When you take your time to visit a dentist for the first time, you should look for a comfortable environment and a welcoming office where your personal dental needs are met with professionalism, friendliness and care in every aspect of your visit – from requesting appointments to dental cleanings to treatment. Usually, a dental practice will give treatment to people of all ages from a 2-year-old to adult.
A dentist will take the necessary time to diagnose your dental problems, review your past health and dental histories, and provide a comprehensive treatment plan to achieve your optimal dental health. With your full consent and cooperation, the dentist will thoroughly evaluate your dental health. This will help the dental practice build a strong foundation for a long-term patient relationship and trust at your first visit.
Your first dentist appointment usually will consist of an oral examination, x-rays, if required, and treatment options. Often, consultation and treatment can be completed on the same day. However, the dentist and the team need to evaluate your complete medical record or treatment plan to understand your health needs and book an appointment the next time.
If you have a history of common health disorders that may be present prior to treatment such as hypertension, diabetes, blood cholesterol, rheumatic fever, prosthetic heart valves, etc. or if you are currently taking any heart medications, aspirin, anticoagulant therapy, etc., you have to report the dental office.
Patients need to provide the following information during the consultation with the dentist:
- Any X-rays from your previous dentist, if applicable. If your dentist or physician holds the records of patient’s x-rays, you may request that they forward them to the dental office.
- List all the names of the medications you are currently taking
- If you’ve got dental insurance, carry the necessary filled-in forms. This will help the dental office prepare the insurance claims, if any, on time.
It is important that during the dental visits all patients under the age of 18 must accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Call the dental clinic and discuss scheduling your first appointment, financial policy and insurance eligibility, to make that part of the process simple and straightforward. Some dentists are open on weekends also.
During your first visit, you can also check the website of the dental clinic and take care to use the mapping service to locate the dental office. You will also get driving directions that include a map, the travel time, and distance to reach the destination.