According to the American Dental Association, it is recommended that you schedule a regular visit to the dentist every six months. That said, we understand this might be a bit daunting—particularly if you have a fear of the dentist! One of the best ways to alleviate anxiety about your upcoming visit to the dentist, however, is to know exactly what to expect during your appointment! The process of going through a regular dental visit is quite simple; you’ll just need to follow these four steps:
1. You’ll provide a full health history.
If you’re going to the dentist for a check-up, the first thing you will need to do is check in at the reception desk. This process will include filling out a short questionnaire about you and your oral health history. Questions can be as easy as providing your phone number and email address, though you may also need to answer more complex questions about your family’s oral health history, previous treatments, and payment.
2. You will have x-rays taken of your teeth.
Your dentist may recommend that you have x-rays taken, depending on the frequency in which you visit the dentist, your risk of disease, and other various symptoms that you may be experiencing. The process of getting your x-rays is pain-free, though it may require keeping bulky equipment in your mouth for a minute or two. This will allow your dentist to see a complete view of your lower and upper jaw, analyze your bite, and detect any oral health issues that otherwise would not be visible to the naked eye (such as impacted teeth, damage to your jawbone, decay, cysts, and more). These images will also help your dentist to monitor oral health issues that have already been diagnosed, such as gum disease, cavities, or even oral tumors.
3. Your dentist will perform a thorough examination.
As part of your check-up, your dentist will take a moment to evaluate your oral health. This process is quick and painless—it doesn’t usually take longer than five to ten minutes. Your dentist will ask if you’ve been experiencing any symptoms recently, and this will be the time to discuss if you’ve had bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, or other dental issues. Your dentist will then inspect your mouth, gums, and teeth. He or she will count your teeth, make note of any fillings, and measure the space between your gums and teeth. By making note of these findings in your dental records, your dentist will be able to revisit this information during your next check-up. They will also make note of any oral health issues such as tooth decay or gingivitis. If you have a cavity or any other problems, you may need to schedule a follow-up appointment to receive treatment.
4. The dental hygienist will do a thorough cleaning.
Finally, you will receive a complete cleaning, usually from the dental hygienist but occasionally from the dentist. Using special instruments, they will scrape beneath the gum line to remove any plaque and tartar buildup that could lead to periodontal disease, tooth decay, halitosis (bad breath), and more. These cleanings are an important preventative measure to ensure you have good oral health for years to come.
Visiting your dentist regularly is an important part of maintaining your oral health! To schedule your check-up, call Hinsdale Dental today!Return to Blog