Even if you’ve visited dentists before, the first appointment to a new dental office can still be daunting.
Before an appointment begins, the front desk staff takes patient paperwork and figures out which services the patient’s insurance covers.
During the appointment, trained staff (including dental assistants and hygienists) provide in-depth care and insights about your oral health. Afterward, patients are given an individualized care plan based on the current state of their teeth and habits.
Led by Dr. Newkirk, Island Family Dental staff understands how uncomfortable dental visits can be, so we perform the best care possible. We provide an educational, transparent experience so we can figure out precisely what you need for your dental health.
Here’s what to expect for your first visit to Island Family Dental.
Before the appointment begins
There’s just a little preparation patients need to do before walking in the front door and going into the back room.
Patients need to fill out their paperwork so that dental staff knows their medical history, medical accommodations, and billing methods. If a minor is coming in for an appointment, they need an adult to fill out their paperwork.
Along with personal ID and insurance information, patient forms have an area to list your medical concerns — so please be thorough about what you want dental staff to examine.
Remember, please show up a little early! Fifteen minutes is recommended to allow enough time for sorting out paperwork and insurance coverage.
Island Family Dental staff will guide you through every step of this pre-appointment work. We’ll also take your insurance information and determine what is covered, how to bill you, and the best payment processing method.
We’re in this together to get you the dental treatment you need.
But what if I don’t have dental insurance?
If you don’t have private insurance, please bring in any information (such as Medicare or Medicaid) that proves dental coverage.
Similar to how private medical insurance is processed, Island Family Dental staff will find which dental services we can provide with whichever coverage type you provide.
After going over personal identification, medical history, and insurance, an assistant will take you into the back to a dental room.
During the appointment in the dental room
Although the initial dental appointment is the most challenging part of the visit for many patients, dental offices (including ours) are prepared for hesitant patients.
When patients sit down, they’re provided with protective coverings over the chest area, and optionally over the face or eyes.
Under Dr. Newkirk’s guidance, Island Family Dental staff will assess your current dental state, give you a thorough cleaning, and put together a plan for hygiene and long-term treatment.
Island Family Dental has comfortable, modern furniture, and a TV monitor in every room. Please let dental staff know if you experience any discomfort during the appointment.
For routine care
For a routine visit (such as cleaning), the staff takes exams of the patient’s mouth area, and a hygienist cleans their teeth. They’ll also provide professional consultation for the patient’s dental state and future treatment.
For non-routine care
In an appointment addressing a specific concern or treatment (such as a dental implant or teeth whitening consultation), patients can expect the same, but with extra steps, tools, and time.
Whether you’re receiving a routine or specific treatment, you’ll have a complete understanding of the current state of your teeth by the end of the appointment. You’ll also be advised which habits you need to adapt moving forward for optimal oral health.
After the appointment
When patients leave the dental room and back into the lobby, front office staff collect out-of-pocket costs, provide medication information (if needed), schedule future appointments, and supply other post-care necessities.
Island Family Dental front office staff guides you through the post-appointment process, step by step. For future appointments, we recommend scheduling patients a routine visit every six months.
Depending on which type of dental care you receive, you may experience some soreness. Thankfully it’s temporary — but if you experience soreness or pain for a longer period of time, please contact us immediately.
Expect the best from Island Family Dental Office
During your first visit to the Island Family Dental office, expect a comfortable and professional experience. Our main goal for your appointment is to get you exactly the care you need with minimal discomfort.
Our staff will help prepare you for the appointment beforehand and set you up for a long-term care plan suited just for you.
We can’t wait to see you!
Learn more about your first visit
Call us at 360-718-8861 or send us a message if you have any more questions: https://islandfamdental.com/contact/