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What to Expect at a First Dental Visit

When you’re making your first visit to a new dentist, it’s a good idea to have some notion of what to expect, although the process is rarely ever complicated. This can help you feel at ease by having a concrete idea of what the process is going to be like, what’s going to happen, and what’s going to be planned for the future.

Here, we’re going to look at what you can expect at Grove City Dental once your first appointment has been made. A first-time visit will take approximately 90 minutes, so it’s a good idea to ensure that you have enough time planned for it.

Signing the New Patient Forms

Once you’ve arrived at the office, while you’re waiting to be seen by the dentist, we will sit with you for a new patient interview. We will collect your dental insurance information if applicable.

There will be three forms to sign. This consists of a new patient form, HIPAA, and a medical history form, so it will be helpful to bring in a list of current medications (if needed). This is typically the first step for any patient making their first dental visit to a new office and is simply there to help us get to know you, be aware of any health factors that we might want to keep on record, and to get you registered in our system.

The new patient form is going to ask you for personal and contact details so we can reach you when necessary. It will also ask some basic healthcare questions, such as medications and conditions that we may need to know about. You will be asked more in detail about dental health and oral hygiene habits during your appointment as well.


You can also fill in our new patient form directly on our website ahead of time, so that you don’t have to do it in the office to save you some time. In this case, all you’ll have to do is sign them when you arrive! This can help if you want to make sure that you take your time to get all your information right.

The Introduction to Your Hygienist

After you’ve filled in your forms, it’s time to meet your hygienist and settle into their chair for an inspection of your oral and dental health. This will include the process of taking a set of full mouth X-rays, as well as oral images so that we can get a complete picture of your teeth for the best diagnosis plan possible.

Alongside this, the hygienist will do a probe of your teeth, evaluating the specific type of cleaning that might be needed, whether it’s prophylaxis or scaling (to take care of plaque and tartar) or perio-maintenance (that goes slightly below the gum line to reduce the chance of gum disease).

Your hygienist will also go over your health history with you, looking over the information you have provided and asking questions to ensure that you get the right kinds of care for you.

Discussions About the Future

After the initial assessment of your oral health, your hygienist will take some time to talk about the future and how they can help. This will include a supportive and professional assessment of the condition of your teeth, gums, and oral health, and any issues that they might want to begin treating.

You will then meet with the dentist to outline a treatment plan they recommend for your best possible restoration. Each person’s treatment plan is individualized to their best needs. If in the case that you may require a more extensive treatment plan (more than would likely be covered on your first visit), then we may set you up for a consultation appointment in the future to go over options that may best fit you to move forward.

Your Routine Cleaning

The hygienist then will continue to complete your oral health needs, i.e. prophy, perio-maintenance, or scaling. She may also recommend some products that you can switch to (such as products that can help specifically deal with gum disease), based on the needs they identify.

The hygienist's goal is to help you stay on top of your hygiene needs. If there are no other issues they need to treat after this, they will schedule another routine cleaning in the future.

For most appointments, including the very first one, your hygienist is going to want to ensure that you get a thorough routine cleaning to manage the buildup of plaque, tartar, and debris. As mentioned, the type of cleaning you receive may depend on that introductory evaluation. 

Paying for Your Treatment

If there is an out-of-pocket cost for the level of cleaning you need, you will have a financial advisor give you an estimate before completion based on the insurance information provided.

Make sure that you provide the right insurance information to avoid any errors along the way. After that, any leftover costs will then be paid. If you have any questions about payments or costs, you can ask our team in advance. If you don’t currently have dental insurance, there is also an in-office dental benefit plan that we can help you look into. To find out more about Grove City Dental’s Loyalty Plan, we recommend taking a look at the page on our website that details everything you can expect when you apply for it.

Make Your First Appointment with Your New Dentist Today

With some simple preparation and ideas to keep in mind before you arrive, your first appointment with us will go smoothly and efficiently. Just make sure that you bring all of your contact details, insurance information, and knowledge of your medical history with you!

Grove City Dental is here to make your first visit (and every visit thereafter) as easy and comfortable as possible. If you have any more questions that we can help you answer, don’t be afraid to get in touch by contacting us today.

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Grove City Dental