Your First Visit

Your First Visit to Chalmers Dental, Inc.

A patient’s first visit to Chalmers Dental, Inc. will typically consist of a consultation to explain the diagnosis and discuss treatment options. In many cases, treatment will be provided immediately following the consultation, however those patients with complex medical histories or treatment plans may require a second appointment at which treatment will be provided.

Medical conditions

Water bottlesBefore any procedure requiring anesthetic, it is important to alert our team members if you have a medical condition that may be of concern. These may include heart disease, high blood pressure, artificial heart valves and joints, diabetes, allergies, etc. Also please let us know if you are on any medication that may affect the procedure (i.e. heart medications, aspirin, blood thinners, etc.) or if you require medication before dental cleanings (i.e. antibiotics premedication.)

Medical history

At your first appointment, you will be asked to provide as much of your medical history as possible. This may include items such as a referral slip from another doctor and any dental x-rays in your possession, a current list of medications you are taking, and completed medical or dental insurance forms (if applicable). This helps us avoid unnecessary delay when processing dental insurance claims.


A parent or guardian must accompany patients under 18 during their first visit to our office.

Sterilization & Disinfection

According to the Centers for Disease Control, dental instruments are classified into three categories depending on the risk of transmitting infection. The classifications of critical, semi-critical and noncritical are based on the following criteria:

Critical Instruments

TraysCritical instruments are those used to penetrate soft tissue or bone, or enter into or contact the bloodstream or other normally sterile tissue. They are sterilized after each use. Sterilization is achieved by steam under pressure (autoclaving), dry heat, or heat/chemical vapor. Critical instruments include forceps, scalpels, bone chisels, scalers and surgical burs.

Semi-Critical Instruments

Semi-critical instruments are those that do not penetrate soft tissues or bone but
contact mucous membranes or non-intact skin, such as mirrors, reusable impression trays and amalgam condensers. These are also sterilized after each use. In some cases, however, sterilization is not feasible and, therefore, high-level disinfection is appropriate. A high-level disinfectant is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a “sterilant/disinfectant” and must be labeled as such.

Non-Critical Instruments

Sterilized dental instrumentsNon-critical instruments are those that come into contact only with intact skin such as external components of x-ray heads, blood pressure cuffs and pulse oximeters. Such devices have a relatively low risk of transmitting infection; and, therefore, may be reprocessed between patients by intermediate-level or low-level disinfection. An intermediate-level disinfectant is EPA-registered as a “hospital disinfectant” and will be labeled for “tuberculocidal” activity (e.g., phenolics, iodophors, and chlorine-containing compounds). A low-level disinfectant is EPA registered as a “hospital disinfectant” but is not labeled for “tuberculocidal” activity (e.g., quaternary ammonium compounds).

For more information please visit the ADA’s article titled Sterilization and Disinfection of Dental Instruments.