We ask that you complete your new patient forms a few days before your scheduled appointment.
Completing this information prior to your appointment allows our stellar front desk team time to request and receive information from previous dental offices or medical providers and verify dental insurance benefit information, which makes your appointment run smoothly.
For your first appointment, you can expect to be in the office approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. We reserve this length of time since we collect quite a bit of information at this appointment. This information helps us with accurate diagnoses and establishes a baseline for gum health, occlusion and jaw function. This also helps Dr. Baker and our hygienist determine what type of cleaning is appropriate for your individual circumstances. Since this is something we can’t know before your appointment, we ask that you plan to come back for your cleaning. (This applies to adults and often teenagers; many children usually under the age of 12 will be able to have their cleaning at the same appointment.)
After checking in with the front desk, you will meet one of our hard-working dental assistants who will help you navigate your appointment. They will take a series of photographs of your teeth and mouth, which help Dr. Baker in future case planning.
Adults will also have a CBCT or 3D image of their upper and lower jaw including sinuses, TMJ and upper airway. This digital x-ray allows Dr. Baker to check for infection, failed root canals, areas of ischemic or necrotic bone (commonly called cavitations) or other problems with the teeth and bone, but also shows the jaw joint and even helps him evaluate your upper airway space.
In addition to the CBCT, you will have a full series of digital x-rays. These show all of the teeth and help Dr. Baker see decay and check bone levels.
A salivary test will be performed, which measures 7 indicators of oral health in the saliva including acidity, cariogenic (cavity-causing)) bacteria buffer capacity, blood, leukocytes, protein and ammonia.
Did you know that as many as 10 million Americans suffer from a TMJ disorder? Our very talented assistant will also perform a series of diagnostic tests to evaluate the function of your temporomandibular joint. Not only can these diagnostic tests help identify problems with the jaw joint, but are useful in planning orthodontics as well.
These tests include:
This device closely maps the position of your lower jaw as you open and close your mouth. We can measure how far your jaw “swerves” to the side on opening and closing, which can help pinpoint where potential problems may be.
JVA (Joint Vibrational Analysis)
This device worn just over the joint will measure and record vibrations in the joint when opening and closing. This can help diagnose degeneration or displacement of the disc in the jaw joint.
EMG measures the electrical activity in the muscles of the jaw and face and can help identify abnormal muscle activity.
The TScan is a computerized device which measures the bite force on every tooth during function. Not only can this help with treatment of TMJ symptoms, it is also useful in treating periodontal disease, placing crowns, bridges and implants. It can even be helpful in diagnosing toothaches!
Following these tests, one of your very knowledgeable registered dental hygienists will step into the room to thoroughly evaluate your periodontal health. Your hygienist will measure the depth of the pockets around each of your teeth, check for abnormal bleeding and evaluate bone levels on your x-rays. This information is necessary to check for periodontal disease, which affects almost 50% of adults over 30 (the rate of periodontal disease also increases with age). Untreated periodontal disease has been linked in scientific studies to increased risk of heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease and premature birth/low birth weight among other things. With the information gathered by your hygienist, the best type of cleaning for you can be determined, which allows us to schedule the appropriate amount of time.
Your appointment wouldn’t be complete without a thorough examination with Dr. Baker. Along with an oral cancer screening and clinical evaluation of your mouth. Dr. Baker will review your imaging and test results so he can have a discussion with you about treatment options and plans.
At the conclusion of your appointment, you’ll come full circle-heading back to our front office team to review your treatment plans and schedule your next appointments.
One of our passions is education-we encourage you to ask questions at any time during your appointment! If questions come up after you leave the office, we’d love for you to call us or email your questions and we’ll be happy to help.