Becoming a Patient
Our dental practice is relationship-based. Dr. Mark Kleive finds that success is easy to achieve when he takes the time to understand who each patient is and what they want from their dentist. Whether your goals are health-driven, beauty-driven or longevity-driven, they can affect the course your dental care will take.
There are four ways in which we help connect our patients with the tools they need to make informed decisions and be a partner in their treatment process. Helping our patient’s transition from where they are now, to where they want to be is our primary objective. As a result, it is important for us to express what can be expected when becoming a patient.
The first thing we want to know is ‘What prompted you to contact us now?’Whether there is an urgent need, or an overall dissatisfaction with the form or function of a person’s teeth, the first thing we try to understand is what is most important to you at this time. To better understand you as a person and a patient, we want to know what is happening now that is different from the past. Below are real examples of reasons people contact us.
- I want to improve my overall health and my oral health, and would like to get started.
- I would like long-lasting and comprehensive solutions for my recurring dental problems.
- I need a consultation about my teeth, because I don’t feel confident to open my mouth and smile.
- I’m looking to schedule an appointment for a regular cleaning.
- I have had severe jaw pain for a couple of months now. I can’t open my mouth very wide, my bite is off, the sides of my face hurts to the touch, and it hurts to eat.
- I’m interested in straightening my teeth and would like to schedule a consultation.
- I would like to set up a consultation to hear about pricing and options on fixing a chipped tooth.
Your Dental Story
In order to help educate our patients about the necessary steps to achieve their goals, we have to start with first examining their current state oral health and learning their dental story. Everyone’s dental story is different. Much like a fingerprint or snow flake, environmental factors, your current health routine, diet, genetics, and stress can all play a role in your teeth’s form and functionality.
When learning about your current status, we don’t just analyze the problem, we assess what contributing factors might be impacting, or amplifying the circumstances.
Examples of Exploring Contributing Factors:
Often, a dental problem isn’t a stand-alone issue. There are contributing factors which can cause, or exaggerate what you are currently experiencing. We aim to help explore these contributing factors in order to properly and permanently solve the concern.
- Are my recurring cavities related to my diet?
- How can I prevent premature aging of my teeth?
- Could stress at work or home be leading to teeth grinding?
- Is an improperly filled cavity causing gum and tooth sensitivity?
- Why are my teeth chipping so easily?
- Is my weight a factor for my snoring and sleep apnea?
Your Dental Story:
When you come into our office, sharing your oral history and dental story will not be limited to a photocopy of a medical history form. We want to know more about you.
“When I was twelve, and a catcher in little league, a bat hit me in the face and knocked out my front teeth. Since, I’ve had several procedures to restore my teeth.”
“A few months ago, I was having headaches and jaw pain, but it hasn’t happened recently, so I’m not really concerned about it.”
“I’ve worn braces, twice, but my teeth still aren’t properly aligned!”
“I have always disliked my smile and has affected my ability to interact with people in a meaningful way.”
“I hated my previous dentist. He treated me like I was stupid and didn’t know how to brush or floss properly. I would do anything to avoid going to him, and now my teeth are in disrepair. “
As a trust-based practice, it is important for us to help work with you on any feelings or insecurities you have. Your thoughts and experiences are valid pieces of your dental story and no part is insignificant.
After learning your dental story, we will review your current status and the options you have to enhance your oral health.
Appearance and Assessment
Becoming a patient with Dr. Mark Kleive is a process of discovery for both you and him. We aim to learn what prompted you to contact us and your dental story. As part of our consultation, we establish the current status of your oral health and review ways to enhance it. In your exam, we will assess four distinct areas of your oral health; Smile, Bite, Teeth, Gums/Bone.
Appearance: Assessing the aesthetics of your smile is the first step in the oral screening process.
Some areas of smile assessment include:
- Your general satisfaction with your smile
- Smile straightness
- Smile brightness
- Smile balance
Bite: Your bite is an essential part of your overall oral health. We check for important factors when assessing your bite such as:
- Strength of bite muscles
- Evenness of bite and tooth surface area
- Pain or popping when biting
Condition of Teeth: The condition of your teeth will tell us a lot about what type of solutions you may need to enhance your smile. We will examine your teeth for:
- Existing restorations (fillings, crowns, or bonding)
Gums/Bone/Roots: Your gums and bones play a critical role in restoring and preserving your oral health. The condition of your gums and bone will help guide us toward treatments that will not just fix a current problem, but will also ensure long-lasting results. We look at:
- Color of gums
- Excessive bleeding
- Any recession of the gumline
We also use some advanced tools which help us painlessly assess your current status.
Digital Photography - We take lots of digital photos of your teeth, which help you and Dr. Kleive work together to create your treatment plan and give you a record of your progress.
Advanced Laser Technology - Dr. Kleive uses a laser detection instrument called the DIAGNOdent which is a new way to find even the smallest areas of tooth decay. By using this new technology, Dr. Kleive is able to target and treat all of your small problem areas before they turn into larger issues that require more complicated procedures.
Reactive vs. Proactive Dentistry - Our intention is for both you and Dr. Kleive have an increased awareness of your present condition, what will happen if you go without treatment, and the benefits that come from participating in your treatment. Instead of promoting reactive dentistry, which is only fixing what is broken, we prefer to spend our time finding out why you had an issue, and then solving the entire puzzle.
Common dental problems often can stem from larger, untreated issues. Which is why it is also important for our patients to be aware of is the cost of non-treatment. For example, while it may seem less expensive to keep repairing cracked, chipped, or worn teeth, over time the underlying cause can add continued strain on your teeth, muscles, and pocketbook. Putting off treatment can make issues worse, add expense and prolong the length of healing time. Knowing what could happen if your condition is left untreated is something we believe you should take into account when collaborating on a treatment plan. Dr. Kleive and his team are highly skilled with oral assessments and will first review what treatment options exist. Then we will partner with you to find solutions with which you are personally and financially comfortable.
Whether you are coming to Dr. Kleive to address long outstanding problems, or need to find a different dentist that you like and trust, the final step in the new patient process is collaborating on what treatment options are right for you.
We are a no pressure office which means we will never “sell” or try to “persuade” you to do procedures you are not comfortable with. Our goals are to set a specific agenda with you, keeping in mind the following things:
Your oral assessment results:
We learn the reasons you contacted us, your dental story, and the current condition of your oral health. Those will be the driving force in creating a treatment plan with you. Multiple treatment options may exist, depending on your desires. For example:
You may desire brighter, whiter teeth. Teeth whitening, or the placement of porcelain veneers are two options which may be discussed.
You grind your teeth, and they are starting to wear down. Porcelain crowns could help properly align your bite, or you simply might need an oral appliance to wear during the night to protect against teeth grinding.
But before any decisions are made, we also want to consider your timeline and budget.
- Are you currently in pain?
- Do you need your treatment completed before a specific date, or special occasion?
- What is most important to you now?
- Where do you want to be five years from now?
- Where do you want to be ten years from now?
- What is realistic and comfortable for you financially?
- Would you be interested in financial assistance through CareCredit?
We can even work with your insurance company to process claims on your behalf for all types of insurance. We will ask your insurance plan to pay any benefits directly to you.
After determining where you are now, and where you want to be, we will work within a collaboratively planned structure designed uniquely for you. We enjoy every step of the new patient process, from the discovery of your needs, to the reward that comes from enhancing your oral health and confidence.
To get started, or learn more about us, call 828-669-2974. We look forward to getting to know you!
We encourage you to be curious about the state of your oral health. We serve patients around Asheville and in Black Mountain. Schedule an appointment today. We look forward to serving you!