A family dentist can provide oral care for people of all ages. Multi-generational families, in particular, can benefit from this type of dentist. Switching from a general dentist to a family dentist can simplify your life in the long run, but there will still be an initial adjustment period. Here are four tips to help you make the transition to your new family dentist as seamless as possible:
1. Plan ahead.
Dentists do their best to make time for established patients, managing their calendars accordingly. Many dentists are happy to take on new patients as well. However, new patients may need to wait several weeks for an available appointment. When switching to a new family dentist, make sure you account for the initial wait times you're likely to face.
2. Remember that you can always choose a new dentist.
Most people develop a kind of loyalty to their health care providers. Healthy rapport and continuity of care can make each appointment more pleasant and productive. However, you should also remember that you can choose a new dentist at any time. You can even return to your previous dentist if you find that's best for your family. When you remember that you aren't locked into seeing any particular dentist, you may feel freer to try various family dentists until you find one that's right for you.
3. Be upfront about your expectations.
The doctor-patient relationship is a unique one. Your dentist strives to provide you and your family with the best possible care. You can facilitate this by being upfront about your expectations. If you require a dentist with a gentle, patient approach due to dental anxiety, mention this when you schedule your first appointment. If you prefer more aggressive treatment due to a history of dental problems, you should mention this as well. Your dentist will do their best to accommodate your requests within their professional capacity.
4. Schedule individual appointments at first.
One of the best perks of seeing a family dentist is the ability to schedule multiple family members' dental appointments on the same day. However, your first check-up with a new dentist may take longer than usual. Your new dentist may want to review your dental history with you, and you will also need to fill out new patient forms. Cut down on stress and avoid overwhelming your children by scheduling individual appointments initially. Once you and your family members are established patients, you can save time by consolidating trips to the dentist's office.