What is a Comprehensive Exam: Scottsdale Dentist

When establishing yourself as a new patient at a dental office, the very first visit you’ll experience is a “Comprehensive Exam.” This is the first time you’ve ever been on their schedule!

The key of Comprehensive Exam is to get to know you as a dental patient. Also, you should get to know your dentist and office! Typically, you will receive a panoramic X-ray to evaluate your whole mouth. Next, a set of Bitewing X-rays will determine the need for fillings, root canals, or crowns. A hygienist will then complete “perio charting” to physically check your gum health. Your dental assistants may take photos of you and within your mouth for more diagnostic material. Read our blog about the different types of dental X-Rays here:

Afterwards, your dentist will meet you face to face during your first appointment. They will give you a physical exam, gently exploring your oral health. For your dentist to gain key information about you, your medical history and previous dental experiences will be reviewed.

Looking for that perfect dentist? Read the American Dental Associations guide to picking the perfect one:

Are Dental X-Rays Safe – Scottsdale Dentist

Dental X-Rays provide a precise diagnosis of your dental problems. Also, with procedures such as “crown seats” or “root canals,” X-Rays ensure that your treatment was completed successfully. With the technology available today, X-rays are the safest they have ever been. Four X-Rays use about the same amount of radiation that is in your banana.

Though small amounts of radiation pass through dental X-rays, offices still follow ALARA: “As Low As Reasonable Achievable” when performing any treatment.

There are a few different types of X-Rays that you’ll receive in a dental office, depending on your treatment.

Panoramic X-Rays: A 3D “panoramic” image of your whole mouth, jaw bones, sinuses, and neck.

Bitewings: X-Rays designed to focus on the crowns of your teeth, to help diagnose cavities and deep pockets.

PA’s: Single X-Ray films designed to focus on a specific area of the mouth, such as a painful tooth.

Dentists are switching to a technology called Nomad X-ray technology. Unlike your typical big X-ray heads where the assistant leaves the room while operating, they are handheld and expose you to even less radiation than before.

Dental professionals take every precaution to limit your exposure to radiation. Every patient receives a lead vest for each X-Ray.

It is important to let your dentist, hygienist, and assistant know of all of your medical changes, such as pregnancy. When pregnant, it is important to limit radiation as much as possible or get medical clearance from an OBYGN. Pregnant patients with a medical clearance can still receive X-Rays for treatment, with a different protective vest to protect both the patient and fetus.

If you have questions regarding children getting X-rays, here is a brochure made by dental and medical professionals:


What to Look for in a Dental Practice: Scottsdale Dentist

Choosing the right dental practice can be daunting with so many offices to choose from. It is important to keep in mind what factors are important to you when trusting a dentist and staff with your dental care.

Find out their values.

All dental offices have a mission statement in their practice. The mission statement should be posted or easily available to you to look over. On the main page of a dental office’s website, there should be key information to define themselves to you. Also look for videos from the doctor or staff!

Check out their social media and website.

Find out what your future dental office does besides dentistry? Are they active within the community? Do they seem friendly? Social media accounts provide an excellent window into the actual culture of a practice and it is posted for you to see! A great dental office frequently posts about not only dentistry, but about the livelihood of their practice. If you interact with these posts, a great dental practice should almost immediately reach out to you!

See if your insurance is covered there.

If insurance is a factor in your dental office decision, you may call and ask if your insurance is covered, or check the dental office’s website. Some offices bill all insurances, regardless of them being “in network” with them or not, so keep this in mind if you end up preferring an office that isn’t “in network” with your insurance, because you may still receive worthwhile benefits.

Read reviews.

Reviews are the newest and easiest way to learn if a dental office is worth your visit. Communities thrive when word-of-mouth referrals exist, so reading reviews from people in your area will help you better understand the practice you’re looking into. If a dental office has stellar reviews from multiple people – it’s safe to say that the office prides itself in great work. You could even reach out to the reviewers and ask them for their honest feedback.

Learn about the dentist(s).

Learning about your dentist is just as important as learning about the dental office. On the dental office’s website, you can read about the dentist(s) working at your office of choice. Dentists should include credentialing, a bit of their personality, and their mission as a provider.

See what services they offer.

Before choosing a dental office, it is important to consider what services they offer and if they align with what you’re looking for. Do you suffer from anxiety or fear of the dentist? Gag reflex? If so, make sure that the office can cater to your comfort through oral or IV sedation. Also, most dental offices aren’t specialized in full mouth rehab/transformations and bigger procedures, like implants. Double check by calling or checking out their website that the office can cater to your needs.

Search for any local ads.

If you need to save money, look in the local ad papers to see if they have new patient specials or specials on procedures you may need done. Looking at the dental office’s advertisements also gives you a look into how they stage their practice to look to the public. Is it the type of practice you see yourself receiving treatment from?

Visit for a comprehensive appointment.

If you have narrowed your search for the right dental office down to one or two, schedule a comprehensive appointment! A comprehensive appointment is a full check-up done by the dentist so that he can diagnose any problems you may have and meet you personally for a one-on-one appointment. This is your chance to actually sit in the dental chair and see your dentist and dental office in action for your treatment and their first impression on you. First impressions COUNT, so pay close attention to their care.

Ask questions!

During this whole process, don’t be afraid to call and ask questions, as well as ask questions during your comprehensive appointment. A great dental office should happily help you through the process of gaining you as a new patient. Also, your dentist should thoroughly answer any of your questions!

Use these tips to find your best dental office ever. It is important to find an office that cares about your customer service experience, treatment experience, and overall satisfaction!

Oral Health Check and Living Longer: Scottsdale Dentist

Living our best years possible is what everyone wants. Believe it or not, oral health can positively impact your aging process.

Regularly visiting the dentist can make your life longer, happier, and more enjoyable. The mouth needs as much care as the heart, lungs, and brain.

Research shows that taking care of your mouth has several benefits: less toxicity and inflammation throughout the body and heart, resistance to dementia, and more.

Visiting your dentist regularly will improve your life and simply keep you healthier for years of enjoyment to come.

Contact us today to schedule a check up for dental health, oral health, and more.