YOUR FIRST VISIT
YOUR APPOINTMENT will be scheduled for YOU AND YOU ALONE. The doctors and hygienists respect your valuable time and do not double book. In the rare event that we need to change your appointment, the front desk staff will contact you. The staff does understand that emergencies with their patients do arise and for this reason, if you are unable to keep your appointment, the office would appreciate it if you would contact them as soon as possible to reschedule. If needed, the office utilizes an answering system which is available at all times with explicit and clear directions for our patients. It can also be used to contact the "on-call" doctor should an emergency occur. All 3 doctors do understand that some patients are nervous at the thought of going to the dentist. If necessary, they can utilize nitrous oxide analgesia for the control of your anxiety.
THE PAPERWORK You will be filling out a patient questionaire which asks for your biographical data such as name, address, phone numbers, e-mail address, and insurance information (if applicable). Then, there is a section where you will be asked to check off any medical issues that may affect your dental treatment; including allergies to the gloves the doctor or hygienist may wear. If you do take multiple medications, it is best to either bring them with you or have a list of the medications you take; along with the dosage. The staff also recommends that you bring the names and phone numbers of your medical doctors to the office. A privacy form (HIPPA) will also be given to you to read and sign. To have you see the dentist or hygienist at your scheduled time, it is best to arrrive 10 minutes early to have all this one-time paperwork completed.
THE EXAMINATION After a careful review and discussion with you about your medical questionaire, your mouth and surrounding areas of your face will be examined. This will include your lips, tongue, palate, and the floor of your mouth. Specifically, the doctors and hygienists will be looking for any unusual growths and abnormalities. Although this part of the examination is called the oral cancer exam, please do not worry if something suspicious is pointed out to you. There are many oral abnormalities which are of little concern. The doctors will inform you if a referral to evaluate a specific finding is needed. The next phase of the examination is an evaluation of your jaw relationship to make sure that it is in a healthy state. Then, a charting of your existing dental treatment will be documented and your periodontal (gums) pocket depths will also be charted. Now that all the necessary information has been gathered, you will be asked if there are any immediate or special concerns you have. Besides a sore tooth or bleeding gums, you may wish to share your concerns such as bad breath, gaps between your teeth, or even yellow or discolored teeth. In Dr. Spector's, Dr. Kim's and Dr. Koirala's COSMETIC AND FAMILY DENTISTRY practice, these concerns are addressed, noted in your dental record which is confidential, and ultimately discussed with you at a future visit.
DIGITAL X-RAYS Like your digital camera or phone, x-ray images will be displayed spontaneously for the hygienist, doctor, and YOU to see immediately on a computer screen. They no longer need to be developed and read at a future time. A major benefit is that the amount of radiation exposure with digital x-rays is a fraction of what it is used to be with traditional x-rays. This gives the familiar black and white images that doctors and dentists use to diagnose problems. X-rays are a necessary part of the diagnostic process, and not to use them could lead to undiagnosed disease. Without an x-ray of the whole tooth, and supporting bone and gum tissue, there is no real way to detect infection or pathology that requires attention. Please be aware that our office will only take x-rays when necessary and will protect the scattering of unwanted x-ray beams with the use of a lead shield.
PROPHYLAXIS (CLEANING) If time is available, a dental prophylaxis will be performed to remove any unwanted stain or calcified deposits (calculus) but commonly known as tartar from your teeth. You will leave the office with a fresh feeling and a bag of goodies to maintain your dental health. These dental aids will include a new soft-bristle brush, dental floss, and may include a specialized toothpaste, mouthrinse, interproximal (in between) aids such as stimudents, amongst others. You will be properly instructed as to the usage of the individualized dental health aids by either the hygienist, assistant or doctor.