How To Get Patients To Show Up For Dental Appointments

dental appointmentsMany people don’t visit the dentist regularly but what about the people who schedule dental appointments but never show up?  It can be frustrating because you know that it is detrimental to your patients’ health if they don’t see a dentist but not only that, it affects the success of your practice when you get no shows. Here are some ways that you can encourage a better turnout for appointments in your dental practice.

You should make reminder calls. You most likely remind your patients of appointments 24-48 hours in advance, but you may also want to remind them when they are due for a cleaning or procedure before they have an appointment. Life is busy for everyone.  It is very easy to forget about an appointment or an upcoming procedure.  Be sure to make those calls or remind them in other ways.  You may want to try a postcard reminder, or a text or email.

When you confirm appointments, think about changing your language.  Instead of telling them to let you know if anything changes, ask them “Will you please call if anything changes?”.  If you can get a committed yes from your patients, it may decrease your no shows.

Lastly, being clear with your patients about the procedures they need.  Let them know how serious it is to get fixed and obtain treatment. If they know how important it is, they will be more likely to keep the appointment.

How To Get Patients To Schedule And Show Up For Dental Appointments|The Dental Geek

First Visit To The Dentist

first visit to the dentistWhen it is time for your child’s first visit to the dentist, you may find that they are feeling a bit overwhelmed and intimidated. Any new experience is often scary for a young child. But with the right combination of preparation and communication, you can be sure that your child’s first visit to the dentist will be comfortable and enjoyable. The following are some ways that you can help your child prepare for their first appointment.

Practice – Kids love to use their imagination.  You can role play at home and have a pretend dentist.  Practice counting teeth, brushing, flossing and fluoride. Even let your child be the dentist.

Communicate – Communicate with your dentist about how your child is feeling before the day of the appointment.  This gives them a heads up so they know if your child is particularly shy or anxious.  They can plan ahead and provide extra reassurance.

Fun – Add a little fun to your child’s first appointment by letting them bring their favorite toy or stuffed animal with them.  Find teeth related story books, tv shows or videos that feature some of their favorite characters.

Importance of healthy teeth – Make sure your child knows how important it is to have healthy teeth.  Having a healthy mouth helps your whole body stay healthy.  Explain to them that the dentist is a helper for their teeth and an important part of keeping their teeth strong and healthy into adulthood.

How To Prevent Your Child From Fearing The Dentist Office|Pediatric Dentist of Glen Falls

Things Your Dentist Wishes You’d Ask

dentist wishes you'd askWe all know that it is important to visit our dentist often.  If you neglect your teeth and gums by not brushing and flossing you may not like what your dentist has to say. But have you ever wondered what your dentist would like to hear you say?  Here are some things that your dentist wishes you’d ask at your next appointment.

1. What is this thing on the roof of my mouth? If your dentist or hygienist doesn’t check the inside of your mouth for lesions, although they most likely will, this is something you definitely want to ask about. A lesion can be an indication of oral cancer.

2. Should I worry about bleeding gums? If your gums bleed regularly when you brush your teeth, you should definitely talk to your dentist about it. This can be a sign of gum disease and infected gums which could spread to other parts of your body.

3. Can whitening toothpastes ruin my teeth enamel? Your dentist will probably let you know that they most likely will not. The mild abrasives found in these pastes will help in removing stains and whitening your teeth.

4. Why do I have a cavity?  I never eat candy or other sweets. Your dentist should tell you that sugary foods aren’t the only things that cause cavities.  Starches found in breads and pastas can also cause cavities as well as acidic foods.

5.  Is it a problem that I am taking a low dosage aspirin?  This is something to bring up to your dentist.  Even low dosages of aspirin can cause bleeding and it is important to let your dentist know about all medications that you take.

5 Things Your Dentist Wishes You’d Ask – WebDental.

Do I Need To See A Dentist Twice A Year?

dentistYou’ve probably heard that it is important to see your dentist every six months for a cleaning and exam. But it turns out that there are a few people that can get by with less frequent visits, while some should think about going even more often.

Dentists recommend the biannual visit for the “average” person.  This means people who brush and floss every day and don’t smoke. Most people produce enough tarter in six months, that they should see the dentist to get it scraped off.  It is also good to see your dentist biannually so that you can get x-rays and the dentist can check for any cavities or other oral issues.

Certain people can get away with waiting even longer to see the dentist.  This is people who are in their 20s and 30s and who are otherwise healthy.  They brush and floss daily and eat extremely well.

People whose diet is rich in sugary foods and drinks, who are older and possibly have dry mouth, should probably see the dentist 3 or 4 times a year.  They are at a higher risk of bacteria damage to the teeth, gums and bones.

Do You Need To See A Dentist Twice A Year? | Fox News

Help Children Overcome Fear Of The Dentist

fear of the dentistThe reason most children have a fear of the dentist is because of the unknown. Many may have not visited a dentist before and don’t know what to expect. They might see the dentist as someone who causes pain. This is because they might have seen their parents experience discomfort after a major dental procedure.  Or they may not be able to differentiate between the dentist and the doctor where they may have been given shots. There are some things that we can do to help our children overcome fear of the dentist.

Model correct behavior – The next time you have a dental appointment, take your child with you.  Have the child watch the entire process and explain what is happening as it happens. After, make sure your child is aware of how amazing your newly cleaned teeth feel and how happy you are to have healthy teeth and gums.

Read dentist stories to your children – There are many children’s books available that talk about visiting the dentist and make it fun for children.  This can help relieve some of the unknown and fear from your child.

Pretend play – Role playing with your children is a great way to have them know what it would be like at the dental office.  Create a pretend dental office in your house with fake instruments and all.  Take turns with your child pretending to be the dentist and patient. Pretend to check your child’s teeth and talk to your child about brushing and flossing.

Bring your child’s favorite toy – You can talk to the dentist ahead of time and make sure that it is OK to bring your child’s favorite toy with you. This helps the child feel more safe and happy.

Reassure them – While you are at the dentist, be sure to let your child know how great they are doing. Give them encouragement and positive affirmations.

How Parents Can Help Kids Overcome Fear Of The Dentist|Village Dental