Oftentimes, families will block off an hour or two every six months for a whole family dental appointment check up. But even if you’re just going for a regular check and clean by yourself, it would be handy to have a list of things to check off before you go to your appointment. After all, a lot of things can happen in the six months in between appointments. So here’s a checklist for your next dental appointment.
Make a List of Any Changes
If you’ve taken up any new medications, stopped taking medicines, or developed new medical issues (like chronic diseases or other treatments), you’ll need to let your dentist know at the next appointment. Bring a list so you don’t forget to include anything on your updated medical form.
Particular medications may impact on dental treatment due to side effects potentially causing dry mouth, heavy bleeding, or slow healing. So it’s always good to keep your dentist updated so that they can tailor your dental treatment accordingly.
Also, if you’ve changed your contact details (such as your phone number, email, and address), you’ll also need to let the dental practice know so they can update their system and keep in contact with you.
Bring Your Health Insurance Cards and Payment
Most Australian dental surgeries have offer HICAPS claims over the counter, so having your health insurance card handy will help speed up your dental insurance claim on the day. That way, you don’t have to submit your health insurance claim in your own time. This is also helpful if you need treatment and you would like to submit a pre-authorisation to determine your level of coverage.
You should also bring your form of payment if you know how you’ll be paying (credit card, cash, cheque, etc.). If you know how you’ll pay in advance, settling your account at the end of your appointment will be a cinch. You don’t need to stay in the surgery longer than you have to!
Confirm Your Appointment
It’s quite distressing when you turn up to your appointment and find out you are half a day early or you’ve missed it by an hour or you’re not even booked in! Avoid any issues by calling up your dentist in advance to make sure you’ve got the correct date and time. And if it’s your first visit to this particular dental surgery, you can also ask for directions to the clinic and any public transport or car parking questions you may have.
Check Out What Your Dentist Offers
You can check out your dentist’s website to see the treatments they offer. Some dental clinics provide specialised treatments (housing endodontists, orthodontists, paediatric dentists, cosmetic dentists, etc.) and other surgeries are more generalised. Either call up or check their website to find out if they can offer the treatments you want, or they’re able to refer you to the right specialist if you need any specialised treatments.
Questions or Concerns
If something has been bothering you (like pain or weird clicking), or you have any questions (like how teeth whitening works), you should make a list and bring it with you so you can ask the dentist directly. Some questions or issues you may want to raise in the list could include:
- How can I improve my dental hygiene routine at home?
- My gums bleed when I brush or floss: is there something wrong?
- I feel like my teeth look stained or discoloured: is there something wrong? (A follow up question could be about teeth whitening options)
- Do I need dental X-rays? What are they for?
- My teeth get sensitive when I eat and/or drink things that are hot/cold/sour: is there something wrong?
- What sort of toothbrush/toothpaste/floss/mouthwash should I be using?
- I’m really nervous about going to the dentist: what can I do about it?
- I have sores/ulcers in my mouth that aren’t healing: is there something wrong?
- My jaws ache/click: is there something wrong?
Hopefully you now feel more prepared for your next dental appointment and remember, if there’s anything you’re confused about, you shouldn’t hesitate to ask your dental professional.