The new patient checklist
Are you looking for another dentist? Perhaps you’ve moved recently, or had an unsatisfactory experience at your last dental visit. Or you may simply need a particular treatment your regular dentist doesn’t offer.
Whatever the reason, registering as a new dental patient should be easy.
Understanding the process of becoming a new patient at a different practice will save you time. It’ll also make transitioning from one practice to another as painless as possible.
Here’s how we do it at Keppel Dental.
The 3 steps to registering as a new patient at Keppel Dental
Step 1: Call us
Let us know you’d like to register by phoning our friendly reception staff on (07) 4939 2155. During this 10-minute call you’ll be asked:
- your name and contact details (phone number, address and email)
- why you’d like to register
- a few details about your oral health care history.
The receptionist will then offer you some appointment options so you can book your first checkup.
Step 2: Complete the new patient forms
Before your first appointment you’ll need to fill out a registration and health summary form (often called a ‘new patient form’).
I know, I know. I can practically hear you yawning at the thought of filling in forms. But we try to keep the sign-up process as simple as possible. Just arrive for your first appointment 10 minutes early to give yourself time to complete it using one of our tablets.
Before filling out the new patient form make sure you have:
- your health insurer details
- the details of your previous dental practice
- current or recent medication information
- contact details for your emergency contact person
- your current GP’s name, practice address and phone number
- your Medicare number (if claiming Child Dental Benefits Schedule).
You’ll also be asked about your medical history and that of your immediate family. Conditions such as high blood pressure and diabetes, along with any medication you’re taking, may affect how you’re treated. Having a complete picture ensures any treatment we give you is medically safe.
Step 3: Your first appointment
The day before your first appointment we’ll call or message you to complete our COVID-19 screening. You’ll be asked whether you’ve got a sore throat, a runny nose, a cough or a temperature. If you do, we’ll reschedule your appointment. But if you’re fit and well, then we look forward to seeing you.
Arrive 10 minutes early on the day of your appointment to complete your new patient form.
When the dentist is ready for you, they’ll meet you in reception and invite you to their treatment room. You’ll spend about an hour with the dentist. During this time, they’ll:
- get to know you, and discuss anything you’ve mentioned in your medical and oral health history
- speak with you about your dental experiences and current needs
- look in your mouth to check
- for periodontal and gum disease
- for early indicators of oral cancer
- any cavities and fillings
- the condition of any existing dental work
- your bite
- x-ray your mouth
- clean and floss your teeth.
This information helps your new dentist prepare your personal oral health care plan, which includes the next steps to take. You may be advised to book an appointment with an oral health therapist, and when your dentist would like to see you for your next checkup. You’ll also have the opportunity to ask your dentist any questions about your teeth, such as fixing chips or cracks, or getting smile makeover treatments such as professional tooth whitening or dental implants.
After your appointment
The reception staff will ask whether you need to make a follow-up appointment, or if you would like to book your next checkup. They’ll also process your payment, which you can fix up using EFTPOS or cash.
The top 3 new patient questions
How long does the appointment last? ▼
Your first appointment will take about an hour.
How much does the appointment cost? ▼
A first appointment usually costs $187-$271, depending on how many x-rays you need. Medicare doesn’t cover oral health at the moment, but if you have dental cover with private health insurance you may get a rebate.
What should I do before seeing the dentist? ▼
You may want to brush and floss your teeth on the day so they’re looking their best. And while you’re filling out the new patient forms, think about any questions you want to ask your new dentist about your teeth and treatment.
Looking for a dentist in the Rockhampton and Yeppoon area?
We’re accepting new patients, and would be happy to discuss your oral health needs and challenges. Take the first step in registering as a new patient. Use the form below to tell us you’re interested.
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