What is a Consultation?
Consultations are a necessary starting point for most surgical procedures. By beginning with a consultation appointment, many important details can be discussed prior to the surgical appointment.
A consultation allows a patient and family to discuss treatment options with Dr. Pitts prior to surgery. Beside being a very important part of the patients treatment, a consultation appointment is also important for family members to attend to allow Dr. Pitts to answer questions and address any concerns regarding the treatment or follow-up care.
What happens during the consultation appointment?
During the consultation, Dr. Pitts will do a thorough review of the patient’s medical and dental history. This is done to detect any condition or problem that could interfere with or complicate treatment. It is also necessary to review any medications that are being taken to evaluate any possible interactions, and discuss any possible medication allergies. Vital signs such as blood pressure, pulse, and respiration may be checked to assess whether the patient can undergo anesthesia.
Next, Dr. Pitts performs an oral examination, which includes a screening examination for oral or head and neck cancer. It is necessary to determine the overall health of the mouth.
If necessary, x-rays are evaluated to help confirm a diagnosis. In the case of wisdom teeth, a Panorex x-ray is viewed in order to review bony anatomy and intrabony abnormalities of the upper and lower jaws and face. The development of the roots of wisdom teeth and their relation to critical landmarks, such as the nerve in the lower jaw and sinus cavity in the upper jaw, are also evaluated.
In some cases, a Cone Beam CT Scan may be necessary to evaluate an abnormality in the jaws or face, or to allow for proper planning of a surgical procedure. Examples may include proximity of a nerve or sinus to a wisdom tooth, orientation of an impacted canine tooth, or evaluation of a cyst or tumor in the jaw.
Is there any paperwork involved?
Once the proper treatment plan has been formulated and the type of anesthesia desired for the surgery has been selected, Dr. Pitts will discuss the surgical procedure and it’s risks, and then will go over a full consent form with the patient (if the patient is a minor, the patient’s parent or guardian will need to come to this appointment to sign the consent). Dr. Pitts feels that it is important to take the time to read over the consent in its entirety and explain every aspect of the surgery to the patient. Post operative prescriptions will also be written and reviewed.
What is the next step after consultation?
The patient is provided with a full treatment plan showing all services and fees. If we are provided with insurance information prior to the appointment, we are happy to provide an estimate of benefits. At this point, we are ready to reserve a time for surgery.