It may sound simple. You can just talk to your dentist! Yet time and time again many patients fail to accurately communicate with their dentist. Add to this the fact that some patients experience fear at the dentists office or worry about taking up too much of their time, and a communication problem can certainly develop. Not to worry, Grace & Leedy Family Dentistry is here to help with tips on how to talk to your dentist. And don’t be afraid. We promise we won’t bite!
Sure your dentist and dental hygienist are skilled at identifying potential problems that patients aren’t aware of, but they also rely heavily on your input. If something is aching or sore, that’s an excellent chance for the dentist to investigate further and identify the cause before it gets any worse. Often early symptoms may help diagnose and treat a potential problem before it gets too bad. So our first tip for talking to your dentist involves speaking up about any issues you experience outside of the office. Are you experiencing sensitivity when you drink cold foods? Is there an ache that originates between two teeth in a hard to reach place? Tell us about it! (For more misunderstandings about dentists, be sure to read Common Myths About Dentists).
Try not to get caught up in the mentality that if the dentist doesn’t notice it in an exam, then its probably not a big deal. After all, you’re not trying to hide an issue with the aim of making it worse in the long run. Speaking about it with your dentist could actually save you from more work in the future. The same goes for a fear of a larger bill. Often small symptoms require no additional work or costs, but speaking up about them puts them on your dentists radar. They can share tips on how to alleviate or completely cure the issue right there in the office. Speaking of costs, this is another good time to talk to your dentist about your budget. They can work with the administrative staff and your insurance to evaluate costs and set up a treatment plan or payment plan to match your budget.
Our next point for how to talk to your dentist comes after you have any substantial dental work. It’s always wise to check in with your dentist the evening after or the next day to ask any follow up questions and let them know how you are feeling. Not to worry, we’ll call you to check in. Please make sure you answer or call back. This is the perfect time to figure out if the after effects you’re feeling are normal. If things are too painful or feel out of place, you can ask for a quick office visit or adjustment. This brings us to our next point.
Say you just received a filling and you are feeling a significant amount of pain. You don’t have to simply grin and bear it and hope it gets better. You can come back to the office for a free adjustment! You just need to contact our staff and they will find a time where the dentist can see you during normal office hours. Don’t worry, this isn’t a normal appointment and it won’t require as much time. It is part of the dental work you just received, and our office anticipates having to adjust work occasionally for patients. It is uncommon that patients need this extra service, but it is good to know it is an option if you need it.
We hope this guide helps you feel more comfortable about talking with your dentist. We work hard to make every visit a pleasant and positive experience for our patients, and we’d be happy to show you the Grace & Leedy Family Dentistry difference. You can even schedule a consultation with our staff before you get a cleaning and checkup. This will ensure you’re comfortable with everyone in the office and that you can establish quality communication with our dentists. Contact us today to get started.