Hello and welcome to Spires Dental Clinic, your dentist in Lichfield.
So, you want to know what you’ve let yourself in for?
I can’t blame you really, visiting a new dentist can be very stressful leading to many questions.
- What are they like?
- What will they do?
- What will I need doing?
- How much is this going to cost me?
The list goes on…
The aim of this particular article is to help you understand why we do what we do and then hopefully you’ll feel more comfortable about giving us a chance to help you look after you.
First things first, COST…
New dental patient consultations cost £44, its half price at the moment, and we will ask for a deposit of £22 to secure the appointment when you call the dental practice in Lichfield. There are no hidden costs so no matter what, if we take x-rays or photos of your teeth the cost stays the same. The dental appointment will last 50 minutes however we ask you to budget for about 60-70 minutes of your time within the dental practice.
Now we believe that the two most important appointments we can offer our patients are the initial consultation and your first visit to our dental hygienist. Initial consultations are where we set out our long term aims to get your mouth healthy enough so that you need to visit the dentist as little as possible. Our dental hygienists are absolutely amazing and your time with them is essential for good dental health, but I’ll leave that one for another day.
On arrival to the practice...
...your first contact will be one of these two, Beth
can see they don’t really like to be photographed BUT they will,
I’m sure, welcome you to our wonderful practice...
(that’s me by the way) and Jess. Now as you
... show you around the practice and escort you to our lounge...
Hopefully if you’re early you can have a coffee
Yes we do let you have sugar, before you ask.
(we love our nespresso) or another beverage.
Hopefully we won’t keep you waiting long and either Simon or Stuart
will come and introduce themselves and escort you to the surgery.
The first thing we want to do is find out a little more about you and why you have come to see us. Now Stuart and Simon really love talking to their patients and finding out all about them. This is a crucial part of any dental appointment, we obviously want to understand what it is you want to achieve, but also because dentistry is a HUGE subject and they don’t want to gabble on about all things dental when most of it won’t apply to you. They’ll also confirm any notes you’ve made about your medical history and see how long it’s been since you last saw a dentist.
Once everyone is happy they’ll invite you to take a seat in our comfy dental chairs so they can have a look around your mouth.
The first thing that we check for are any lumps or bumps and red or white patches that may be present in your mouth. The vast majority of funny things are innocuous but we need to make a record so we can monitor them over time. In some rare cases we may have to refer you if we are at all suspicious of anything. It’s the first thing we do because it’s the MOST important job we have.
Next we’ll check your teeth by gently blowing some air around them to remove the saliva so we can see things more clearly, and look for a few things whilst asking themselves questions about what’s going on in your mouth:
Is there any decay?
Decay is caused by having sugar frequently, not necessarily a lot, just often.
Are there any fractures?
Sadly dentistry weakens teeth and as such teeth can break. We can sometimes see the fractures before they break but not always L
Is there any wear on your teeth?
If there is any wear, is it indicative of tooth grinding? Tooth grinding contributes to the evil triad (decay, gum disease and structural failure of teeth) that threatens your teeth and gums.
Are your gums ok?
We then check your gums by gently feeling around them to see how hard or soft they are and to see if they bleed easily. Bleeding, red and soft gums are all hallmarks of active gum disease.
There are other things we check in relation to certain procedures (braces, implants etc.) but that’s all a bit too numerous to mention in this blog.
Photos of your teeth… why?
Finally we take photographs of your teeth and gums to help us provide you with the knowledge you need about your mouth, and then we take x-rays (if required) to show anything we physically cannot see and to provide us with a mechanism for the long term monitoring of your oral and dental health.
Through all this, Simon and Stuart will be communicating with their nurse in dental jargon, allowing them to convey the location of anything they see. I wouldn’t try and understand it if I were you as it always sounds like they are saying really terrible things about your mouth.
After a rinse out comes the important bit, The Chat…
During the chat, Simon or Stuart will talk to you about any problems you may face, the risk factors that may be involved, how we can deal with any issues and how to prevent them in the future. Simon and Stuart are guided by some core principles that ensure we deliver the best level of dental care we can:
- Dentistry is a poor alternative to healthy teeth so we always use prevention through education.
- If you present to us with a problem we will go over all your options but we are always looking to recommend the option that will have the least impact on the strength of your teeth, or the one that makes your teeth stronger and last longer.
- If our dentists are ever in doubt about what to recommend they will default to either:
- The ‘Daughter Test’ i.e. what would you do if it was your daughter that needed help with a particular problem.
- If the problem is not urgent we will leave the final decision up to you.
The photographs and x-rays provide an invaluable insight when communicating all this stuff, although dentistry is not hard to understand. It’s much easier if you can see the problem yourself on our monitor.
You are welcome to ask questions at any time during your dental appointment and we welcome such interaction. We want you to fully understand what is going on in your mouth and to make the correct decision on how you wish to proceed.
Once our dentists are all finished, and you have obtained the answers you are looking for, they will escort you back to reception to see Jess or Beth (me again!) who will go through any financial information and arrange any further dental appointments that may be required. We don’t do the hard sell so we will never try and coerce you into making an appointment. As Dentists, we want to see people who want to see us. It’s far less stressful to work with the willing patients who value their oral and dental health.
Within a week of your appointment you will receive a report on the health of your mouth as well as the options open to you for any treatment you may wish to have with us. The dentists’ email address will be included so please feel free to email them if you have any further queries. Believe it or not they love talking about teeth, even if it’s in their own spare time.
About a week after that we will give you a call to make sure you received your report, answer any questions you may have and arrange any further appointments.
I do hope this has given you an insight on how we work and why we do what we do.
Thanks for your time and we hope to see you soon at Spires Dental Clinic, your dentist in Lichfield. Please call us on 01543 411 088 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.