Hygienists tell all! 9 tips to make your first trip to the dentist more efficient and enjoyable

Posted by Southeast Family Dental Sep 29,2020

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Going to a new dentist for the first time can be overwhelming. You may not know what medical and dental information you need to provide or bring with you. Additionally, you may not know how you can prepare for your dentist appointment to make sure your problems and concerns are addressed. At Southeast Family Dental, we want to make your first visit to our office goes as smoothly and pleasantly as possible. Therefore, we asked our hygienists: “What tips would you give a new patient to make their visit to our office more efficient and enjoyable?” Here are 9 tips real hygienists at Southeast Family Dental want you to know.

1. Make sure you print and complete the Patient Medical History form at home and bring it with you to your dentist appointment. Completing this form before your visit will save time and help make your visit more efficient. Many diseases, like diabetes and autoimmune disorders, can have a significant effect on your mouth and teeth. A thorough medical history helps ensure our dentists provide you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for any dental issues you may have.

2. Bring a list of allergies you have. The Patient Medical History form includes a section to list allergies; however, you may want to bring an additional list with you when you’re asked about allergies during your dentist appointment. In addition to allergies to medications, don’t forget to include allergies to materials like latex and metal which may affect your treatment plan.

3. Bring a list of medications (over-the-counter and prescription) you’re currently taking. Preparing the list ahead of time helps ensure the information you provide us is accurate instead of trying to remember at the last minute when asked. As a bonus tip, consider downloading and using the Medisafe app on your smartphone. You may wonder why we want to know about your medications. Some medications you’re taking may cause dry mouth, which can increase your risk of cavities. Plus, we want to make sure medications our dentists may prescribe don’t cause interactions with medications you’re already taking.

4. Make sure to take antibiotic pre-medication before arriving, if needed. Pre-medication can help prevent bacterial infections in patients who have heart conditions and have had joint replacements.

5. Have x-rays from a previous dentist’s office sent to our office before your appointment. We cannot provide you with an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan if we don’t have all the information we need.

6. Bring any partials, dentures, mouth guards, etc. that you may already have to your dentist appointment. We will need to assess their condition and make sure they still fit correctly.

7. Prepare for a longer appointment on your first dental visit. We want to have ample time during your dentist appointment to assess your oral health, take any necessary diagnostic imaging, discuss your oral hygiene habits, talk about your treatment plan, and address any concerns you may have.

8. Communicate your expectations and wants to your hygienist. We want to provide you with the best care possible, therefore, we need to know what your expectations and wants are. You may want to make a list of your expectations, wants and concerns before your dentist appointment to ensure you don’t forget something during your visit.

9. Don’t be afraid to express your problems and concerns to your hygienist. If you wait to tell them to the dentist, you could add more time to your visit which could have been eliminated if you’d told the hygienist up front.

By following our hygienists’ advice, we can ensure your first visit at Southeast Family Dental will be more efficient and enjoyable. Contact us at (317) 359-8000 to schedule your appointment. Together, we can help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile.

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