How to Go to the Dentist
Oral health is an integral part of maintaining your overall well-being. Seeing a dentist regularly can help promote oral health and ward off potential problems or conditions. By scheduling an appointment and planning for your visit, you can go to the dentist whenever you need.
Scheduling an Appointment
Find a local dentist.Having the right dentist who you like can set the tone for your helping to maintain your oral health. Search among local dentists to find one that you like and can see on a regular basis.
- Ask friends and family members to recommend a dentist they go to or have seen. Most people won’t suggest a dentist they don’t like.
- Read reviews of local dentists either online or in publications like the newspaper.
- Call your insurance company to ask if you are required to see in-network dentists or if you can pay extra to see someone out of network. Most insurance companies can provide you a list of doctors who are a part of their network.
- Compile a list of potential dentists and write down factors that drew you to them.
Contact potential dentists’ offices.Call the offices of dentists you may want to see and inquire if they are accepting new patients. If not, contact the next name on your list.
- Give the receptionist your basic information, including whether or not you have insurance.
- Let her know any other relevant information, such as if you have a fear of dentists or significant dental issues.
Schedule an appointment.Once you’ve located a dentist’s office with which you feel comfortable, schedule an appointment. This can help ensure that you go to the dentist and promote your oral health.
- Schedule your appointment early in the morning if you can so that less likely to have to wait for a long time.Tell the receptionist you prefer mornings.
- Accept whatever times the receptionist offers. Tell her that your dates and times are flexible, which may help you get an appointment in a slot you want.
- Be kind and courteous with the receptionist.
Provide a reason for your visit.Give the receptionist a brief description of why you are visiting. This can help her figure out if the dentist is right for you and how long of an appointment you will need.
- Compose a one or two sentence description of your visit.For example, you could say “I am a new patient and would like to consult with the doctor” or “I am scheduling a routine cleaning.”
Ask for a referral.If you cannot get an appointment with the dentist of your choice, inquire if she works with a partner or can refer you to someone else. Doctors often work with other doctors to help serve their patients.
- Ask for the names of a couple of doctors if the referrals cannot take you or return to your list.
- Check to make sure the referral dentist is in your network if you have insurance.
Thank the staff.Make sure to thank you each office for its efforts to schedule an appointment for you. This may help you more easily get an appointment in the future.
Contact the referral dentist.If your first choice dentist’s office referred or recommended you to a colleague, contact her office. Nicely tell the receptionist that the other dentist’s office referred you and then inquire if her office has availability.
- Be kind and as flexible as possible. This may help you get an appointment as well as leaving a positive impression.
Seeing the Dentist
Arrive early.Make sure to get to your scheduled appointment early. This can give you time to fill out any necessary paperwork and provide information such as insurance details.
- Confirm your appointment a day or two in advance.
- Call the office if you are running late or need to reschedule. The earlier you can call the receptionist, the more likely she is to accommodate you.
- Take any insurance information or other relevant data you may need, such as what prescriptions you are taking or other doctors you see. The office may also send you forms in the mail to bring to your visit.
Communicate with your dentist.Good communication is the foundation of any doctor-patient relationship.Talking to your dentist before, during, and after procedures can you understand what she is doing and also reduce any fear or anxiety you have.
- Schedule a consultation before your first appointment if you like and it is an option.
- Ask your dentist any questions you have and answer any she may have for you.
- Be open and honest with your dentist. Tell her about any medical conditions you have, dental problems you are experiencing, or medications that you take.
- Tell your dentist if you are anxious or fear of dental procedures. This can help guide the way she treats you.Being honest about your anxieties and past experiences can only help your dentist treat you more effectively.
- Ask your dentist to keep you informed as she is doing the procedure. Remember that you have the right to know what is happening.
- Establishing a good personal connection with your dentist is important; it will help your dentist treat you more effectively, and you will feel more comfortable. Dental work involves concentration on the task at hand but also interactions with patients.
Use relaxation techniques.You can have a more pleasant experience if you use relaxation techniques. There are different relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises to medication that can help you more easily get through your visit, especially if you fear going to the dentist.
- Try nitrous oxide, sedation, or anti-anxiety medications such as alprazolam to help you relax during your visit.Your dentist can administer these options before and during your visit.
- If you are very scared, ask your dentist to prescribe anti-anxiety medication before your appointment.
- Tell your dentist if you take any anti-anxiety medication that she did not prescribe. This can help minimize the risk of potentially dangerous interactions between medications.
- Using sedatives during a dental procedure can increase the price, which dental insurance may not cover.
- Try breathing exercises. Inhale for 4 seconds, hold it, and then exhale for 4 seconds. As you inhale, think the word “let” and as you exhale think “go.” These can deepen your relaxation.
Distract yourself during the visit.Many dentists now offer different media to distract patient during visits. Accepting the offer to distract yourself with music or television may relax you.
- Take your own headphones if you like, but know the dentist’s office will sanitize their equipment in between patients.
- Ask if you can listen to music or a book during your appointment if your dentist doesn’t offer distracting media.
Take follow-up instructions.You will probably receive follow-up instructions from your dentist for things like additional procedures you need, cleaning instructions, or when to come for your next visit. Make sure to take this with you so that you don’t forget them and can follow your doctor’s orders.
- Ask your dentist any questions you have on follow up care or instructions she gives you on how to care for your oral hygiene.
- Get any prescriptions you need, including for medications or procedures such as dental impressions.
Check out before leaving.When you’ve finished your visit and discussed the appointment and future plans with your dentist, check out with the receptionist. She can tell you if you owe any money and schedule future visits for you.
- Ask any questions about the insurance or payment procedures so that you don’t miss a payment.
- Tell her about follow up visits you need to schedule and what the nature of them is, which she may already have on your doctor’s instruction sheet.
- Thank the receptionist for her help.
Visit your dentist regularly.Seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups can minimize the risk of serious oral health conditions. Schedule appointments yearly or as often as your dentist suggests to promote your oral and overall well-being.
- Take care of your oral health by brushing and flossing at least twice a day. This can reduce the need for complicated procedures. Prevention methods can help you reduce dental costs and better your oral health.
QuestionIs it okay to have another friend or family member in the procedure room with you?
Doctor of Dental SurgeryDoctor of Dental SurgeryExpert AnswerHaving a friend with you can sometimes worsen the situation, as they can make you feel even more scared than you actually are. This happens when they are also scared and send you their emotions. When dealing with kids, on the other hand, it is good to have their parent holding their hand in order to make them feel comfortable.Thanks!
QuestionAre most dentists and receptionists understanding about others' fears of dentists?
Doctor of Dental SurgeryDoctor of Dental SurgeryExpert AnswerA fear of the dentist is a general feeling that can sometimes be applied to dentists themselves. It is absolutely normal to understand a patient’s fear of dental chair or tooth pain. However, modern technology has almost entirely eliminated painful procedures.Thanks!
QuestionWhat should I do if I have a hole in my tooth?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerIf you have a hole in your tooth, see a dentist immediately. Even if the hole doesn't hurt, it could cause serious problems later, and it will only get worse the longer you wait.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I am too ashamed to admit that I am afraid of the dentist?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerDon't be! Your dentist has heard it before. They won't be mad or make fun of you.Thanks!
QuestionWhat if I have a tooth that's a very dark orange color?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerThis is likely a stain or buildup of plaque. However, if there is pain associated with the discolored tooth, you may have a more serious problem. You should see your dentist as soon as possible. At the very least, she can clean your teeth and clear up the discoloration.Thanks!
What can I do to get over my fear of having cavities?
What can I do about six teeth that are in the wrong position?
If you need to go to the dentist, ask your family and friends to recommend a dentist they like. You can also read reviews of different dental clinics online. You should also check with your insurance to see if you have to see a dentist in your network. Once you’ve chosen the dentist you want to see, call and make an appointment. If you get nervous before dental appointments, practice breathing exercises or meditation beforehand to help yourself calm down, and ask your dentist if it’s okay for you to listen to music during the appointment to help distract you.
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