Your First Visit

We hope that you find your experience of a comprehensive dental examination at our office informative, thorough, and pleasantly different from any other dental visit you’ve had in the past. Your visit should take approximately one hour, but may be longer depending upon each person’s specific needs. If your first visit to Doctors of Dental Medicine is for an emergency or for a comprehensive examination, please plan to arrive about ten minutes early in order to complete some documents necessary to establish your dental records and account with our office. If you have dental insurance, please bring all pertinent information so that we may better assist you with receiving your benefits.

The visit usually begins with the dental examination; a thorough check-up of your teeth. Besides looking for ‘cavities’ (dental caries), we carefully examine the condition of existing dental restorations for signs of wear or fracture, and record the information in your dental record.




Next, any necessary x-rays are taken. If you have not had any dental radiographs within the past six months, we most likely will recommend a panoramic x-ray (a radiograph of all of your teeth and jaws on one film requiring minimal radiation). In addition, bitewing x-rays are usually also important.

An understanding of periodontal disease, and counseling in the prevention of gum disease, is part of our evaluation of your periodontal health. The examination will sometimes include ‘periodontal probing’ to more precisely measure and determine the extent of each individual’s condition.

The TMJ exam involves an evaluation of the temporo-mandibular joint as well as the muscles of mastication (chewing muscles), and the occlusion (your bite). All of these contribute to the function of chewing. Some people suffer from what is familiarly termed TMD (Temporo Mandibular Dysfunction), which is weakness, pain, popping and clicking sounds, or other symptoms while chewing. Other signs are termed bruxism, an unconscious clenching or grinding of the teeth.

A soft tissue examination is performed (sometimes referred to as an oral cancer screening) during which all the structures and tissues (in addition to your teeth and gums) in your mouth are checked.

Depending upon each individual’s needs and expectations, often digital photos and study models are recommended to help the dentist diagnose your unique dental condition and to ultimately recommend a plan of treatment best suited to your needs. We can help you enhance your smile by showing you digitally prepared photos, which accurately project your desired result.

We hope that your comprehensive exam experience brings you confidence in our abilities to serve your dental health needs at Doctors of Dental Medicine.


Other places to visit:
The Pankey Institute
American Dental Association
Academy of General Dentistry

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