Why Does My New Patient Exam with Dr. Still Take So Long?

comprehensive dental exam smile sarasotaIf you are new to our practice, you may be curious about what is involved with a New Patient Comprehensive Exam. This one hour exam is only done the very first time we see you as a patient in our practice. Thereafter, Dr. Still will do a shorter concise periodic exam at least two times per year following your teeth cleanings with our hygienists. The Comprehensive Exam must be done prior to your FIRST teeth cleaning and for more on that topic, read our previous Blog, I Only Want to Have My Teeth Cleaned!

The first thing we do at this visit is to take a full series of digital X-rays – this is done by one of our dental assistants and will allow Dr. Still to see between all of your teeth as well as the structures below the gum to screen for bone loss, infections, fractured roots and other issues not visible by the naked eye.


The Comprehensive Exam involves the following:

  • Extensive medical and dental history
  • Review of medications you may be taking
  • Blood pressure readings
  • Oral cancer screening of the mouth and neck
  • Periodontal exam and probing depths around all teeth to evaluate the health of the gums
  • Occlusal screening to determine bad bite, tooth wear, chewing problems, pain in joints and jaw areas, mouth opening abilities and checking for temporomandibular (TMJ) dysfunction
  • Checking for decay, tooth by tooth which is recorded in a detailed digital tooth chart, recording conditions of the teeth and mouth, existing work done on the teeth, decay, leakage, treatment needing to be done; positions of teeth and impactions.
  • If any dental issues are discovered, Dr. Still will give you a detailed, written treatment plan outlining his recommendations.

If you wish to schedule a cleaning the same day as your initial exam, this can be done. Our initial examination combined with a cleaning takes about 2 ½ hours due to its comprehensive nature and the fact that our philosophy is to get to know you so we can determine the type of dental treatment that is perfect for you.

To schedule and appointment or more information about your initial visit at Smile Sarasota, go to our New Patient Page.