Your New Patient Examination
Excellent dental care begins with a thorough, comprehensive examination. If you have an immediate dental concern, Dr. Molina will attend to that. Once your initial concern is taken care of he will recommend a new patient comprehensive examination. The examination will take about one hour, and consists of the following steps:
1. Review of medical history, with questions regarding any medical conditions, medicines, allergies, and other past medical care that may affect dental treatment.
2. Review of dental history:
- Are you in any discomfort?
- Are any of your teeth sensitive to temperature, sweet, or chewing?
- Do you have any chipped, broken, missing, or unsightly teeth?
- Do you have any history of gum disease?
- Have you had regular, routine visits?
- Have you had dental emergency treatment, or dental specialty care?
- Do you clench, grind your teeth at night, or experience jaw joint pain?
3. Review of previous dental care to be able to tailor a plan to help patients
feel comfortable, confident, and in control at future dental visits.
4. With this information, Dr. Molina proceeds on the clinical examination which consists of:
- Examination of all soft tissues (lips, cheeks, tongue, throat) and oral cancer screening
- TMJ (jaw joint) exam for clicking, popping, pain, or discomfort.
- Orthodontic (bite) evaluation of crowding, misalignments, drifting teeth, or bite problems.
- Periodontal examination – measurement to determine possible
- gum problems such as inflammation, bleeding, or bone loss. Measurement of gum recession and tooth looseness is recorded on a chart for planning and
- future reference.
5. Digital X ray examination – necessary films for diagnosing decay, periodontal bone loss, and other dental conditions.
6. Smile analysis – to evaluate any issues such as staining, discoloration, tooth position, or aged dental work that may affect your dental appearance.
7. Examination of all teeth and dental work to check for decay and any potential problems with restorations.
8. Digital intraoral video photographs of all teeth and any soft tissue concerns to allow patients to see and understand their dental health choices.
With this information Dr. Molina develops a plan of treatment customized to each individual patient. Dr. Molina will discuss with you the results of your examination, and how to best achieve and maintain optimum health.
There are often different options for treatment. Dr Molina is happy to take the time to discuss options so that each patient can make an informed choice. If there are dental issues that require referral to dental specialists, he will let you know and give you the appropriate referrals to skillful specialists who have earned Dr. Molina’s confidence over the years.
Once your plan of dental treatment is well understood, our office manager will provide you with a computer print-out of fees, and if you have dental insurance she can help you understand your coverage and help you to utilize your dental benefits efficiently.
The benefits of a comprehensive examination to the patient are:
- the patient will have a clear understanding of his dental condition
- dental treatment can be tailored very specifically to meet your individual needs and expectations.
- thoroughness helps prevent future dental emergencies and surprises
- accurate comprehensive information results in better results
- a good baseline will help track a patient’s dental status over the years