Every day we learn more about the Mouth-Body connection and new discoveries linking oral and dental health to whole-body health. At Dillard Dental Services, we know that providing exceptional care for our patients begins with a thorough examination giving attention to both the past and the present.
Before your New Patient Exam, we take care to gather vital information:
- All New Patient consultations begin with a conversation. We will ask you about your past experience with dental care and ask you to share with us any specific concerns you have. We understand that many people have varying levels of anxiety about visiting the dentist and we believe that understanding our patients’ fears helps us to reduce them. Finally, we not only need to understand your history, but it is equally important for us to understand your treatment goals so we will invite you to discuss these with us as well.
- We will review any dental records and x-rays from your previous dental office and use these to become familiar with your dental history and determine if we need to take new radiographs. This helps us avoid unnecessary steps and reduce your exposure to radiation.
- We will review both your health history and list of current medications. A thorough understanding of your overall health helps us be on the lookout for signs and symptoms linked to other health issues as well as side-effects from medications.
This background information provides the foundation we need to begin your dental exam. At Dillard Dental Services, an exam includes the following steps:
- We use Low-Dose Digital sensors to make radiographs to aid us during your dental exam.
- An oral cancer screening by visual and tactile examination of your tongue, lips, cheeks, the palate, and floor of your mouth. This is a vital part of a new patient exam as well as your bi-annual periodic exam.
- An assessment of your oral hygiene noting any areas we want you to be aware of. This includes recording any absent, crowded, or misaligned teeth as these can sometimes create additional challenges to having good oral hygiene.
- An inspection of existing dental work like fillings, crowns, or appliances currently in place noting areas that are showing signs of wear & tear.
- A thorough examination of each visible tooth surface and its pits & fissures looking for signs of decay, trauma, erosion, and uneven wear from bruxism.
- A periodontal exam measuring the cuff of gum tissue and bone level around each tooth allows us to assess whether there is inflammation of this tissue that has begun to affect the bone around your teeth.
- Your digital radiographs will be viewed alongside each of these steps to show us the things we cannot see when we look inside your mouth.
- Bitewing x-rays help us to see decay between your teeth and the bone level surrounding your teeth.
- Panoramic 360º x-rays allow us to see developing & unerupted teeth, signs of irregularities in your sinuses, temporomandibular joints, and the bones of your face and jaw.