For some people, the idea of visiting dentists strikes fear into their hearts. However, this doesn’t have to be the case when a person knows what to expect and is well prepared for their visit. Taking good care of one’s teeth is a great place to start. As far as the appointment goes, here are 5 things to expect.
Evaluate Oral Health
The appointment starts with a quick review of the patient’s health, especially their oral health. The person answers questions about any changes to their health or medications that they’re taking. They also should describe any pain or issues they’ve experienced with their teeth since their last visit.
Take Dental X-Rays
If the person hasn’t had dental X-rays done in a while, they should expect to get them done during the visit. The X-rays help the dentist see the health of the teeth, bones, gums, and roots to check for any cavities, infections, and other issues.
Inspect Condition of Mouth
Then the mouth is inspected for signs of tooth decay, root decay, gum or bone disease, oral cancer, and other problems. The X-rays help the dentist know where to look in the mouth. If anything is discovered, he or she discusses the plan for treating the problem areas.
The dental assistant or hygienist then cleans the teeth. Using various tools, he or she removes plaque from the teeth. In many cases, the plaque and tartar is difficult to remove with brushing or flossing alone. Dental assistants and hygienists receive training on how to use the tools to scrape away tartar without harming tooth enamel. Since it’s difficult to remove all of the plaque at home, it’s important to schedule biannual appointments to have teeth professionally cleaned.
Demonstrate Cleaning Techniques
At the end of the appointment, the patient receives instruction on proper cleaning techniques and tips for better teeth. If it seems that they brush too hard or not enough, they should learn about the right toothbrush and method to use for brushing their teeth. Since most people fail to floss regularly, this is another technique that often needs to be demonstrated to encourage people to do this.