Tuesday, June 3, 2014

What To Expect On Your First Visit To The Dentist

A first trip into a new dentist office can seem overwhelming especially if you don't know what to expect. Usually as soon as you walk in you are bombarded with paperwork, then the assistant calls you in and plays 20 questions, then the dentist comes in and looks in your mouth, then someone else comes in and tells you what all you need to have done. Sound familiar? When I explain it like that, I am sure you can see how that can be overwhelming. Well, here's a little secret... It doesn't have to be. If you basically what to expect and follow a few simple tips then this whole process can be quicker a less stressful. Here are some expectations and tips for you.

What to expect:

1. Paperwork: When you get there, you will be asked to fill out the new patient packet. This includes medical history and contact information, HIPPA Policy, Consent for treatment and some other inner office papers that they are required to have on filee.

2. Full Mouth X-Rays: Depending on your dentist, this will be done as FMX or Panoramic. This is a necessary step that they must take because it gives the dentist a view of the condition of your dental health at that time as well as reveals some of the work that has previously been done by another dentist.

3. Comprehensive Exam: This is the point that the dentist is actually looking at your teeth and examining their health status. Depending on the the dentist's finding, a Perodontical Evaluation may follow.

4. Suggestion Plan Of Care: (Treatment Plan): This is the where you find out what the dentist saw during your examination, what he/she suggests as course of treatment, and what the cost for it is.

TIPS For Making The Process Easier:

1. Prepare for the paperwork: Prior to going to your first dental visit, gather all of the pertinent information that will need, such as Insurance or Coverage Plan information, medical history and a list of any and all medications that you are currently taking.

2. Do the paperwork ahead of time (if applicable): Some dental centers have their new patient information packets available for downloading on their websites. Prior to your first visit, check out their website and see if they have them available. If so, download them, fill them out and take them with you. This alone can save an extra 15 minutes in the office as well as give you more time to gather the essential information.

3. Be Early, Be On Time:  For your first visit, you always want to be there approx 15-20 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time. This will allow the time for you to fill out paper and for them to ask any questions that they have.

4. Don't Freak Out Over The Treatment Plan: The treatment PLAN is just that.. A PLAN. It is not written in stone. Remember that dentist is not making this stuff up. What is on your treatment plan is a diagnosis from the doctor and plan of action that they would like to take. A treatment plan is developed with the goal of bring you to optimal dental health. However, again it is a plan. You have the choice as the patient to decide if you would like to proceed with the whole treatment plan, do 1/2 of it or none at all. What is done is your call.

I hope that these tips have helped. 

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