Your Oral Health Journey Begins with Our Comprehensive Exam

August 20, 2021 About Us 0 Comments

Your Oral Health Journey Begins with Our Comprehensive Exam

Hello, this is Dr. James A. Hasken, and I want to share with you how my team and I can help you improve your overall health with a comprehensive dental exam. Most dental care is delivered in response to something that has happened. It may be a toothache, the breaking of a tooth, an infection, or something with the bite. Over time, the mouth begins to look like a painting done by different painters, almost like a house that is remodeled one wall at a time over 25 years by different contractors who never had a plan.

Comprehensive Dental Exam in McHenry

Since 1987, I have been observing how mouths tend to deteriorate over time, it has become abundantly clear for the need to, from time to time, step back and reassess the status quo. We do that via a Complete Comprehensive Examination. This is how it works. The exam consists of three distinct parts: the Interview, the Co-Discovery exam, and the Review of Findings visit.

The Interview is often done in a non-clinical room, away from the “dental setting” when possible. It is the chance for patients to tell their story about what their dental history has been like. It gives them the opportunity to tell us what they are most concerned about and to express their deepest feelings about their mouths. A very important question for each of us to articulate is “What do I want for my mouth over the next 10, 20, 30 or more years?” This is not about any particular treatment but rather, how we see ourselves, relative to our mouths, in our later years. The deeper question is why would someone fix their teeth rather than just extract them and place dentures. Each of us has an emotional connection, often times at a deep subconscious level, to our teeth and rarely do we get to express it. The medical history is reviewed and discussed. Also during this time, the dentist gets to share his/her philosophy with the patient, so as to provide a context as to why things are done and recommendations are made. At the end of this phase, the doctor tells a “story” about how dental disease progresses and ends with the loss of our teeth.

Our Co-Discovery Interview

Finding out where the patient is in this story is the purpose of the next step. From the interview, we move into the treatment room where a thorough examination of the soft tissues, the gums, the teeth, and the chewing system is performed. The exam is done in such a manner that the patient learns about their condition at the same time the dentist and team do. It is called a Co-Discovery Exam. Clinical notes, a cancer exam, blood pressure, and photos are also performed. With the patient’s permission, the least amount of x-rays is taken. Finally, at the end of the visit, the patient will be given an overview of what was found. Over the days that follow, the dentist will sit alone in a quiet room and review the dental and health questionnaires, the clinical notes, the x-rays, and the photos. The state of the patient’s oral health will be determined. Areas of risk will be identified, specifically things that threaten the patient getting what they want in the long run. Strategies will be identified and a unique, ideal path will be outlined for this particular patient, a path that will lead to first, stopping all deterioration of the mouth and creating health and wellness and then, if necessary, restoring this particular mouth to long-term stability.

Review of Findings Visit at Our McHenry Office with Dr. James A. Hasken

The final step in this exam process is the Review of Findings visit. It is where the patient gets to truly see and understand where they are relative to optimum dental health and the achievement of their goals. They get enough information so that they can make decisions that are in their best interests. If the path laid out by the dentist is not totally acceptable, the patient and the dentist can “create” one that is acceptable to both. Fees are discussed and treatment is sequenced. The patient determines how fast things go and the dentist and team control the quality. The bottom line in this whole process is that the patient is always in control of what is happening and what will happen over time. This empowerment of the patient is the centerpiece of the Health Focused, Patient-Centered practice of dentistry and is manifested best within the process of the Comprehensive Exam. It is constructed this way to support the undeniable premise that each of us is responsible for our health.

For Our Patients Without Dental Insurance

Our goal is to provide quality dental care that is affordable for everyone. In an effort to encourage good dental health and alleviate the rising cost of insurance, we have developed a Health-Focused Preventive Plan. Our plan includes preventive dental care and a reduced fee on all services performed at our office.

With wishes for good health,
Dr. James Hasken

About James A. Hasken, DDS

Since 1987, Dr. James Hasken has been providing HEALTH-FOCUSED DENTISTRY in McHenry. Being Health-Focused means that we provide you with the information and coaching to help you toward your oral health goals.

Our approach is INTEGRATIVE DENTAL MEDICINE which is about identifying how the BODY, BREATHING, BACTERIA, and BITE effects total health. This puts you, the patient, at the center with a focus on prevention, fostering the development of healthy behaviors, and skills for effective self-control and care that can be used for a lifetime to attain optimum health. The mouth is a reflection of total body health. We would love the opportunity to help you attain the level of total body health you desire.

We serve many patients from McHenry, Crystal Lake, Woodstock, Spring Grove, Richmond, Genoa City, Twin Lakes, Wonder Lake, Island Lake, Johnsburg, Ringwood, Volo, Fox Lake, Lakemoor, Holiday Hills, Round Lake, Round Lake Park, and Round Lake Beach. We invite you to contact us today at 815-385-0777!

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