Your First Visit

Your First Visit

Our office will go above and beyond to make your first visit to Smiles of Virginia Family Dental Center as smooth and painless as possible. Before your first visit Nanci and Carolyn will make sure we obtain your background information, reason for your visit, and necessary contact and insurance details. You have the option of filling out forms online in the convenience of your home, or at our office depending on your preference. We will also verify your insurance information before your appointment to help you maximize your benefits.

Your first appointment will include:

  1. A comprehensive oral examination
    • Consider it a physical from the neck up. Your examination will include a medical history review, blood pressure reading and full charting of your existing dental work. We also perform a muscle and joint exam for any patients with jaw joint (TMJ/TMD) problems.
  2. Bitewing radiographs
    • The most common spot for cavities to form are in between your teeth. The Bitewing radiographs (also known as “cavity detection” x-rays) allows us to see in between your teeth to both detect and monitor small beginning cavities that do not yet require a filling. We will take new bitewing radiographs yearly to monitor any changes. This allows us to be conservative and avoid unnecessary drilling and filling.
  3. Panoramic or full mouth x-rays:
    • For our relatively healthy patients this might not be necessary. But for our patients that have been without dental care for a long time, or patients with root canals, missing teeth or signs of infection, a full mouth series of x-rays is generally recommended. If you need your wisdom teeth (third molars) removed, a panoramic x-ray is normally preferred.
  4. Complete full mouth charting of your gums
    • A vital component is checking for and monitoring any gum disease. We do this by measuring “attachment loss” (learn more here). We want to make sure your teeth have the appropriate bone and tissue support to allow for proper oral and systemic health. Evidence also links poor gum tissue health with diabetes and heart disease.
  5. Comprehensive screening for oral cancer
    • We will perform a comprehensive exam of your oral soft tissues including your glands and lymph nodes.
  6. Discussion
    • Finally, we will provide recommendation for treatments, discuss options and answer any questions you might have. Together we will establish where you want to go with your care. We will then tailor treatment to meet your specific needs and expectations.