Comprehensive Oral Exams

For all patients new to our practice, and any patients of record who have been some time away, once any painful or emergency support has been rendered, I perform a Comprehensive Oral Exam. During this appointment a survey is accomplished that effectively allows for a record of all particulars that I can see, touch and feel. Beginning with an exam of "out of the mouth" areas of lymph nodes, muscles and jaw joints, and proceeding to a survey of cheeks, tongue, throat and the floor and roof of the mouth, records are made to note what is within normal limits and, of course, any changes that seem an alert to conditions of pathologic nature. The alignment of the bite and teeth, the history of previous fillings and crowns or other prosthetics and any signs of wear or fracture or missing or broken and wearing teeth and fillings-all are recorded.

The color and tone of the gum tissues, the incidence of bleeding on periodontal probing (six sites measured per tooth!), the relative looseness or tightness of the teeth and the status of the supporting jaw bone are all noted. We also make note of all current personal dental hygiene techniques you employ.

The use of the Diagnodent Laser Caries Detection Instrument may also be indicated. Your sweet tooth and other dietary preferences are also important factors to record.

Once a Comprehensive Oral Exam has been accomplished, a responsibly thorough set of xray records will be made to assess those areas that are beyond my sight and touch. These records are individually prescribed based on the previous findings and may include individual digital films and Panoramic digital films to complete my thorough view. Recently transferred xrays of diagnostic quality may be substituted, as we are considered "xray conservative" and wish to expose no tooth before it's time. Comprehensive xrays, however, are imperative in fulfilling my responsibility to properly diagnose and advise regarding your dental wellness.

Once I have taken the time to review all pertinent findings from these exams, I will formulate an individually customized plan for your treatment. Your Treatment Plans will include any and all options available to you in dentistry today, whether it is treatment that I provide or whether I would recommend referral to another practitioner. Treatment options are often compared based on the nature of the service in terms of time, predictable comfort and accommodation, predictable longevity, function and aesthetics, and the financial aspects for those services. I provide an in person overview of these plans at no charge to my patients. I encourage second opinions, in the interest that we may not be for everyone and I wish that every patient seek treatment where and when they feel most confident and comfortable. Because I work diligently to provide a thorough understanding of all options, our patients should not hear anything widely disparate from our conversation during a second opinion. If so, I urge them to seek a third opinion as a tiebreaker of sorts, simply in order that they may identify the best place for their ultimate care. A written summary of your Plans for Treatment is made available for your reference.