Essenmacher Family Dental

What should I expect during my first appointment?

November 7, 2016
Posted By: Dr. Lindsay M. Essenmacher, DDS
woman at dentist office | Dentist in Northeast Heights NM | Dr. Lindsay Essenmacher

What should I expect during my first appointment?

Here are some typical things that you can expect at your first visit at Essenmacher Family Dental:

Office Tour and Introductions

We’ll start off by giving you a short tour of our office, and you’ll meet the team members who will be taking care of you during your visit.

Review of medical and dental history

We will review your medical history, including previous surgeries, conditions, allergies, and medications. We will also ask if you have any concerns with your teeth, or improvements you’d like to see in your smile.


X-rays are typically taken once a year.  These help the dentist and hygienist find things that can't be seen upon clinical examination.  Some examples are cavities in between the teeth, infected teeth, calculus, and the health of the bones supporting your teeth.  Certain types of oral cancer can also be detected on dental radiographs.


Intraoral photographs (and sometimes smile shots) are taken with a small camera that gives close-up images of your teeth.  These photographs are often used to diagnose areas of concern, and to share them with you so you can see what we’re seeing!

Periodontal Exam

Once a year the hygienist will check the health of your gums with the periodontal exam. This exam will help us to detect any infection in your gums. This exam aids us in the diagnosis of periodontal disease.

Prophy or Cleaning

If your gums are healthy then the hygienist will perform your dental cleaning during your initial appointment. This involves removing all the plaque and calculus from above and below the gum line. Your teeth are then polished and flossed.  If you have active periodontal disease, another appointment will be scheduled for a longer appointment time so that we can thoroughly clean all the root surfaces below the gum line.  This “deep cleaning” aids in helping the gums heal from the periodontal infection.

Doctor Exam

Dr. Essenmacher will come in toward the end of the visit, and she’ll spend a few minutes getting to know you, your interests, and discuss any concerns you have about your teeth.   Then she will review your x-rays and photographs and perform a clinical exam of your teeth, gums, soft tissues, and jaw joints. She will then share any significant findings with you, such as decay, infection, etc.  She will also answer any questions that you may have about what treatment is needed, the timeline, or the treatment experience.

Financial Consultation

If a treatment plan has been created for you, the last portion of your visit will be a consultation with one of our financial coordinators.  During this time, we will discuss your insurance coverage (if applicable), what your out-of-pocket expenses are estimated to be, and what financing options are available to you.  We will also schedule your next appointment.

Dental Exams in Northeast Heights, NM

If you have any further questions about what to expect at our office, please do not hesitate to give us a call!  We’d be happy to answer any questions that you may have.

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Dear valued patients,

As many of you know, in response to the recommendations from the American Dental Association and public health orders in place in New Mexico, we have been seeing patients on an urgent/emergency basis only since March 17. As a practice, our first priority is to put the health and safety of our team and community first.  

Because the exact trajectory of this pandemic cannot be anticipated, we are unable to accurately predict when we’ll be able to resume seeing patients for regular dental care.  At this time, public health orders prohibiting elective dental care extend until May 15.  However, we will definitely make an announcement on our website and Facebook when normal hours are resumed. We will also be contacting patients whose appointments were canceled so that we can reschedule.  

In the meantime, if you have any questions about an upcoming appointment, or have a concern about your teeth that you’d like to discuss, please do not hesitate to call our office.  We are happy to assist you in any way we can.  

While we all watch and wait to see what the coming weeks hold for our nation, I pray for health and peace for all of you and those you love.  I know that together, we will get through this. Take care and God bless. Visit our Facebook page for a message from Dr. Essenmacher. 

Best Regards,

Dr. Essenmacher