What Happens During a Dental Consultation?

Dental Exam

If it’s been some time since you’ve had a dental exam, don’t hold back from the office out of shame. We never want our patients to feel self-conscious about time spent away from the dentist. We understand that factors like daily life, dental anxiety, and other concerns can get in the way of twice-yearly exams. We’ll never make you feel embarrassed about the state of your teeth. Instead, we’ll discuss options for moving forward and regaining health.

This exam is necessary to give us more information about your teeth, gums and jaw bones. We will check for existing cavities and enamel erosion. Our dentists will evaluate the health of enamel and determine what needs to be restored. We will also look for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease, as well as other potential problems.

Learning more about your current oral health will help you decide on treatment options. We will discuss what we recommend for rebuilding your teeth and restoring superb oral health. Following through with your exam helps you understand what’s necessary to get your smile back in great shape.

Before moving forward with restorative or cosmetic treatment, you will need to be in good oral health so that there is a reduced risk of complications or infection.

Take X-Rays of Your Teeth

While a visual and physical examination can tell us a great deal about your oral health, more thorough diagnostics are important. X-rays show us images of your jaw bones and hidden areas of your teeth. This alerts us to cavities that may not be noticeable to the naked eye or dental instruments.

X-rays are crucial in planning implant placement, and will likely be accompanied by other imaging. We need to assess the bone density within your jaws and determine whether there will be bone augmentation necessary prior to implant placement. A bone graft will build out osseous tissue in the area and provide material for the implant to anchor to.

If you have been seeing multiple dentists for consultations so as to gather second opinions, let us know – new x-rays may not be necessary. It’s a good idea to minimize your radiation exposure and be x-rayed only when needed. We may be able to check the x-rays another provider took to formulate our own treatment plan.

Discussion of Your Dental Goals

What is it that you’re hoping to gain from restorative or cosmetic dental treatment? Maybe you want to straighten your teeth, replace missing teeth, or rebuild worn enamel. No matter your goals, we need to get on the same page. You’ll have a detailed conversation with the dentist about what you’re hoping to accomplish with our practice. If you have a variety of aims you’re hoping to discuss, it may be helpful to write down your priorities before visiting. That way, you have a list to refer back to once you’re in the office – this is especially useful for anxious patients who may be nervous.

Look at your teeth in the mirror and consider what it is that you’re hoping to change. Try to look at your teeth objectively and pinpoint what you like and dislike about them. If there are others whose teeth you admire, bring photos to the appointment if that feels helpful. Do what makes sense to you.

Treatment Plan Formation

After you’ve been examined and discussed your goals, we’ll discuss some potential treatment options. We may be able to immediately recommend a treatment plan, or may take a brief period to review your x-rays and consider a variety of options. Whether you receive your treatment plan immediately or shortly after your appointment, we’ll keep you in the loop and updated throughout.

Depending on your oral health, you may benefit from a single treatment or from several. Those with missing teeth can expect to see a longer treatment timeline, as there is more to accomplish.

Next Steps

Before you leave the office, we’ll discuss the recommended next step. This may be another appointment to take impressions, preparatory steps for implants, or getting cavities filled or periodontal disease treated. No matter the details, we’ll help you set up your next appointment and prepare for the treatment ahead.

Ready to schedule your consultation? Get in touch today to speak with our staff.