If you were referred by a general dentist, the Prosthodontist will review the referral and complete the consultation with you. If no referral is available, as an initial requirement prior to consultation, the doctor will request a panoramic X-ray (OPG) to provide an overview of the jaws and teeth. The roots of teeth are below the gum line and an X-ray is the only way to determine their health, how they look and where they’re positioned in relation to the surrounding teeth. This X-ray is bulk billed by most radiology clinics.
The Prosthodontist will talk to you about any concerns you have regarding the look and function of your teeth as well as what your expectations are from potential treatment. You should also let the doctor know of any dental problems you have experienced.
Once the Prosthodontist has briefly examined your teeth and had a chat, he will discuss the next step. For some patients, the doctor will recommend holding off on any treatment until the presenting problem is more pronounced or imposing on your lifestyle.
The Prosthodontist can also defer treatment if there is any sign of disorders, gum disease and/or poor oral health. These issues need to be corrected before planning for cosmetic or reconstructive dental work to ensure the foundation of your entire mouth is solid. This may involve referral to a Specialist Periodontist, an Orthodontist, an Endodontist or Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon as part of an interdisciplinary treatment plan for you.
The Prosthodontist will, however, provide you with a simple summary of the problem and discuss broad options to address your problem. The doctor can provide you with a range of costs but no affirmative pricing at this stage without a Diagnostic Work Up.
After your initial consultation if you wish to pursue investigation of treatment options specific to your presenting problem, further clinical diagnostics are required for the Prosthodontist to be able to advise you. Unless you have a full set of records (including recent intra-oral and extra-oral photographs, x-rays and study models) it is impossible to confirm a specific plan of action in the initial consultation. This is referred to as a Diagnostic Work Up.
A Diagnostic Work Up includes:
- photographic records of facial structure
- detailed assessment of:
- temporomandibular joint and muscle function
- gum health and individual tooth stability
- bite contact patterns
- dental cosmetic arrangement
- 3D study models and wax up to aid visual determination of treatment objectives
Records of the teeth including scans and x-rays will routinely be requested. It’s not uncommon for new findings to come out of these diagnostic records and treatment options can be modified accordingly. That is why a definitive plan and cost cannot be confirmed until these have been reviewed.
Once all of the diagnostic information is collected and the Prosthodontist has prepared your treatment plan, a treatment discussion appointment will be scheduled with you. This presentation will include all the potential options suitable for your case with relevant advantages and disadvantages.
It’s then up to you to decide which option you’d like to pursue. There is no obligation to proceed.
We are fortunate to have onsite skilled laboratory technicians working in a fully functional laboratory. Current and established materials and manufacturing techniques are employed to provide the most aesthetic, functional and long lasting result.
This allows us to plan and control much of the laboratory work, before it is sent away and returned to us. A significant proportion of the ‘back room’ organisation and hands on technical work remains our responsibility. By being on site, this can result in better outcomes and reduce the number of patient visits to us for adjustments in fit, shape and colour as the technician can see you while you are still in the dental chair.