Your First Visit

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The First Appointment

We are so happy you’ve decided to make our practice your new dental home. We are committed to providing you and your family with safe, gentle, and state-of-the-art dental care. When you arrive, you’ll be greeted with a warm and friendly smile. While filling out your patient forms, you can enjoy our comfortable and relaxing waiting room with large windows and inspiring mountain views.

Comfort Options

Dental care can induce a lot of anxiety! Some patients procrastinate making an appointment or find it difficult to walk into a dental office. If dentistry makes you feel anxious too, you’re not alone!


We designed our office with you in mind. When you walk in the front door, you’ll be greeted by our empathetic and friendly team and welcomed into the GNDC home. Our reception area feels like a relaxing coffee shop with gorgeous mountain views, comfortable seating, and a variety of interesting magazines and books for all ages.


Each patient treatment room feels spacious and happy with mountain views, cheery artwork, and overhead TVs, allowing you to tune out dental treatment while watching calming videos or your favorite show.


If you need a little extra help relaxing, let us know. We have nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and conscious sedation available too.


Most of our patients feel less anxious with each appointment and are able to receive treatment they’ve been putting off for years. Your smile is our passion! Let us know how we can help.

Gather Necessary Information Beforehand

Discussing your family history may not be the first thing you think of when scheduling your dental appointment, but being familiar with your family’s medical history allows us to better care for your oral and overall health.

Like many other conditions such as heart disease and certain forms of cancer, periodontal disease has strong genetic ties that can run in your family. Knowing your family’s medical history can help Dr. Jarvis keep an eye out for oral health issues such as gum disease or other conditions which present symptoms in the mouth, such as diabetes.

Aside from gathering any relevant personal or family medical information, be sure to review your dental insurance benefits as you prepare for your appointment with your Kalispell dentist. Knowing your level of coverage will help you understand what costs will be associated with your care. If you have any questions about using your dental insurance in our practice or if you would like information about paying for care without insurance, give us a call!

To help your visit to our Kalispell practice go as smoothly as possible, please come prepared with the following information:

  1. X-rays from previous dental practices
  2. A list of any or all medication that you’re presently prescribed and taking
  3. Your dental insurance information
  4. Patient forms filled out
  5. Having this prepared and ready for your appointment will save you time and allow us to make your first visit the very best experience.

What Happens During Your First Visit?

Although this varies from patient to patient based on their individual needs, a dental check-up generally consists of a professional cleaning, a comprehensive dental examination, and potentially X-rays.

Dental X-Rays

How frequently you need dental X-rays relies largely on your medical and dental history, your age, and your current oral health. New-patient examinations often include X-rays as well. At Great Northern Dental Care, we use digital X-rays, which are more effective and much safer for our patients than film X-rays.

If required, dental X-rays are generally taken at the beginning of your dental appointment. Dental X-rays allow us to detect and diagnose tooth decay between teeth, on hard-to-reach surfaces, and under existing dental work. X-rays can even be helpful in identifying dental and orthodontic issues that exist beneath the gum line. 

Dental Cleaning

Once it’s time for your cleaning, the hygienist uses a small metal instrument known as a scaler to scrape off tartar above and below the gum line and in between teeth. Next, they polish your teeth using a polishing tool and a lightly abrasive paste to deep clean your pearly whites and remove any tartar left behind after the previous step. Last but not least, they’ll finish your cleaning with a thorough flossing.

Comprehensive Exam

After your teeth are clean, Dr. Jarvis will perform a comprehensive oral examination to ensure your oral health is in tip-top shape. He will:

  • Examine your teeth for signs of decay
  • Check for gum swelling and redness, and measure the depth of your gingival pockets to check for signs of periodontal disease
  • Test how your top and bottom teeth come together and check for signs of teeth grinding or other potential orthodontic issues
  • Examine your neck, lymph glands, and oral cavity for signs of oral cancer

Custom Exam

Based on your exam, we’ll discuss any necessary treatment recommendations and offer helpful tips on how to improve your oral hygiene before your next appointment.


Following a thorough examination, we will discuss our findings, your concerns, and your treatment options. We believe the best decisions are informed decisions. It’s your mouth, so you get to choose. Whatever your reason for visiting Great Northern Dental Care, we want you to leave our office feeling comfortable and confident with the care you received and your future treatment options.