The dentist is sometimes known to be a scary place, where doctors and hygienists with beautiful teeth, ask you to sit with your mouth open (for longer than you might enjoy). The truth is, the dentist is not a scary place, but rather a very important part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Whether it is your first time visiting a new dentist, you have not been in a while, or you have yet to visit a dentist in your life, here is what you can expect.
No matter your reason for visiting the dentist, almost every time you visit a dentist’s office you should plan to have a comprehensive dental exam. During this exam, your dentist or dental hygienist will inspect your teeth and mouth for any problems. They might be looking for signs of tooth decay, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), or periodontal disease (also known as gum disease). You will also discuss any problems that you are experiencing with your teeth and mouth such as sensitivity or toothaches.
After you receive your dental exam you will move onto the cleaning. This cleaning does more than you can by simply flossing or brushing your teeth, and most dentists recommend you receive a cleaning every six months. During the cleaning, most likely done by a dental hygienist, they will remove dental plaque from the outside of your teeth. They will also polish your teeth and use other instruments to get in all the hard to reach areas of your mouth.
Not everyone always needs an x-ray exam, but if you have not been to the dentist in a while, you are switching dentists, have a problem that might be internal, or simply have not had an x-ray in many years, then you might be offered a dental x-ray. X-rays can be helpful in detecting cavities, gum disease, bone loss, infection, impacted teeth, bone abnormalities, or tumors otherwise not seen by the naked eye. No need to worry about the negative effects of radiation with this x-ray, as you should expect to be given a lead or lead-free apron to reduce the radiation exposure.
Depending on who you visit or your personal needs, you might need other procedures such as tooth fillings. Your dentist might also offer cosmetic treatments such as teeth whitening, so inquire if this is something you are interested in.
After your teeth have been cleaned and any procedures have been completed, you will most likely be asked to pay. If you have dental insurance, the staff should help to work with you to utilize this. Additionally, this is the time to schedule any follow-up appointments or your next appointment. You will also be given a treatment plan for any issues you are having, and often you will be given a toothbrush to take home with you.
Looking for a new dentist in the Thornton, Colorado area? Contact Arbor Dental, a Thornton dental office available to serve all your dental needs.