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New Patient Exam: What to Expect

Your first visit dental visit is very important for you and your dentist. As you get to know your new dentist, we will also be reviewing your previous dental history and discussing any concerns you may have about your oral health or that of your kids and teens.

The objective of the new patient exam is to assess the condition of your entire oral cavity and evaluate its current state, diagnose any existing or looming problems, and develop a long-term preventative or treatment plan that will maximize the health, function, and aesthetics of your mouth.

A typical first-time consultation looks like this:

  1. Comprehensive medical and dental history. The condition of your mouth is closely associated with your general health. As such, it is important that you inform your new dental team of any medical conditions, illnesses, or drugs that may affect your oral health or the treatments that we provide.
  2. Visual assessment of your mouth. Your dentist will then visually inspect your teeth, gums, tongue, cheeks, and other soft tissues to check for any problems or likely problem areas. The dentist will check for cavities, chips, cracks, excessive wear, malformations, loose teeth, receding gums, or bleeding and swollen gums.
  3. Cancer Screening. The dentist will also perform an oral-cancer screening. This involves a thorough examination of the floor and roof of your mouth, tongue, cheeks, throat, and lips to look for any ulcers, cysts, benign tumors, and other signs of oral cancer.
  4. X-Rays. Digital dental radiographs may be necessary to examine the condition of your teeth underneath the gums and to check for jaw and hard tissue problems.
  5. Intra-Oral Pictures. We use an intra-oral camera so you can also see the inside of your mouth to better understand a diagnosis or recommendation.

After all your personal dental information has been collected, the dentist will explain the findings and develop a preventative and/or treatment plan that aims at optimizing the health of your mouth. This may include regular visits for preventative, in-office teeth cleaning to remove plaque buildup and tartar that may lead to dental problems. Schedule an appointment today.