7 Things to Ask When Visiting a New Dentist

7 Things to Ask When Visiting a New Dentist

Post Date: Aug 23, 2023

Dental anxiety and concerns about insurance are two common hesitations that many people face when they’re making a dental appointment. So if this describes you, you’re not alone. And when you’re going to a new dentist for the first time, it can make all of those feelings even stronger. Knowing more about your dentist and their practice can help you manage these concerns. Here are seven questions to ask your new dentist, either before or during your first appointment.

Are you taking on new patients?

This question will come up when you’re booking an appointment rather than when you’re sitting in the chair, of course. But one of the first steps to visiting a new dentist is finding one with room in their schedule to see you. If you’re in pain or having a dental emergency, walk-in clinics offered by CHP in Bozeman and Livingston can give immediate help when you need it.

What services do you offer?

Pretty much all general dentists will provide the basics: cleaning, x-rays, and exams. But beyond that, there are a wide range of services that dentists can do. Some dentists offer pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, jaw straightening, painless root canals, dentures or surgery. If you know there’s a particular type of procedure you need, it’s good to check in early to see if your new dentist offers that.

What do visits look like?

Especially if you have dental anxiety, knowing what to expect beforehand can help ease your stress. But for anybody, knowing what each visit involves can help you prepare and make sure the provider will work for you.

How do you work with patients who have dental anxiety?

If you’re dealing with dental anxiety that’s keeping you from getting important oral health care, this is a great question to ask a new dentist. Some dentists offer anesthesia for routine procedures, and some might have strategies or have training to help patients through anxiety.

Do you have a specialty?

Some dentists specialize in a particular type of care, like orthodontics or surgery. Others may specialize in a particular type of patient, like children, people with dental anxiety, or people with disabilities. If you have special needs or concerns, it’s a good idea to discuss that upfront with a new dentist and find one to match your needs if you can.

How can patients pay for appointments?

Most dentists accept insurance or cash and card payments. But it’s best to check up front if they accept your insurance if you have it. The important follow-up is to find out if they’re in your network. Sometimes a dentist might accept your insurance, but your insurance won’t cover everything. Some dental offices might also offer a sliding scale based on income. That can help make the visit more affordable if you don’t have insurance or your insurance won’t cover the procedure you need.

What will my insurance cover?

Not all dental insurance is created equal. So if you’re worried about your ability to pay for a procedure, see if the dental office can run it through your insurance company first to see what will and will not be covered. They should also be able to give you a quote for what the cost will be without insurance coverage before you book an appointment.

Community Health Partners is committed to providing healthcare to all, regardless of ability to pay. And since oral health is part of total health, you’ll find that mission reflected in the CHP dental clinics in Bozeman and Livingston. Make an appointment, or stop by for an emergency drop-in. Providers are always happy to answer any questions you have.