Visiting a dentist for the first time can make anyone nervous. Thankfully, we’re here to cover everything you need to know about a new patient exam. These exams are largely there to introduce you to your dental team and give your dentist a better understanding of your dental concerns. New patient exams are also a good opportunity to discuss any dental concerns or questions you may have with your new dentist.
The New Patient Exam
A new patient exam is about getting to know your dentist and familiarizing your dental team with your unique dental needs. A new patient exam may come at the end of a general hygiene appointment or a separate appointment in your dental office. In most cases, this exam should only take 30 minutes or so on its own, though if you need x-rays or cleanings done, that can extend the appointment duration.
During the new patient exam, your dentist will potentially take x-rays of your teeth and examine them to check for cavities or other dental issues. They will also examine your teeth and overall oral health. This exam may include checking for soft spots in the enamel, gauging bite alignment, or signs of oral cancer or gingivitis.
Once your dentist has a better idea of your dental needs, they should be willing to discuss your treatment options, review anything they noticed, and answer any questions you may have. Remember, new patient appointments are all about gathering and sharing information. If you have any questions, concerns, or information you’d like your dentist to know, this is a great chance to share that information.
For example, if you are nervous around the dentist’s offices, you can discuss these concerns with your dentist to better set up a treatment plan that meets your unique needs. This appointment is also a good time to talk to patient specialists about payment plans, insurance questions, or anything else you want. Of course, you can always call the office to ask questions after your appointment ends, but getting answers in person is always ideal.
After a new patient exam, you should schedule a follow-up visit with your dental team so you can take the first steps on your unique treatment plan. You can also make a point to research the different treatment options offered to you and come back for further consultations if you have any more questions.
Remember, a new patient exam is as much about answering your questions as letting your dentist get a feel for your oral health needs, so take advantage of this chance to ask questions and get more information about your dental healthcare needs.
If you want to schedule a new patient exam or have general questions for our dental team, call Southbridge Dentistry at (303) 798-4967. Our friendly dental specialists would be happy to answer any questions and assist you in scheduling a first visit with our practice. We look forward to seeing you soon.