Your first appointment

Once we have received a referral to our service for routine treatment, we will send you an appointment in the post along with a medical history form, a carers form, and a letter explaining that the first visit is for examination and treatment planning only. Please fill in the medical history form and the carer’s form if applicable and bring this to your first appointment.  

If the appointment you have been given is unsuitable then please telephone us to re-arrange the appointment. We require at least 24 hours notice before your appointment is due to rearrange or cancel.  

In Bridgwater, Glastonbury, Taunton and Yeovil you will be greeted by a dental receptionist who will take your medical history form and ask you to provide proof of exemption to NHS charges  if applicable.  You will then be escorted by a dental nurse to meet your dentist who will carry out an assessment.

in Wellington and Minehead there is no reception area.  You will be invited to ring the bell to let the staff know of your presence, and sit down.  There may be a short delay before the dental nurse can come and speak to you, as the dental nurse may be occupied with another patient when you arrive. 

In Chard, our service shares a building with a general dental practice who are totally separate from our organisation.  Their receptionists will be glad to take your name, and let our staff know that you have arrived, but they cannot deal with any paperwork or queries related to our service.  Please sit and wait until our dental nurse is free to see you; the staff from Chard Dental Access Centre will answer any of your questions.

You are entitled to the following at this initial appointment

  • A thorough examination of teeth and gums, including x-rays if necessary
  • An explanation of different treatment options, that will be tailored to your treatment needs
  • A written treatment plan and estimate of cost
  • Advice on how to keep your teeth and gums healthy
  • Information about possible referral to another dental professional, such as a dental therapist
  • Advised if we will be providing all of your dental treatment, or part of it
  • Advised if you will be a long term patient of ours or just receive one course of treatment. Most patients receive one course of treatment and return to the referring dentist
  • You will also be informed if we feel your dental needs can be met in general dental practice and the appropriate advice given
  • If you are in pain, and agreeable, the dentist may carry out some treatment at this initial appointment

We expect our patients to:

  • Provide us with a full and detailed medical history and inform us of any changes
  • Give at least 24 hours notice for cancellation of an appointment
  • Pay bills promptly
  • Provide proof of exemption
  • Treat our staff with respect and courtesy
  • Follow, to the best of your ability, any advice we may give you about keeping your gums and teeth healthy

After the initial assessment you will be returned to reception to make further appointments.