Comprehensive dentistry is dentistry that encompasses the entire mouth. It is dentistry that involves the treatment and resolution of current conditions, but also just as importantly, the diagnosis and resolution of the causes that contribute to the current dental conditions or problems.
Patients should not always have something to be treated when they visit the dentist. Contrary to popular belief, the primary cause of breakdown in adults is very rarely cavities or “just having bad teeth.“ There are very specific reasons for all the types of problems that we see, and every one of them can be predictably resolved and easily diagnosed. It merely takes compassion, experience, and a little more time. Comprehensive dentistry is truly preventative dentistry.
Signs always precede symptoms, usually by many years, and not diagnosing the signs of breakdown long before the symptoms occur is not responsible healthcare. Long term success of dental treatment without reoccurring breakdown is reliant upon the skill of the doctor and the precision and quality of the materials selected for restoration.
Equally as important to long term success, is the recognition of and resolution of the various causes of breakdown. The most common unrecognized causes that we see are bruxism (tooth grinding), functional issues, poor quality dentistry and alignment problems. Even the most exquisite and beautiful dentistry will fail prematurely, leading to a whole host of other problems and continued breakdown if an accurate assessment as to the causes goes undiagnosed and untreated. We usually find that the primary causes of adult breakdown are not related to cavities.
Dr. Crombie’s philosophy has always been that of providing only comprehensive care. Our practice has many patients who in the past had extensive treatment but now currently are only seen for routine cleanings. Many of these patients have not required further treatment many years after their initial work. The simple reason is that a comprehensive approach to care, and treating both the causes as well as the current problems combined with fine quality meticulous care, produces long term stability. There is no other way to achieve long term success.
Therefore, the sequence of care in our practice in order to accomplish this is first a thorough initial examination and data gathering appointment, followed by a consultation appointment to present the findings, skillful execution of treatment, close follow-up and then routine cleanings.
In our practice, patients are always seen first for a thorough initial examination before any treatment is rendered. Obvious exceptions are acute pain and emergencies which we always take care of first. We also make accommodations for those who are unsure about taking that first step with our initial examination by offering pre-clinical exams. Pre-clinical exams are brief, no cost meetings with Dr. Crombie in which the purpose is to help you to decide if we’re the right practice for you.
The initial examination always starts with an interview with Dr. Crombie so he can gain a thorough understanding of your desires, fears, prior experiences and expectations. We always require a good quality set of digital radiographs which we will take if you don’t have, and photographs are usually taken as well. The examination is then completed in which the teeth, their supporting structures of the bone and gums, muscles, TMJ, an oral cancer screening and overall function are evaluated. From the thorough examination, Dr. Crombie now fully understands the patient, their desires, (and dislikes) and has accrued all the necessary data in order to present the findings to the patient at the separate consultation appointment.
The consultation appointment is designed to help the patient make well informed decisions as to how they should proceed with the necessary treatment to fulfill their needs. There are numerous ways to solve problems, each with their own costs, advantages and disadvantages. It is our responsibility to clearly present the various options and information so that the patient can choose what best suites them. We utilize the digital x-rays and photographs that are taken, as well as displaying prior similar cases, on a large monitor in the privacy of the consultation room, to help patients gain a thorough understanding of their choices.
We can provide the data to take home with you to review if desired. 
Spouses are welcome and encouraged to be part of the consultation if desired. The consultation is not a “sales pitch” and no one will ever call you to coerce you into treatment. It is simply an informative and educational process to provide you with an adequate amount of knowledge in order for you to confidently move forward with achieving your desired goals.
Comprehensive dentistry necessitates a complete and thorough initial examination, a clear understanding of the available and most appropriate options for treatment, and then carefully planned and well executed treatment. We believe that true quality care which produces a beautiful and confident smile that can last a lifetime can only be acquired through our methodical approach and implementation of comprehensive care.