Your Initial Examination

On your first visit you will be guided through the initial steps by one of our hygienists, Karrie or Britney. Both are experienced, caring, and thorough. In working with you to determine how we can best help you, they begin by discussing your oral health concerns, your past dental experiences, and your overall health background and present conditions. Because oral health and complete medical health are so closely linked, they may ask questions that at first seem unrelated to your dental concerns.

They will discuss with you the subject of x-rays, taking into account any existing recent x-rays that may be available, and establish what we now recommend to help provide a comprehensive professional evaluation of all your teeth, their roots, and the bone that supports them.

Their next step includes a head and neck exam that looks at your jaw joints or "TMJs", your skin, the muscles of your face and neck, and the associated lymph nodes. Then they will examine all the soft tissues inside your mouth, including an oral cancer screening. They will perform a detailed exam of your gums and gather the information that enables them to fully assess the state of your gum health and identify any specific problem areas that may be present.

Next is an initial evaluation of your teeth, and they will often take close-up video images of particular teeth, conditions, or perhaps older dentistry in need of attention. Patients often find these most interesting and revealing, especially if they have a particular concern, and this allows them to see what we see.

When your hygienist has completed gathering all this information, she will talk with you about her findings, with particular attention to your gum health and oral hygiene. She will recommend an appropriate professional hygiene treatment plan that may vary from simple to more involved, depending on the level of gum disease or health that has been revealed.

For the final part of your exam, Dr. Zimmer will review and discuss your hygienist’s findings, and do a detailed examination of your teeth, your bite and jaw movements, and your x-rays. He is very interested in talking with you about why you have come to us, what your particular concerns are, and how we might help you to get to the level of health you desire and the options available to achieve that.

Our goal is to assist you in the best ways we can to assure your teeth and gums stay healthy, strong, and comfortable, and your smile full and bright. We want your oral health to have a positive influence on your total health, and to contribute to your long and healthy life and your sense of well being.