Your initial appointment usually will consist of an examination and x-rays. We have three different types of new patient exams:
- Emergency/Exam Focused:
Dr. Schulte will determine the cause of your dental pain. During this exam, your teeth/tooth might be tested for sensitivity to hot, cold, percussion (tapping on the tooth), biting pressure (fractures) and pulp vitality. This information along with any prescribed x-rays will allow us to provide you with any/all treatment options available.
- Comprehensive Exam:
- Detailed and Extensive Exam:
- Periodontal Exam:
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.
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 any medications you are presently taking both prescription and over the counter.
- A list of any herbal or all natural remedies you might be taking.
- If you have dental insurance, present your insurance card upon arrival. This will save time and allow us to process/file 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, bisphosphonate therapy, etc.).
Generally, x-rays will be taken to aid Dr. Schulte in her assessment of your overall oral health. We strictly adhere to the ALARA Pricinple (As Low as Reasonably Achievable) when it comes to prescribing x-rays to minimize every patient’s exposure. The fully digital x-ray systems we utilize use substantially less amount of target exposure than conventional film based units and provide us with the best diagnostically and safest images.
Examples of types of x-rays you might be prescribed include:
- Full mouth series (FMX) – An FMX shows a dentist the health of a tooth from root tip to the crown of the tooth along with the surrounding bone. Besides the four bite wing x-rays taken on a yearly basis, an FMX is comprised of several other periapical x-rays. Taken routinely every 3 to 5 year, an FMX allows Dr. Schulte to compare each tooth and actively monitor for any changes such as dental abscesses which you might not even be aware until you start having a tooth ache. These combination of x-rays are vital for diagnosing tooth decay.
Panorex – this type of film is used for addressing formation issues and not for the diagnosis of decay like an FMX.
- Diagnosis of advanced periodontal disease
- Formation of carotid artery blockages
- Congenitally missing teeth (hypodontia)
- Assess the TMJ, or jaw joint
- Orthodontic assessments – To demonstrates the number, position, and growth of all the teeth including those that have not yet surfaced or erupted. It is different from the small close up x-rays dentists take of individual teeth. It may also reveal problems with the jawbone and the joint which connects the jawbone to the head called the Temporomandibular joint or TMJ. It may be requested for the planning of orthodontic treatment, for assessment of wisdom teeth or for a general overview of the teeth and the bone which supports the teeth.
- Diagnosis of wisdom teeth impaction – Generally your dentist will first refer you to a trusted x-ray facility in order to gain full mouth x-rays which will help give visibility to your current condition. Even if you have had these done before, they may ask you to have new x-rays to be taken as over time the position of teeth within the jaw can change as you age.
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 for any number of reasons, they can be taken at our facility. We normally take a Full Mouth Series or Panoramic X-ray for every new patient consultation.