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What to Expect During Your First Dentist Appointment

What to Expect During Your First Dentist Appointment

Change is hard, and it’s worth celebrating that you’ve finally considered taking the plunge to invest your time with a new dentist.

You may feel nervous or anxious about going to a new place for the first time. After all, many Americans suffer from dental anxiety. But you shouldn’t worry. The more you know about what to expect from your first dentist appointment the less anxious you will likely be.

Read on and we’ll discuss the typical in and outs of your first meeting so that you can go into the experience informed and comfortable.

Welcoming, Peaceful Office

For many people, coming to the dentist can be a nerve-wracking experience. We’ve designed our office to encourage calm and peaceful thoughts, and to make you feel welcome from your very first steps into our office.

In our waiting room, you’ll enjoy plush leather recliners and sofas, cozy blankets, and soft throw pillows to make your wait as relaxing as possible. Help yourself to a cup of coffee or tea from our Keurig machine or a bottle of cold water from our convenience area as you enjoy the peaceful plants and natural light in our waiting room.

Your wait won’t be long – our friendly staff will greet you by name very shortly to bring you to our quiet exam rooms. Each room has a beautiful picturesque window which you can enjoy watching the birds eat from the bird feeders and the beautiful flowers in our manicured gardens surrounding our building.


Your first dental appointment will take care of a few housekeeping items. Our office will need new X-rays unless your previous dental office shared your records. These include bitewings and panoramic x-rays.

Bitewing X-rays are used to detect tooth decay, bone loss, gum damage or disease, and infection. Panoramic X-rays are used to check for bone abnormalities, tumors, and more. These X-Rays are one of the best tools dentists have in checking the current status of your teeth.

You will be fitted with a lead or lead-free apron to reduce radiation exposure, and the X-ray process typically doesn’t take longer than a few minutes.

Dental Exam

If it’s your first time at our office, chances are your first visit will feature a comprehensive dental exam. During this exam, your dentist will check your mouth and teeth for any potential problems, including signs of decay.

Your dentist will talk with you through any problems or discomforts you’ve been having. They can discuss with you an individual treatment plan for your future oral health.

Your first visit is a great time to start building a personalized and trusting relationship with your dentist that can last years and years.

Dental Cleaning

Part of your first dental visit will also include a standard cleaning of your teeth, known more formally as a dental prophylaxis. These cleanings are typically scheduled on a six-month basis and are essential in maintaining maximum oral health.

During a cleaning, a licensed dental hygienist will remove plaque from your teeth using a variety of specialized instruments. Following plaque removal, a ‘polish’ will be applied to your teeth for a perfect minty fresh clean.

Payment and Scheduling

Following your first visit, you will likely spend a few minutes with the administrative staff to discuss payment and your future visits. If you have dental insurance, the administrative staff will work with you and your insurer to figure out how much your visit is covered by insurance. If you do not have insurance, be sure to ask about alternative payment options and our Dental Savings Plan to make dental procedures more affordable.

Because cleanings and inspections are recommended every six months, the staff will assist you in picking a tentative next date for your follow-up visit.

Your First Dentist Appointment

We’re so excited to see you on your first dentist appointment and looking forward to having you as part of our Serene Smiles family. Changing to a new dentist can be nerve-wracking. But the knowledge above should allow you to feel more relaxed and comfortable on your first visit.

Check out our blog for more helpful information on oral health and dentistry practices.

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