Your First Visit

Going to the dentist can be an overwhelming experience, especially first-time visits. Let us put your concerns and anxieties to rest. Our goal is to make the patient experience comfortable. Our goal is to provide every patient with:

A clean, inviting environment
A warm, friendly greeting when you call or come in
Doctors and staff who treat you with respect
Quality dental care for you and your family
A clear explanation of every aspect of your visit
Our sincere appreciation for choosing and recommending this office

What to Expect
Dr. Collura will perform a complete oral examination and discuss any treatment you may need. The examination can identify conditions such as tooth decay, periodontal disease, and even oral cancer. For most patients over 25, we recommend this exam separate from a cleaning. This is because not everyone needs the same type of cleaning, especially if they have not been under the care of another dentist for sometime. Also, this allows us to get to know you, your health history, and your oral health, and allows us time to develop a treatment planned based on your needs and wants. Your first appointment will take between 1-1½ hours.

What to Bring
To make your visit as pleasant and brief as possible, there are a few things you should bring with you.

-If you’ve had recent dental x-rays, please bring them to your first appointment.
-If you have insurance, please bring your insurance card.
-Please fill out our registration forms (health history, insurance information, financial policy, notice of privacy (HIPPA), Informed Consent (required by Mass Dental Board). Filling these forms out ahead of time, or arriving earlier to fill them out, will ensure we have enough time to perform a proper exam and treatment planning.

What is a Comprehensive Exam?

During a comprehensive examination, Dr. Collura will look at much more than just your teeth. He will check other areas inside and outside your mouth for signs of disease or other problems. This exam consist of an oral cancer screening, periodontal exam, and a intraoral exam. We will also ask you questions about your dental history and take any needed x-rays..

Head and neck — Your dentist will check your head and neck, temporomandibular (jaw) joint, salivary glands and lymph nodes in your neck area. He will 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 — The soft tissues of the mouth include the tongue, the inside of the lips and cheeks, and the floor and roof of the mouth. Your dentist will check for spots, cuts, swellings, growths or other abnormal areas.

Periodontal — A periodontal examination involves checking the gums and supporting structures of the teeth. First, your dentist will look at the gums for signs of redness or puffiness. These symptoms may indicate gum disease. He will use a special probe to measure the depth of the pockets between your teeth and your gums. Pockets deeper than 3 millimeters often indicate periodontal disease. If your dentist determines that you have periodontal disease, he or she may refer recommend a different type of cleaning or refer you to a periodontist. This is a specialist who treats diseases of the gums.

Occlusion — Your dentist may check how well your teeth fit together by examining your bite. He will also look alignment of the teeth and signs of wear, chipping, and fractures.

Clinical examination of teeth — Your dentist will check for decay and other pathologies by looking at every tooth surface (using a mirror to see the back sides of teeth). If you have fillings, permanent bridges, crowns or other restorations, your dentist will chart these and check that they are functioning properly.

X-rays — X-rays, also called radiographs, will be taken to help your dentist look for decay (cavities) or other oral health problems that cannot be seen during the clinical exam. X-rays also provide the best way for the dentist to see a need for root canal treatment, or bone loss, that may indicate advanced gum disease. We recommend most adult new patients have a set of full mouth series at the initial exam for proper evaluation and to document a baseline for any changes in you oral health in the future.