Just about every dental procedure starts with a consultation. This gives the dentist a chance to assess the state of your teeth and come up with the best solution for your smile. In order to get the most out of your dental consultation, you may want to figure out what questions you’re going to ask ahead of time. Listed below are the top 10 dental consultation questions every patient should ask their dentist.
1 – Which Dental Procedure Is Right For Me?
Rather than asking your dentist about a specific procedure, tell him what your goals are and get his recommendations for fulfilling them. For instance, you may want to get dentures when all you need is a few dental implants or a set of porcelain veneers. This is especially true for cosmetic dentistry because several procedures can lead to the same results in the end. Your dentist will help you determine which one is best for your specific needs.
2 – What Are The Pros And Cons Of That Procedure?
Once you have an idea of which dental procedure your dentist will want you to go through, ask about the pros and cons you may encounter. As an example, you may be a great candidate for invisible braces, but they may take longer to straighten your teeth than traditional metal braces. Invisible braces may cost more in the long run than metal braces, which could factor into your decision as a whole. Learn about both sides of the procedure so you can fully explore your options.
3 – Will The Procedure Hurt? If So, How Will The Pain Be Controlled?
Some dental procedures require preventative measures to control pain that may come about during the process. Dental extractions and root canals are some of the most common pain-inducing procedures, but there are others you may have to go through in time. Your dentist should have a plan in place to control or eliminate your pain during the procedure so you can have a pleasant experience as a whole. If you are allergic to any anesthetics or other medications that you know about, notify the dentist at this time so he can adjust his plan accordingly.
4 – What Types Of Dentistry Do You Specialize In?
Is your dentist a specialist in a certain area, like pediatric dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, orthodontia, etc.? Many dentists who claim to be specialists have little experience to back up their so-called “specialties.” In order to ensure that you get the results you’re looking for, ask your dentist about his areas of expertise. If he’s not a good fit for your needs, you may want to seek out another professional.
5 – Can I See Pictures Of Your Work?
You wouldn’t hire an artist to paint a mural without seeing a portfolio of his work. Apply that same thought process in your dental consultation. Ask your dentist for before and after pictures of his work based on the type of dental procedure you are going through. If you want whiter teeth, look through the dentist’s teeth whitening gallery to see what kind of results you can realistically expect from your efforts. If you like what you see, you can move on with the consultation.
6 – How Much Will My Insurance Cover?
Different dental insurance plans offer different coverage amounts based on the type of care you receive. Your dentist may not be able to answer pricing questions directly, but he should be able to put you in contact with someone from the office who can go over the costs with you.
7 – Do You Offer Financing Or Payment Plans?
Many cosmetic dentistry procedures are not covered under dental insurance, and those that are may still require you to pay a portion of the bill. If you cannot pay the full balance upfront, talk to your dentist about financing and payment plans available through his office. They will set you up with an affordable plan to get the dental care you need as soon as possible.
8 – What Will Recovery Be Like?
Depending on the nature of your dental work, you may need to go through a recovery process before returning to your normal day-to-day routines. Ask your dentist about medications you may need to take or adjustments you’ll have to make in your diet. This way, you can be prepared before you go in for your dental procedure.
9 – How Long Will The Results Last?
Not all dental procedures are permanent. Teeth whitening, for instance, may last for years with proper care, but eventually you will need to get your teeth bleached again to get rid of the surface stains. Before you invest in a costly dental procedure, make sure you know how long your investment will last.
10 – What Is Your Rescheduling Policy?
Find out what steps you must take if you need to reschedule your dentist appointment. Of course, the more notice you can provide, the better. Ask how the office handles appointment rescheduling so you can be prepared if that needs to happen.