Revamping our New Patient and Current Patient Examinations

Forman Dental is proud to introduce our new examination format for both new patients and current patients who are due for an update.

As with all industries, technology and knowledge are always changing to make things more efficient, effective and longer lasting. Dentistry is no different and we are looking forward to using the most up to date information to keep our patients healthier for longer.

Our goal is the help our patients need less dentistry and fewer dental procedures especially as they move into their older years. As in the past we do this by evaluating our patients for current problems that require more immediate attention but also for subtle changes that forecast potential future problems.

The masticatory or chewing system is made up of a) the jaw joints that must move freely and comfortably, b) muscles that should function without pain and with equal pressure on both sides and c) teeth that contact evenly on both sides with slightly more pressure in the back than the front. All three pieces must work in sync or the system starts to break down resulting in deterioration of the joint, pain in the muscles or wear, cracking and loosening of the teeth.

Our new examination approaches our patients from the outside to the inside:

  1. Esthetics – Are the teeth in the correct position and are they the correct shape? (We make note of the color as well). Esthetics is not first because of our overwhelming concern about our patients looking great. In fact, it is the opposite. Our goal is to ensure our patients function properly. Form follows function meaning that when things function properly they tend to look the way the should. Thus, nice esthetics is a side-effect of proper function and will give clues as to whether the system is not function properly.
  2. Function/Bite – The way the teeth fit together and rub against each other. Teeth do not have to fit perfectly. Some bites are more likely to predispose future problems than others. Clicking/popping joints, painful muscles or an increasing rate of tooth wear, cracking or loosening are signs the that the chewing system is out of balance.
  3. Structure – Tooth material. Are teeth strong and supported or at risk of breaking? Are fillings well sealed and functioning well? Are teeth missing meaning that other teeth are under heavier load? Are cavities present?
  4. Biology - In this section we look at the condition of gums and bone supporting the teeth.
  5. Airway – Assessment for signs of sleep disorder breathing. Our sleep medicine colleagues have taught us that there are multiple signs in the mouth that be indicators of poor airflow while sleeping which can affect overall health. We understand that poor breathing at night is a major factor relating to teeth grinding at night and can severely affect the status of the “teeth” part of the chewing system.

As we work through your examination appointment which is approximately 90 minutes for adults we will perform the following procedures and assessments.

  • Update medical history including blood pressure screening
  • Assess dental concerns
  • Head and neck cancer screening
  • Intraoral soft tissue cancer screening
  • X-rays based on your needs
  • Photos
  • Joints
  • Muscles
  • Bite
  • Airway
  • Teeth
  • Gums

One of the significant additions to or examination process is the routine use of photos to aid in diagnosis as well as documentation. In the past photos were taken only when it was deemed necessary.

Photos allow us to see things that we cannot see easily directly in the mouth allowing for a more thorough assessment of the teeth as well as the functional aspect of our exam.

This examination approach allows us to be as thorough as possible for our patients. We invite patients choose the level of care that is best for them. We understand that this approach is not for everyone and recommend it to our patients who want our assessment or their oral condition to be at the very highest level regardless of desire for treatment. Our hygienists are trained to ensure all patients are up to date with their examinations and when conditions indicate an exam would be beneficial.

Patients who are interested in learning what is happening in their mouth (in addition to discussion alone) will be given an opportunity to view their photos with Dr. Forman at a separate appointment (so that they can be put into an easily viewed format) at no additional cost. Your interest in your mouth is the payment and Dr. Forman feels this is the most fun part of dentistry and extremely excited to do what he calls a “mouth tour”!!

If you feel you would benefit from an exam please call our office to set up and appointment or ask about an exam at your next appointment.