Your Comprehensive Exam
Thanks for choosing our office for your oral health! At your first visit, our goal is to answer any questions you may have about your mouth, do a thorough exam, and create a plan with you for your optimal oral health. We promise to provide you with all the information about the present condition of your mouth, and all possible options for treatment. We'll also collaborate with you on the choices you wish to make for accomplishing dental health.
Your appointment will be approximately 2 hours long, and can include an initial cleaning with the hygienist as well as a thorough exam with the dentist. Our exam includes an exam of your jaw joint and jaw muscles, an oral cancer exam, a thorough periodontal exam for possible gum disease, a dental exam, and appropriate x-rays.
A Word About Dental X-Rays
Dental x-rays can be an excellent diagnostic tool that can help us to find problems in your mouth while they are still small and can be easily restored. Many patients, however, may be concerned about exposure to x-ray radiation. We are dedicated to making any x-rays we take to be necessary and useful to make a thorough diagnosis with the least possible exposure to our patients. We use digital x-rays, which require about half the radiation exposure of conventional film. Additionally, dental x-rays produce a very small exposure. Research from the American College of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America tells us that a single dental x-ray produces 0.02 millisieverts (the unit of measure for radiation dosage), while the radiation from a mammogram is 1-2mSV - about 100 times that of a dental x-ray. Natural background radiation from sunlight and the environment is about 5-6 mSv per year, or about 200-300 times that of a dental x-ray. The benefits of dental x-rays far exceed the risk for most circumstances. Please do tell us if you have had a significant amount of exposure to radiation from healthcare treatments or severe environmental exposure.
We will share all of the information that we find, and make recommendations for treatment of disease, and most importantly, give you tips about disease prevention, and maintaining the highest level of health. If your information seems complex, and you would like a further follow-up consultation, we are happy to provide that as well. Our goal is for you to have all the information you need to make the best choices for your oral health.