Your Initial Visit in Our Office

Each new patient has different needs and expectations for their teeth and oral care.

Often we need to address a specific problem or area of discomfort first before completing the initial evaluation.  Some patients want us to provide them with a second opinion, or maybe have been referred to us for tretment from a dental specialist.

In general, however, we want to have a complete evaluation on each new patient entering our practice.  This is the most important visit in your dental care.  Being thorough in the evaluation and assessment process can often help us to avoid unforeseen problems down the road.  It also helps us to be able to propose treamtent options in a way that is most helpful, for example, determining what procedures need treatment right away and what procedures may be deferred for a while.

The initial visit usually takes about two hours and consisits of:

Dental History – a brief inventory of past dental treatment and experiences as well as current problems

  • Oral Cancer Screening
  • Blood Pressure Screening
  • Caries (decay) Susceptibility Screening – testing saliva flow rate, consistency and acidity
  • Evaluation of teeth and tooth structure conditions
  • Evaluation of periodontal (gum and bone) conditions
  • Evaluation of bite, jaw joints and chewing muscles (TMJ)
  • Evaluation of smile characteristics
  • Digital X-ray series
  • Photographs of teeth and smile
  • Impressions of teeth for evaluation of bite and tooth position

Following the visit, we will schedule an appointment to review the findings about your teeth.  At that time we can determine how treatment should proceed and discuss costs, how long it will take and what your alternatives are.  If specialist evaluation is needed, this can be arranged at either visit.

Because we feel so strongly about having a comprehensive evaluation of all of our patients, the above procedures are bundled into one fee, which is significantly lower than the sum of the individual procedures.  In restaurant language, we offer the new patient evaluation as a “prix fixe” arrangement instead of “a la carte.”