We want to extend to you our personal greetings and a very warm welcome to our dental practice. We are accepting new patients and we are looking forward to meeting you and caring for your dental health. We want you to know that we pride ourselves on trying to make dentistry a pleasant experience for you.
We feel it is our responsibility to aim to provide you with the best possible dental services in a comfortable environment. Our objectives are those of high quality and preventive care. We strive to build mutual trust with each one of our patients. Our diagnosis is based on a common goal of achieving maximum comfort, function, health, and esthetics.
What a First Visit Entails
If you are a new patient and are not coming in for an emergency exam, your initial visit to our office should be for a comprehensive exam, x-rays, and a cleaning. In order to give you the best possible exam and evaluation, it is important for us to gather as much information as possible.
We will ask you about your homecare routine, take x-rays, assess your periodontal health, perform an oral cancer screening, and record documentation of your present teeth, restorations, and pathology. With all of this information, we will then create a treatment plan for you, explain our findings of your oral health, and discuss your treatment plan options.
At this appointment, if you have any questions or concerns regarding your dental health, it is important to relay them to our staff. We love to educate you and give you as much information and assistance as we can to help you maintain a healthy mouth.
For a new patient appointment, we highly recommend a full mouth series of x-rays. This complete series of x-rays is important for proper diagnosis and treatment planning. It is a series of 18 x-rays, which allows us to see all of your teeth radiographically.
The bitewing x-rays are a series of 4 x-rays and only show the coronal (top) portion of the posterior teeth (not the root surface). This series of x-rays is usually not adequate for proper initial evaluation and treatment planning.
There are many problems that can go undiagnosed without a full mouth series x-ray. Also, many cavities cannot be seen by only looking in your mouth. Small cavities in between your teeth can often only be detected radiographically.
Additionally, the complete series x-ray aids us in determining if you have bone loss. Seeing the amount of bone and its architecture on x-rays is vital in treating periodontal disease. The full mouth series x-ray is recommended every 3-5 years, while the bitewing x-rays are recommended every six months.
For some patients, we may recommend a panorex film along with 4 bitewings, in addition to or in replacement of, a full mouth series of x-rays.
If you haven’t had regular cleanings and have periodontal disease, we may recommend more than a regular cleaning. If this is the case, the cleaning may be rescheduled for another day.
Prevention and Early Detection
The best safeguard against any kind of oral disease is one of prevention and early detection. One of the best things a patient can do for their own dental health, is to come to the dental office for regular examination, x-rays, and cleanings.
Diagnosis is one of the most important parts of dentistry. Finding problems early has tremendous benefits. For example, if you can diagnose a cavity while it is very small, than the recommended treatment may be a filling. If this cavity is not diagnosed early, the recommended treatment may have to be a crown, a root canal treatment, or possibly an extraction.
In general, the less invasive the treatment is, the shorter the dental office visit for the treatment, the less sensitive the teeth are post-operatively. The restoration may last longer, and the treatment will generally be less expensive.
Make Your First Appointment at Harris Family Dentistry!
Thank you for choosing us to be your dental care provider. We promise to do our very best in diagnosing and treating you.