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Dental Visit Tips: Things to know before your dental Appointment

Having a dentist or dental hygienist appointment need not be an anxiety inducing experience. You have done your research and booked your appointment but what now?

Here is a list of things to know before vising your dental professional:

  1. Make an appointment when you more relaxed – like after a work day or on the weekends.
  2. Brush and floss your teeth before your dental visit. It will be easier to detect potential problems if your teeth are clean.
  3. Get your Information ready.  If you are a new patient, be prepared to provide your medical history.  You may want to make a list of any changes to your health and medications you may be taking, as it can be easy to forget what you wanted to say if you tend to get a little nervous at the dentist’s office.
  4. Make sure you arrive early enough to fill out forms, if you are new to the dental clinic.
  5. Have a small snack before your appointment to ward off light-headedness, but be sure brush and floss afterward.
  6. Communicate with your dental profession and tell them what you like and dislike. Don’t be afraid to tell your dental professional about your fears. Discussing dental issues before they become dental problems, can help determine preventive treatment and may keep you from having to make an emergency appointment in the future.
  7. If this is your first dental appointment with a new dentist, chances are you will have a comprehensive dental examination. Your dentist will inspect your teeth and mouth for any potential problems, including signs of tooth decay and gum disease. He or she will also talk with you about any problems you have been experiencing, such as toothaches, sensitivity, or cosmetic concerns. Your first dental appointment will most likely include X-rays, which are taken to detect tooth decay, gum disease, bone loss, and infection. Some larger X-rays are used to check for impacted teeth (like wisdom teeth), bone abnormalities and tumors. You will be fitted with a lead apron to reduce radiation exposure. * If you are outside in the sun for an hour, you are exposed to more radiation than you would get from a full set of dental X-rays.
  8. Your dentist will also do an oral cancer screening by checking your mouth for any suspicious lumps, bumps or lesions.
  9. After your dental exam, your dentist will put together an individual treatment plan and probably recommend a visit to a dental hygienist.
  10. A dental hygienist is trained to inspect and clean people’s teeth and gums. Dental hygienists also teach people proper tooth and gum care and educate people on different ways to prevent oral disease. 
  11. A professional dental hygiene appointment is typically scheduled every six months, these appointments are important for achieving and maintaining optimal oral health. During the appointment your dental hygienist will remove accumulated dental plaque and calculus from the outside of your teeth and under your gums, using special instruments. If having your teeth cleaned has ever been painful, taking pain medication before the process begins can lessen the discomfort. 
  12. Please ask if you have any questions about homecare, like what toothbrush and toothpaste are suitable for you.
  13. Schedule your next appointment before you leave, so you don’t forget to come in regularly for checkups and dental hygiene appointments.
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