One of the most valuable features of our New Patient Exam is the time we spend with our patients reviewing their Patient Questionnaire, which we hand out to patients when they come in for their first examination. Before we even look into their mouths, we are very interested to learn about a patient’s dental history, their home care habits, motivation for coming in, long-term goals, and personal barriers to care. All of this information paints a bigger picture for us to understand how a patient developed the issues they have and to determine their risks for future problems.
The information we review gives us a good idea about a patient’s concerns, hygiene habits, and “self-awareness” of their dental health. It is not uncommon for patients to tell us that they only brush once a day and floss at most twice a month. Additionally, we often see patients with several cavities, missing teeth, and poor plaque control who believe they are in good shape. By working through our questionnaire with our patients, we have the opportunity to educate them regarding hygiene frequency, hygiene technique, fluoride use, and diet.
In addition to addressing health and function, our questionnaire provides insight into many issues that may be overlooked with just a set of x-rays and an exam. For example, patients often come in with cosmetic concerns. Knowing what a patient’s cosmetic goals are gives us an opportunity to discuss options like smile whitenings and porcelain veneers, and allows us to develop treatment plans that will provide them with the greatest satisfaction.
The time spent reviewing our Patient Questionnaire allows us to connect and establish rapport with our patients, and to ultimately focus on what to most important to them.
If you have questions about this article, or if you are looking for a dentist in Winter Park, Florida, please call us at (407)644-2700 or visit our website.