Starting out a new dental office is a nerve-racking experience for many patients. A large percentage of the population have deep rooted dental anxiety that takes time to overcome or at least cope with. In my experience this anxiety often stems from a feeling of helplessness, a lack of understanding about dentistry in general, and a childhood trauma (for adult patients). To manage this we do our best to establish a relationship before starting treatment.
Almost every patient that will require restorative treatment has a consult first. If you are in good dental health, or have a high “dental IQ” we forgo the consult. For the consult we take photographic records, figure out our goals (health and cosmetic), discuss anxiety mitigating options (nitrous oxide, oral sedative), dental insurance, but most importantly establish trust. Complex treatment plans may require a second consult. This process gives the patient the power to decide their treatment plan. There are (almost) always options in treatment and it is crucial to discuss all of them. Knowing the treatment options available, understanding the pros and cons, and possible complications is critical for providing informed consent. Once completed we then proceed with treatment. In my opinion we provide the most comprehensive new patient experience in the area.
Dr. DiNinno reviewing photo records with a patient