2440 Stateville Blvd., Suite 140, Salisbury, NC | 704-637-0712
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Patient Information

Introduction

Dr. Murphy and his team realize that scheduling a dental appointment can spark an immediate feeling of fear or apprehension for patients. Sometimes this can stem from an unhappy childhood experience, a lack of communication or understanding form an office, a less than desirable treatment outcome, or an appointment that felt rushed or impersonal. These are not unusual concerns; and it’s that understanding that is the catalyst of our dedication to making your visits as easy as possible. Whether you’re scheduling a routine dental exam or are in need of extensive make-over, understanding
the appointment process can often help ease dental anxiety. If you need more information about your first visit, scheduling, financing or insurance, let us know and we’ll get you the answers you need. Remember, we want you have an effortless, stress free appointment.


First Visit

Expectations about your initial visit are always a concern. The type of appointment you need will be the determining factor of what you need to expect. There are several types of first visit appointments.

If you are a new patient scheduling routine care, your initial visit may take a little longer than subsequent visits. During your first appointment we will review your medical history, take x-rays, if needed, your teeth will be charted and cleaned, any concerns or treatments will be reviewed and a complete oral and cancer screening exam will be performed.

A child’s first visit can vary depending on several factors; such as, your child’s age, if they have been routinely to the dentist in the past, certain medical obstacles, or an existing traumatic dental history. Typically the first visit, younger patients have their teeth “counted” and “tickled”. X-rays, unless there is a severe issue, are generally not taken until the six year molars are present. Often parents “introduce” their child to the dentist office by bringing them to observe a parent or sibling getting their teeth cleaned as a way to familiarize their child with the process.

Consult or second opinion appointments will consist of reviewing radiographs from the referring dentist, or if necessary acquire new x-rays, explaining your diagnosis and treatment options and if needed, study models will be taken of your teeth. For complex treatment plans or for patients with intricate medical histories, you will be appointed a second consult appoint which treatment options will be presented in more detail.

Prior to your first appointment please assist us by providing the following information at the time of your appointment

  • Your referral slip and any X-rays if applicable
  • A complete list of any medications and herbal supplements you are taking
  • If you have dental insurance, please remember to bring your card so we may submit your claim for you
  • If you have current x-rays, you may request to have them forwarded to our office either by e-mail or standard mail. If additional films are necessary, they can be taken at our office
  • If you have been told that you need to take a pre-med antibiotic for a heart condition or an artificial joint it may NOT be required for your initial appointment


  • A parent or guardian must accompany all patients under the age of 18 at any consult appointment

Insurance and Financial Policy

We make every effort to provide you with the finest care at the most reasonable cost, and the most convenient financial options; therefore payment is due at the time of service unless prior arrangements have been made. For your convenience we accept Visa, MasterCard and offer Citi financing. As a courtesy we will file your insurance claim for you, and we will also work with you to maximize your insurance reimbursement for covered procedures. Please remember that you are fully responsible for all the fees incurred in our office regardless of your insurance coverage. You will receive a monthly
statement. Most insurance companies respond in four to six weeks, which may be reflected in your statement. Any remaining balance after your insurance reimbursement is your responsibility. If your statement does not reflect your insurance payment, please let us know. If there are any questions regarding your account, please contact us at (704) 637-0712. Often a simple phone call can clear any misunderstandings.


Advanced Technology

You can expect your appointment to be provided by a team that sustains patient quality through continual advances in education and technology, while striving to maintain the comfort and expectations you deserve. Dr. Murphy’s desire to master his advanced skills led to his extensive post graduate training and his complete understanding of the importance of utilizing technology. You can be assured each of your appointments will optimize each of these aspects and enhance the quality and fit for your dental care.


Digital Imaging/Digital X-Rays:

X-Rays are an important tool in dentistry. They allow us to see everything we can’t with our own eyes and detect things like cavities in between your teeth, bone level and health, tooth position, cysts and lesions and even damage when trauma occurs. Dr. Murphy chooses carefully which and when radiographs are taken to minimize your risks of exposure. To maximize the results of your radiographs, Dr. Murphy utilizes Digital Imaging X-Ray Technologies. Although radiation exposure time for dental x-rays is extremely low, the digital imaging method results in 1/6th the exposure. There are other benefits to digital x-rays as well including better detail, speed of processing with instant image on the computer screen, computer storage of images to transfer to
insurance companies, and the “green factor,” the elimination of processing chemicals. Of the two digital imaging units incorporated by Dr. Murphy; one also includes, what patients who suffer through routine x-rays due to a strong gag reflex, believe is the greatest benefit…NO film holders need to be placed in their mouth!


3D Imaging

Currently Dr. Murphy is the only local provider for 3D imaging. 3D imaging is a radiographic image acquired in a series of multiple slices, or layers. 3D images are a valuable tool because it offers a greater scale of detail. By manipulating the image; rotating the image and viewing the tooth in various angles and positions, Dr. Murphy is able to diagnostically assess critical data, such as nerve position, bone density, position of the sinus in relation to the teeth, cysts, TMJ anatomy, sinus areas or even cracks in teeth. 3D images are beneficial to Dr. Murphy and the patient given the more enhanced detail can lead to a more predictable, successful outcome, particularly in surgical cases.


Oral/Saliva DNA Testing

Research has shown the value of testing saliva in determining certain abnormal conditions. Compared to blood or urine samples, the major benefit of an oral DNA test is the ease of collecting the sample. A saliva testing sample is collected simply by spitting in a vile at your dental appointment. Testing saliva also is less expensive to collect than blood or urine, and is easier to handle and send to the lab than blood which clots. Research of various diagnosis through saliva testing continues to expand, and has already identified biomarkers in saliva that identify oral cancer and pancreatic cancer. The diagnostic ability of Oral DNA testing is a valuable tool in our practice. Currently our office offers two types of salvia testing: periodontal and oral HPV.


Oral DNA: Periodontal Testing (Gum Disease)

Research has shown a direct link between oral bacteria and you overall health. Patients who have periodontal disease (Gum Disease) are at a higher risk of inflammatory/systemic illnesses; such as heart disease and diabetes, so managing your periodontal condition is pertinent to your health. By genetically testing your oral DNA, Dr. Murphy can establish certain criteria based on the lab results. An oral DNA test can establish your genetic risk of periodontal disease, help determine the best therapy for you based on causation, and provide a more predictable response to therapy. The results will provide patients with a comprehensive risk assessment, by showing the patient their individual bacterial risks and levels, determining a baseline of their oral health and intervention by implementing an individual treatment plan.


Oral DNA: HPV Testing

The media has prompted a lot of attention on the prevention of contracting the HPV (Human Papilloma Virus). Once the virus is in your system, there is no cure. Researchers have shown itís link to cervical cancer and have also proven itís link to oral cancers. Oral HPV causes cancers of the throat, tonsils and lower tongue and is as great of a risk factor as tobacco and alcohol for throat cancer. A routine part of your dental exam includes an oral cancer exam, which consists of visually checking your tongue, cheeks, lips, throat, and the floor and roof of your mouth. Throat cancer can be difficult to detect even with a thorough exam. Your exam still poses limitations of what can be physically seen and oral cancers often manifest in the tonsils or deep down the throat. Your physical exam reveals your baseline of oral health but it does not disclose the presence of oral HPV. To determine a patientís oral HPV status, a simple saliva test can be taken; all thatís needed is a sample of your spit collected in a vile. The test results identify specific type(s) of oral HPV present, as well as establish your risk for HPV related cancers of the oral, head and neck regions and determine the appropriate referral and monitoring conditions. The benefit is early detection for patients at risk for HPV related oral cancers before symptoms appear. Candidates for testing include patients:

  • Who are or have been sexually active
  • Who have a family history of oral cancer
  • Who have traditional risk factors of oral cancer
  • Who have suspicious oral lesions
  • Who have signs and or symptoms of oral cancer


Oral HPV caused throat cancer is often effectively treated by chemo and/or radiation treatment if detected early.

Smoking - Any patient who smokes has heard the lecture to quit; and although patients understand the benefits gained to your overall health by quitting, it is not an easy task. For patients who understand the importance and are serious in their quest to stop, Dr. Murphy provides an additional route to help with your success. Dr. Murphy has partnered with the University of Alabama Birmingham to offer patients to enroll in the Decide2Quit program. The on-line program offers patients educational materials and an interactive calculator to help you think about smoking and quitting. The program also provides patients with approaching family and friends for support.

www.decide2quit.org


Intraoral Camera

Television screens and computers have become commonplace in today’s society. Intraoral camera is a system that combines the two components to process information in the form of an image. The intraoral camera provides you a unique view to enhance your understanding of your diagnosis. The camera itself is very small and takes an actual photographic image which it projects onto the television screen. The image obtained through the intraoral camera allows you to see a clear precise image of your mouth, teeth and gums. The images allows vivid detail and provides you to see exactly the problem for a better understanding of your treatment needs. These images can also be printed for you, insurance companies or to be sent to the lab with biopsy samples for diagnostic purposes.


Sedation

Nitrous Oxide Sedation (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous Oxide is a sweet-smelling, non-irritating, colorless gas which you breathe through a mask. Patients using Nitrous Oxide are able to drive following their appointment. Due to the positioning of the mask on your face, Nitrous Oxide may not be optimal in part or all of some procedures. Nitrous is not recommended if you cannot adequately breathe through your nose, have M.S., emphysema, or other breathing problems. It cannot be administered if you have been diagnosed with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) or if you are pregnant.


Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is an ideal option for patients who have difficulties with severe gag reflexes, apprehension, surgical procedures, or lengthy appointments.
Oral sedation does not debilitate the patient. Though the patient may appear sluggish and will often sleep through most of their appointment, the patient can still breathe on their own, maintain the ability to control their bodily functions, as well as communicate effectively. Since the prescribed medication chemically alters memory, patients rarely remember their entire appointment.

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