What To Expect At Your First Dental Appointment
Creating healthy, confident smiles for life is our mission and we are glad you have taken the first step. Regular dental appointments are an important part of maintaining your overall health and wellbeing.
Here’s what to expect at your dental first visit
- When you arrive, you will be greeted by a Patient Coordinator who will check you in, notify the team of your arrival, verify insurance if applicable, and guide you through any necessary new patient paperwork. You can save time by completing the new patient forms in your appointment confirmation email before you arrive. A link to the new patient forms is also available on the location page for the office you are visiting.
- Once completed, a member of our team will escort you from the waiting room to a treatment room where they will review your dental history, medical history, and any dental health concerns or issues. The dental assistant will then take digital x-rays for the doctor to review. Radiation from digital dental x-rays is very low, especially in comparison to traditional x-rays. For more information, speak with your dentist or dental assistant.
Your Comprehensive Exam
- As a new patient, you will first see the dentist for a comprehensive exam. During this exam the dentist will discuss your health history, any concerns you may have, and may take your blood pressure to ensure you are in good health. This is a great time to let us know if you are anxious about your appointment. Your comfort is a priority and we will work to make your appointment as smooth and comfortable as possible. During your exam, your dentist will review your dental x-rays and complete an oral cancer screening which includes an examination of your jaw, neck, tongue and inside of your mouth. This screening is important and recommended one per year.
- This initial exam will take about an hour and is important so your dental team can identify any issues like gum disease or cavities. Based on your exam, your dentist will develop a personalized treatment plan and discuss options with you. If dental care is needed with a specialist, all Great Lakes Family Dental practices have dental specialists on staff without the need for a referral. Consultations with a specialist are always free.
- At your first visit, you may not receive a cleaning. A cleaning may be completed after the doctor ensures it is the appropriate treatment for your specific oral health. There are certain conditions that determine if a cleaning is not the first best course of treatment. Once your oral health is stabilized, you can expect to have your exam and cleaning/hygiene appointments at the same time going forward.
Your Hygiene Visit
- During your visit, dental hygienist will discuss your dental history and answer any questions you may have regarding oral hygiene habits, signs of gum disease, or brushing and flossing techniques. You can discuss any concerns, sensitivity, or issues you are experiencing at this time.
- An overview of your mouth and gums will be followed by an oral cancer screening, then a thorough cleaning and polishing of your teeth. Your hygienist may clean your teeth manually with traditional tools or use an advanced water powered instrument based on what is best for your specific needs. Fluoride treatments are recommended by the ADA for adults as well as children, and your dental hygienist may recommend treatment.
- Finally, your hygienists will review tips for caring for your teeth and preventing gum disease. Your hygiene exam should take about 45 minutes, and you will leave with a toothbrush, floss and toothpaste to keep on track with your home health routine.
- Once you review your treatment plan with the dentist, a patient coordinator will meet with you to schedule any follow-up appointments, review payment options, and answer questions about insurance coverage of your recommended services.
- For each service you will receive a comprehensive breakdown of cost and insurance coverage. Financing options such as CareCredit are available and all Great Lakes Family Dental locations accept Essential Dental, a discount dental plan that provides immediate coverage and discounts on all dental services. We can assist you in applying in the office. Our goal is to help you get the treatment you need quickly and comfortably.
- Don’t forget to schedule your next hygiene appointment and exam before you leave. It’s a great way to make sure you stay on track with your dental health. When you provide us a cell phone and email address, you will receive text and email reminders of your upcoming appointments.
At Great Lakes Family Dental, we’re on a mission to provide healthy, confident smiles for life. If at any point you have questions about your experience, please email firstname.lastname@example.org