an integral part of our diagnostic systems.
Some of the useful information they give us includes:
- Hidden decay
- The position of decay
- Bone condition
- Unerupted teeth
- The shape of roots
- Root fillings
- And more…..
As well as looking at specific teeth, we may also take periodic ‘bitewing’ x-rays, which screen for decay under the surfaces or between the back teeth.
Decay is painless until it is deep and may not be visible in back teeth on examination until it is large or the tooth fractures. Crown and filling margins also cannot be visually inspected between the teeth.
Bitewings will show us these areas, so that if treatment is needed, it can be carried out when the cavity is smaller.
They may also show us early cavities which may not need treatment yet and with the right care, may be arrested and therefore avoid filling altogether.
Bitewing intervals are tailored to each patient and will depend on several factors including recent decay history. Typically these may be between 24 and 36 months but may be more or less. The intervals will always be reviewed and altered should circumstances change.
We use a digital x-ray system, which allows almost instant access to the images and means a reduction in exposure times by up to 1/3, when compared to traditional film.