We get the question all the time: "Are you accepting new patients?" The answer is, "Yes, of course we are!" We are always happy to welcome new patients, sometimes we can accommodate you quickly and sometimes we need to book you out a little further to give you your preferred time and make sure we allot enough time on the schedule to give you our undivided attention and be everything we can be to you at that time. We are not a cookie cutter office. No two patients are treated exactly the same. The only thing we can guarantee from patient to patient is that our approach is heartfelt, individualized, informative and unique.
So what can you expect from your new patient appointment? We generally will furnish you with our new patient paperwork in advance of your appointment so on the day of your treatment we can spend the entire allotted time servicing you as our patient. Our paperwork is also available in office should you prefer to fill it out prior to your scheduled appointment time in office.
Former x-rays can be sent to us. If not diagnostic or of the quality we need to evaluate you properly, or even if out of date, we will take our own for our records. Although they are technically our records, should you move or need a copy we are very happy to provide you with that.
We always start with our baseline image, our Panoramic image. It is not a descriptive xray but gives us an overview of your oral condition with limited radiation. Nikki, our chairside assistant makes sure to drape you with our lead apron and explain this image. Dr. Fufidio then reviews and interprets it with you and lets you know which xrays are neccessary after that. Most times it is either the following: i. A series of 4 screening xrays that are updated at your check up appointments. This are most telling of cavities between the teeth. ii. A series of the 4 aforementioned and maybe 1 or 2 additional xrays of key teeth that have had root canals or large fillings and/or crowns. These are to monitor for re-infection or early signs of infection. iii. The full series of radiographs. It is 18 in our office and shows us the bone levels, multiple angles of the teeth and are required by some insurances to help offset the cost of dental treatment. The radiation in our office is minimal because we have the most up to date technology and we monitor our exposure. Even around this radiation daily it is equivalent to watching tv so no need to worry!
From here we take a series of regular pictures. Close up ones of the teeth because seeing is believing. We really need to be able to show you what we see and educate you on your oral condition. Even if you have beautiful, perfect teeth, let's show you it! Embrace it!
Dr. Fufidio performs a head and neck exam on every single patient to screen their face and lips for skin pigmentation, screen the lymph nodes for any areas of concern and this includes those of the neck and the floor of the mouth, checks the jaw joint and the muscles of the face, head and neck. She performs an oral cancer screening assessing the floor of the mouth, sides of the tongue and all the soft tissues of the mouth. She naturally examines the teeth and couples what she sees in the mouth with the xrays for a complete examination and evaluates the gums for gum health by performing 6 point periodontal probing around each tooth. She assesses for any mobility to the teeth, any interference in your bite and anticipates any potential problems you may have years and decades from now considering the information she has in front of her. She works to clean you up, demonstrate how to properly brush and floss with the help of her chairside assistant, Nikki. Together they polish your teeth to leave your sparkling and then apply a fluoride varnish to stay on the teeth for a couple hours to deliver a professional grade dose in the patients that are moderate to high risk of decay or show signs and symptoms of gum disease. At the finish Dr. Fufidio will officially declare at what interval professional care is recommended. This is usually every 6 months, in some instances patients need to see us more often to keep the gums healthiest and if so makes sure to explain why we will see you sooner!
Services for this appointment are all sent to your insurance, except for in a few instances and we make sure to cover that with you if that be the case and if any other treatment is needed we naturally take the time to explain what is needed and why and of course, cover the finances!
We feel you can't go wrong with our new patient experience, but we may be a little bit biased! We hope to see you soon and welcome you to Katy Trail Dental!