The importance of diagnosis

January 15, 2013

I’m a geek.  A real, down to the bone and proud of it geek and here is why

Why I'm proud to be a geek

 

I’m really passionate about what I do.  I just love helping people get the smile of their dreams and a very big part of that is diagnosis.  It’s not just a quick look at your teeth and gums, it’s a full diagnosis to ensure we can give you the very best results.

Diagnosis starts with listening

I need to understand what you desires are.  Everyone is different, so without listening to what you want to achieve I can’t really do much.  We ensure that we spend as much time as we need so we can truly understand your goals and desires

Jaw joint, muscle and ligament examination

To me, this part of your examination is very critical.  Without knowing the health of your jaw joint and the muscles we are really guessing as to the potential outcome of your treatment.  I listen carefully to your jaw sounds with a stethoscope, press on the associated muscles on the side of your face, back of your head, neck and into your shoulders.  Jaw joint and muscle problems can impact on everything from headaches and migraines to the success of cosmetic work.

Cosmetic facial analysis

My mentor in the US teaches a method known as facially generated treatment planning.  This is an incredibly comprehensive examination of your face and bone structure to make sure whatever we do for you suits YOU.  This means you can rest assured that you won’t have a ‘cookie cutter’ type approach where everyone ends up with the same smile.  Whats suits one person will not suit the next.

Oral cancer screening

We always ensure to screen your soft tissues to make sure there is no signs of oral cancer.  This is a very important part of our examination and we repeat it regularly for our patients.

Tooth wear patterns

Tooth wear can tell us anything from why your teeth and fillings keep breaking to why you keep getting headaches and migraines and whether you have any acid erosion problems.  Tooth wear in early stages can be easily managed, in advanced stages it can be much more difficult to manage.  It is important to make sure that we diagnose this accurately so that we can make sure your new smile lasts as long as possible.

Gum health and potential problems

It’s not as basic as healthy vs unhealthy gums.  There are certain gum types which are much more prone to problems such as gum disease and recession.  Not only do I evaluate the health of your gums, I also assess any potential problems to intercept and deal with these early to improve predictably.  Part of this part of your consultation is seeing if your gums have receded and if so why they have done that.  We also check for bleeding gums or loose teeth which is a sign of potentially serious problems.

Mechanics

There are a number of areas to assess here, whether you have the right number of teeth, whether your teeth and fillings are showing signs or wear or breaking, how healthy your muscles are, whether there are any long term problems building which may accelerate tooth loss and end up in dentures.

Mechanics are critically important, after all it’s partly what our mouth is made for, to eat!

Cosmetics

Your cosmetic evaluation is very in depth, looking at a wide range of parameters from tooth position, tooth size, tooth colour, tooth angulation, tooth number, overall position of your smile in relation to your lips, gum cosmetics, existing dental work and how natural it looks and much more.  I then reference this to everything above so I can start to build a picture of what needs to be done.

Implant assessment

When I assess for implants, whether that’s a single tooth to a full jaw so you can get rid of your dentures, we assess a wide variety of things including all of the above so we can make sure your new, rock solid teeth not only function well but look as natural as possible

It’s because of the above I’m proud to be a geek

 


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