White Rose Family Dental Explains What Happens During Dentist Appointments
If going to the dentist sparks anxiety for you, you’re not alone. Many people put off scheduling their bi-annual cleanings, especially if it has been a while since their last dentist visit. You probably know that you need to go to the dentist but avoid it because you aren’t sure what to expect.
Knowing what to expect when visiting a dentist can help you feel confident and comfortable walking into your dental visits. Let’s walk through what happens during dental appointments.
What Happens at a Dentist Visit?
The most common type of dentist visit is a check-up with a preventative cleaning. At your first visit to a new dentist, you’ll fill out a new patient form with your:
- Dental history
- Medical history
- Contact information
- Dental insurance information, if you have it
You’ll take a seat in the waiting room until the dental assistant calls you back to the exam room for your cleaning and examination.
After your cleaning, the dentist will examine your teeth and gums. A dentist holds a degree, like a doctor of dental surgery (DDS) or doctor of dental medicine (DMD). Your dentist will answer any questions you have, and then you’re done!
You can head back to the front desk to wrap up your visit. You did it!
How Often Should I Get a Dental Check-up?
Dentists recommend coming in for a dental check-up once every six months.
What Is Dental Cleaning And Check-up?
Many people are most nervous about the teeth cleaning portion of dental visits. Regular teeth cleanings promote oral hygiene, remove built-up plaque and tartar from your teeth, and prevent gum disease. The cleaning is painless, but some of the sensations from the tools may feel odd. All dental professionals wear gloves, use sterilized instruments for every cleaning, and have the training to make cleaning as comfortable as possible.
To help you know what to expect when visiting a dentist, here’s what happens during routine teeth cleanings:
- The dental hygienist will lean you back in the dental chair.
- The hygienist will use dental tools to scrape plaque and tartar from your teeth, both above and below the gum line. This is painless, but the scraping noise and feeling may be unsettling to some people. Let your hygienist know if you feel discomfort or pain at any point. The dentist can alleviate the pain by using local or topical anesthesia during the procedure.
- X-rays are taken every six months to detect any tooth and gum problems and monitor any treatment outcomes. To take x-rays, the dental assistant will put a plastic spacer in your mouth, then take pictures of the sides and front of your mouth.
If you have questions or feel discomfort during the appointment, don’t be afraid to speak up or raise your hand when you can’t speak. The hygienist, dentist, and the rest of the staff are there to take care of you, so they will always be willing to help you understand what they’re doing and why.
What Does the Dentist Do?
After the hygienist has finished cleaning your teeth, the dentist will gently examine your mouth, teeth, gums, and throat. The dentist may use a mirror or small pointed tool, but this is mostly a visual examination. This brief exam usually lasts less than ten minutes, and the dentist will review any notes the hygienist made during your cleaning and take a look at your x-rays.
If your dentist sees anything out of the ordinary during your exam, don’t worry. It’s very common to develop minor issues like cavities, and you’re in the right place to address any concerns. Your dentist will explain what they see and recommend the appropriate next steps. For example, if you have a cavity, the dentist will recommend scheduling a follow-up appointment to place a filling.
Good oral hygiene habits will prevent most dental ailments, so your dentist may ask about your brushing and flossing habits and recommend a different regimen if you have any oral health issues.
How Much Do Dental Visits Cost?
Typically, insurance covers preventative care like regular dental check-ups. If the dentist determines an additional treatment is necessary to keep your teeth healthy, they will explain your options. Contacting your insurance company directly is the best way to receive a cost estimate for what procedures or what portion of expenses your insurance will cover.
Ready for Your Dental Check-up?
At White Rose Family Dental LLC, we care for our patients like families with a comprehensive range of dental services, from routine cleanings to restorative dentistry. From the time you make your appointment to your examination and cleaning in the chair, we want you to feel comfortable and know what to expect when visiting a dentist. Remember, keeping up with routine cleanings is essential not just to your oral health but also to your overall health!
Call our team at 717-822-0272 or book your appointment online and take charge of your oral health.