What to expect on your first visit to Green Dentistry (Podcast)
Sherry: This is Sherry and today we have Dr. Patel here. She has her own holistic practice in downtown San Francisco. She is a Forbes Bestselling author and a wellness expert. And we are gonna talk to her today about what to expect on your first visit as a new patient at Green Dentistry. So Dr. Patel, what should people be expecting on their first visit when visiting your practice?
Dr. Patel: Well, that’s a great question, Sherry. Thank you so much for having me here. I love my new patient appointments. It is an opportunity for us to meet a new person, be able to ask about their goals for their teeth and how we can serve them best. During our new patient appointment, it’s actually really wonderful because that’s when we really get to partner with the patients. For example, if you walked into our practice the first thing you would see is you would have a wonderful smile on someone’s face. They greet you. They’d share with you a little bit about us. Then we’d sit down and talk to you about what is it that you desire? What are your goals? What is it that you want? You know, are your goals that you want your
teeth to look good, you want to be able to chew comfortably. You want things to be comfortable or your teeth to last a long time. And once we look at all of that, we’re able to come up with a customized plan that is personalized for you in order to help you do that.
For example, if your goal is that your teeth lasts a long time, one of the things that we may talk about would be, let’s talk about how you’re grinding. What can we do to stop these teeth from chipping and breaking? Let’s go ahead and perhaps talk to your medical doctor and maybe get a sleep study done so that we’re looking at the whole you and not just little bits and pieces of teeth, but we’re looking at you, your whole body and how everything is related.
Of course we’re gonna talk a beautiful smile as well and make sure there’s no disease or dysfunction. But most importantly, it’s really all about partnering with you to make sure that all your questions are answered, you’re really educated and empowered to take the steps that you need to. A lot of times patients don’t need dental work. A lot of times it’s a lot of home care that’s really necessary. So we spent a lot of time with education empowerment and really helping you figure out what is it that you want, what is it that you need so that you can have a really great experience?
Sherry: Would you say there are any specific things maybe that the patients should try and think abou
Dr. Patel: You know, the one thing I always say is come in with an open mind. Some things you might want to consider thinking about is, what are your goals for your teeth? What are your goals? What kind of relationship do you want to have with your dentist? What are some questions you have so that way we can really utilize that time effectively. And especially if you’re going through some medical conditions. Let’s say, for example, there’s ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease or something along those lines. A, you want to know how is it related to my teeth? Like what’s going on over here. I have a ton of anxiety. Is this any way related to my teeth? I have mercury poisoning. Is this any way related. Do I have any mercury in my mouth? Or I have ADHD, I’m unable to focus. I’m always exhausted and tired. Does this have anything to do with my teeth? Or I get a ton of headaches. What’s going on here, Dr. Patel. Can you help me tie these things in? And the more information that you’re able to give me the better I’m able to serve you.
Most patients think they should just go to the dentist for a cavity or to get their teeth cleaned. And so, again, it’s very unconscious and very basic quality work. What we like to do is really over deliver and the way we can over deliver and educate and empower you is the more information you can tell us, the more we can link it. I’ve had the opportunity to go through some training through functional medicine training, and I love utilizing it. I love being there for my patients to help them understand how are all these things linked? What happened? How is my ADHD linked to my teeth? Or
how is my autoimmune disorders linked to my teeth? How does this impact one thing or another, because again, we’re quantum beings. We’re a whole body. Everything is related. And so a lot of times patients don’t think about telling the dentist like, hey, I wake up with headaches or something along those lines. And it’s actually really important because if you’re suffering through them 50% of the time even, it’s important for us to talk about because I guarantee one way or another, there is some sort of correlation that we want to get to.
Sherry: Yeah. I agree with you. It is so important and many people don’t realize how their whole body and what is going on is connected to the teeth. I have a question. So say I come in, I’m a patient, I’m filling out the paperwork. Who’s gonna be taking those x-rays? Can you kind of let us know what to expect after all of the paperwork is done?
Dr. Patel: Absolutely. So in our practice, my wonderful assistants. There are darlings. They’re so kind and compassionate. We do digital x-rays in our practice. So it’s not like traditional x-rays. You actually get more radiation outside on a cold day than you actually do in my practice. So my assistance will go ahead and they’ll put a lead bib over you, and it covers your thyroid as well as a thyroid collar to protect your thyroid gland. Then we’ll take some x-rays. We will take what we need; not more than we need. If you’ve already had a full set of x-rays done once about within about three to five years, we’ll do four bite wings and two PAs, which are
smaller versions. Just so that we’re customizing again, everything to you and what actually needs to be done. Just making sure that you’re understanding what’s actually happening and why. Then we’ll go in and start the exam and we’ll take a look around and see how are things related. What’s going on? What is it that we can help you with?
The assistants are also really wonderful with explaining to you. Like, they’ll explain to you how if there’s any radiographic calculus, they’ll be able to explain to you, hey, these are some things you might want to look at. They’re just a wealth of knowledge which is really wonderful. The same thing with my front end too, my front office staff, they’re really great. They’ll also sit down with you. They’ll make sure they go through a thorough medical history. We’ll also help you understand our policies of our practice and understand your insurance benefits as best as we can. Once that’s complete, that’s when our assistants come in and get you started.
Sherry: So I have a question. When they come in for that first visit, are they gonna meet you or is it the next time? How does that process go?
Dr. Patel: I love to meet my patients at the first visit. The main thing is you are taking some time to come to the office and I want to utilize the time, taking time off of work so I like to utilize that time so that we’re able to go through all your concerns and any issues that you may have. And we do it in detail. What we really like to do is spend that quality time and building that relationship. Again, it’s all about building trust, really understanding what
we each — I’m not attached to what you want, right? I mean, you could want 16 veneers, or you could just want a cleaning. It’s totally fine with me because it’s ultimately about what is it that you want. My job is to be the coach. You’re the hero of your own story and I want you to live your story. My job is to be your coach and guide and guide you towards health, to guide you towards optimal dental and body health and whole body health.
Sherry: Okay. So I have a question and this topic comes up a lot with people. When is the best time that a patient should think about reaching out to you or booking an appointment?
Dr. Patel: The best time for a patient to call me is as soon as they hear this podcast, or as soon as they go check me out on the website. The main reason is it’s, you know, and I cannot emphasize this enough is it’s better to be proactive than reactive. And I like to use these examples, like you know, when there’s a leak in your roof, you don’t wait for the rain to come. You address it right then and there. It’s saves you time and it saves you money. It saves you pain, and it’s just so much better where you are in an empowered state because you’re taking care of it earlier, rather than later.
So often I find patients, if I’d seen them maybe six months earlier, a year earlier, a small filling turns into a root canal or it turns into a crown when we can easily take care of things or cleanings need to be deep cleanings again, because there’s gum disease around. So the sooner we see with a better it is for you. You will save time, money, effort, energy, and that
peace of mind, which is so wonderful and comfortability, right. It’s so much easier and more comfortable when there’s not deep or a lot of dental work that that’s needed.
Sherry: Yeah, exactly. Dr. Patel, I will want to thank you again. All of this information is so informative, and most of all, it’s important. Patients want to know what to expect and know what’s gonna happen when they’re coming into your practice. So I appreciate that. If anyone wants to reach out to us or has any questions, please feel free to visit us at SFgreendentist.com/implants or you can just call us at +1-415-761-3521. Thanks again, Dr. Patel.
Dr. Patel: Thanks Sherry.