How to Prepare for a Dental Visit and Talk to a Dentist About Your Condition

| 6 min read

Think of it as one among the many conversations you have. In fact, a conversational tone is the best way to prepare for a dental visit and how to talk to a dentist about your condition.

Preconceived ideas about dentistry can leave you feeling “tongue-tied” or anxious on occasion. And most dentists understand that you might carry that mindset into a dental visit.

What your dentist wants you to know

Start with the understanding that your dentist is all-ears. They’re prepared to listen to your concerns, questions, and general feelings about your dental health.

Like a medical appointment, your dental visit relies on two essentials.

  • Your input
  • A professional diagnosis

Your personal input provides a talking-point for the remainder of your appointment. From the information you provide your dentist will proceed to ask you related questions leading to a solution for your problem.

Some symptoms will be obvious. Others will require further conversation and skilled observation by your dental provider.

And keep in mind that providing detailed information doesn’t mean more costly treatment. Hiding or avoiding a dental problem is what often leads to increased treatment costs.

Again, your dentist understands cost, insurance, and budget concerns. Most, such as an online dentist, offer a cost-effective initial appointment to work towards an oral health solution.

How to prepare for your dental visit and talk to the dentist about your condition

1-Prepare a list of specific questions or dental health issues you’re concerned about

You’ll likely discover that your particular issue is common and can be solved without extensive treatment. On the other hand, it’s important to be transparent so that any underlying (or more serious) symptoms are part of the conversation.

Start with these:

  • “Why do my gums bleed when brushing and/or flossing?”
  • “My teeth are sensitive or I feel a ‘zing’ when biting down or when eating/drinking something hot or cold.”
  • “I’ve had this sore spot in my mouth that’s not healing.”
  • “Brushing and flossing are a challenge for me.”
  • “My jaw and neck ache first thing in the morning.”

These shared concerns or issues will trigger your dentist to ask more probing questions. Your answers combined with their expertise can lead to a solution.

2-Make sure your medical history and related information is current

Some medical conditions have an impact on your dental health (and vice-versa). For example, if you’re experiencing dry mouth it could be related to certain medications. Untreated, the condition could cause cavities.

  • Be open about your family medical history. Some symptoms could be traced to a related family health issue.
  • Share any lifestyle changes since your last dental appointment. Diet/nutrition, fitness/exercise, and other habits or routines can be an oral health factor.
  • Reveal any medical diagnosis you’ve received. Related medications and/or treatment can have affect your oral health conditions or treatment.
  • Provide a list of all prescription medications, vitamins, and supplements that you use.

3-Get a heads-up about payments, financing, and insurance

Your dentist wants to be sensitive to dental care costs. The more you know about their initial visit fees, payment options, and insurance network the better.

  • Ask up-front about whether your dentist accepts insurance coverage and if your insurance provider is in their network.
  • Be open about your cost concerns. And request all possible options for financing your dental care.

4-Be proactive about how you can improve your oral health

Your initial dental visit is the best starting point for improving your oral health. The initiative you take by scheduling and following-through with your appointment confirms your commitment.

  • Ask about products and services that can improve your dental health.
  • Schedule your next dental check-up or treatment during your current appointment.
  • If available, subscribe to your dentist’s blog/newsletter updates, request text and email notifications, and follow your dentist on their social media channels.

Your dentist is your advocate for health and wellness. Get comfortable engaging with them and be willing to ask and seek answers to your questions.

Virtual dental care with an online dentist is a convenient first step solution for immediate dental care and/or a follow-up second opinion to a previous diagnosis.

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  • Select a reason for your visit using a brief questionnaire.
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