Michael W Richard, DDS, PA
2702 Campus Drive  |  Garden City, KS 67848  |  Ph. (620) 271-7474

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Dental Education

Prior to your initial exam you may click on the Diagnosis video below for complete information about our first visit and our treatment planning process.

 Click here to watch a video on our initial exam

Diagnosis Dental Implants Extractions Porcelain Crowns Soft Tissue Laser


Would you like to have a vital role in the planning of your oral health? We want you to. Our first visit is sometimes to treat your dental emergency. It may be a sudden problem that arose, even with previous regular care. It may be a long-standing problem that has finally driven you to seek treatment. Or your first visit in our office may be for a complete exam, with or without any perceived dental needs. In any case, we want to know what your chief complaint is. If at all possible, we will do that first.

In general, we want to take care of anything that is hurting you first. In some cases, there are immediate esthetic needs that need to be stabilized. When we are ready for the complete exam, that is when the co-diagnosis begins. We start with a review of your medical history and past dental history. We check to see if you have a current series of radiographs to accurately diagnose your dental needs and then we take whatever radiographs that are still needed. We check the health of your gums with measurements in six locations around each tooth and record them in your digital chart. We do a cancer-screening exam and evaluate the health of your jaw joints. Additionally, we do a smile analysis, breath check and look for signs and symptoms of abnormal wear and function.

After compiling all of our data, and a thorough clinical exam, Dr. Richard will discuss his findings with you, thus far. There will be some concise questions about your needs and desires. Many of our treatments have restorative options and we want to know what your preferences are. We will make every effort to help you understand the benefits, realistic expectations and fees for each option. Then, we arrive at what Dr. Richard calls Phase 1 treatment planning. The goals of this phase are simple; treat urgent needs to stabilize comfort and esthetics, then eliminate the mouth of gum infections and tooth decay. That’s it! Once the gums and teeth are free of infection, then we can discuss your needs to strengthen teeth, beautify smiles, improve breath, whiten teeth, replace missing teeth, control habits such as clenching or grinding teeth, treat TMJ or snoring. We often start the dialogue about these advanced restorative options at the first visit, but Dr. Richard is careful not to get bogged down with too many details up front. Proper phase 1 planning and delivery is vital to create the solid foundation for a lifetime of healthy, functional and beautiful smiles.

Helpful Links:

Know Your Teeth

Dental Health Online