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A Dentist’s Blueprint for your Smile 123

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Step 1 Medical History Review

Check for medical issues that may impact your oral health and share with your dentist at your first appointment. Do you have high blood pressure, diabetes or asthma? Do you have chronic inflammatory disease like arthritis? Do you have an eating disorder? Do you have sleep apnea? Do you smoke? Do you use medications that lead to a dry mouth? Do you have artificial joints(knees, hips, heart valves) ? Do you take blood thinners or oral bisphosphonates? Are you taking a thyroid supplement? Do you have a seizure disorder? Are you pregnant or going through menopause? Are you being treated for cancer with radiation or chemotx? Do you have any history of chemical dependency or alcohol addiction? Do you have kidney or liver disease? Do you chew tobacco? Do you have history of trauma? Do you have history of surgeries? Do you have psychological issues? Are you taking any prescription drugs or supplements? Are you allergic to any medications?

Step 2 Comprehensive Clinical Exam

A dentist must physically evaluate you from the outside of the oral cavity to the inside of the oral cavity. Starting with the extra-oral exam, the dentist will note any asymmetries in face, condition of face, piercings, joint range of motion and joint noises, position of lips at rest and during speech. The lymph nodes and muscles of mastication are also checked. The inside of soft tissues: cheeks, gums, palate, floor of mouth oropharynx are examined closely too. The gums are thoroughly analyzed with six point periodontal probings on each tooth in the entire mouth and areas of receding gums or loose teeth are identified. Finally the teeth (exterior and interior) are inspected with a dental explorer and radiographs. Are any of your teeth discolored, missing, fractured, or malposed? Are there any crossbites present? Are the restorations intact? Are there any appliances? Are the appliances fitting well? Are brackets attached to teeth? Are there any abnormalities in radiographs?

Step 3 Treatment Plan

The dentist will treat most serious dental issues first; any area that is causing pain,infection,etc must be fixed to get you out of pain. Then once pain is relieved, your dentist can address other restorative issues such as cavities and gum problems. Then cosmetic options like veneers or braces can be discussed and pursued. Finally, the maintenance phase can be established to keep your smile in great shape. This involves returning to the dentist for semi-annual check-ups every 3,4 or 6 months depending on your periodontal condition. This unique blueprint for your smile 123 is a customized treatment plan for a great foundation to keep your oral health in optimal condition.

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