Your First Visit to Our Office
The First Time We Meet
Choosing a new dentist or coming back to the dentist after an extended absence, are big decisions and we appreciate the confidence you have placed in us. We hope that our website and the conversations you've had with our treatment coordinators, while making your appointment, have made you more familiar with our office and with us. A new patient exam is very in-depth and adults should plan to be in our office for up to two hours; it is important that you do not bring small children to your appointment with you. Teens thirteen and older will be with us up to an hour and a half and children twelve and younger up to an hour.
The New Patient Exam
- You will first meet with our hygiene assistant who will go over the forms we had you complete; your health history, current medications, allergies and any areas of greater concern.
- We then take intra-oral photographs to aid us in our visual exam - if you choose to take a peek at these photos you will be able to see what we see.
- Next you will meet your doctor and have an opportunity to ask questions prior to your exam.
- A thorough head, mouth, tongue, cheek and neck exam to check for oral cancer, TMJ functions, and bite alignment.
- We will chart your existing restorations, such as fillings and crowns, and make note of any worn chipped, cracked or broken restorations or teeth and prior treatments such as root canals or extractions.
- Based upon what X-rays you may have available and the age of those radiographs, your doctor will determine what X-rays will be needed for diagnostic purposes and to complete your exam.
- The condition of your gums will be examined and the depth of the tissue and ligaments surrounding your gums with be measured.
- If your doctor prescribes a routine cleaning we can do this for you today as well, if however, your gum measurements indicate the need for a periodontal cleaning we will schedule this treatment for a later date.
- Your doctor cleans your teeth using a prophy jet, this instrument emits a very strong jet of water to remove tartar and plaque, this will minimize the scrapping with a sharp instrument you may have had in the past. Afterward, your hygiene assistant will polish and shine your teeth.
- If your doctor determines that dental treatment is needed we will prepare a written treatment plan which your doctor will review with you. In situations where multiple treatments or options are a consideration we may have you return in a few days for a complimentary treatment planning consultation to review our findings and recommendations so that you can make an informed decision about what, if anything, you would like us to do; our treatment coordinators are also available to answer your insurance or payment plan questions.
Dental Emergency Exam
If we meet for the first time because of a non-life threatening, dental emergency then instead of doing a comprehensive New Patient Exam we will instead be doing a limited focused exam on the particular tooth or area that is causing you discomfort.
- You will first meet with one of our clinical assistants to review the forms we had you complete; your health history, current medications, allergies and the signs and symptoms that brought you into our office.
- We will need to take one or two X-rays of the area to determine the source of discomfort.
- Dr. Fisher or Dr. Bergevin will perform a focused exam of the area and review the X-rays to determine the cause of your discomfort and present options for treatment.
- Our treatment coordinators are also available to answer your insurance or payment plan questions.
AFTER HOURS: If you are an established patient, who is current in our office, you can reach us after hours by simply calling our office (360) 876-0445 and following the voice prompts to page our doctor on call.