How to Prep For Your First Dental Visit

female dentist and patient

Whether you’re going to your first dentist appointment or you’re about to be a new patient at a dental office, you will likely have some questions to ask your dentist. But you may not know what to ask at first or you may draw a blank when you’re put on the spot. 

10 Questions to Ask Your Dentist During Your First Visit

If you’ve never visited the dentist before, here’s what to expect. Your first trip to the dentist will be more like a consultation. You and your dentist will have a conversation about your oral health and then the dentist will examine your teeth to get an idea of their current condition. Next, your dentist will make a plan for your care going forward. If you have dental issues that need to be corrected, such as cavities or gum disease, your dentist will explain what type of procedures will be needed to restore your oral health. If your teeth are relatively healthy, you may only need to schedule regular cleanings. 

Consider asking these 10 questions at your first dental visit. You may even want to write them down or pull this list up on your phone while you’re there.

What do typical appointments entail?

A regular preventive care appointment will include an examination of your teeth, a thorough cleaning of your teeth, and perhaps a fluoride treatment or other preventive measures. You will have X-Rays taken of your teeth once a year, which usually equates to every other appointment when you’re on a recommended twice yearly schedule. 

How much notice do you require for cancelations?

Ask how long you have to cancel or reschedule an appointment without being charged. Most dental offices have a cancelation policy in place that may or may not be subjective based on the reason for your cancelation. 

Do you accept/are you in-network with my insurance?

If you have dental insurance it is important to ask if they accept your insurance provider and also if they are in-network with your insurance provider. There is a difference. 

  • Accept: By accepting your insurance, it means we will honor the coverage that your insurance company offers toward any of our dental services, but that you may have to pay more out of pocket. 
  • In-network. If we are in-network with your insurance provider it means that the cost of services and the amount your insurance will pay has been predetermined so you should have fewer out of pocket costs. 

What is the cost of certain procedures after or without insurance?

Your insurance plan may not cover every procedure and may only cover part of some procedures. Pre-estimate requests can be submitted to your insurance to find out exactly how much they will pay for procedures and how much you will owe. At Creekview Dental, we routinely do this for our patients.

What can I do about my sensitive teeth?

If you suffer from sensitive teeth, ask the dentist what they recommend for desensitizing teeth. Also ask what they do to make regular cleanings and procedures less harsh to sensitive teeth, such as using warmer water to rinse.

What’s the best teeth whitening product/procedure?

Another common question new patients ask is what teeth whitening options are best. Some dental offices offer in-office treatments and others recommend at-home whitening products. Your dentist can offer options that will be safer and less abrasive to your teeth.

What technology do you use?

Asking about technology helps you ensure that your dentist keeps up with current best practices and uses state-of-the-art equipment for diagnostics and procedures. Dental technology has come a long way in making procedures less invasive and more comfortable, resulting in shorter recovery times. Technology also aids in the early detection of dental issues and even oral cancer.

How do you handle patients with dental anxiety?

If you struggle with dental anxiety and fear about going to the dentist, you need a dentist who understands this and is willing to work with you. Empathy and patience go a long way, as well as offering options such as sedation dentistry for procedures. At Creekview Dental we take the time to address your concerns. 

How often should I come in for cleanings?

The American Dental Association recommends dental cleanings and exams every 6 months. However, if you have periodontal (gum) issues you may require more frequent visits. It is best to honor your dentist’s recommendations. 

When should my child have their first dental visit?

Creekview Dental begins seeing patients between age 18 months and 2 years. Pediatric dentistry is important because it builds a foundation for healthy teeth that can last a lifetime. 

Your First Visit to Creekview Dental 

We understand that your first dentist appointment can be a source of anxiety or stress if you don’t know what to expect. At Creekview Dental we welcome your questions and strive to answer them as accurately as possible. Call (651) 738-8204 today to schedule an appointment or contact us and we will be in touch.