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First Dental Appointment With a Patient: What to Do

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After spending so many years studying dentistry, the day comes to see your first patient. The first consultation is a hurdle that every dentist has to overcome, no matter how nervous he or she is. But do you know what to do at your first dental appointment with a patient? 

While getting to the chair brings patients closer to better health and smiling with more confidence, that doesn’t stop many people from feeling nervous at their first appointment. Fortunately, an experienced dentist can help alleviate that anxiety. 

It’s well known that visiting a new dentist can be a stressful experience for many patients. However, knowing what to expect can help alleviate anxiety and help the patient feel more relaxed at their first dental appointment. 

Because going to the dentist doesn’t have to be something to dread for anyone. Dental professionals want to help, and patients want to be helped, so trying to make the dental visit as easy as possible is the primary goal. 


Before anything, good communication

No matter how experienced you are, patients always seem to be able to throw curve balls when you least expect it. On the plus side, it keeps the job interesting. However, there is a learning curve in managing patients. 

Learning to communicate with your patients is one of the best investments of time in your first few years of practice. That may mean talking to a mental health counselor, taking communication classes, or going to your mentor.

Effective communication with patients will help you gain their trust. After all, the patient is your boss. They determine what procedures you will perform and whether or not you get a lot of word-of-mouth recommendations. Ultimately, you’ve become a dentist to improve the well-being of your patients. 

With the right resources and good communication, you can show your patients that you don’t “work on them” but partner with them to solve their oral health problems.


Three recommendations for your first dental appointment with a patient 

Anticipate the dental appointment

One of the most significant ways to reduce anxiety and be better prepared for the first appointment is to review the patient’s notes a few days before seeing them. Hopefully, they have been seen at the dental hospital before, and this gives you a better understanding of what to expect and prepare. 

Look at the medical history and see if it might affect the treatment plan. Familiarize yourself with the medications and their indications. I would also look at his previous dental history to get a better idea of the condition of his mouth. This will make it much easier to talk to the patient since you don’t have to process as much new information that same day.

Preparing the room well before your patients arrive will help the appointment run as smoothly as possible. Especially if you are unfamiliar with where things are, anticipating will make the process much smoother if you are not disappearing every 5 minutes to grab materials or equipment. In addition, an uncomfortable or nervous patient is less likely to cooperate during treatment.

Invest in your knowledge 

In any situation, follow proper protocol and ethics. Evidence-based dentistry is the norm. Protocols are developed based on extensive procedural research. They are intended to teach you sound science and technique so you can provide high-quality care to your patients. 

Informing yourself before your consultation to dispel any doubts never hurts if you are not fully confident in the information you are handling. Look in books, talk to colleagues or research on the Internet, but master the procedure you will be doing to explain it to the patient. 

Accept help from other dental professionals

We can’t overstate the importance of mentors in getting your dental career on the right track. Their experience and guidance will help you with treatment planning to team leadership. 

If something is wrong, the best way to deal with it is with the doctor’s help in charge. They are there to help and guide you. Don’t be a hero trying to do everything on your own. This could cause harm to the patient’s health. An excellent dental doctor does not know everything, but someone willing to learn something new and accept help when you need it.


Keep calm and do the work 

Everything may not go as you expect during your first dental appointment with a patient. Unfortunately, things sometimes go wrong, even for experienced professionals. Your attitude and approach to the situation will make all the difference in your work.

If you iron your gown and look good and feel good, the chances are that confidence will resonate, and the patient will feel more comfortable in your care, improving the overall patient experience.

The first experience may or may not go well. We all continue to learn and constantly improve our skills. However, the most important thing to remember is that we are not working with a single tooth. We are treating a human being. We must always provide the best possible treatment for the patient.

To ensure that your patients remain satisfied with your practice and your services, you cannot expect your professional skills and team efficiency alone to make the right impression. In today’s competitive, economically challenging, and “noisy” environment, all staff must actively engage and care for patients.

Part of this is related to clinical quality. Practice-patient relationships are based primarily on excellent customer service and personal attention. If patients feel confident entrusting you with their oral health, knowing that you will look out for them and only recommend what you believe is best for them, the relationship will thrive. 


Dental Assets in Newport Beach, CA

Many companies struggle to find ways to build relationships with customers or potential customers in the business world. However, as it is known, relationship marketing can bring significant long-term benefits. These connections form naturally between dental practices and their patients, but making the dentist-patient relationship strong and productive requires conscious effort and skill from the entire team.

In today’s dental market, every patient is valuable, and so is the limited time with each one. At Dental Assets, we recommend asking patients how they feel about their experiences in your practice.

Use events, discounts, and offers for patients to reinforce how much you value their commitment to your practice. In short, do everything you can to convince patients – from their first visit to the dental office- that your dental practice takes care of them and cares about them.

At Dental Assets, our team is dedicated to offering the best dental experience in our clinic, and that is why we want you to learn how to have the best results with your patients. Because it is taking care of oral health and making sure that your patients are comfortable and calm throughout the appointment.

If you have any questions about this or a related topic, visit our website: and learn more about topics of interest. You can also contact us at:; our professionals in Newport Beach, CA, are here to help you, but we also have the supplies and equipment your dental office needs. Contact us now.


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