The smile is our letter of introduction when we interact with the surrounding society, so maintaining good oral health is important not only from the point of view of health but also because it has a great influence on the psychosocial environment.
Nowadays, dental care is the order of the day, and we are more aware of the importance of prevention, both in children and adults. Therefore, regular visits to the dentist are important in order to prevent any possible pathology. If you have never been to the dentist, have decided to change practices, or if it has been more than one or two years since you have been seen by a professional, it is essential to have an initial consultation.
The first consultation is the first contact not only with the dentist but with the whole team involved in a clinic, so it is important that the atmosphere is friendly and welcoming to make the experience as pleasant as possible. Our goal is to make the patient feel comfortable and confident in a professional atmosphere.
What does a first consultation at the dentist consist of?
This first consultation basically consists of an exhaustive review of the patient’s oral and dental condition: gums, teeth, surrounding soft tissues, etc. The most important thing is to gather as much information as possible in order to make a good diagnosis.
The medical history is important for the dentist since it allows him/her to know possible diseases, allergies, systemic diseases and other alterations that the patient may present and that could influence the dental treatment. In addition, the opportunity will be taken to get to know the patient: what are his or her concerns, worries and wishes about the treatment.
2. Intraoral exploration.
Thanks to the use of magnifying loupes, we have a better visualization of the oral cavity of patients, which allows us not only to diagnose better but also to perform minimally invasive dentistry, in treatments that not only have a better finish but also better results.
Practically 80% of the population suffers from some type of gingival or periodontal disease. Diseases affecting the supporting tissues, gum and periodontal ligament, are very prevalent, and many patients are unaware that they suffer from them. About 15% of gingivitis, the mildest form of periodontal disease, progresses to periodontitis.
Early diagnosis and subsequent treatment help to control these diseases. Therefore, periodontal probing at the first consultation is essential to assess the condition of the gums. All this information is then recorded in a periodontogram.
4. Diagnostic tests.
In the first consultation, diagnostic tests such as orthopantomography type radiographs can also be performed to evaluate teeth and supporting bone, and possible radicular remains… With this, we have a global image of the patient’s mouth. Also, flap-type X-rays are taken to assess whether there are interdental caries, whether there has been a previous defective restoration…
5. Complementary tests.
Thanks to the evolution of technology, we have a 3D scanner in our office. This test is indicated in cases of patients who need dental implant treatment, in cases of cystic lesions associated with teeth, including teeth… What is obtained is a 3-dimensional projection of the patient’s oral cavity that provides a lot of information and helps to make treatments more predictable.
6. Treatment plan.
Once everything has been reviewed following a strict protocol, the patient is informed of the state of his mouth showing the data collected: photos, x-rays, periodontogram … Then an individualized treatment plan will be developed and explained to the patient to resolve any doubts that may arise.
After a first visit, the patient should leave the consultation having understood what his or her problems are, if any, and how to solve them in order of priority. In these cases, if fear of the dentist or “odontophobia” is one of the patient’s problems, the different alternatives for painless dental treatment should be explained.
In short, the entire team must place special emphasis on making this visit as pleasant as possible, so that the patient feels comfortable. Creating a positive experience should be one of the main objectives of the dentist in the first consultation, since today going to the dentist is essential for proper health maintenance. This is one of the pillars of Pronova Clinic.