The initial exam
At your first visit, you will have a thorough but painless examination, followed by a detailed consultation. This will allow us to determine your needs and to give you the opportunity to discuss treatment recommendations and alternatives. We also try to be good listeners. The visit will last about an hour and you will be asked to fill out a health history and registration form.
“X-rays” are important and they should be current. If you have existing X-rays we can probably use them if they are less than one year old. A full radiographic series (FMX) is needed for a periodontal examination, and generally a panoramic film will not provide adequate diagnostic information. We use digital X-ray technology, which entails only 1/3 the exposure of standard X-rays.
We can also view these on a computer monitor and easily email and copy them to your dentist or insurance company. At your request, our office will gladly handle transfer of images from your general dentist so you won’t have to bother.
Some individuals need antibiotic pre-medication before a periodontal examination. If you know you have to pre-medicate and you need a prescription or are unsure and have a risk factor (heart murmur, prolapsed mitral valve, history of rheumatic fever, artificial joint or bone, or recent heart procedure), please call our office for assistance.
At this first visit, you will be given a treatment plan and fee estimate. We will explain procedures and take the time to answer any questions you might have. It is our policy to give you a written estimate. If you have insurance, we will work with you to determine the extent of your benefit. In most cases, we will do a pre-determination of benefits for you.
Many patients are concerned about the need for periodontal surgery. Our practice has a strong commitment to conservative methods, and we place a major emphasis on non-surgical therapy. If surgery becomes necessary, today’s procedures have greatly improved and most patients do very well.