What to Expect During an Overdue Dental Appointment | Snohomish, Wa Dentist
Has it been a while since you’ve been to the dentist? If you’re wondering what’s in store for you as a patient, rest easy – modern dental visits are fast, easy, and will be much less painful than in years past. Most dental visits will follow a similar path, and knowing what to expect can help lower anxiety, so here’s a basic explanation:
- You’ll almost certainly start with X-rays. X-rays allow dentists to get an understanding of the state of your mouth. Not only will they be able to see large problems like misaligned, missing or cracked teeth, they’ll also be able to see small cavities caused by decay, and even problems such as bone loss in the jaw caused by periodontal disease. Most dentists will conduct a number of X-rays – some of them may be uncomfortable, but they shouldn’t be painful. - Once the X-rays are complete, the dentist will likely check your teeth manually for anything that they noticed when reviewing the X-ray, and also check the health of gums for signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease. If you haven’t been in a while, the dentist may also check your head, neck, and mouth for signs of oral cancer – this may seem unusual, but it’s a great way to find problems early. - If you’re complaining of a specific problem – perhaps a toothache – it’s likely the dentist will identify the cause in his examination. Depending on time, the dentist may be able to treat the problem immediately – in the case of minor cavities, this typically means a local anesthetic to numb the area, followed by a brief period of drilling to remove decay, and then a filling using composite resin. Once the resin is set and cured, the dentist will polish and shape the resin with the dental drill (handpiece). - Depending on the length of your appointment, your dentist or dental hygienist may follow your examination with a thorough professional cleaning. In some cases, this can be done in the same appointment – in others, scheduling may dictate that you come in for a follow-up, when more time is available. If you haven’t seen a dentist in quite some time, the professional cleaning may be more involved, with techniques such as periodontal scaling (cleaning the roots beneath the gum line), which can take multiple visits.
Dentistry has come a long way – if you’ve been putting off seeing your dentist because you’re anxious about the pain, rest assured that modern dentistry involves far less pain than you may remember. Talk to your dentist when you arrive if you’re nervous, and let them know – they’ll be happy to go slower, and explain what they’re doing to help keep your mind at east. Remember that visiting the dentist early and often can help catch minor problems before they become major problems, which means fewer and faster dental visits in the future.
Call Dr. Ted Haines DDS for more information on oral health or to make an appointment today at 360-568-8577 or visit the website at tedhainesdds.com.
Dr. Haines of Snohomish, WA also proudly accepts patients from Monroe, Lake Stevens, Everett, Mill Creek, Woodinville, and surrounding areas.