Dentists Stephen K. Malone and Brent M. Dickenson believe that new patients should experience comfortable personal time with them to talk about a number of essential aspects of the care they have received in the past and will receive in our Knoxville office. We will schedule you for an initial appointment that includes time for our dentists and the entire team to meet you. Your special time with our dentist will include more than an examination of your mouth. It will include a preclinical (pre-examination) consultation. This is time spent getting to know you and for talking about the things you know about yourself. Here are examples of the types of things you may want to talk about:
- Your highest immediate goal(s) you want to achieve with the help of our dentist,
- Your oral health history…what previous oral health care have you received…what dental experiences are memorable and why
- Pain you may be experiencing in teeth, soft tissue of the mouth, jaw muscles, facial muscles, jaw joints, and sinuses
- Existing tooth sensitivity, gum inflammation, or obvious infection
- Health issues that may affect your oral health and care, for example, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis
- Known dental problems such as a dental cavity, missing tooth, cracked tooth, chipped tooth, or root canal treated tooth in need of a crown
- Desires you have to improve your dental function (ability to comfortably and strongly bite and chew)
- Specific concerns you have about your smile appearance, for example, missing teeth, stained teeth, gum tissue contours, crooked teeth, irregularly shaped teeth, worn down teeth, puffy gum tissue, chipped teeth, broken teeth, and more
- Dissatisfaction with the function, fit or appearance of your current full or partial denture, crown or crown and bridge restoration, implant restoration
- Concern about having had to have a tooth restored multiple times
- Concern you have about bruxism (grinding your teeth), snoring, known obstructive sleep apnea, or habits that affect oral health such as tobacco smoking, tobacco chewing, and ice chewing
- Strong “fear of the dentist”…or general anxiety you may feel about having your mouth examined and treated
- Other things that may get in the way of accepting dental treatment such as worries about the possible pain of treatment, the financial cost of treatment, how to find time in your busy life for treatment, whether your spouse will agree to investing in restoring your teeth, worry that your oral health problems are so complex that offered treatment will not solve the problems, and past bad dental experiences that have reduced your trust in dentists
After this initial consultation, Dr. Malone or Dr. Dickenson will conduct a comprehensive examination of your teeth, gums, jaws, the soft tissue of your mouth, and your chewing muscles. This comprehensive examination will include a look at x-rays you may have given to us and new digital x-rays taken at the time of your new patient appointment. Throughout this examination, you will be involved. You will be shown identified problems on a chair side computer screen, and you will be asked for your input. For example, you will be asked about tenderness you are feeling as your jaw muscles are palpated. Depending on your circumstances, this examination may include making digital impressions and photos of you mouth with our comfortable intra-oral digital scanning technology. We will do everything we can to make you comfortable, and we invite you to speak freely with us. Your observations and opinions are an important part of your oral health evaluation.
If you are in need of urgent care, we can immediately address your needs and may defer portions of the comprehensive examination to a subsequent visit depending on the time available for urgent treatment. Taking the time needed to get to know you and understand your current oral health conditions fully helps us plan appropriately to meet your long term goals and objectives.
We will work with you to address obstacles to your care, whatever the concerns. We’ll be happy too give you time and help in developing a payment plan, in providing you with more information, in helping you think through treatment options, and including your spouse or other important decision maker in a consultation about recommended care.
Are you anxious when it comes to dentistry?
We are a partner in you achieving oral health. We want you to feel in control. We encourage you to speak freely about your questions, concerns, and preferences. If you have a severe gag reflex or high dental anxiety, we can make you comfortable with oral moderate sedation. If you suffer from light dental anxiety, we can practice relaxation techniques and also hand signals that will inform us at times when you feel stressed and need a break. We offer this for all dental services—no matter how routine or how complex. You are a special person deserving of a relaxed, comfortable appointment. If you are coming to us as a new patient, tell us abut your desire for relaxation assistance when you call to schedule your first appointment. In this situation, we may schedule you for only a preclinical consultation on your first visit, and then do a sedated comprehensive examination at a second appointment.
We think you are a unique and special person deserving of the finest dental care.
The main take away we would like you to have from this article is that the new patient appointment is a special time in which we get to know you as much as possible. Each time you return, we will continue to serve you on an individual basis with plenty of time for treatment and discussion to ensure we can serve you best in a comfortable, professional and personal way.
If you live in the Knoxville area and are seeking a dentist, Dr. Stephen K. Malone, Dr. Brent M. Dickenson, and our entire dental practice team promise to treat you like the special person you are. We’ll give you the full time and attention we believe all our patients deserve. Give us a call today to schedule your new patient appointment with a preclinical consultation and comprehensive interactive exam.