The New Patient Experience

When was the last time you felt listened to, really listened to, in a doctor's office? At Southgate Dental, we take the time to understand the unique set of physical and personal circumstances that you bring to our office. Before we can talk about treatment, we need to understand the fears that result from previous experiences, your goals for the future and your financial realities.

The cornerstone of your experience at Southgate Dental is the Comprehensive Oral Evaluation. In most circumstances, it is done at your initial visit and consists of the procedures listed below:

  • Oral Cancer Screening: The face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, cheeks, and gums are examined for  signs of oral cancer.
  • Temporomandibular Joint Evaluation (TMJ): The TMJ is examined to be sure it is functioning normally. We look for pain, joint sounds, limitation or pain on opening, clenching or grinding, muscle tenderness and headaches.
  • Occlusal Examination: We evaluate your bite to see if the teeth are in the proper position to create a pleasing smile and to function properly.
  • Examination of the Teeth: The teeth, existing fillings and crowns are evaluated for wear, recurrent decay, leakage and cosmetic appearance.
  • Periodontal (Gum) Evaluation: The gums and bone around the teeth are examined and measured for signs of inflammation, infection, gum recession and bone loss.
  • Cosmetic Evaluation: How do you feel about your smile? Do you like the color, shape and alignment of your teeth? If you could change your smile, how would you like it to look? As part of a Comprehensive Smile Analysis, we measure the current shade of your teeth, take digital photos and impressions for further study.
  • Digital X-rays: Once we understand the conditions in your mouth we take the minimum number of x-rays necessary to complete our diagnosis. This may include a full series of x-rays, a panoramic x-ray or analysis of x-rays from a previous dentist.
  • Consultation: In many cases we need time to thoroughly analyze the information we have collected and create a personalized treatment plan. This is usally done at a separate visit where we allow time to thoroughly discuss our findings and talk about the details of treatment, including time and cost.


Contact Us. We encourage you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have. Please call our office or use the contact form below.