At O’Donnell Dentistry, our Lynchburg VA dentist and dental staff are committed to providing each patient with positive, effective dental care treatment. To help your visit go smoothly, we have compiled a list of important items and information to bring with you for your first appointment, as well as a description of what to expect during your visit.
Your first visit to our Lynchburg dentist office will include a full dental examination, during which we will evaluate your oral health. If you do not have x-rays that are up to date, we will also take a set of x-rays so that we can properly diagnose any issues that cannot be seen by the naked eye. X-rays are useful for noting the condition of the jaw, sinuses, and teeth and tissue below the gum line. These images are crucial for providing comprehensive dental care that effectively addresses your unique needs.
Once your exam is complete, our dentist Dr. David O’Donnell, DDS, can prescribe dental services treatment and schedule you for your first cleaning. Some patients receive a standard cleaning to thoroughly cleanse all surfaces of the teeth of plaque and other buildup. Other patients may require a more intensive treatment to address cavities, tooth pain, diseased gums, or other dental problems. With your x-rays and complete evaluation, Dr. O’Donnell can prescribe the treatment necessary to optimize your dental health.
What to Bring to Your Dental Appointment
We will gather important information from you during your first visit that will help us to best serve your needs. To ensure that we are able to provide the best care possible, please bring the following items with you to your appointment:
Medical history forms or information
If you have insurance, bring your dental insurance information, including your insurance card, social security number, and a valid form of identification
Method of payment for your visit (get financing)
A list of questions or concerns that you may have regarding your treatment
We have also made our New Patient Form available online for your convenience. To shorten your waiting time, please print out this form, fill it out in its entirety, and bring it with you on the day of your visit.
How can I deal with being nervous about going to the dentist?
Many people worry about going to the dentist. You may be very nervous and may actually feel sick to your stomach. Some people become so nervous that they just don’t go to the dentist. However, this can lead to serious problems, including infected gums and teeth, difficulty chewing, and lack of self-confidence because of bad teeth or bad breath.
To help get over being nervous about the dentist, it is helpful to first understand why you may be nervous. Reasons include:
Having had a painful or bad experience at the dentist, including insensitive comments made during your visit. The smell of the office or seeing or hearing the dental tools (such as the sound of a drill) may bring this back.
Feeling helpless or out of control. Being confined to the chair and not being able to speak and communicate may cause this. The precautions your dentist takes, such as wearing a mask and gloves, may add to this feeling.
Being embarrassed about the condition of your teeth.
Hearing about others’ bad experiences at the dentist or being influenced by how TV, newspapers, or magazines portray them.
A fear of the unknown, including the procedures your dentist uses.
Feeling Nervous About Your Dental Visit
To help feel less nervous about a dental visit, try the following:
Talk about your fears. Tell your dentist that you are nervous, and try to explain why. This way your dentist can do everything possible to put you at ease.
Ask your dentist about what is going to happen and why. If you understand the steps of getting a filling, for example, you may feel less nervous about it. Ask your dentist to tell you when he or she is moving from one step in a procedure to another step.
Make your dental visit at a time when you are not rushed or under pressure. An early morning, late afternoon, or Saturday may be the best time, as you may not have to worry about missing school or work.
If the sound of a drill bothers you, ask your dentist if he or she has music and headphones. If not, bring your own audio player and headphones.
Agree on hand signals to communicate pain, discomfort, or that you need a break.
Use relaxation techniques. As you sit in the chair, try deep breathing or thinking about a favorite activity or place.
Don’t be afraid to switch dentists. If you talk to your dentist and feel that he or she is not listening or not making an effort to help you feel at ease, try another dentist.
Tell your friends about your fears, and ask them about their dentists.
Dr. David O’Donnell and his dental team, is ready to ensure you have a positive first experience at O’Donnell Dentistry. Please feel free to familiarize yourself with our staff before your visit by checking out staff page.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your dental care, our dental services, dental appointment or treatment, contact us today.