One of the first things you should know before going to see a dentist is what you should be expecting from the first visit.
Is your first visit going to be an initial consultation? A full exam? Will there be x-rays taken?
What should you be expecting when you go and see the dentist?
Each dentist is going to approach your first visit a little longer.
If your first visit is going to be a general exam and oral check-up, you can expect a teeth cleaning, x-rays and a visual inspection by the dentist. They are going to be reviewing your overall oral health. Looking for any particular dental complications, mouth/jaw diseases and other small issues like teeth grinding or build-up of plaque in a certain area of your mouth.
They will be taking all of this information and will then go over this with you after your initial exam.
If your first visit is regarding a cosmetic issue, like replacing a missing tooth, or an overall smile make-over. You should expect a more consultation approach to your visit.
For cosmetic issues, a dentist is often going to want to look over your mouth, gums, and teeth in order to determine what all is going to be necessary to accomplish your goals and desired look.
Will the staff review the cost of procedures before treatment is done?
Cost of procedures is a very important detail that you need to know before going to have a procedure done.
Before your first visit, you should find out with the dental staff what the cost of your visit will be. They can often provide you with this information beforehand, as they have a typical price for general procedures.
A general dental cleaning and exam is going to cost you on average $127.
You should find out whether you will be responsible for the whole cost beforehand or after the procedure. Also, if you have insurance, you’ll want to find out if they accept your insurance or not.
Make sure you specifically tell the dental staff when making your appointment, that you want to know the cost and that any extra costs will need to be approved by you before the procedure happens.
So, if x-rays are not included in the cost you’re quoted, you don’t want them to come along and say, “Oh, this is your first visit and we need to go ahead and take x-rays.” You don’t think anything of this, so you go and get your x-rays taken and then are surprised when the price jumps by $100. Make sure that everything is clear beforehand.
Now, there are going to be some kinds or procedures that you’re not going to be able to firmly know the price beforehand. For instance, a dental implant to replace a missing tooth might have a generic set price by the dentist, but once you get into the office and they review your mouth, they might determine that you have some complication that is going to require more work and thus cost more money. This should be able to be found out during the initial discovery consultation. So even then, there shouldn’t be “surprise” costs that accumulate.
Does the dentist keep up with new advancements in science?
This may be a harder one to find out, but it’s good to know that your dentist is staying on top of the latest in dental breakthroughs. Now, just like other medical fields, dentists are required to take continuing education. So there is going to be a certain degree that the dentist will be apprised of the latest finds in the field.
You can find out how many hours your dentist is required to take in continuing education depending on the state you live. Check out this link here -> Dentist CE Requirements
This should help reassure you, however, it’s still good to ask if the dental office is incorporating some of the newer technologies.
- Do they use dental lasers?
- What kind of dental crowns do they use, are they able to process crowns/bridges during the same day?
- What kind of advanced cancer screening procedures do they have in place?
- Do they incorporate digital dentistry?
- Do they have advanced sterilization systems?
- Are you able to check your dental records online through a patient management system?
- These are just a few questions. You can also search online for some newer dental technologies that have come out and form your own questions to ask.
The bottom line is that you want to have a discussion with your dental provider to make sure that they’re not falling behind in the important aspects of dental breakthroughs.
Well, that’s it for now. Check back soon for some more awesome articles on dentistry and finding the right dental practice for you!