We always welcome new patients to our practice at Total Dental Care.
We are proud to serve people in Guntersville, Albertville, Arab and the surrounding areas, and to provide a convenient location for complete dental services.
There are two primary ways you can enter our practice:
- Complete exam, x-rays and cleanings with the hygienist and doctor; OR
- Limited exam with the doctor, usually dealing with an immediate concern or problem
When you call for an appointment, our team will ask you what type of issue you're having so they can determine who to schedule you with for your first visit.
Complete Exam With Hygienist
- Hygienist will examine and assess gum health, and check for gum disease
- Take and analyze two types of x-rays (bite-wing and panoramic), which allow us to detect any tooth decay, bone loss, abscesses, tumors, cysts and other problems.
- Perform a visual and tactile examination for oral cancer
- Verify the stability of any existing fillings or other restorations.
- The doctor will then review your x-rays and perform a comprehensive exam of your entire mouth. He will inform you of all findings and make treatment recommendations. He will also perform an enhanced oral cancer screening using the VELscope technology, if you elect to have it.
- In most cases, the hygienist will then scale and polish your teeth at the same visit, time permitting.
Please allow approximately 1½ hours for this initial visit. If you must reschedule, please provide at least 48-hours notice.
Do I Really Need Xrays? I'm Not Having Any Problems
The x-rays taken during the exam are important because the majority of problems with your teeth and jawbone are not visible to the naked eye. The x-rays provide a more accurate look at what is really going on inside your mouth, below your teeth and gums. This allows us to check for any bone loss and determine the severity of any possible gum disease. In addition to revealing any hidden problems, these x-rays will also provide Dr. Harper, Dr. George and Dr. Baker a benchmark for comparison during your future visits. Xrays are a necessary part of any new patient exam.
Limited Exam With Doctor
The doctor's assistant will take an x-ray of the tooth or teeth that are causing you concern. The doctor will review your x-ray(s), then perform an exam of the limited area that you have asked us to look at today. He will let you know his findings and offer any treatment recommendations. We can sometimes provide the needed treatment the same day, depending on the complexity of what you need.