How can any doctor deliver an excellent experience when they rush in and start working without having a clue as to what the patient values?
Your first visit with us will be a unique experience. Because of my commitment to building trust and a long-term relationship, I will spend private time with you in a comfortable environment. I will take as much time as you need to calm any fears, discuss previous experiences, and understand your expectations for us.
Almost all dental practices will schedule your first visit with the hygienist and cram in a 2-4 minute exam where the doctor tells the patient what they need. They quickly move on to the next patient without any idea of who the new patient is or what they value. It makes sense that people don’t trust their dentist. We each have unique needs, wants, and values so it takes time and commitment to establish trust and an emotional connection.
Our fast-paced, insurance-driven medical system results in a continuing cycle of disease care. We end up chasing symptoms of gum disease, decay, and worn cracked teeth without ever looking at the cause. This results in “fixing” the same teeth over and over again without ever agreeing on a goal for long term health. I have yet to meet someone who wants dentistry repeated multiple times over the years. In fact, in 22 years of meeting new patients, it is the number one complaint and cause of distrust with dentistry. I truly believe I have the healthiest patients in the region because of the time I spend helping the patient understand the cause of disease.
This initial visit is the most important time we will ever spend together. This examination will very likely be the most comprehensive you have ever experienced. We will discover together the following:
- Your systemic health
- Fears, past experiences, and how we can work with you
- Gum health and plaque control
- Bone health
- Each tooth for wear, cracks, decay, recession, color
- Oral cancer exam
- Muscle exam
- Bite analysis
- TMJ analysis
- Smile analysis
- Photographs when indicated
- Study models when indicated
After we gather all of the information to make an accurate and complete diagnosis of your condition, we will sit down together and make a plan. The most important aspect of your treatment plan is whether or not it lines up with your values. This critical step ensures a successful long term relationship.