Your first experience with West Seattle Family Dentistry will be the Comprehensive Dental Examination. We call this our "Co-Discovery" appointment. By "Co-Discovery", we mean that you and the dentist can sit down in a relaxed "one on one" atmosphere to find out together the true level of your dental health.
During this time you will help us to understand any dental complaints, desires or other health issues that a new patient may have. It also lets both the dentist and you discuss certain pertinent dental issues. The comprehensive exam also enables you to meet our team and to get to know us.
This is paramount to Drs. Christian and Spivey. We want you to feel comfortable with any dental treatment done in this office. We feel that by taking the time to understand your dental condition and desires, we can better educate both ourselves and our patients. We want our patients to understand what treatment needs to be done, why it is being done, and any fees associated with treatment.
Things to expect during the Examination:
A thorough medical and dental history is taken with each new patient. Your chief complaints are discussed as well as any previous dental experiences, and treatment wishes.
A full mouth series of radiographs (x-rays), as well as a panoramic radiograph, are usually taken. The full mouth series of radiographs, or FMX, shows each individual tooth allowing us to diagnose any pathology associated with the tooth and the surrounding bone support. The panoramic radiograph shows the surrounding structures of the mouth. It will show the sinuses, as well as the physical shape of the upper and lower jaws. If necessary, other imaging treatments can be ordered to diagnose certain dental problems.
A healthy TMJ is critical in achieving long term stability of the dental environment. A detailed palpation of the muscles of the face and neck and the TMJ is done. Tactile, visual, and in some cases a stethoscope is used to listen to the internal sounds of the body, known as auscultation examination is used to diagnose the health of the TMJ, and surrounding structures.
By the use of certain tools, we can diagnose the health of your gums and determine which type of hygiene visit would be best for you.
We will also do a check of the face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of abnormalities.
Benefits of a Comprehensive Examination:
At regular check-up exams, your dentist and hygienist will: