WHAT TO EXPECT?
As a patient centered practice, we strongly believe in individualized care. Accordingly, we have two types of examination to meet your needs:
The type of evaluation will depend on your needs as determined by your referring dentist. If self-referred, we will perform a comprehensive or implant examination as indicated.
In all cases, the doctor will thoroughly review your medical history. A comprehensive and accurate medical history can provide important information about risk factors and may modify treatment recommendations. Necessary dental films (x-rays) will be taken if not available from your referring dentist.
Our practice utilizes digital radiographs. This state-of-the-art technology enhances our diagnostic ability and reduces radiation to the patient by 30-40% over conventional film based dental x-rays.
For a periodontal exam, your visit will last approximately 45 minutes. Using an interactive approach, we will review your dental history, individual concerns, and goals of treatment. We will then proceed with a comprehensive periodontal examination, which includes but is not limited to the following:
- Oral cancer
- Periodontal pockets
- Tooth mobility
- Gum recession
- Level and type of gum inflammation (infection)
- Missing and malposed teeth
- Cosmetic concerns
When a periodontal exam is performed, the doctor will then review the conditions in your mouth and recommended treatment. He will also discuss the risks of leaving the conditions untreated. He will outline the number of visits necessary, fees and time involved in treatment.
By thoroughly educating our patients, they are in the best position to understand the necessity and type of treatment. We strongly encourage patients to bring a spouse, friend, relative, or significant other to the treatment conference.
An implant evaluation can require up to one hour. If needed, dental films and study models are obtained. A Panorex radiograph is often taken to provide a greater viewing area than conventional dental films. When necessary, the doctor may recommend a CT scan. He then uses a highly-sophisticated computer program called Simplant. Simplant allows the doctor to analyze CT scan data directly on the computer in 3-D and simulate implant placement before any treatment takes place. If possible, treatment recommendations, number of visits, fees and time requirements will be discussed at this visit.
Learn more about Dental Implants.
Sedation dentistry refers to the use of sedation during dental treatment. Sedation is most commonly used during extensive procedures, for patients with dental phobia or for patients who find it difficult to sit still. There are different types of sedation, including nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”), IV sedation, oral sedatives and general anesthetic.
Sedation can range from the use of nitrous oxide to calm a patient to general anesthetics used to put patients to sleep. Patients with dental phobia, low pain tolerance, major dental treatment, physical handicaps or strong gag reflexes may require sedation. Procedures like fillings, crowns, bridges, root canals, extractions, cosmetic procedures and periodontal treatments often require sedation.
Sedation is endorsed by the American Dental Association and is an effective way to make many patients comfortable during their dental visit. Before using a sedative or anesthetic, it is important to tell your dentist about any medications or medical treatments you are receiving. Before administering any sedative or anesthetic, your dentist will talk to you about the process of sedation and pre- and post-sedation instructions.
Nitrous oxide, more commonly known as laughing gas, is often used as a conscious sedative during a dental visit. The gas is administered with a mixture of oxygen and has a calming effect that helps phobic or anxious patients relax during their dental treatment. Because it is a mild sedative, patients are still conscious and can talk to their dentist during their visit. After treatment, the nitrous is turned off and oxygen is administered for five to 10 minutes to help flush any remaining gas. The effects wear off almost immediately. Nitrous oxide rarely has side effects, although some patients may experience minor nausea and constipation. Your doctor will provide you with pre- and post-sedation instructions.