5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Your Dental Visit
We have all heard the saying, time is precious. Well, time with your dental health care provider is no different, so don’t waste it. Here are 5 key ways to help you get the most out of every appointment.
#1 Do any paperwork ahead of time.
This is especially important if you are new to the office and being seen for the first time. There is often an in-depth health history to fill out. There may also be dental insurance information that needs to be gathered. The office may need payment information as well, such as a credit card on file. All these things take time and why not do them from the comfort of your couch rather than cutting in to your precious appointment time.
#2 Show up on time.
This can’t be stressed enough. When you arrive late, you have not only lost time with the dentist, assistant or hygienist, you’re probably flustered as well because you have been rushing to get there. Then, you feel like you have to explain how traffic was bad and it took you longer than it normally does, taking up even more of your appointment time. This time is dedicated to you and your health, so don’t cut it short.
#3 Come with questions and goals.
Don’t be afraid to bring a notebook and pen! If you prefer to take notes on your phone, that’s ok too. Be prepared to list off all the products you use. Sometimes we think of a question we want to ask and then so many things happen, we forget to ask it. Feel free to write those questions down when you think of them and bring them in to your appointment. Leave space to write the answers. Do you have any goals for your oral health? Write them down. Let’s talk about how we can get you there. As we make a plan of action together, take notes as if you were back in school. You can review them later and it will save you time with extra phone calls to the office.
#4 Come with no distractions.
This one may sound a bit odd, but it is 100% true. It is especially important if it is your first visit, where there is a lot of information to discuss, or if there is something particular you want to address. Anything that will keep your from focusing on yourself is a distraction. A Zoom meeting where you stay logged on, but mute yourself…a distraction. Yes, this has happened enough for it to actually make it in this blog. Checking your phone and returning emails all while getting your teeth cleaned…a distraction. We all have and love children, but when trying to learn new concepts and talk about complex dental and health needs, children are often a distraction. One we see frequently; mom or dad brings the child in because they see a dark spot on a baby tooth. They also bring in all the siblings. The child turns out to have extensive dental problems that requires sedation. This needs to be explained in detail. We want to dig in and find out how this happened and how we can prevent any more tooth problems in the future. It is extremely difficult to do this with other children present. Mom and dad are frustrated and the children are frustrated as well. We want to set everyone up for success and good communication with no distractions is key.
#5 Come with an open mind.
This may sound strange, but mindset matters. If you come in thinking you have always hated the dentist, you are probably not going to have a good time. So, try something new, perhaps manifest an awesome appointment. Literally picture what that would be for you and open your mind to that. Communicate any fears/bad experiences you have had in the past and let’s discuss how we can change that moving forward.
Keep these things in mind to help alleviate any time sucks and distractions. It will help ensure that your time in the office is truly dedicated to you and your individual dental needs. Together we can set you up for success by making a clear and precise plan to get your oral health into tip top shape.