You may know the importance of routine dental care, but if you're like some people, you may avoid the dentist until you have a toothache and need immediate help. You might have dental anxiety or other reasons for not seeing a family dentist regularly, but it's never too late to start even if you take good care of your teeth and you're not in any pain. Here's what you may expect on your initial visit to your new dentist.
An Examination Of Your Mouth
A visual examination is important because your dentist can spot problems other than cavities. Your dentist looks for signs of gum disease, tooth decay, and problems in your mouth such as ulcers or signs of cancer. Ideally, this examination is done twice a year during routine dental visits, so if you haven't been to the dentist in years, you may not know if your mouth, gums, and teeth are healthy or not.
As a new patient, you may have dental x-rays done even if you don't have a toothache. The reason for this is that the dentist can't see all problems with your teeth, but they show up clearly on an x-ray. The dentist can see the position and condition of your teeth below your gums. They can see misaligned teeth, implants, old fillings, and cavities.
Discussion About Care You Need
If you've been taking excellent care of your teeth, you may not need much dental work done. If you have cavities, your dentist will let you know and suggest a plan for filling them. Even if the cavities are small, you may want to fill them before they start hurting and get bigger. If you have problems with misaligned teeth, your dentist may suggest ways of straightening them so you can think about whether you want to want to proceed. Your dentist will probably recommend teeth cleaning as soon as possible.
Your initial evaluation might also include teeth cleaning. Even if you're faithful about brushing and flossing, your teeth should still be cleaned by a dental hygienist on schedule to keep plaque and tartar under control. Cleaning is good for both your teeth and gums, and it's an easy process to go through. You'll probably need to have your teeth cleaned before you have cavities filled or have treatments for teeth whitening.
Even if you've been lax about going to the dentist for many years, now is the best time to choose a family dentist and begin routine exams and cleaning. Keeping your teeth into your senior years is important so you can eat a variety of foods and avoid the problems associated with dentures if possible.
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