Updated: 2022, Sep 2

7 Things You Should Do To Prepare For Your Next Dental Visit

Planning for your next dental visit? Have you put everything required in order? Is your appointment still on? Do you have a clear understanding of what your procedure entails?

7 Things You Should Do To Prepare For Your Next Dental Visit
Tips to Prepare for Your Dental Appointment. Image/Adobestock

These are some questions you must answer before visiting your dentist. It would be best if you were adequately prepared to ensure everything goes smoothly. If you’re wondering how you should prepare for your next dental visit, here is how:

1. Verify the Appointment

Most, if not all, dental clinics use intelligent appointment systems that remind the patients about their appointment, either through texts or calls. Once you receive the reminder, follow the protocols required to confirm if you’re still keeping the appointment or not. Moreover, confirming the appointment will help you understand at what time and when you should show up for the check-up and ensure the dentist expects your visit.

If your dental clinic doesn’t use the modes of communication mentioned above to remind its patients of their subsequent appointments, you might need to call or visit before the appointment. This ensures that your appointment with the dentist is arranged and the dentist is aware of your next appointment.

2. Understand Why You’re Visiting A Dentist

There are many reasons to schedule an appointment with a dentist. It might be for regular cleaning, tooth removal, or even denture replacement or placement. That said, it’s vital to understand why you want to visit your dentist to prepare accordingly. For instance, when planning for particular procedures, you may have to adjust your diet before the appointment. You might also be required to skip meals several hours before the procedure. Without understanding why you’re seeing a dentist, you’ll probably make a mistake that might interfere with your treatment.

dentist appointment
Dentist Appointment. Image/Adobestock

3. Prepare Your Dental Records

As with other health practitioners, dentists will also require your dental health history to make a treatment plan and understand where you stand concerning dental health. Without your record, it might be challenging for the dentist to understand what to do or not, especially if you’re a new patient. However, with dental records, the dentist can make a quick study to determine your issues and the treatments you’ve been on. This way, they’ll figure out whether to continue, stop, or adjust the treatment plan.

4. Keep Your Mouth Clean

The dentist will examine your mouth and teeth for a few minutes. Therefore, it will be appropriate to maintain your oral hygiene to get rid of leftover food and bad breath. No one would want to spend minutes close to a stinking and dirty mouth, not you. With that in mind, provide a conducive environment for the dentist by ensuring your mouth is clean. You also don’t want to make the impression that your bad oral hygiene is the culprit of your dental issues. Make sure you floss, brush, and mouthwash for sparkling clean teeth and fresh breath.

5. Understand The Payment Method

Dental visits can be costly depending on the procedures and treatment you receive. In some cases, it might be challenging to provide the required payment, especially if you’re paying cash. It’s vital to figure out how you’ll pay to avoid experiencing any challenges when paying for the services. Before the appointment, check the insurance policy to understand the amount needed for your treatment or the required services. Also, ensure your credit or insurance is in order for easier payment.

6. Keep Time

Your dentist is probably a busy one. Also, as you’ve planned and waited for your appointment, so have other patients. Therefore, you should avoid any delay that can interfere with the dentist’s schedule. Ensure you know the address and travel early to avoid traffic jams. If possible, arrive 10 minutes earlier instead of late. Come to think of it; it might be good to wait for the dentist instead of them waiting for you.

7. Open Up And Be Honest

Most patients are scared of dental visits. This is understandable since the procedures might seem scary and can be painful. Also, other patients are concerned with the dentist’s view of their dental issues, resulting in low self-esteem. While all these concerns are valid, it’s vital to note that dentists are trained to handle patients with care and are used to dealing with all dental issues. It’s also important to note that a professional dentist is there to help you correct your dental issue, not to judge you. Therefore, you should be honest about your feelings, fears, and concerns to help the doctor handle you appropriately.

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*All individuals are unique. Your results can and will vary.

Conclusion

Before showing up for your next dental visit, you should ensure that everything is for a smooth process. Prepare for your appointment, the procedure, and the payment method. Moreover, make sure to arrive on time to avoid delays. Remember, you shouldn’t be nervous; your dentist will handle you with the amount of care you deserve.

6 sources

1. Thomson WM, Williams SM, Broadbent JM, Poulton R, Locker D. Long-term dental visiting patterns and adult oral health. J Dent Res. 2010 Mar;89(3):307-11. doi: 10.1177/0022034509356779. Epub 2010 Jan 21. PMID: 20093674; PMCID: PMC2821461.
2. Qu, X., Houser, S.H., Tian, M. et al. Effects of early preventive dental visits and its associations with dental caries experience: a cross-sectional study. BMC Oral Health 22, 150 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-022-02190-6 https://rdcu.be/cUOm6
3. Alhareky M, Nazir MA. Dental Visits and Predictors of Regular Attendance Among Female Schoolchildren in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Clin Cosmet Investig Dent. 2021;13:97-104 https://doi.org/10.2147/CCIDE.S300108
4. Content source: CDC/National Center for Health Statistics https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/dental.htm
5. Casamassimo PS, Nowak AJ. Benefits of Early Dental Care Now Hard to Refute. JAMA Netw Open. 2019;2(3):e190673. doi:10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2019.0673
6. Factors associated with last dental visit or not to visit the dentist by Brazilian adolescents: A population-based study https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0183310
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Dr. Steven Lin, B.D

Dr. Steven Lin is a dentist, speaker, and author of the upcoming book, The Dental Diet (January 18’). His work aims to bridge the gap

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