Assessing your dental health involves gathering information about your teeth and associated structures and the systems used to gather that information. To facilitate your evaluation, we would like to review your previous dental records, preferably prior to your first visit. The information of most value to us will be your past radiographs (x-ray pictures), any charting (particularly periodontal pocket probing and recession charting) and study models. These can only be forwarded to our office, by your previous dentist, with your consent either by a telephone call or with a written consent form. If you wish, you may download and print our Records Transfer form. Once you have the form, you can either mail or fax it to your previous dentist's office. If you wish assistance with this, please give our administrative team a call 604-224-2411. In addition to previous dental records, we would like some information on your dental history as well as your health history. This can either be done in our office or, if you wish, the Health History and New Patient Information forms can be printed, completed and brought with you on your first visit.
During the new patient examination, the information collection process will proceed as follows:
Review of dental history and health history. For more information on the medico-legal requirements and uses of your health history, simply follow the link.
Chief Complaints. We will want to know if you are in any pain or if you have any dental concerns. This will include functional concerns as well as any aesthetic or cosmetic concerns you may have.
Evaluation of the Masticatory (chewing) System. Also known as the Temporomandibular (TM) System, we will evaluate your muscles and joints, specifically looking for muscle soreness as well as limitations in movement, pain or noises in your joint system.
Evaluation of your bite. Also known as occlusion, we will look at the alignment of your teeth as well as the way they work in the dynamic chewing system.
Evaluation of soft tissues. Evaluation of soft tissues. Just like the rest of your skin and surface coverings, (hair, nails, etc). your oral mucosa can display wounds, diseases or other dermatological conditions. Whether you are a first-time patient or an ongoing patient of record, you should be aware of our protocol for Oral Cancer Screening.
Evaluation of your gums. Also known as periodontium, we will look at the general condition of your gum tissue as well as detailed periodontal probings and recessions for each tooth/region. Periodontal probings are measured in millimetres and are a direct reflection of your gum attachment to your teeth. Generally, you should expect to hear the dentist/hygienist call out 3 and 4mm pockets. Once the pockets become 5 - 6mm or higher, it indicates a loss of your bone and gum structure.
Evaluation of your teeth. We will look at the individual state of each tooth as well as which teeth are missing or unaccounted for. This will include existing fillings/restorations as well as any new restoration(s) that might be required.
Diagnostic Imaging. Clinical photographs will be taken for each patient in order to provide a visual record and aid in diagnosis. The dentist will also prescribe radiographs (x-ray pictures) required for evaluation and diagnosis.
Additional Diagnostic Tests. The dentist will assess if there is a need for any additional testing to evaluate any specific conditions.
At this point, your visit will be complete and the administrative team will schedule an appointment for you with one of our hygienists. As a general rule, your dentist will examine all the collected information at a later time (usually during the same day) and will then formulate a diagnosis along with treatment plan options. We will typically want to discuss this with you prior to scheduling any further dental appointments. In the event, that you have current radiographs (x-ray pictures) from a previous office and you did not request them before hand, it may mean that we will not be able to complete your diagnosis and treatment plan until they arrive.
If you wish to have a 'peek' ahead, feel free to visit the Consultation page. As you complete your first visit, we will direct you to this page. You will find it quite useful and it will help you ask the right questions regarding your dental condition and possible treatment options.
Tips for our new patients:
Find directions and parking instructions on our Contact page. This will help you to find our office and complimentary parking on your first visit.
Program our office number (604.224.2411) into your cell phone memory. In the event that you cannot find us or our parking spaces, you will be able to phone us for assistance. In addition, if you have our office number handy, you will be able to contact us quickly in the event of an injury such as during a sporting event (injuries to the teeth are very common) or while you are away from your home. We have even been called for emergencies while patients have been in trans-oceanic flights! Straight from the airport to our office.
Add this web page, www.pacificspiritdental.ca into your Favorites / Bookmarks folder of your web browser. Simply right click on the link (Ctrl+click Mac OS) and then select "Add Link to Favourites" ("Add Link to Bookmarks - Mac OS) . That way, you can quickly refer back to this site or email it on to a friend who may be in need of our services.
Please see the page for referring your friends and family
Any questions? If so, don't hesitate to contact us by email or by phone 604.224.2411. We'd be happy to answer any of your questions.