New Patient FAQs
Are you a new patient with questions about First Choice Dental? We’re here to help! Here is a list of the mostly commonly asked questions (along with our answers). If you don’t see your question below, give us a call at one of our 11 clinics.
Choosing a Dentist
With 11 state-of-the-art, just-up-the-street clinics, First Choice Dental is your friendly, neighborhood dentist—no matter where you live in Dane County. But our convenient locations are just the start of what sets us apart. From making sure you’re as comfortable as possible, to helping you demystify your insurance coverage, to helping you create a YouFirst Care Plan that respects your priorities, we bring a patient-first approach to dental care. No matter what you’re concerned about, we can help. See How We’re Different to view our full list of solutions.
Most of our Madison area locations are open Mondays – Thursdays from 7 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Fridays from 7 a.m. – 4 p.m. Search our locations to view specific clinic hours at the convenient First Choice Dental near you.
We all need reminders, don’t we? Busy lives require easy-to-remember tools. Based on your preference, we can send you text or email reminders for upcoming appointments. We can also drop you a quick call. And if it’s been a while since we’ve seen you, we’ll also send you a postcard to let you know it’s time to schedule your next visit.
It’s Been A While Since My Last Visit
Visiting a new dentist (especially after it’s been a long time) can be scary, embarrassing, and overwhelming. At First Choice Dental, we do our very best to make sure you feel as comfortable, supported, and empowered as possible as you take your first step toward improving your dental health. See an overview of what you can expect during your first visit to learn more.
An estimated 47% of Americans have periodontal, or gum, disease. If your dentist diagnoses you with periodontal disease, special treatment is necessary. Mild and moderate forms of periodontal disease can be treated non-surgically by the administration of a one-time periodontal therapy by a dental hygienist, followed by periodontal maintenance performed by hygienists in 3-month intervals. More severe cases of periodontal disease must be treated surgically. Periodontal disease cannot be cured, only managed.
We hear this occasionally from patients, particularly those who have recently switched to us from a provider that doesn’t have all the latest technology. Our technology, including Diagnodent and digital x-rays, allows us to spot cavities other providers may not be able to see, even those that aren’t currently causing pain.
Dental Anxiety and Comfort
You bet. Dental anxiety, or “dental phobia,” is incredibly common, and our dental health care professionals are excellent at caring for anxious patients. Our clinics are designed to help you relax, with wide-open spaces, large windows, and lots of natural light. And you can expect a gentle touch and plenty of comfort options to choose from, including sedation dentistry. Ready to learn more? Schedule a complimentary Sedation Consultation today. Don’t let fear stop you from getting the care you need.
Making an Appointment
At most of our locations, you can typically be seen for your first appointment within the next two weeks. However, if you are experiencing a dental emergency, we do our very best to get you in the same day at a nearby First Choice Dental location.
Patients who schedule their next appointment before they leave the clinic are more likely to follow a healthy treatment regimen. Additionally, our schedules fill up well in advance, so scheduling ahead ensures that you’ll be able to get a time that works for you. Don’t know what your schedule looks like 6 months out? Don’t worry, we’ll send a reminder two weeks before your scheduled appointment and you can always reschedule if necessary.
Our specialists currently operate out of select clinics on certain days (see location pages for more details). It is impractical for our specialists to travel to each of our sites, as they often require special equipment. For this reason, we’ve tried to locate as many specialties as possible at centrally located clinics to be most convenient for most patients.
Payment and Insurance
This depends largely on your oral health needs and treatment, as well as your insurance benefit. The first step is an exam so one of our doctors can make a diagnosis and recommend a treatment plan. Next, you will work with a Patient Coordinator who will help you understand your options, what your insurance will cover, and provide a cost estimate.
You don’t have to have dental insurance to afford quality health care. Smart Choice Savings allows you to start planning ahead for the care you need. It’s a practical alternative to the typical insurance plan, delivering great discounts on routine care and unplanned dental expenses for one low annual fee. Questions? Talk to a Patient Coordinator at one of our 11 locations.
Fees are due at the time of service for most general dental services. We collect at the time of service so that we don’t have to bother you weeks or months after you receive services. Less mail, fewer calls.
Your dentist will help you weigh the risk of x-ray exposure versus the diagnosing benefit that an x-ray could provide. We don’t take x-rays unless the health benefit outweighs the potential health risks, and we’ll never force you to have an x-ray. We use digital x-ray technology instead of conventional film radiology to lower patients’ exposure to radiation. Ask your dentist or your OB/GYN for more information about digital x-rays and pregnancy.
Absolutely. Your mouth is a very vascular area of your body. Women can experience increased incidence of periodontal disease during pregnancy. And gum disease has been shown to be related to a higher incidence of early births and low birthweight babies.
Oral health is critical to a healthy mom and baby. And while brushing, flossing, and regular visits to your dentist are always important, during pregnancy, changing hormones can actually increase the health risks to your teeth and gums. That’s why you should make frequent dental checkups part of your prenatal care checklist.