Finding a new dental office can often be a challenge. Fortunately, South Hill Periodontics in Spokane, Washington can satisfy all your dental needs. The following will provide you with an overview of what to expect from your first visit to our dental office.
It can be easy to forget when you scheduled a periodontics appointment but now we're able to remind you with an Appointment Reminder via email or text message. And if it's your first visit, we'll be happy to provide driving directions. Just click on the link below to let us know how you'd like to be contacted. Please print, sign, and bring this with you on your next appointment. We'll do the rest!
Appointment Reminder Consent Form
Release of Records Form
Download the Release of Records Consent form. Please print, sign, and bring this with you on your next appointment.
You have the option of completing the new patient paperwork prior to your first appointment to ensure an expedient visit. Click the following link to download our new patient forms:
What to Expect at Your First Appointment
As a leading dental care provider in Washington, we offer a range of affordable, high-quality dental services - from routine to complex procedures. Our trusted and knowledgeable dental specialists and staff use the latest technologies and techniques to deliver the services you need in a caring, comfortable environment.
Contact South Hill Periodontics in Spokane, Washington at (509) 536-7032 for more information on what to expect at your first appointment or continue reading below!
Smile and Relax
Let’s face it… few things are more tedious than the process of scheduling and attending an appointment, dental or otherwise. That’s why we promise to make you comfortable, treat you with the utmost respect, and help you get on with your day. We pride ourselves on being friendly, understanding people who know what you are going through, and we promise to support you every step of the way!
What Happens at My First Visit?
First, you should schedule a specialty appointment (online, over the phone, or in-person) or request a referral from your general dentist. Be sure to set reminders on your phone or even a physical calendar so you don’t miss your appointment! Then, at your initial appointment, we'll perform a quick oral exam and check for issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems that can affect not only your mouth but your overall health. Lastly, we’ll discuss personalized treatment options that can help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health.
Types of Specialty Services
A dental specialist is a dentist that has continued their dental education in a specialized area. There are a variety of different specialty areas that can include services such as:
- Dental Implants: Dental implants are changing the way people live and are often the best option for people who have experienced tooth loss. They are the closest thing to natural teeth that modern dental technology has to offer. They are a desirable alternative to dentures as these are "permanent teeth" that look, feel and function similar to natural teeth. Dental implants are tiny titanium posts that are surgically placed into the jawbone where teeth are missing. The posts act as tooth root substitutes and within three to six months the bone bonds with the titanium to create a strong foundation for artificial teeth. If you are considering dental implants, give us a call and we will thoroughly examine your mouth and dental records to determine if they are a good option.
- Oral Surgery: Oral surgeons care for patients with more serious problems, such as wisdom teeth, facial pain and misaligned jaws. They specialize in procedures involving TMJ disorders, orthognathic surgery and wisdom teeth removal.
- Periodontal/Gum Disease: Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is a bacterial infection of the gums and bones that hold the teeth in place. Gum disease can affect patients of all ages, and even the healthiest of smiles can be at risk. Gingivitis is the initial stage of the disease and, if treated at this stage, gum disease can often be prevented and reversed. However, if left untreated, gum disease can cause tooth loss and unsightly changes to the soft tissues around the teeth. The good news is that gum disease is relatively easy to prevent by maintaining proper dental hygiene (brushing and flossing) and making regular dental visits.
- Endodontic/Root Canal Therapy: Root canals are typically needed when an untreated cavity progresses rapidly and spreads to the pulp of the tooth. The tooth pulp is made up of blood vessels, connective tissues and nerves. Once the bacteria of decay have reached the tooth pulp, it can be extremely painful. If your dentist determines that a root canal is the best solution for you, the procedure can typically be done with minimal discomfort and often keeps you from losing the tooth.
- Sedation Dentistry: Powerful pain-killing medications known as anesthetics not only help a patient avoid discomfort during a procedure, but post-operatively as well. Your dentist will talk to you about the most appropriate sedation option to address your particular needs.
What to Expect FAQs
What is Periodontal Disease?
Approximately 75 percent of all Americans have some form of periodontal disease, known by many as gum disease. These usually painless diseases often can go undetected until it's too late. If left untreated, gum disease can destroy the bone and tissue surrounding the teeth, causing them to become loose and, in some cases, painful. In addition, gum disease can cause bad breath and change the appearance of your smile. If the condition progresses far enough, you can lose your teeth. Periodontal disease affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. You may have it and not even know it. There are no early warning signs, except for occasional bleeding and redness around the gums when brushing, and mouth odor. However, as the disease progresses, the symptoms become more obvious. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to loosening of teeth, receding gums, and gum discomfort.
Do I Need Someone to Drive Me Home After Surgery, or Can I Drive?
If you are receiving sedation, you will need a responsible adult to drive you home and to remain with you for several hours following surgery. You should not operate any vehicle or hazardous device on the day of surgery. Patients receiving local anesthetic or nitrous oxide can drive home or have a driver, whichever is preferred.
Will Antibiotics Cure a Root Canal Infection?
Antibiotics cannot cure a root canal infection because the source of the infection is inside the tooth where there is no blood supply; without blood supply, there is no mechanism to deliver antibiotics. The cure is the complete shaping, cleaning and obturation (sealing) of the contaminated root canal space.
Don’t forget to bring:
- Dental X-rays from the last six months (we can take X-rays if you don’t have any)
- Your medical and dental history information, including any medications you’re currently prescribed
- Your dental insurance card (if applicable)
- Your parent or guardian (if you’re under 18)
Do I Need to See my General Dentist After Treatment?
When your procedure has been completed, a report from your treatment will be sent to your dentist. You should contact his or her office for a follow-up visit within a few weeks of completion at our office.
Can I Eat Before I Come in for Surgery?
If you are receiving IV sedation for your procedure, you can have nothing at all to eat or drink for a minimum of six full hours prior to your appointment. Persons receiving local anesthetic and nitrous oxide may eat a light meal prior to the appointment.
Are you ready to smile? Book your dental exam today with South Hill Periodontics in Spokane, Washington at (509) 536-7032!