Whether you’re visiting the dentist for the first time or the tenth, you may still have some anxieties about having your teeth examined or worked on. Because you want to keep your teeth healthy and pearly white, you’ve scheduled an appointment and plan to visit your dentist regularly.
But do you know how to prepare for your next dental appointment? What do you bring with you? What things should you do before you arrive at the dentist’s office?
Below, we list several tips so you can better prepare yourself for your next appointment. Read on to discover how you can make getting your teeth cleaned and examined easy and worry-free.
1. Know What Your Insurance Covers
Regardless of your reason for your upcoming appointment, you’ll want to make sure that your dental insurance will cover the procedure and how much of the cost your policy pays for.
Many insurances will cover 100% of the cost for preventive care procedures like cleanings, exams, X-rays, and fluoride treatments. For other procedures, insurances usually cover up to 80% of the total cost, leaving you responsible for paying the difference.
Call your insurance provider and ask them about the procedures your plan covers. Or, if you know which service you need specifically, you can ask your insurance provider how much of the cost is covered under your policy.
2. Talk to Your Dentist About Your Concerns
As with any health appointment, you want your dental visit to go as comfortably and smoothly as possible. When you visit your doctor, you have to tell them everything you feel and any concerns you have so they can properly diagnose and treat you.
Likewise, you need to be honest with your dentist and his or her assisting staff members. You may feel embarrassed about pain or symptoms you’ve experienced. But if you don’t tell your dentist about your concerns and the symptoms you’ve noticed, he or she can’t treat you as quickly or effectively.
Additionally, if you feel anxious about your upcoming procedure, tell your dentist. He or she may use general anesthesia or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to keep you calm during your procedure. If you don’t mention your anxiety to your dentist, you may have a harder time feeling relaxed. If you’re more tense or nervous, your dentist could also have a harder time treating you.
3. Ask Questions
You may want to make a list of questions for your dentist to bring to your appointment. Some questions you may want to ask include:
- How long will treatment take?
- Will I need to make additional appointments?
- What should I take to reduce the pain?
- What can I do at home to keep my teeth healthy?
- Which toothpaste and mouthwash brands do you recommend?
If you think of any other questions while you talk with your dentist, ask them. As you discuss these questions, you can better understand important details like what your treatment involves and what you can do afterward.
4. Confirm Your Appointment
Even though you’ve already scheduled your appointment, you’ll still want to confirm the visit. Call your dentist’s office and tell the staff that you want to make sure you’re scheduled on the right day and time. This call tells your dental staff that you’re still planning to show up for your appointment. Many dental offices will make a courtesy call two business days before your scheduled visit.
Confirming your visit also ensures that you have the date and time right so you show up when you should. And, in the off chance that your appointment was scheduled incorrectly or accidentally deleted, the office staff can quickly correct the error.
5. Clean Your Teeth
Make sure your teeth, tongue, and gums are clean before your visit. Your dentist can more effectively clean your teeth and diagnose any dental issues if they don’t have to remove food and plaque buildup. And, a nice pre-clean can help your appointment go by a lot faster.
Additionally, you should try to avoid eating foods that can cause bad breath, like onions, garlic, and spicy food. You may also want to avoid foods and beverages like cookies, sodas, and tomato-based sauces so your teeth aren’t stained.
6. Get to the Office Early
You’ll want to get to the dentist’s office early in case you need to fill out paperwork. Or, if you’re visiting an office for the first time and haven’t transferred your dental records, you’ll need to have these documents sent over before your visit. Make sure to bring a current list of medications you are taking to share with your dental provider.
Arriving early gives you the time you need to fulfill these tasks before you meet with your dental professional.
7. Arrange Payments
Even if your insurance does cover some of the cost for your treatment or procedure, you may still be responsible for some of the cost. If you do have to pay for your visit, ask your office’s billing department if they offer financing. If payment options are available, set up a payment plan. If they don’t provide financing options, you’ll have to pay for the procedure out of pocket.
Use these tips to prepare for your next visit to the dentist. If you have any other questions about getting ready for your appointment, call Apollo Dental Center.