For your convenience, you can download our new patient form right here prior to your first visit with us!
The next step in a new patient appointment is to verify insurance so that we can give our patients the best possible financial estimate. In order to do this we ask that patients bring their most recent insurance card with them.
Next, we will begin the exam with the dental assistant taking the necessary radiographs. In most cases this will consist of a panoramic and bitewing radiographs for patients less than 21 years of age. We usually take a full mouth series for patients 21 or over.
A full mouth series is a group of twenty-one radiographs that allow us to see each individual tooth, and its surrounding bone and ligament very clearly. Four new bitewings will be made each year, while the panoramic or full mouth series will only be made every three to five years.
New patients that have existing current radiographs must have them in our office by their first visit. Since radiographs are vital to our exam, please understand we may require additional radiographs to make a diagnosis.
Following the radiographs, the dental assistant will continue the exam by asking a series of questions to allow us to assess your dental and medical history. At this time she will address any dental concerns or questions you may have.
Next she will enter existing dental restorations to begin your personal chart in our computer system. Once this is complete the doctor will review all the data and radiographs. Then he or she will perform a complete exam. This includes a soft and hard tissue exam, a TMJ exam, charting all conditions such as decay, and a complete periodontal exam which assesses soft tissue and bone health.
Finally one of the doctors will formulate a treatment plan. The treatment plan will be presented in phases based on several factors including location of treatment and order of importance. The treatment is finalized after reviewing the treatment plan and its options with you.
For those patients who have very little in their treatment plan, a financial consultation may be performed that day. For those patients with large treatment plans, we will make a separate financial consultation appointment. We have found that this helps our insurance coordinator provide more accurate estimates and allows patients ample time to think about proposed treatment.
We will make every effort to schedule time for a hygienist to do a prophylaxis (cleaning) on this first visit. However, patients’ periodontal statuses are very different and a prophylaxis is not always adequate. If more than a prophylaxis is required we will discuss your diagnosis and determine the appropriate type of cleaning at this appointment.
A new patient can expect to spend as long as an hour with the doctor and another forty minutes with the hygienist. We feel strongly that it is important to be complete. Although this may seem overwhelming, it should be expected.
Our exams include what every comprehensive dental exam should include and what the American Dental Association recommends. We hope that once you have finished your first visit with us, we have made you feel comfortable with our staff, that you understand your dental needs, and that you have confidence in our doctors.