In 2014, the American Dental Association reported that 22% of people skip dental appointments because they are afraid of the dentist.
Dental fear is common, so we wanted to shed light on what our appointments are like. Every office is different of course, but here is what our new patients generally experience at the first appointment:
1. A warm welcome from our friendly doctors and staff!
Our staff is very warm and friendly by nature, so we always spread the love to our patients. Our philosophy is that if you're happy, we're happy. If we're happy, you're happy!
2. "How can I help you?"
You came to the office for a reason. Whether it's for a routine checkup or a sensitive tooth, we make sure that your chief concern is the first thing on the doctor's agenda.
We need x-rays to perform a proper diagnosis and construction of your treatment plan. They allow us to see the extent of both dental health AND dental disease; thus, they are CRUCIAL to the diagnoses of your dental health.
4. Soft tissue exam
We check for "lumps and bumps", salivary flow, and routinely perform oral cancer screenings. We also check for the presence of gum disease (gum bleeding with bone and attachment loss). The Center for Disease Control estimates that in the US, 47.2% of adults over 30 have untreated gum disease. This number jumps to 70% infection in adults over 65. Don't become a statistic!
5. Hard tissue exam
This is the examination of the teeth, themselves.
It's hard to explain your oral health verbally. We need visuals as well so patients know EXACTLY what we're talking about.
7. Your personalized treatment plan
At this point, we display your photos and x-rays onto the computer to explain all of our findings. This is a dialogue, so we encourage our patients to ask a ton of questions and interrupt us as needed. It's your mouth after all, so we want our findings and planned treatment to be crystal clear!
8. Teeth cleaning
Time to give your teeth a much needed bath! We'll remove plaque, tartar above the gums, and any coffee stains you might have. We also routinely give our patients a complimentary hygiene kit to take home (brush, floss, toothpaste, and mouthrinse).
9. Any questions?
We make sure we answer all of your questions, and ensure that we have addressed your chief concerns.
10. Dismissal and setting up your next appointment!
We hope this post is useful to explain exactly what your first dental appointment is like in our office. We also want to show you exactly how much detail and care we put into our appointments. No two mouths are the same, and each has their own unique story to tell!