Your First Visit

On your first visit, you should plan on arriving about 10 minutes prior to your appointment time to fill out paperwork. You may help yourself to our coffee/tea bar while filling out the necessary information.  Your examination will include evaluation of your teeth, mastication muscles, gum and periodontium health, joint, as well as possible sinus evaluation, breathing and sleeping evaluation, and your oral hygiene.  We may work with other dental colleagues, your medical team (cardiologists, ENT, pain doctors, etc), and providers such as chiropractors, phyical therapists, and accupuncturists dependent on your individual needs.

After appropriate imaging (radiographs), we will perform an examination to determine the health status of your chewing, smiling, and kissing organ, your mouth. The examination may include photos, models, or bite analysis dependent on the biomechanical signs we see in your teeth.  We are looking for structure failures such as cracked teeth, worn teeth, gumline caves (abfraction).  Other signs may include headaches, popping sounds in the ear, ringing in the ear, or a "bulldog" shaped head indicating increased muscle squeezing capacity. 

A thorough questioning of headaches, muscle palpation, and TMJ evaluation will be performed.  All the data will be recorded then matched with the signs of the teeth to determine if the biomechanics are in balance.  Biomechanics are important for the structure of your teeth holding up for a lifetime.  They are also important for muscle and joint health of the head and neck.  They are important for implant longevity as well.

The bacteriologic examination of your mouth includes looking for decay,(aka cavities, caries), gum disease (gingivitis), or periodontal disease (foundation infection.)  When the foundation of a house is not sound it puts the structure, or house at risk.  When the foundation of your mouth (bone) is infected, it puts all of your teeth at risk.  As an added bonus, it also puts our hearts at risk.  Periodontal disease is a strong risk factor for heart disease.  Literature studies have determined it a direct and indirect risk factor.  While that debate goes on at Universities, the remainder of us understand an infection anywhere in the body is not a good thing.  Diabetes, strokes, and pre-term low birth-weight babies have also been linked to foundation infections within the mouth, called periodontal disease..

Cavities should be dealt with swiftly because our as time continues, our tooth structure continues to decay from the inside toward outside.  By the time "cavities" hurt, they have progressed to the hollow portion of the tooth called "the pulp chamber."  This holds a nerve, which is why it hurts.  The treatment for a cavity is a filling.  The treatment for a "cavity" that reaches the "pulp chamber," is a root canal.  Fluoride remineralizes teeth after bacteria begin a cavity by initiating a demineralization process.  Xylitol is a sugar alcohol made from Birch trees. It is effective agent to destroy the bacteria that are primaryily responsible for cavities. 

Gingivitis sign is bleeding gums.  Poor gum health TYPICALLY results from lack of hygiene.  Daily floss and brush (2 minutes twice daily) typically reverses it very quickly.  Nutrition plays a part.  Vitamin C should not be minimized nor should a healhty balanced diet.  Long range plans to improve gum health may include orthodontics (invisalign or braces) to improve hygiene.  Crowded teeth are typically harder to clean, relatively. 

An oral cancer screening will be performed and will be performed at each hygiene appointment.   Another reason why hygiene appointments are important.  It is not "just a cleaning" in our office.  

After diagnosing your gums, we appoint the appropriate cleaning.  A maintenance schedule is then suggested based on the current recommendations of the American Academy of Periodontics evidence based literature.  Those recommendations are an evidence-based approach to maintain the health of your gums and foundation for oral health.

Dr. Heimbach will be available for any questions.  If you are the typical healthy patient that has seen a dentist every 6 months your entire life, you will probably be placed on typical 6 month maintenance schedule because you never let disease take over.  However, if your needs are greater (no judgement), we may organize all the data to determine which options may work best, and speak with you after your cleaning.  Dr. Heimbach is a restorative doctor and surgical doctor of dental medicine, trained to handle most phases of care within your mouth including cosmetics, crowns, implants, implant-supported dentures, root canals, bone grafting, sinus grafting, fillings, gum surgeries,  and offers intravenous conscious sedation (widely considered safer than oral conscious sedation.)  You will be provided a good amount of time to discuss the different directions of care.  Our office manager jessie, can help appoint your care as well as making financial arrangements for you.