Going to the dentist is easy for most people. You go in, let them take a look in your mouth, have your teeth cleaned, and get a free toothbrush at the end of the visit. Sounds simple enough.
But are you asking your dentist the right questions before your visit and along the way? The right inquiries can provide you with the information you deserve to know before, during and after your visit with the dentist.
Here are five important questions to get the ball rolling before your next appointment:
1) Do you accept my health insurance plan?
This one is a no-brainer. Before you make your dental appointment, make sure your dentist accepts your healthcare plan or that you can handle the out of pocket possibilities. Have your dental office confirm your benefits and discuss any fees that may be incurred.
2) What can I anticipate during my first exam?
To start the conversation, your dentist will ask about your dental and medical history, evaluate and record any fillings you may have, check for decay and periodontal conditions, and, lastly, do an oral cancer exam. They will take appropriate x-rays and explain any treatment that may be needed so you know exactly what to expect. If you anticipate anything out of the ordinary though, just be sure to ask.
3) How do you keep up to date on the latest procedures and technology?
Assuring that you are getting up-to-date care should bring you peace of mind and ensure the fact that you are getting the best treatment available.
4) Is there anything different or unexpected going on with my oral health?
During your visit, your dentist will keep you posted on what they’re observing and how everything looks. They will make recommendations based on their findings and ask for any input you have along the way. Listen to their observations and ask questions if you don’t understand. Your dentist will probably appreciate the fact that you’re being an engaged patient.
5) What kind of maintenance plan and follow up appointment would you recommend for me?
After your appointment, your dentist will tell you how to keep your mouth healthy and clean and make suggestions on how this can be accomplished. Be sure to ask them about the details of your new routine before you leave the office.
If you’re looking to find a new dentist, Blue Cross is also here to help. Use the Find a Doctor tool to locate a dentist that fits your plan and location.
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About the Author
Dr. Gary Vance has been a practicing dentist for more than 35 years and is currently a dental associate at a private practice in Plymouth, Mich. He graduated from the University of Detroit’s School of Dentistry and is a member of the American Dental Association, Michigan Dental Association, Detroit District Dental Society and the American Association of Dental Consultants. Dr. Vance has been a dental consultant for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan for the past 15 years and blogs for A Healthier Michigan.
Photo credit: Conor Lawless