Your First Hygiene Visit - What to Expect
Hello! If you're a prospective new patient with us, I would like to welcome you to our office! At Bent Creek Dental, we want to be as comprehensive as possible; what does that mean for you? Here is what to expect when you schedule your first appointment with us with our Hygiene department.
New Patient Information
We will have a few forms for you to look over. For your convenience, you can actually do them ahead of time! Click here to go online and fill them out electronically. This process does not require printing - our scheduling software is able to match what information we have on the schedule to what you input online and automatically imports the forms.
While having insurance is not required to come to our office, we will kindly file on your behalf. If you wish to file insurance, please give us as much information as possible 24-48 hours before your appointment. This allows us to verify the insurance correctly and give you more accurate estimates if additional treatment is recommended by Dr. Mathis.
The Best Part - Meeting You!
We love meeting our new patients and connecting with you! We will spend a few minutes getting to know each other. We also have a water and coffee bar in our reception area that is always stocked!
Reviewing Your Medical History
Accurate medical histories are very important to us and we take it seriously. Please let us know any and all past and current medical ailments and allergies; on occasion, certain conditions can affect your dental care and the treatment we are able to provide.
Just as important as your medical history are dental radiographs. We are a completely digital office, which means it requires less radiation to produce a dental radiograph. We try to limit the amount of X-rays taken with us. All new patients are required to have up-to-date radiographs so that Dr. Mathis can perform a comprehensive dental exam and so that your hygienist can accurately detect for any signs of periodontal disease. A panoramic X-ray and 4 bitewing X-rays are the least amount of X-rays we will take on you during your first visit; however, we may need to take more as needed and are recommended on a case-by-case basis.
Periodontal Charting or a "Bone and Gum Exam"
Your hygienist will need to accurately check for any signs of gum disease. Toothbrushes and floss can only remove so much plaque that lives just below the gum line. If your gums have deeper areas, that means you may have harmful bacteria that can cause bone loss around your teeth. We will do a thorough bone and gum exam to check these areas; numbers 1, 2 and 3 are healthy measurements. 4's are warning signs of potential gum disease and any number 5 or higher may indicate a potential infection that is in the bone. The findings are then shared with you and from there we are able to determine the type of dental cleaning that you are eligible for.
If there are no signs of periodontal disease then your hygienist will be able to get your teeth cleaned. Hooray! On average, this takes anywhere from 25-40 minutes. If gum disease is present, you will be the first to know. Gum disease does require a different type of "cleaning" and can take a few visits to complete.
Exam with Dr. Mathis
Using the X-rays, periodontal charting and doing a thorough oral exam allows Dr.. Mathis to develop a comprehensive treatment plan. If nothing is needed, kudos to you! If there is treatment that will require additional visits, we will go over that with you in as much or as little detail as you'd like to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Scheduling Your Next Visit
Your hygienist will schedule your next cleaning appointment. 6 month appointments are the minimum; however, if your Dr. Mathis and your hygienist feel a shorter time span will benefit you, 3-4 month appointments may be recommended. If any dental treatment is recommended, i.e. fillings, we will go over your treatment plan and schedule you back accordingly.
If you are using your dental insurance, we will file it for you on your behalf as a courtesy. If any co-payments or deductibles are due, we kindly ask for payment on the date of service.
I hope this helps prepare you for your first visit with us. If you still have questions or aren't sure what to expect, please call our office at (334) 758-8000 and we will be glad to answer any questions you may have.