First Visit

Before you and your dentist can determine what is possible for long-term stability with regard to comfort, function, health and esthetics, your current condition is assessed. This is without question the most important series of appointments that you will have. Many of the disappointments patients have with dentistry can be traced back to an incomplete evaluation, diagnosis and treatment planning.

Through this comprehensive evaluation, you and Dr. Cove or Dr. Cove Kehoe will learn together about the condition of all parts of your masticatory system. These parts include your teeth, the existing health of your current restorations, the periodontal support (gums and bone) of the teeth, the temporomandibular joints (TMJs), and the muscles that move the jaw.

The comprehensive exam will include these evaluations:

  • Head and neck -Your dentist will look at your temporomandibular joint, your salivary glands and lymph nodes in your head and neck area. She will also look at your face, neck and lips to make sure there are no unusual swellings, lip dryness, bleeding or other abnormalities that need to be checked further.
  • Soft tissue or oral cancer screening – Soft tissues of the mouth include the tongue, the inside of the lips and cheeks and the floor and roof of the mouth.
  • Periodontal – Your dentist will check the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. She will take measurements of the depths of your gums to evaluate your bone health.
  • Occlusion – Your dentist will check how well your teeth fit together by examining your bite and how it affects tension in your head and neck, as well as its affect on possible head aches or chronic discomfort.
  • Clinical examination of teeth – Your dentist will check for decay by examining every tooth surface visually (using a mirror to see the back sides of teeth) or with a dental instrument.
  • X-rays – Also called radiographs. Our office uses digital radiographs that decrease the amount of radiation used by 90%. They will be taken to help your dentist look for decay or other oral health problems on an individually determined basis.
  • Digital intra-oral photographs – You will benefit from a digital photographic examination where you will see your teeth and smile like you have never seen them before. These photographs are invaluable to assist Dr. Cove or Dr. Cove Kehoe in their co-diagnostic treatment planning. They are a powerful motivator in before and after treatment consultations.

Carefully completing this evaluation and doing it in a way that you fully understand is the first step in formulating a lifetime plan that will help you achieve and sustain maximum oral comfort, health and esthetics with stability and longevity. This is a co-diagnostic process, where we want you to be involved in your current dental health, and what goals you would like to achieve.

Prevention and education are important in our practice and we take seriously your need to understand how to take charge of and protect your own oral health. Our staff is always available to answer questions about your dental needs and the services we can provide for your ideal treatment.

Please assist us by filling out the new patient registration forms available on this website. These forms may be submitted electronically to our office via the Internet.

If you have current radiographs from a previous dentist, you may request that he/she forward them to our office. We do ask that the films be sent or brought in prior to your visit. This will give us adequate time to evaluate the quality of the radiographs and determine if they can be of use.

IMPORTANT: A parent or guardian must accompany all patients under the age of 18 at all visits.