Has it been a while since you’ve been to the dental office? There are all sorts of different reasons why this may be the case. For many it is anxiety, forgetfulness, or just a busy schedule. Fortunately, it is never too late to work towards a healthy smile. Approximately 43% of Americans do not see their dentist as often as they should. If this is the case for you, it pays to know what you can expect during your first visit back. A dentist in Lincoln explains the different steps of a typical dental checkup.
How Long Will Your Dental Appointment Last?
For your first dental visit in a while, you probably want to plan for a bit of extra time in order to fill out all of the paperwork related to your contact information, health history, and dental insurance if you have it. After completing this, you can get started. You should reserve about an hour for your appointment so that your dental team has plenty of time to get everything done and answer questions that you have.
What Are the Steps of a Dental Appointment?
Here are the steps that you can expect to take place during your visit:
You will have your x-rays taken on a regular basis, usually about once a year, so that your dentist can ensure that there aren’t underlying issues that are not detectible by the naked eye. This includes impacted teeth, tooth decay, jawbone issues, and other problems. This is a quick and painless procedure. A lead apron will be placed over your chest and an x-ray sensor is put into your mouth. You will be instructed when to bite down and the image will be captured for your dentist to evaluate.
Even if you are an excellent brusher and flosser, there will still be areas in your mouth that you miss. Nobody is perfect. Your dental hygienist will clean your teeth using special dental tools. They will check your gumline, remove plaque and tartar, floss your teeth, and polish them to remove surface stains.
After your teeth have been cleaned, your mouth will be examined by your dentist. They will check for issues like gum disease, tooth decay, oral cancer, and other abnormalities. If you are experiencing any discomfort or other problems in your mouth, this is a great time to bring it up. Your dentist will share any findings with you so you can discuss the next steps.
Many people don’t realize that there is an educational aspect to your dental visits as well. After all, who is better to ask dentistry related questions to than your dentist? If you want to know anything more about your appointment, dental treatments, oral hygiene, or anything else, now is the time to bring it up.
Before you leave, don’t forget to schedule your next visit. This way, you can continue to maintain a healthy smile!
About the Author
Dr. Jennifer Reed is an experienced dentist who has been practicing for well over two decades. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from UNMC College of Dentistry and received her certificate of specialization in prosthodontics. Currently, she is an active member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. For more information on regular dental checkups or to schedule an appointment, visit her website or call (402) 488-5007.