This appointment is done in preparation for your consult appointment. We try to gather all the information the dentist will need to work collaboratively with you to come up with an individualized plan to help you meet your oral health needs. During your records appointment our team members will take photos as well as xrays of your teeth, and go over a few questions to get a better understanding of your expectations and preferences for your oral care. The dentist will take some time to review all the information gathered and have a better expectation of how long you will need to schedule to present to you all your options at the follow up consult appointment.
This appointment will better help us understand what your preferences are and how you would like to approach work that is recommended for your mouth. The goal is to ensure that your teeth are looking healthy and that their structure and foundation are as well.
Can’t the dentist just tell me what I need to have done with my teeth? Why do we need to book for a separate consult appointment?
There are different ways to approach many different philosophies in dentistry, ranging from palliative (also considered reactive care) to more preventative. As a patient you likely aren’t completely on one side of the scale or the other, and your preferences can land anywhere on the palliative-preventative scale and also likely varies from one area of the mouth to the other.. It’s very easy for us to tell someone what is the best preventative treatment for each individual tooth, but typically resources aren’t endless, so we want to ensure that your resources are going into the places where you will see the most benefit.
What X-rays may I need for my records appointment, and why?
There are various types of dental X-rays, including:
- Bitewing X-rays can reveal cavities between teeth as well as jaw bone levels, an area that dentists can’t visually inspect just by looking in your mouth. By the time that decay is visible to the naked eye, significant damage has already occurred and a root canal may already be required. They are called bitewings because you bite down on a wing-shaped device to hold the X-ray sensor in place
- Panoramic X-rays, which require a special machine that rotates around the head to provide a detailed image of all the teeth and the jaw bones in a single X-ray. They are commonly used to plan extractions or braces, and can show how the adult teeth are developing in children
- Periapical X-rays, which capture images of two or three teeth at a time down to the root. They can reveal an abscess caused by an infection or root caries, which are lesions at the bottom of the tooth root. These are best for showing the foundation of the teeth as a whole, and are more detailed than the panoramic X-ray
The types of X-rays we take at your records appointment are decided at the appointment and are dependant on:
- If something is hurting or bothering you
- Existing fillings you have that may be starting to show signs of wear, break down, or even cracklines
- Teeth with existing crowns or root canals
- Whether or not you still have wisdom teeth
- Prevalent bone loss based off the regular check-up X-rays (bitewings)
- Large restorations in the front teeth