Here’s Why It’s So Important to Have a Dental Consultation
For certain types of dental procedures, such as a regular checkup, hygiene treatment, or obtaining a new set of x-rays, you may not need to have a preliminary discussion with your dentist. However, for complex issues, dental consultations are a critical part of the process for the patient & dentist alike.
Following a regular schedule of hygiene treatments and dental checkups with your dentist is the best way to maintain a good state of oral health and avoid any surprises. For these types of dental appointments, there is generally no need for any advanced preparation or preliminary discussions between you and your dentist. You simply show up, get your teeth examined and cleaned up, have a quick chat about how your dental health has been, and finish up by booking your next visit.
However, when a serious dental health issue arises that requires a more in-depth procedure, a clinical dental consultation is absolutely essential. There are many different factors that must be carefully considered when committing to certain types of dental treatments in order to ensure your dentist and their team has all the specific details they need to deliver the best possible outcome for you. Some examples of procedures that necessitate a consultation include braces and orthodontics, dental implants and All-on-4 mouth restorations, the pinhole surgical technique for treating gum disease, and certain types of cosmetic dental treatments.
So, if you’re in need of any of these types of procedures, or perhaps simply have a series of questions regarding your overall state of dental health, you should definitely book a consultation with your dentist.
What Kinds of Things Are Discussed in a Dental Consultation?
Depending on the type of procedure you are in need of, a consultation with your dentist could cover a diverse range of topics that have an influence on how things will proceed.
Goals & Objectives
For starters, the conversation you have with your dentist will center around what the objectives of the proposed procedure will be, and what your own personal goals for your dental health are. This will help guide the conversation in the direction best suited to meet those goals and objectives, as well as determine if the procedure in question really is the best option in this situation. For example, a patient interested in Invisalign braces may want that type of orthodontics for the comfort and aesthetics advantages, but if an alternative method would provide a more effective solution, then it will be discussed in detail before any final decisions are made.
Dental Health Assessment
From there, the discussion will progress into a thorough review of your current state of dental health, as well as your past history of dental work. It is important for your dentist to have complete clarity on how you have historically reacted to various dental procedures to properly tailor the treatment to your unique needs. For example, if you have had negative reactions to certain types of anaesthetics, this will be accounted for and alternatives will be evaluated. In addition, there may be some underlying dental health issues that must be corrected and treated before the main procedure can move ahead. This initial consultation will help identify these issues and help to inform the overall treatment approach.
Medications & Other Conditions
Another critical element of the dental consultation process is the review of any and all medications you are currently taking, as well as the nature of any other health conditions you may have. This could include things such as medication for heart conditions, prescriptions for anxiety, blood thinners, and many other types of essential medications you may be taking. For obvious reasons, it is very important for your dentist to be fully aware of your current list of medications and health conditions in order to ensure there are no potential complications related to the dental procedure.
General Health & Well-Being Review
Along with your dental health, your dentist will also take into consideration other aspects of your lifestyle that can affect the outcome of your procedure, either directly or indirectly. Positive healthy habits such as balanced diet and exercise are certainly beneficial, while other habits such as smoking, excessive drinking, or sedentary lifestyles could possibly require an alteration to the treatment approach.
At Georgian Dental, we take a holistic approach to dental care. This means we look beyond just what’s going on in your mouth and consider how all the different aspects of your lifestyle are impacted by your dental care, and vice versa.
Costs of Dental Treatments
Additionally, the costs of your proposed dental procedure will be discussed, and the financial elements will be spelled out in detail. While some people may have complete coverage for many different types of dental procedures, others may have limited coverage or none at all. At this time, you will be informed about the options available to you to take care of the costs of the dental treatment. If insurance is not covering the entire cost, different types of dental financing could be offered to help make it easier to manage over a longer period of time.
What to Expect from Specific Dental Procedures
Finally, the discussion will move on to what you can expect from the actual procedure itself. Generally, this will follow a step-by-step review of the treatment, including the various tools and materials that will be used, and what the experience will be like from a patients’ perspective. Your dentist will want you to be as prepared as possible before you make your final commitment, and ensure that you have a total understanding of what’s involved, from beginning to end.
With all this information moving back and forth, you may be wondering if all this detail is really necessary. The truth is, it’s always better to be over-informed than under-informed. Plus, there are many advantages to a dental consultation that make the entire discussion well worth the time.
What Are the Advantages of a Clinical Dental Consultation with Your Dentist?
Reduces Anxiety & Uncertainty
One of the clearest benefits to having a dental consultation is that it will work to dispel myths or misconceptions about the procedure that could lead to feelings of anxiety or even fear for you. In general, learning as much as possible about what to expect from a dental procedure helps to reduce uncertainty and will make you more comfortable that you’re making the right choice for the sake of your dental health.
Provides Time to Plan Accordingly
Getting all the information you need about a dental procedure, including the financial aspects and the time involved, will help you more easily plan around the requirements and minimize the effects on your day to day lifestyle. For example, if you know that you’ll need to take a day or so to recover from an involved dental surgery, you’ll have an opportunity to plan accordingly. Consultations allow you to make smarter plans around your procedure, and make it easier along the way.
Gives Clarity of Outcomes & Expectations
Consultations also offer you the advantage of gaining full knowledge on what you can expect once it’s all said and done. This often helps to get patients even more excited to move ahead, as it will clearly define the results that will be achieved and illustrate the positive impacts that the treatment will have on your quality of life.
How Can You Prepare for your Dental Consultation?
While it’s the dentist’s responsibility to provide all the information to the patient, it’s the patient’s responsibility to inform the dentist. The best way to do this is to prepare as much of the essential information prior to your consultation. Start by compiling a list of all medications, dosages, and underlying health issues in as much detail as possible. Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure that you’re clear with your dentist about the nature of your lifestyle, so prepare notes on your diet, exercise and sleep habits, as well as any types of tobacco, alcohol or drug usage.
Finally, proceed to jot down any questions, concerns, or apprehensions you may have about the procedure. This way you can be sure that you’re not forgetting anything when you walk into the dental clinic for your consultation. It’s also a good idea to take a notebook and pen with you to write down the details of the discussion so you have them for future reference. Relying on memory alone can sometimes leave out important elements, so this tip often proves helpful for many people.
Get Started Today – Book Your Consultation
If you’re in need of orthodontics, dental implants or some other type of advanced dental procedure, now is the time to take the first step. Our team of expert dental professionals will take the time to review with you all the details of any dental procedure you may need. We’re here to provide the clarity and assurance you need to make a positive change to your dental health. Contact Georgian Dental today, and arrange for your consultation. We look forward to seeing you soon!