Comprehensive Oral Exams Procedure

If you are a new patient, the comprehensive examination you receive from Dr. Stephen K. Malone or Dr. Michael J. Costa, Jr. may be unlike any you have received before. Your dentist wants to learn about you as a unique individual and to examine you in such a way that you can discover together the aspects of your teeth, gums, and overall oral health and appearance that can be improved. Together, you and your dentist will gain valuable insights as you talk about your past dental experiences and what you want for yourself.

Our clinical examination is interactive with you-a time of co-discovery.

Our team listens to your dental concerns and treatment preferences to help you achieve your oral health goals. Our complete clinical examination for new patients-and during regular annual checkups for existing patients, will be a co-discovery, interactive exam, accomplished with your help and input. To reach a complete understanding of your present state of oral health, our dentist will perform a comprehensive examination to evaluate the current condition of your teeth, gums, bone, and other oral structures, including how your chewing muscles and joints work and how your teeth bite together. Our dentist also will gather information about how these individual components work together as one unit to identify ways we can improve the aesthetics and function of your smile. 

The dentist who examines you will check for indicators of dental decay, disease, damage, and wear; periodontal disease; temporomandibular joint (TMD/TMJ) health and related muscle comfort or tenderness; malocclusion (poor fitting of the teeth together or “bite”); oral cancer; and more. Dr. Malone or Dr. Costa will also evaluate the condition of any existing restorations (such as dental crowns, fillings, bridges, implants, dentures, or dental bonding. 

Our digital technology improves patient comfort, visualization of your oral health, and the accuracy of your dental records.

Using our digital technology, your dentist will take you on a visual tour of your mouth to discuss each point of health and cosmetic concern. Depending on the last time we recorded x-rays using the latest digital technologies, scans or photo images-and changes in your mouth, your dentist may recommend that a set of one or more of these types of digital records be updated.

After the clinical portion of your exam, the next step is individualized.

Your dentist will be actively listening for your questions, concerns, and opinions.

Time will be taken to address them. After the examination, before advising you on treatment, your examining dentist may take time to study all of the gathered information and form a thoughtful plan that addresses your concerns and any uncovered health problems. You will benefit from our practice having two dentists who can confer and collaborate on dental cases, providing the input of two knowledgeable and skilled clinicians.

When you have an urgent need, perhaps, a painful tooth, we will offer you immediate treatment. When need for restorative treatment is discovered at a comprehensive dental exam and the restoration is not urgent, you will be invited to schedule a subsequent appointment. This way, we can schedule you appropriately for the care you need and give both you and the dentist time to discuss options and prepare to best proceed with treatment that meets your goals and objectives.

Do you suffer from dental anxiety or a gag reflex?

We are a partner in you achieving oral health. We want you to feel in control. We encourage you to speak freely about your questions, concerns, and preferences. If you have a severe gag reflex or high dental anxiety, we can make you comfortable with oral moderate sedation. If you suffer from light dental anxiety, we can practice relaxation techniques and also hand signals that will inform us at times when you feel stressed and need a break. We offer this for all dental services-no matter how routine or how complex. You are a special person deserving of a relaxed, comfortable appointment. If you are coming to us as a new patient, tell us about your desire for relaxation assistance when you call to schedule your first appointment. In this situation, we may schedule you for only a preclinical consultation on your first visit, and then do a sedated comprehensive examination at a second appointment.

You are a unique and special person deserving of the finest dental care.

Dr. Stephen K. Malone, Dr. Michael J. Costa, Jr., and our entire dental practice team promise to get you know you and provide care for you as the unique individual that you are. We’ll give you the full time and attention we believe all our patients deserve. If you live in the Knoxville area, we invite you to call our Knoxville, TN office today to schedule your comprehensive examination and oral health evaluation-with a preclinical consultation and comprehensive clinical exam.

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