At Stony Spring Family Dental, we get to know our patients before performing treatment. In this process, the patient gets to know us. Before dental treatment is performed, we want to discover the causes of the problems that the patient might have. Knowing "Why" a problem developed insures that whatever treatment we perform will be successful and long lasting.
This discovery process may be very limited for those patients who require no treatment other than a routine re-care visit with our hygiene staff. Our team hopes that all of our patients eventually are in this state of oral health. Unfortunately, some patients have varying degrees of oral disease. In those cases that are simple and need basic treatment procedures, we correct the problem and monitor them over time with appropriate re-care visits with our hygienist.
With those patients who have more complex oral health problems, we proceed differently. Often times in these cases the problems can not be fixed in a simple fashion. At least not with the hope of long term success. For these patients we attempt to discover the underlying cause of the problems and then taylor our treatment with those factors in mind. This process begins with a thorough examination of the patient, followed by a consultation visit where all the findings are presented and treatment recommendations discussed.
All of our patients are offered a complete dental examination. This allows for the identification of all factors that are capable of causing or contributing to the deterioration of oral health or function.
Our ultimate goal is the achievement of a maintainable oral environment, that is in harmony with all of it's parts. To accomplish this, we look at not only the teeth, but the muscles, the jaw joints, the gums and the bones of the jaws. In summary, the whole system is evaluated. What effects one part of the system will eventually affect the other parts. If everything is already in harmony, then we follow up the patient at their re-care visit. If problems exist, we look to discovering "Why?"
The components of our complete exam consist of:
A complete set of x-rays.
Accurate Diagnostic Models when indicated. These models are placed on a device called an articulator which simulates your jaw movements.
For all of our patients we evaluate:
Existing partials, bridges, crowns, and dentures.
The presence of decay and any abscessed teeth
The gum and supporting bone around the teeth will be accessed in a periodontal examination. We depend upon the use of a special probe and x-rays to do a thorough complete examination of these structures. We record the pocket depths around each and every tooth, check for mobile teeth, and look for areas of recession and sensitivity. The present state of oral hygiene will be evaluated.
We will examine the bite (occlusion). We look for teeth hitting before others (interferences), excessive wear on the tops and sides of teeth, how the upper and lower jaws relate to one another, how the teeth relate to one another. The jaw joint and muscles will be checked for tenderness. Joint sounds will be evaluated.
We look for any missing teeth, discover how they were lost and if they need to be replaced. Sometimes they don't.
We perform an oral cancer examination on every patient and educate the patient as to how certain habits may contribute to the development of cancer.
The esthetic condition of your mouth will be explored and your input into improving the appearance of your teeth will be sought.
We will look at your overall medical status and determine if it has any affect on dental treatment.
Any other pertinent information will be explored.
We utilize intra-oral digital photography in our practice as a means to record your present state of oral health. It becomes part of your record and can reveal conditions or problems that might be missed otherwise. The photos also are an aid in seeing patterns of change over time and help us determine why certain events may have occurred.
The goal of the complete dental examination is to discover all the pertinent facts about the current oral condition of the patient. This knowledge is used to formulate a goal for the patient that leads to a state of optimum oral health.
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