Examination


New Patient Examinations

We allow 40 minutes 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 and lifestyle factors relevant to oral health are taken into account.

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 mouth linings and facial areas and neck for abnormal lesions, including oral cancer. 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.

Recall Examinations

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, mouth linings, jaw joint, facial areas and neck are all assessed as well as lifestyle factors which may influence oral health. X-rays may be periodically required to provide additional information. We will automatically send a recall reminder via your preferred method of contact, both when examinations and hygienist appointments are due.

X-rays

X-rays are an integral part of our diagnostic systems and can give us useful information on decay, the condition of dental work, gum disease and other hidden problems. 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 and show us the quality of bone holding the teeth in place.

Bitewing intervals are tailored to each patient and will depend on several factors including recent decay history and are always in line with the most recent guidelines. 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.

Oral Screening

At each examination we check the linings of the mouth for abnormalities and check the face and neck for lumps bumps and swellings. A number of medical problems, including early signs of cancer may be detected. Most often there are simple explanations and reassurance may be given. However, we maintain a high level of alertness and in the case of any inconclusive findings, patients will be referred to a specialist for assessment, usually to be seen within 2 weeks.

Photography

We have an advanced SLR camera with ring flash capable of taking quality images in the mouth. We use this facility on a regular basis to record and monitor a variety of situations. We also use images to share with laboratories to help achieve accurate matching for crowns, bridges and dentures. If images are to be shared with a third party, consent will always be obtained from the patient.

More information on this, and other dental procedures, can be found on the
Dental Guide website.
If you would like to discuss your dental treatment needs with one of our team or would like to register with our practice please get in touch.

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