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Your First Visit
At Cameo Dental, your comfort and care are our first priorities, and that starts with your first dental appointment. Whether you’re looking for a new dental home to keep on track with your regular dental care or it’s been a few years since your last dental visit, we’re here to meet you where you’re at. Your Cameo Dental dentist and team want to make your first appointment welcoming and enjoyable.
We know that going to the dentist can feel overwhelming, but the goals of your first appointment are simple: to get to know each other, and to gather information about your oral health. This is your chance to meet your doctor and the rest of the team. We believe that good provider-patient relationships are built on trust, integrity, compassion, and professionalism, and we want you to feel confident that our team is the right fit for you.
What Happens at My First Appointment?
The first appointment for most new patients will include a personal consultation with your dentist, a comprehensive exam, and any necessary dental imaging. We want to learn about your concerns, your questions, and how we can help you to meet your oral health goals.
A Comprehensive Exam
During your comprehensive exam, your dentist will take time to explain what’s happening, answer any questions, and educate you along the way. Your dentist will evaluate your teeth, soft tissues, chewing muscles, jaw, face, and neck. In addition to looking for cracked teeth and cavities, your dentist is also looking for sores or lumps on the floor and roof of your mouth, lesions on your tongue, problems with the jaw joint and muscles, signs of traumatic occlusion such as tooth wear or fracture, and abnormalities in the lymph nodes of the head and neck. This examination includes an important and routine screening for oral cancer. If you wear dentures or other removable appliances, your dentist will evaluate the fit, function, and comfort of the appliance.
Your dentist can tell a lot about your oral health just by looking in your mouth, but there are important areas that require diagnostic images, like dental X-rays, to fully evaluate. Examples include the areas in between your teeth, the bone of your jaw, and the roots of your teeth.
If you have seen another dental care provider and have recent dental X-rays on file, we can help you to arrange for the X-rays to be sent to our office before your appointment. Discuss this with our business staff when you are scheduling your first appointment. Any diagnostic images received from outside providers will be reviewed by your dentist, and the need for any additional images will be determined during your exam.
What if my provider needs diagnostic images that my insurance will not cover?
Required X-rays are determined by your dentist based on clinical necessity, and not by your insurance provider.
If you have concerns about what your insurance will or will not pay for, we encourage you to contact your insurance provider prior to your appointment to fully understand your dental benefit. If diagnostic imaging is needed at your exam, it is important to know that you are responsible for any charges that your insurance provider chooses not to pay for.
Radiation from dental x-rays is very low, and our dentists follow the ALARA Principle (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) to minimize the patient’s exposure. This limits radiographs to what an individual patient needs to meet our standard of care. If you have questions for your dentist about why certain imaging is necessary, you are encouraged to ask! If you decline necessary diagnostic imaging, it is possible that we may not be able to responsibly proceed with examination and treatment.
Why don’t I get a dental cleaning right away?
Many people do not know this, but there are different kinds of dental cleanings. The type of cleaning you need depends on the condition of your teeth and gums. The buildup on your teeth and under your gums harbors infectious bacteria. Especially if it has been several years since your last dental visit, you may need a more specialized professional dental cleaning to get your teeth, gums, and supporting bone healthy again. The type of professional dental cleaning you need can only be determined by your dentist as part of your examination. We have to look in your mouth before we know what you need!
Common types of cleanings include prophylaxis, periodontal scaling and root planing, and periodontal maintenance. Learn more about different types of dental cleanings by clicking here.
Every smile is unique, and our next steps will be tailored to yours.
We may find that your dentition is mostly stable and your treatment needs are minimal. In this case, we will discuss our clinical findings and recommendations, answer any questions that you have, and will most likely schedule your professional dental cleaning as a next step.
If we determine that you have more complex treatment needs (such as advanced gum disease, failing teeth in need of larger restorations, replacement of missing teeth, or cosmetic transformations), we will schedule a complimentary treatment review appointment with your doctor to fully discuss a comprehensive treatment plan. This appointment is dedicated time with your doctor to discuss the state of your oral health, your ideal and alternative treatment options, phasing and sequencing of treatment, possible specialist referrals, and treatment financing.
What if my dentist recommends treatment that my insurance does not cover?
Your dental treatment needs are determined by your dental healthcare provider, based on your individual needs, and not by your insurance provider.
It is important to understand that dental insurance plans can be much different than medical insurance plans. Dental insurance plans often are not designed to cover all of the treatment you may need. This may be due to a limited maximum benefit, or limitations on the types of procedures covered. It is important to understand your individual benefit plan.
Your smile is important to us, and your provider will inform you of the risks of declining or delaying treatment based on insurance coverage. Know that there are other resources to help pay for your care. Click here for more information about insurance and payment.
In order to best serve our patients, we accept plans from most major dental insurance providers, including Delta Dental, MetLife, Medica, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare, Premier Dental Group, HealthPartners, PreferredOne, and many more. However, just because we accept plans from a certain company, that does not necessarily mean we accept your specific plan. Contact your dental insurance provider to confirm that we are in your network. This will help assure that you can fully utilize your dental insurance benefits. You are welcome to contact our business staff for additional questions and assistance.
We will help in every way we can to file a claim on your behalf and assist you in understanding your coverage. Your insurance may cover all, a portion of, or none of your dental visit. Please understand that Cameo Dental does not decide whether or not a service is covered by insurance. Your individual insurance provider makes those decisions. Coverage depends on many things, as determined by your insurance provider, including your deductible, your yearly maximum, and any applicable waiting periods. Cameo Dental is always happy to submit a preauthorization to your insurance company at your request when possible. Keep in mind that a preauthorization is not a guarantee that an insurance provider will pay for your treatment, and it can often take some time, which may delay necessary treatment. If you have questions regarding your benefits or why your care wasn’t covered, please contact your insurance provider directly. For more information about dental insurance and paying for your care, click here.