Your new patient examination is the most important appointment you will ever have with us. It is where we take the time to diagnose any issues you maybe having and it is the foundation of your treatment plan and one of the cornerstones of our dental ethos, ( You can read more about it here). Without the correct diagnosis the best surgeon in the world will struggle to help you.
We like our new patient examinations to take a bit longer than most dental practices and we will be looking at more than just your teeth. The food you eat the drinks you drink, the lifestyle you lead can all have a massive influence on your oral health, equally there is increasing evidence that the health of your gums has a big impact on your general health. We look at all the factors in determining what dental issues you may have, it’s a comprehensive assessment aimed at providing you long term oral health.
If you haven’t already, then it would definitely be worth taking a moment to read the review our patients have written here.
We have two lovely dentists at The Natural Smile so you have a choice of who to see. Dr Nicola Bone is the practice principle and the founder of the Natural Smile she has a wealth of experience in all types of Dentistry but particularly in using biocompatible materials. Dr Mei-An Hoe is our associate dentist with a wide range of experience and skills, she is currently working under Nicola’s mentorship.
Both our dentists use the same materials and techniques; there is a difference in the fees they charge to reflect the differences in their experience. You can read more about our dentists and the whole team here and have a look at our fee guide here.
New patient examination, what to expect.
The whole examination will take between 1 hour 15 and 1 hour 30. (for the up-to-date costs please see the fee guide here) During that time we will:
- Take your medical history: to make sure that we will be able to treat you safely.
- Undertake a risk assessment for your teeth based on your lifestyle, diet and other factors. In most cases this will be with our treatment co-ordinator.
- Take some radiographs (aka x-rays), unless you have some recent ones that you can send to us.
- Take some pictures of your face and the inside of your mouth.
- Undertake an oral cancer screen, this is specifically looking for any signs or oral cancer in your mouth.
- Examine the health of your teeth and gums
- Discuss with you any issues or concerns you may have or any aspirations for treatment.
- Discuss the findings of the examination with you, so you have an understanding what we have found and to give you an idea of any treatment that might be required.
- Discuss with you the payment plan options you have for spreading the cost of your routine appointments and saving money on any treatments you may need. (This will usually be done by the treatment coordinator or the receptionist.)
After your new patient examination if you require treatment, the dentist will prepare a thorough treatment plan based on all of the information gathered at the examination*, we will aim to get that to you within two weeks. We will also send you some leaflets which give useful information and advice specific to your dental needs, these usually get to you within a week.
Our treatment co-ordinator will aim to call you a week after you have received your treatment plan to talk through any questions you may have and from here we can book you a treatment appointment. Alternatively if you have further questions, you can book an appointment with our treatment co-ordinator to discuss the plan in more detail.
*in some extremely complex cases we may need to call you back for an extended consultation, we will discuss this with you.
We understand that for some patients coming to the dentist can be a very difficult thing to do. In our experience the most frequent cause of dental anxiety is having had a bad experience at the dentist, particularly in childhood.
Whatever the cause of your anxiety, we will help you manage it. We always devise our treatment plans with a gradual incremental approach, starting with simple easy appointments and building up slowly until you are more confident. We combine this method with relaxation techniques, centred on breathing.
In the vast majority of cases, in fact everyone we have dealt with over the years, this approach works even if you are extremely nervous. We do offer conscious sedation (essentially taking medicine to help you relax), but this would normally only be an option for more complex surgical treatments. Again we would encourage you look at the Google reviews from our patients as many of them probably began as anxious as you are now!
You are also welcome to come and see the practice to get a feel for it and see how nice we are before you come for any appointments. To do this please call us and ask for an appointment with our treatment co-ordinator.