Among the most frequent questions patients ask when they see an oral surgeon is why an initial consultation appointment is necessary when they’ve been referred for treatment by a perfectly competent dentist. While it may seem redundant to have a second examination when your dentist has already done a thorough one and made good treatment recommendations, fact is, there are very good reasons for that consultation, reasons that benefit you in terms of comfort, safety and quality of care. Among those are:
First-Hand Patient Assessment
Any oral surgeon in Washington DC worth seeing is not going to be satisfied with a second-hand assessment of a patient, even from a great dentist. Planning the technical aspects of surgical procedure, whether it is a fairly simple extraction or a complex dental implant placement procedure, is an exacting process that must be done with solid, first-hand information to ensure safety and accuracy. Having that first hand information means performing a hands-on examination, getting current x-rays or 3-D images, and taking a detailed personal health history.
Since no two patients are alike, a number of details will need to be considered and decisions made in order to devise an effective treatment plan for each one. Much of that planning requires input from the patient. For instance, deciding whether local or general anesthesia is the best option for a procedure is easier done with an idea of a patient’s pain tolerance and preferences. Involving patients in the planning process enhances safety, reducing risk of unpleasant surprises, as well as patient comfort, providing patients the opportunity to voice concerns and ask questions, ensuring that they know exactly what to expect during their procedure and how to best prepare for it.
Post Operative Instructions
Our oral surgeons will have a list of post-operative care instructions for you, ensuring that you know how to care for yourself properly after your procedure. Following them to the letter will greatly reduce your risk of complications. Doing that is easier when you have time to plan ahead, stocking up on soft foods, appropriate drinks and pain medications, for instance. That’s why they are typically provided to patients at consultation appointments, when they can be explained, face-to-face and in detail, well before surgery.
As you can see, that consultation appointment with your Washington DC oral surgeon is much more important that it may seem at first glance. It is done to ensure that you have the personalized care necessary to make your procedure a safe and comfortable experience. So come prepared with a list of your questions and concerns and don’t be shy in expressing them, because being well-informed and confident will help make it so.
To schedule a consultation, contact our office in the Washington, DC area at (202) 386-7100.