What You Can Expect On Your First Visit

As a patient centered practice, we strongly believe in individualized care. Accordingly, we have three types of examination to meet your needs:

  1. Comprehensive
  2. Selective
  3. Implant evaluation

The type of examination will depend on your needs as determined by your referring dentist. If self-referred, we will perform a comprehensive or implant examination as indicated.

In all cases, Dr. Valdes will thoroughly review your medical history. A comprehensive and accurate medical history can provide important information about risk factors and may modify treatment recommendations. Necessary dental films (x-rays) will be taken if not available from your referring dentist.

Our practice utilizes digital radiographs. This state-of-the-art technology enhances our diagnostic ability and reduces radiation to the patient by 30-40% over conventional film based dental x-rays.

With all examinations, after treatment recommendations are made, Dr. Valdes will contact your dentist by phone, letter, fax, or e-mail to ensure all parties are completely informed.

Comprehensive Exam

For a comprehensive exam, your visit will last approximately 45 minutes. Using an interactive approach, we will review your dental history, individual concerns, and goals of treatment. We will then proceed with a comprehensive periodontal examination, which includes but is not limited to the following:

  • TMJ (jaw joint)
  • Oral cancer
  • Periodontal pockets
  • Tooth mobility
  • Gum recession
  • Level and type of gum inflammation (infection)
  • Occlusion (bite)
  • Missing and malposed teeth
  • Cosmetic concerns

When a comprehensive exam is performed, Dr. Valdes will then review the conditions in your mouth and recommended treatment. He will also discuss the risks of leaving the conditions untreated. He will outline the number of visits necessary, fees and time involved in treatment.

By thoroughly educating our patients, they are in the best position to understand the necessity and type of treatment. We strongly encourage patients to bring a spouse, friend, relative, or significant other to the treatment conference.

Selective Exam

When a selective exam is performed, your visit will last up to 30 minutes. Dr. Valdes will thoroughly evaluate the area requested by your referring dentist as well as adjacent areas of your mouth which may affect his treatment recommendations. He will also perform an overall screening exam for periodontal disease. Treatment suggestions will be made at this visit.

Implant Evaluation

An implant evaluation can require up to one hour. If needed, dental films and study models are obtained. A Panorex radiograph is often taken to provide a greater viewing area than conventional dental films. When necessary, Dr. Valdes will recommend a CT scan. He then uses a highly-sophisticated computer program called Simplant. Simplant allows Dr. Valdes to analyze CT scan data directly on the computer in 3-D and simulate implant placement before any treatment takes place. If possible, treatment recommendations, number of visits, fees and time requirements will be discussed at this visit.


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