Finding a dentist you can trust and feel comfortable with is essential to maintaining good oral health. When we think about issues of health and prevention, often we don’t think of our teeth. Just as you talk and share health concerns with your doctor, it’s important to maintain a dialogue with your dentist.
With new methods and advancements in dentistry, dental care is now more comfortable, accurate, natural-looking, and practically pain free, with less anxiety than ever before. We have provided you with a list of questions that you may want to ask before your first visit, during your first visit, and prior to treatment. If you’re prepared to ask the right questions, finding a new dentist and getting the treatment you need will be easier than you might think.
QUESTIONS TO ASK PRIOR TO YOUR FIRST VISIT
Is the dentist accepting new patients?
How long has the dentist been in practice?
If you get anxious during checkups and treatments, ask your dentist if his/her office provides any relaxation or sedation techniques to ease dental phobia?
Does the dentist see children as well as adults?
How long does it take to get an appointment?
What kind of dental technology does the dentist use?
How does the office handle emergencies after hours?
Does the office accept your insurance?
What kind of payment plans are offered?
Will the office file claims for you or will you have to do it yourself?
In addition to these general questions, below are some more specific and personal questions that you may wish to ask your dentist during your first visit and examination:
QUESTIONS TO ASK DURING YOUR FIRST VISIT
What can I do to improve my dental health?
Everyone’s mouth is different, and your dental health might require that you do more than the general guidelines of brushing after meals and flossing daily. Dentists can give you this customized information. They can advise you on whether you need to brush more often or switch to a different toothbrush, as well as the benefits of flossing and rinses. Don’t ever feel uncomfortable about asking your dental professional about procedures you’ve heard about or new products you’ve seen advertised. Remember you dental health is their main concern and all questions are always welcome.
What can you do to improve my dental health?
Whether it’s night guards for teeth grinding or treatment for bad breath, your dentist can help you optimize the health of your mouth. Telling your dentist about any pain, discomfort, or abnormalities you may have noticed or experienced, will enable them to come up with solutions that can improve your daily comfort and even prevent bigger problems from occurring in the future.
Is there anything that you need to know about my general health?
Your dentist should always be advised of any changes in your overall health status. Sudden complications in your mouth could be because of medications you’re taking or related to health changes or conditions elsewhere in your body. In addition, changes in the inside of your mouth can also signal certain medical conditions. Your dentist can make you aware of which symptoms should be brought to your doctor’s attention.
Are all of the treatments recommended absolutely necessary? Which ones are elective or cosmetic?
Getting a full understanding of all of the options that are available to you is very important aspect of your visit to the dentist, and will make you feel more comfortable and relaxed with you decision to move forward with treatment. In addition, understanding whether a treatment is considered by the insurance company to be necessary or cosmetic can also make a different when claims are submitted and subsequently paid or denied by your insurance company.
QUESTIONS TO ASK PRIOR TO TREATMENT
Are there other treatment options available? and if so, what are their pros and cons?
What side effects can I expect?
What kind of anesthesia will be used, general or local? How do I prepare in advance for it and how can I expect to feel immediately afterward?
Will I need assistance in getting home?
How long will it take and will there be any pain afterward?
Is there any special care needed for my teeth after the procedure and, if so, for how long?
Will there be any follow-up procedures, and how many appointments can I expect?
We hope these questions assist you in making an informed decision regarding your current and future dental health. Questions may vary from person to person, but hopefully this will give you a idea of where to start. Remember to call your dentist or orthodontist today to schedule a consultation for your specific dental needs.
Don’t forget to take advantage of your remaining dental insurance benefits before the end of the year.