Your initial appointment usually will consist of an examination and review of your treatment options. Usually, treatment can be done or started the same day as the consultation. However, a complex medical history or treatment plan will require an evaluation and a second appointment to provide treatment on another day.
The New Patient Exam
Dr. Nelson and Dr. Bandow agree that the single most important appointment for any patient is the new patient exam. This appointment allows the dentist and the patient to co-discover the patient’s current dental health status. Patients will frequently leave that appointment saying “Wow, no one has ever spent that much time with me.” or “No one has talked to me about that before”.
There are several goals for a new patient exam. Among the most important is getting to know our patient. We understand that our job is much more than just fixing teeth. In order to treat a patient to the best of our ability, it is imperative to know and relate to the person that brings those teeth into the office! Only then can we help them make the best decisions in regards to their oral health.
We also understand that there is much more to dental care than just teeth and gums. Two-thirds of the population has either a muscle or jaw joint issue, so as part of the exam we evaluate the muscles and joints. Appropriate digital x-rays will be taken based on the patient’s current needs. We frequently take pictures of teeth to help the patient visualize areas of concern. Models of the teeth are also sometimes necessary.
This comprehensive exam will require more time than a routine check-up, so we reserve an hour and a half for the appointment. We understand how valuable your time is, but we strongly feel that your investment of this time will be well worth it to you.
Please assist us by providing the following information at the time of your consultation:
- Any x-rays taken by a previous dentist, if applicable.
- A list of medications you are presently taking.
- If you have dental insurance, bring the necessary completed forms. This will save time and allow us to help you process any claims.
IMPORTANT: All patients under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Please alert the office if you have a medical condition that may be of concern prior to treatment (i.e., diabetes, high blood pressure, artificial heart valves and joints, rheumatic fever, etc.) or if you are currently taking any medication (i.e., heart medications, aspirin, anticoagulant therapy, etc.).
If your dentist or physician has taken x-rays, you may request that they forward them to our office. If there is not enough time, please pick them up and bring them to our office. If additional x-rays are necessary, they can be taken at our facility.