4 Tips For New Dental Patients

Most people know that they should get a physical exam at least once a year. However, it's equally important to care for your teeth. Adults and children should visit their dentist's office at least twice a year. If you haven't been to the dentist in a while, you may need to find a new dental care provider. This process can be quick and easy, as long as you follow a few simple steps. Here are four tips for new patients who are visiting a dentist's office for the first time.

1. Bring your photo ID and insurance information.

Dental insurance is a must-have. It covers the cost of routine procedures, such as cleanings and annual x-rays. It can also lower the cost of restorative procedures like fillings and root canals. When visiting a dentist's office for the first time, you'll need to fill out new patient paperwork. The receptionist will also take your dental insurance information. To make this process as simple as possible, bring your dental insurance card along with a valid form of photo ID. Your insurance information will be kept on file for future visits.

2. Have your teeth cleaned and professionally examined.

At your first appointment, a dental hygienist will perform a cleaning. They will polish your teeth to remove accumulated stains and plaque. They will also use a dental tool shaped like a hook to remove tartar from the base of your teeth. This process may be a little uncomfortable if you have significant tartar buildup. Finally, the hygienist will floss your teeth before performing a series of dental x-rays. Your dentist will use the x-ray images and visual examination to diagnose areas of decay in your teeth.

3. Discuss your dentist's recommendations.

Your dentist will recommend some next steps based on the health of your teeth. If decay is discovered during your exam, your dentist will recommend restorative procedures. You may need to return on a different day to have a dental filling placed. If your teeth are in good health, you won't need to return to the dentist's office for another six months.

4. Schedule your next appointment.

It's wise to schedule your next dental appointment before leaving the dentist's office. Being proactive about scheduling will ensure you don't forget. Routine dental exams can prevent tooth decay, which can lead to pain and costly dental treatments. Many dentist's offices will send patients a reminder about upcoming appointments a few days before they are scheduled to occur.

For more information, reach out to a local dentist's office today.