Dental appointment? Here is what you should tell them before you get to the practice.

Dental appointment? Here is what you should tell them before you get to the practice.

A dental appointment is something you’ll need to book at some point in your life. Having proper scheduling and planning incorporated into the running of a dental practice will make a world of difference in the service customers receive. Most companies run smoother with a structured, nowadays digital scheduling app to keep track of everything that happens on the day-to-day schedule. Before an appointment, patients schedule their selected time slot and leave notes about the issue they are having with their teeth and mouth, and this can help the dentist prepare in advance for their consultation. The structure doesn’t just help the practice run smoothly, but benefits patients as well. It saves you time and hassle – and ensures that your dentist can give you informed care for your specific situation. 

Scheduling a dental appointment can sometimes feel like a major hassle, especially if you are making the switch to a new dentist. However, research and preparation are two of the key components when making a dental appointment. It is also essential that dental health is maintained regularly for overall health and well-being.

Where to start?

Make sure to have certain information ready before calling the office of your dentist. Basic information may be asked for to pre-verify your appointment. This data should be protected under federal privacy regulations. Unless you have a dental emergency, please consider what your dental needs and concerns are before calling to book an appointment. 

Whether you are visiting a particular dentist for the first time, or you are a regular, inquire how long the procedure will be if the procedure is major, in which case, you should ask the practice whether you need someone to accompany you and whether you will have post-operative guidelines to follow. You can also ask if you can bring your headphones.

Dentistry IQ says scheduling is important so that the practice can set out the proper time for the appointment, depending on what needs to be done. For example, if a patient must be anaesthetised, it may take at least 15 minutes between the patient’s check-in time and the time the dentist actually starts the procedure. That puts an extra 15 minutes onto the appointment time that needs to be accounted for. If two patients are booked side-by-side, this equates to 30 minutes of downtime.  Most practices prefer to stagger patient appointments so that they can work in succession: as one patient is numbed and prepped, the other is being treated.

Booking a dental appointment over the phone is best.

It is better to book your dental appointment over the phone if you have a lot of questions. Book and confirm your appointment. Others prefer to book their appointment online. If you need to cancel or reschedule your appointment for any reason, inform the dental practice in advance. The sooner the receptionist is notified, the sooner the practice can fill your space with someone else.

Be specific about your dental appointment.

When calling in to make a dental appointment, it is essential to state your name and specify which procedure you’re having at that appointment. For example, you could be booking the appointment for a check-up, a root canal, etc. What is also helpful is to compose one or two to describe the nature of your visit. According to Wikihow, you could say: “I am a new patient and would like to consult with the doctor,” or: “I am scheduling a routine cleaning.”

Share with the receptionist when last you were at the dental practice, what for and which dentist you saw – if there are a number of dentists there. If you cannot remember this information, the receptionist will have this on record and check your chart.

Then ask which dates are available, as well as times and decide which of those you are comfortable with to confirm your appointment. 

Be transparent about how you’re feeling.

Nervous about going to the dentist? Tell the receptionist so that she knows and can relay the information accordingly. Then, she can make helpful suggestions on what time to make your appointment and which dentist will make you feel most at ease. 

When approaching a new dental practice and it is your first time calling in to book an appointment, ask the receptionist whether they accept your dental insurance or medical aid. If they do, they will need to capture your necessary information before confirming your appointment. Sometimes, exact information is required from you from the receptionist, so be sure to have all your documents at hand. All the information asked for by the dental practice is vital, as missing any information on their side can reject the claim, and you will not get reimbursed for the treatment you had. If you have a dental discount/dental savings plan, then inquire from the receptionist whether the dentist accepts this option. 

There are occasions where you will be unable to get an appointment with the dentist of your choice. Should this be the case, inquire with the receptionist if the dental practice has a linked practice or whether they can refer you to someone similar. Dentists do work with other dentists; therefore, they are usually able to recommend someone else. Information that you can get from the receptionist is a list of names, and when you see that list, make sure that the referred dentist is in your insurance network.


Coronavirus has changed the way we do everything, including how we book appointments. Many practices have moved towards an online booking system. Be sure to come only a few minutes before your appointment – no more waiting rooms in COVID. Once you arrive, the receptionist will take your temperature and ask you about any symptoms you may have been experiencing in the two weeks prior to your appointment. You might also have filled it out online as well. 

Always wear a mask, until the dentist tells you to remove it when you’re in the exam chair. 

Affinity Dental

Affinity Dental offers three tiers of dental insurance available at different price points. Each of these options covers specific specialist work to various degrees. 

Kids and grown-ups all need to visit the dentist at least once every six months. Maintenance appointments can start to add up in your budget.

Dental insurance covers you for any additional treatments such as crowns, root canals or fillings, whether at the dentist, or specialist practice.  

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