Scheduling a Dentist Appointment

A couple of weeks ago, I accomplished a task that previously seemed insurmountable.

That’s right. I scheduled a dentist appointment. Two, to be exact.

There’s nothing wrong with my teeth, but we’ve gone well over a year without having a regular cleaning. Dentists are scary, and German dentists could be considered to be scarier, but we’re paying for the insurance anyway and I’m pretty fond of my teeth. I had gotten a recommendation for a dentist from a friend and tried to call them a few times – but it didn’t seem to be a valid number. Okay, then: armed with my Versicherungskarte, Leo mobile app and bolstered with way too much coffee, I went to the office in person. And: it went so much better than I had expected! I mean, I still sweated through my winter coat, which is pretty standard for me, but the receptionist was super nice, and I was on a high from my success for the rest of the day. I think I might still be!

When things like Stollenbällchen are readily available everywhere here, it’s probably a good idea to go to the dentist.

Some helpful hints for when you schedule your first German dentist appointment:

1. Know your own phone number. This is where the embarrassed sweating started.

2. Don’t spell your name in Spanish. It’s not helpful.

3. Remember your husband’s birthday – or at least, how to say it in German. At this point, she gave me a pencil and paper to write my answers.

4. Smile a lot and act clueless. This may require less acting in some scenarios than others.

Here’s hoping that the appointment goes more or less as well as scheduling it did.


9 responses to “Scheduling a Dentist Appointment

  1. “Dentists are scary, and German dentists could be considered to be scarier” – too funny! 😀
    Making appointments in a foreign language is always hard, I agree. And I, too, prefer to do that in person since on the phone I am sometimes hopeless!
    But it’s not only the language, it is also the different procedures. Like in the US, I obviously had no difficulties with the language (unlike here in Mexico…), but I had to get used to the fact that I needed my (and my husband’s) SSN EVERYWHERE. Even when applying for a Macy’s card! I know exactly how sweaty things can become in those situations…
    Good luck with your appointment! I also need to make a dentist appointment here, but so far I’ve kept delaying it…

  2. Well done you! I always prefer making appointments in person because I can just hand them my Versicherungskarte and let them READ my name. Spelling it on the phone is impossible – my surname begins with an R and I just can’t pronounce a German R. It’s not usually possible for me to make appointments in person though, due to being at work, but luckily my doctor has joined the 21st century and allows you to make appointments online. Woo hoo!!

    • The ENT that I go to has online appointment-making, which I love. I tried to do it when scheduling dentists – in fact, it was my initial criteria for choosing a dentist, which is probably a bad idea, all else being equal – but the form didn’t go through when I tried to submit! The website looked a bit like a Geocities page, which probably should have been a warning sign. I do have a good feeling about the place where I made the appointment…though we’ll save the real congratulations for after the actual appointment happens on Tuesday 🙂

    • Preparing to make the call or go talk to someone is much more stressful than actually doing it, I’ve found. It definitely helps if I lead off with “I only speak a little bit of German…” (my go-to phrase).

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    • It was mostly just stressful to not be able to know what this “professional cleaning” was. I thought they were going to force it on me and then force me to pay. Funny how vulnerable we can feel when we’re stuck in a chair at the dentist 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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