In this blog entry Dr Darryl Marsh writes... I am often asked by new patients to the practice: “What will happen at my first appointment?
Getting rid of pain is the first priority
Naturally if a person presents to our dental office in pain, our first priority is to relieve their pain.
After that the first step should be an examination appointment. At this appointment both the dentist and the patient are there to get information. A good dentist will encourage their patient to ask any questions and raise any issues that they may have.
One of the most important stages of any medical or dental treatment is to accurately diagnose the patient’s problems. You cannot help patients if you are only treating some of their disease.
5 minutes is not enough
Unfortunately, in the past this step has often been attempted in just 5 minutes. In my mind, it is impossible to fully assess any new patient in 5 minutes. Recent recommendations from dental authorities advise that for an examination to be thorough the dentist should allow 60 minutes for an appointment.
A first dental examination should include at least nine elements. Below is the first three…
1. An assessment of the medical history including current and previous medications.
Diseases such as diabetes, thyroid disorders, epilepsy and heart disorders all affect your dental health and make you more prone to infection.
Meanwhile many medications can have a negative effect on the saliva, decreasing saliva’s natural action in protecting the teeth and lubricating the mouth.
Skin cancers can occur in the mouth and many Australians die each year from oral cancers. As in all cancers, early detection is crucial. Your dentist is the primary person responsible for checking for any signs of oral cancer.
3. An assessment of the jaw joints and biting pattern.
Teeth can move and cause disturbances in the jaw movements and biting pattern, placing destructive forces on the teeth, muscles and joints.
Research shows that many people suffering from migraine type headache and neck pain have jaw joint and bite disorders as a major contributing factor.
More to come in part two of this blog entry, but in the meantime if you are in pain or would like to make your first appointment with us then contact us or call 3863 6911.