Choosing Your Own Dentist for the First Time: A Guide for Young Adults

first time dentist

Perhaps you spent your childhood and teen years under the care of a family dentist your parents chose when you were little. Maybe you haven’t seen a dentist in years – or at all.

No matter what background you come from, part of establishing your own life as an adult is choosing the right professionals to help you live a healthy, happy life. And that includes choosing a dentist.

With so many dentists available, which one should you choose – especially if you’ve never had to pick a new dentist or schedule your own appointments before? Here’s how to find the right dentist for you.

Should I Choose a Family Dentist?

Some dentists simply list their practice as “general dentistry.” Others specify that they focus on “family dentistry.” As a young adult, does it matter which one you choose?

Generally, the answer is no – any qualified dentist will likely be able to meet your needs. However, there are several benefits to choosing a family dentist, even if you haven’t yet started a family.

First, family dental offices often place a special emphasis on the comfort of their patients. Because they work with everyone from toddlers to grandparents, family dentists often have a wide variety of ways to help new patients overcome nervousness and feel more comfortable and confident during their visit. Since family dentists strive for a “family” atmosphere, many even take the time to get to know their patients as people – not just as a set of teeth.

Second, if having a family is on your bucket list, establishing yourself with a family dentist makes the process just a little easier. You’ll already have a dentist you know and trust, so you can recommend their services to a significant other or spouse who also needs dental care. If you add kids to your family, you’ll be able to bring them to your dentist right away.

What Should I Know For My First Visit?

Whether you’re new to dental care or an old pro, seeing a new dentist for the first time can cause some nervousness.

To make your experience more comfortable for you, choose a time of day when you’re typically relaxed and alert. Limiting the other things you schedule that day will help you avoid the additional pressure of feeling rushed.

Arrive a few minutes early to your first appointment, so you can handle new patient paperwork. Remember to bring a copy of your dental insurance card, if you have one.

Expect your new patient appointment to take about one to two hours. The front desk can give you a more specific idea of the time it will take. First appointments are typically longer than routine cleanings in order to give your dentist and hygienist the chance to perform x-rays, ask about your dental history, and get familiar with you and your needs.

Finally, remember to ask questions. A dentist who cares about your needs and comfort will be happy to answer them. If staff at an office seem rushed, rude, or standoffish, consider choosing another dentist.

The goal of Dr. Jason Dittberner and his staff is to provide your entire family with the best possible dental care. That’s why we not only focus on using proven tools and techniques, we also work hard to treat all of our patients like family. To learn more about the care we provide, call our office today at 928-733-7900.

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