New Patient FAQ

New Patient Frequently-Asked Questions

New to our practice? Here are answers to some of the questions we receive most! If you don’t find the answer to your question here, please call us at (805) 541-0550.

Do you take new patient emergency appointments?

YES! Please don’t hesitate to call SLO Smiles! We accommodate as many new patient emergencies as possible every day. Some days our schedule is fuller than others, but we work hard to get you in as quickly as possible.

Do you offer payment plans?

YES! You can use our finance partner Sunbit to make monthly payments for your care here at SLO Smiles. Sunbit offers options to split payments from 6 to 72 months, approves 85% of patients with no hard credit check and no late fees. They also offer true no-interest payment plans for maximum flexibility.

Check out the link below to see how much you are pre-qualified for!

Do you take my insurance?

SLO Smiles is out-of-network for all dental insurance companies. However, we do submit claims for all our patients with PPO insurance plans, so you won’t have to file any paperwork.

What does out-of-network mean?

An “in-network” dentist has a contract with the insurance company to accept what the insurance company allows for a service. When you go “out-of-network”, you will be billed for that difference.

What do I do if I don’t have dental insurance?

Great question! Over ½ our patients don’t have dental insurance, so you’re in good company. We accept all major credit cards, Care Credit, cash, check, and have a monthly payment option through Sunbit.

Will I receive a quote for any recommended treatment?

YES! We provide our patients with a written treatment plan that includes costs and estimated insurance contributions.

How do I know what my insurance will cover?

The best way to learn about your dental insurance coverage is to call your insurance company directly. You can often find a printed handbook on your insurance provider’s website that outlines what’s covered as well.

Your written treatment plan will include an estimate of insurance coverage. However, this is only an estimate, not a guarantee of coverage. If your care is not emergent, and you would like to know exactly how much your insurance will cover for restorative procedures, ask us for a pre-determination. While we won’t get an answer from them for 4-6 weeks, they will tell us how much they will contribute towards your care.

What if I don’t want x-rays taken?

Unless you’ve had x-rays recently in another dental office, we will need to take x-rays at your new patient appointment. Although we can tell a lot about your oral health with a visual exam, seeing what’s going on inside your teeth and under the gums is crucial. Without this view, we risk providing you an incomplete diagnosis.

While a patient always has the choice of whether to proceed with any recommended treatment, your dentist and dental hygienist cannot provide care for you based on an incomplete diagnosis. This puts us at risk for failure to diagnose or treat existing conditions and patients cannot give consent for a practitioner to be knowingly negligent. So, while you can refuse the treatment, your dentist and dental hygienist will not be able to continue to provide you with non-emergent dental care.

Will I get my teeth cleaned at my first appointment?

We do not include a cleaning during your first appointment. Your first dental appointment focuses on a thorough examination so we can determine your dental care needs. Certain dental issues should be treated before getting a professional cleaning. Similarly, if we find you have early signs of gum disease, we’ll tailor your cleaning with periodontal therapy in mind. Once your initial exam is complete, you can book your first cleaning. 

My other dentist can’t see me for months, can I just see you for hygiene?

If you are a patient of record with another dentist in the area, it is important for your oral health to maintain a continuity of care with that dentist and dental office for all your needs. In the case of a true dental emergency, your dentist has an obligation to schedule a timely visit, and provide on-call, after hours options for care.

If you find your current dental provider is not meeting your needs in this area, we are happy to see you as a new patient here at SLO Smiles, just call!

Do I need to fill out new patient forms ahead of time?

YES! It is essential that we have your new patient forms on file before your appointment, so the doctor and team are ready for your visit. We make that process very easy with online forms, which we will text and email you a link to complete. You can also find our New Patient Forms Packet online.

Please upload a copy of your insurance cards and a list of any current medications you’re taking (including herbal and vitamin supplements) with your forms. If you have any difficulties, can’t upload, or prefer to arrange for paper forms, please call in advance and we are happy to help.

Will you remind me of my appointment?

YES! And we do ask you to confirm your appointment ahead of time so we can continue to reserve that time specifically for you. We send out automatic appointment reminders via text and email. If you don’t confirm your appointment via one of those reminders, we will make a courtesy call.

We do require 48 hours notice to change or cancel your appointment.

Office Hours
  • Monday7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Tuesday7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Wednesday7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Thursday7:00am - 5:00pm
  • Friday7:00am - 2:00pm
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New patients are always welcome at SLO Smiles. Our friendly San Luis Obispo dental team looks forward to meeting you!