Whether you are going to the dentist for the first time in a while, or you simply switched cities so you are going to an appointment for the first time with a new dentist, it’s important to plan for that first meeting. It will not only ensure that it goes smoothly and you are seen, but it will help you to feel more comfortable and ensure nothing is missed during the examination of your mouth and gums. The experts at Noble Smiles Dentistry have new patients regularly and see what goes right and wrong. Keep reading to find out how to prepare for a dental appointment with a new dentist.
Did you know that only 50% of people see the dentist on a regular basis? So before we even get started, we want to tell you that you have done a great job at putting your dental health first!
It’s important to ensure your dental appointment is at the time you may believe it is in your mind. Make sure by giving them a call and writing it in your planner. Most dental offices will also include a reminder call, email, text message. Make sure that message aligns with your personal calendar. It’s always okay to call and verify the appointment time. Just ensure you know that time and not 30 minutes later.
If you are coming from another dental office, make sure any dental records are transferred. This is a simple process and asks the new dentist to contact your old office and have them sent that way. You don’t need to do anything, simply let this current dentist know the details of your previous dentist.
Make sure you arrive early. At your first appointment, you will probably need to fill out forms and detail any previous dental work you have had. If you have insurance, you will also need to allow them to take a copy of your card as well as photo ID. It’s recommended that you arrive 30 minutes before your appointment to complete all the paperwork. It’s never a good feeling to be rushed, especially right before an important appointment like seeing the dentist.
The next tip we have is to make sure you prepare all your information prior to getting to your appointment. This means photo ID, payment method, insurance, any notes you took to tell the doctor, and anything that can be helpful. It’s important to be prepared and bring everything that can make the appointment as helpful as possible.
Do you have any dental issues that have come up recently? If you do, make sure you have these written down or thought about before your appointment. Anything that has occured and bothered you during the last 6 months is important for the dentist to know. If you keep something hidden that is a little issue, it can turn into a big problem quickly. If you simply dealt with it when you were in your appointment originally, it can save you a big headache and a much larger bill. Some of the issues you should alert your dentist about are when a tooth started (and perhaps stopped) hurting, exactly where you felt the discomfort, what level of pain you felt (you can even compare it to any other pain in your mouth you have experienced in the past), if there is any bleeding that is occurring or swelling, and finally if the pain is happening at all times or if it only happens at certain times of the day.
It’s always important to be completely upfront and honest with the dentist. When they ask how often you floss, let them know if you do daily, weekly, or have not since your last appointment. Having an honest and open relationship with your dentist will help get to the root of any problems you are experiencing. It should not be embarrassing, it should simply be a place where open communication is necessary.
Many dentists work with you if you do not have insurance, or even if you do and you are not able to cover the bill. There are many payment plans out there that can be through a third party, or directly through the dentist. If you know you may not be able to pay the bill, call the dentist ahead of time and ask for their options. If you plan on getting a lot of work done, it’s important to ensure you are approved for the treatment prior to the appointment. This way it can go smoothly and know you are for sure able to receive the treatment.
Some dentists have a cancelation fee if you do not cancel within 24 hours. Regardless if they do or don’t, it’s polite to cancel your appointment if you are not able to come as quickly as possible. This will allow someone else to use that spot and for it not to go to waste.
Our final tip is to relax. Most dentists know that many adults fear the dentist and get anxiety about their appointment. If this is you, be honest with the dentist and let them know you have dental anxiety. If it is extreme, they can always give you a sedation during your appointment.
If you have not been to the dentist you have an appointment at, it’s important to follow these tips to ensure your appointment goes as smoothly as possible. Even if it is not a new dentist, it’s still a great idea to give the dental office a notice if you need to cancel, understand any payment plans, note any pain or discomfort you have been experiencing, and double check your appointment date and time. You may feel more comfortable after seeing a dentist after your first appointment, so just go into the office feeling confident and follow these steps to a smoother appointment. For more tips on going to a dental appointment with a new dentist, contact us today!