Diagnostic services include initial exams for new patients who wish to establish a dental relationship with our office and periodic exams for those patients whom we have seen on a regular basis. Both initial and periodic exams include such things as a medical history review, a screening for oral cancer, a screening for periodontal disease and a recording of any existing cavities or other problems. An emergency exam is available for anyone who comes to us with a specific problem that they want addressed such as a toothache or lost filling. Consultations are also available for anyone who wants to discuss any questions they may have regarding a problem, a procedure or possible future work.
We take various types of x-rays utilizing our digital x-ray system (x-rays without film) which uses 75% less radiation than typical dental x-rays. With the x-rays on the computer screen, we are able to diagnose such potential problems as decay, infection and bone loss.
By taking intraoral (inside the mouth) photographs of our patient’s teeth, the doctors are able to see the teeth in greater detail, aiding in the diagnostic process. We can show the pictures to the patients on the computer screen, thereby allowing them to co-diagnose any dental problems with us and better understand any solutions or alternatives. We can then also take the photographs and use “photo-imaging” to allow the patient or family members to “see a result” even before a procedure is performed.
Study models, also known as diagnostic casts, are impressions of a patient’s teeth. By having models to refer to, the doctor can diagnose such problems as an uneven bite. With the models in hand he is then able to establish the best course of treatment and is able to show the patient what will be done. Finally, the doctor has the original condition of the mouth to refer back to once treatment is underway.