Your Dental and Medical History
During your first visit to our office, you will be asked whether your teeth are painful or sensitive, about prior gum or jaw problems, and about any previous dental treatment or problems that you may have. We will also want to know about any current and past medical conditions, such as allergies, surgeries, kidney or heart disorders, diabetes, because some conditions can affect the type of dental treatment that you need. Certain medical disease or disorders can also affect the overall oral health in general. We also need to know about any medications or drugs that you are currently taking.
Your Dental Exam
An examination determines the condition of your gums, teeth, bite, and jaw relationship. The dentist checks the gums for any active disease, which may cause inflammation or bleeding, and evaluates the general condition of your teeth. Are any teeth missing? Have you had any prior restorative work? Are your teeth loose, cracked, or sensitive.? Then the dentist checks your bite to determine how your upper and lower teeth relate to each other. He or she will also check to make sure the teeth and bones are strong enough to support any needed treatment.
The dentist should also give you a thorough oral cancer screening, when all of the tissue, tongue, gums, lips, cheeks, palate and head and neck areas are evaluated for their health. This is extremely important.
To identify certain conditions and dental problems, and to verify the diagnosis, the following tests may be completed;
x-rays - show views of your jaw bone and teeth. They help determine the health of your teeth and the condition of the bones that support them.
diagnostic casts - is a plaster like model that replicates your teeth and the shape of your jaw. It lets the dentist study how your teeth line up and details of your bite.