A dental consultation is a non-invasive visit with your dental care provider where you can discuss your issues, concerns, and treatment options. Many of our dentists offer free consultations, though others do ask for a small consultation fee to cover their time. If you’re considering any major dental procedure, a consultation is a good idea, and can be important for several reasons. Read on to learn more.
Exploring Your Options
Most dental problems have a variety of possible solutions. You should choose your approach based on your budget, comfort level, and cosmetic desires. If you’re scheduling dental restoration, you’ll find that there are both direct and indirect treatment options available. A direct restoration restores the existing tooth by inserting a filling material into the damaged area. Tooth fillings are available in several materials. You can have a cavity filled with gold, silver amalgam, porcelain, plastic, composite resin, or a glass ionomer.
An indirect restoration covers the damaged tooth with an onlay, inlay, or crown. These are available in various materials as well, including gold, porcelain, and composite resins. If you’re missing one or more teeth, you can opt for dental implants or explore non-implant options like removable partial dentures, a tooth-supported fixed bridge, or a resin-bonded bridge.
During your consultation, your dentist will help you explore all the options available to you. He or she will ask leading questions to help you determine which approach is best for your personal needs. You’re not required to schedule a procedure after your consultation. If one of our dentists doesn’t offer the service that you want, this is the time to move on and explore other options – and you can use our Find Your Dentist tool to make that even easier by searching for specific procedures or services. You deserve to get the care and treatment that’s the best fit for you.
Understanding the Procedure
Some dental procedures are quite complex. Before you settle into the chair for the complete treatment, it’s important to know what’s ahead. Your consultation is the perfect time to ask all your questions and a get a detailed explanation of what will take place while you’re in the chair. In many cases, our dentists can offer a helpful visual, using tooth models and product samples to help you better understand each step of the procedure. If you’re nervous, this may also help to ease some of your tension or fear.
Checking Your Eligibility
Dental care is highly personalized. Each person and each tooth is different, and decay or damage can happen in various ways. A treatment that worked wonders for one person may be impossible for another, though their situations may look similar to a casual observer. Other health conditions outside the mouth may even affect your eligibility for certain procedures as well. Discuss all health problems and medications with your dentist at the consultation, so you don’t arrive for a procedure only to find that you can’t complete it that day.
Some examples: If you’re taking blood thinners, for example, you may need to stop the medication briefly to prevent excessive bleeding during the procedure. Patients with certain heart problems are advised to take antibiotics before having dental work. If you have heart disease, discuss this with your dentist to determine whether antibiotics are necessary for your treatment. Pregnancy will impact both your dental health and the approach you take to restorations or other treatments. So, tell your dentist about any conditions or suspected conditions, including if you’re pregnant or plan to become pregnant.
Providing Additional Care Tips
Proper dental care seems straightforward, but many patients are missing key elements of their dental care routine. You may brush daily, but find that you’re not using the best toothpaste for your individual needs. Perhaps you floss regularly but aren’t aware of the proper method for getting around tricky tooth formations.
A consultation is one of the best times to address regular dental care issues. Your dentist can offer a wealth of information and advice that will help you properly care for and protect your teeth. This is particularly important if you’re considering a major restorative dental procedure. You want to ensure that your refreshed smile gets proper care and attention so you can protect not just your newly restored teeth, but also your new implant, filling, denture, veneers, or other feature.
Exploring Payment Options
Some dental procedures come with a high price tag. At your consultation, our dentists will be happy to discuss payment options and our administrative staff will be happy to contact your insurance provider, if you have one, to determine what portion of the bill you’re responsible for. Most of our offices will typically provide one, but if not, you should request a written estimate for the procedure. If you don’t feel that you can pay the sum in one visit, ask about payment plans. Many of our offices will separate the bill into several smaller payments to ease the strain on your budget.
A dental consultation gives you a better idea of what’s ahead and how to proceed. You can consult with several dentists to get a well-rounded view of the issue and available treatments, or move forward and schedule your procedure if you feel confident after the first meeting. But either way, a consultation visit should give you all the information you need.