Your First Visit
Did you know that tooth decay and gum disease are the two most prevalent chronic diseases in the world?
Yet these diseases are also some of the most preventable. Our practice philosophy is that prevention is always better than the cure. Whilst there are universal principles to follow in order to ensure dental diseases are avoided, each person should have a “prevention plan” in place which is tailored to their circumstances. Such a plan takes into account your overall health, current medications and lifestyle, amongst other things. As part of your general examination we will help you to develop a plan to maintain optimal oral health.
What to expect at your initial examination
If you haven’t been to our practice before then it is best if you arrive about 10 minutes before your appointment time to fill out a medical history questionnaire. If you have a list of medications you are currently taking then please bring this with you.
The comprehensive oral examination includes:
- An inspection of the health of each individual tooth. This involves assessing the integrity of the tooth, signs of unusual wear patterns, the condition of existing fillings and recording of any decay which is present periodontitis. Your dentist may recommend you need X-Rays if you haven’t had any for the past 2-3 years of there are specific areas of concern which need further investigation. X-Rays form an integral part of a thorough exam as they allow visualisation of structures which are otherwise invisible to the naked eye including contact areas between teeth, structures within the tooth as well as the bone which supports the tooth.
- The examination of the gums which support the teeth. Here we are looking for signs of inflammation (gingivitis) and destruction from chronic disease (periodontitis).
- Visual inspection of all the tissues in the mouth for any abnormal growths or pathology e.g. oral cancer
If you or the dentist have particular areas of concern other investigations may be performed during this examination including:
- Examination of the muscles around the head and neck
- Examination of the jaw joints (temporomandibular joint)
- Sensation testing of specific teeth
- A referral for a more detailed X-Ray of the face and jaws
- Taking impressions for study models
After the examination is complete the dentist will discuss any findings with you and if necessary discuss treatment options which are available.