Your visit to Ebenezer House Dental Care. Swindon Dentist.

Posted on 31st January 2017

The first appointment is usually when people are most nervous, of course this is understandable, you are in an unfamiliar setting, possibly rushed to get here and you don’t know if the Dentist you are about to see is going to tell you off for not looking after your teeth for the last 20 years! But don’t worry, through this article I want to let you know in advance what you are likely to find on your first visit.

Presumably you have already spoken on the phone to either Nicki or Cerys to arrange your appointment, they will have taken your basic details such as address and date of birth so that we can identify you and contact you if we need to. It is very unlikely that your appointments would need to be rearranged by us, but we would try to contact you before you make the trip. We also ask for your email and mobile phone number as we like to send you text or email reminders for booked appointments, we never use them to send you marketing or pass on your details to other companies to use.

The first appointment is the only time we ask for payment in advance, this is to prevent missed appointments and is non refundable. The appointment can be moved with more than 24 hours notice, and then the fee is transferred to the new appointment. If you fail to attend or cancel with less than 24 hours notice then the fee is not refunded.

If your appointment is booked a week away we will post you a welcome pack, it’s some info on who we are, what we do and how to find us. There is also a medical questionnaire which we ask you to fill in with all your medications and health issues, this is so we can be sure to treat you safely and with care for your wellbeing, please bring this to your first visit.

When you find your way to the practice, we have a good sized car park at the back, reached via Cross St. The rear entrance opens into our staff kitchen, a little unusual but don’t be surprised if a friendly someone is in there making tea, particularly during their break! The front entrance is usually used by people being dropped off or by people walking up from town.

Reception is at the front of the building where you’ll meet Nicki and/or Cerys, they will direct you to the comfy chairs where Matt or Steve will meet you and take you through to their room. Nicki is our receptionist and has been here since 2012 & Cerys, our practice manager has been here since 2006. My surgery is downstairs whilst Steve and the hygienists work upstairs. Our assistants are usually the same every day, Kelly works with Matt and Laura works with Steve.

Steve has been at the practice since 1996 and I have been here since 2007, and we have both been dentists for longer than that. We have seen almost everything you can throw at us and we have seen and treated many people who have worse teeth than you, so you needn’t be shy in telling us your story! It is very common for us to see people who haven’t been to see a dentist in many years, 5 years seems quite common but over 10 years is not unusual. Often in that time the teeth have been fine, but sometimes several have decayed or broken or become loose. You may have received treatment in the past that made you fearful or nervous about treatment, it is good to talk about that and we can make sure that your experiences with us are sensitive to those issues.

There’s usually a bit of a chat at the start of the appointment to get to know each other and get to the root of what you want to achieve with your teeth. Most of the time people want to solve a particular problem or improve their dental health in some way.

I will start by checking the outside of your mouth, your jaw, muscles and glands in your neck. Then I look at your teeth (remember we have seen it all before!) and I’ll record what treatment has been done in the past and what problems there may be. I’ll examine all the gums and check the cheeks, tongue and palate for anything unhealthy. I’ll take x-rays as necessary and they are developed in a matter of minutes. We can then have a discussion about what may be wrong, what we can do to remedy it and what you want to do.

One of my favourite things in this job is converting people from fearful, problem sufferers who ‘hate’ the dentist to happy, regular patients where everything in their mouth is under control and have no surprises, they feel confident in the future of their teeth and they know how to keep it that way. This can sometimes take a while to achieve, other times it can be quite easy to get you back on track. There will often be a ‘hump’ of treatment to get done before getting to that stage but once you are there it can be maintained. The amount of treatment needed obviously depends on your teeth and the situation they are in, there are sometimes several treatment options and we will discuss with you and give you plenty of information to help you decide what you want. If you need a particularly large amount of treatment or you have issues which make treatment very complex we can use a second appointment to really help you through the planning and the deciding phase.

We will give you a written plan with itemised costs at the end of your appointment, I will talk you through it before you leave so you have no surprises. You will always be seen by your own dentist, either Matt or Steve, continuity of care is very important to us as we will know you and know your teeth. In an emergency appointment it may be that the other dentist can see you sooner and help you quicker, but it is always up to you and you can wait to see your own dentist if you like. It is nice for you to remember that if you have any questions that come to you after your appointment you can always email or phone to have a chat with your dentist.

We look forward to welcoming you to Ebenezer House and showing you what good dentistry and a great team is all about!
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