What to Expect as a New Patient
Your first visit here at Rushmore Dental in Rapid City will typically consist of a cleaning, an examination, and a review of your treatment options. If you accept treatment, we can begin with that treatment immediately. However, a complex medical history or treatment plan may require a further evaluation and a second appointment. We’ll make sure to accommodate your schedule.
Gather Necessary Information Beforehand
Discussing your family history may not be the first thing you think of when scheduling your dental appointment, but being familiar with your family’s medical history allows us to better care for your oral and overall health.
Like many other conditions such as heart disease and certain forms of cancer, periodontal disease has strong genetic ties that can run in your family. Knowing your family’s medical history can help the dentist keep an eye out for oral health issues such as gum disease or other conditions which present symptoms in the mouth, such as diabetes.
Aside from gathering any relevant personal or family medical information, be sure to review your dental insurance benefits as you prepare for your appointment. Knowing your level of coverage will help you understand what costs will be associated with your care. If you have any questions about using your dental insurance in our practice or if you would like information about paying for care without insurance, give us a call!
To help your visit go as smoothly as possible, please come prepared with the following information:
- X-rays from previous dental practices
- A list of any or all medications that you’re presently prescribed and taking
- Your dental insurance information
- Patient forms filled out
Having this prepared and ready for your appointment will save you time and allow us to make your first visit the very best experience.
What Happens During Your Appointment?
Although this varies from patient to patient based on their individual needs, a dental check-up generally consists of a professional cleaning, a comprehensive dental examination, and potentially X-rays.
How frequently you need dental X-rays relies largely on your medical and dental history, your age, and your current oral health. New-patient examinations often include X-rays as well.
If required, dental X-rays are generally taken at the beginning of your dental appointment. Dental X-rays allow us to detect and diagnose tooth decay between teeth, on hard-to-reach surfaces, and under existing dental work. X-rays can even be helpful in identifying dental and orthodontic issues that exist beneath the gum line.
Once it’s time for your cleaning, the dentist or hygienist uses a small metal instrument known as a scaler to scrape off tartar above and below the gum line and in between teeth. Next, they polish your teeth using a polishing tool and a lightly abrasive paste to deep clean your pearly whites and remove any tartar left behind after the previous step. Last but not least, they’ll finish your cleaning with a thorough flossing.
After your teeth are clean, the dentist will perform a comprehensive oral examination to ensure your oral health is in tip-top shape. They will:
- Examine your teeth for signs of decay
- Check for gum swelling and redness, and measure the depth of your gingival pockets to check for signs of periodontal disease
- Test how your top and bottom teeth come together and check for signs of teeth grinding or other potential orthodontic issues
- Examine your neck, lymph glands, and oral cavity for signs of oral cancer
- Based on your exam, we’ll discuss any necessary treatment recommendations and offer helpful tips on how to improve your oral hygiene before your next appointment.
We Look Forward to Seeing You for Your First Visit!
We’re so excited to see you. If you have any questions, please call or send us an email.
You can learn more about our practice by checking our business page, and make sure to get directions before you head to Our Rapid City office!