Questions to Ask Your Dentist

 In Yaletown Dental Blog

Many people have no qualms about quizzing their doctors on all sorts of issues that arise concerning their overall health, but are much more reticent with their dentists.

Dentists are highly qualified medical practitioners. Just as you have a family GP, you and your Vancouver dentist should be able to build a good relationship. It therefore becomes imperative to ask your prospective dentist certain questions to determine whether you and your new dentist will be a good fit.

Finance and Admin

  • Does the practise accept my dental insurance? Dental insurance is relatively inexpensive, so if you don’t have dental insurance, consider getting some.
  • Cost of Procedures. Will the dentist or his staff explain carefully what the procedure is going to entail, and how much it is going to cost?
  • Payment plans. All dentists run their practices in different ways. Make enquiries as to initial consultation fee, credit available and payment plans.

Your Oral Health

dentist consult

  • Oral Health Status. What is my overall, oral health status? The dentist may at this point require x-rays as well as a thorough examination to determine your overall oral health.
  • What can I as the patient do to improve my oral health? The dentist will be able to spot incorrect eating habits from examining your mouth, and should be able to advise you accordingly. He or she will also see symptoms that might be indicative of deeper underlying issues. Your dentist should then advise you to communicate these indications with your personal physician.

Your Treatment Plan

  • What do you as the dentist recommend for my ongoing dental care and future treatment? Dentists can only react if you give them the required information. Don’t be wary of telling your dentist about any pain or abnormality that you have noticed in your mouth. These early indications are valuable clues for the dentist, who will then be able to suggest a treatment option that will minimise the likelihood of the problem becoming a full-blown dental emergency in the future. Dentists will also give you a maintenance schedule and advise on brushing and flossing, amount of fluoride required and other maintenance issues.

Is There Anything Your Doctor Ought to Know?

  • Communication with my family physician. Is there anything that I should tell my physician about symptoms that the dentist has observed in my mouth, and conversely, is there anything that my doctor has told me that I should share with my dentist? Different medication might affect my dental health and I should inform my dentist of this change in my medical status. Working together, these two health care professions will be able to avert dental and medical issues, to the benefit of your overall health.

Questions to ask before a procedure.

  • What kind of anaesthetic is been used and how will I feel after the procedure?
  • Will I need to arrange for someone to collect me?
  • Are there any alternative treatments and what would be the pros and cons of that alternative?
  • Will there be any pain after the procedure?
  • Are any follow-up appointments needed?

The above list by no means represents all the questions that might be asked of your prospective dentist, but rather, represents a good starting point. A really good dentist may answer these questions before you ask them, but if he or she does not, you should certainly go ahead and ask them.

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