Are you part of the estimated 36% of people who suffer from dental anxiety? If so, it’s only natural to have the urge to put off making an appointment for your next check-up.
Many times, that anxiety comes from not knowing what to expect during the appointment and assuming the worst will happen. We’re here to help ease your fears a bit.
Read through this brief guide to learn what to expect during a general dentist check-up. This will give you a better idea of what might happen at your next appointment.
When you first arrive at a general dentistry practice, your hygienist or dental assistant will call you back and have you sit in a dental chair. From there, they might ask you questions about your dental history and any habits you have that might affect your teeth like drinking sugary drinks or smoking.
If you need x-rays, they will do those before getting into your cleaning. Generally speaking, you should need x-rays around once per year, but your dentist may recommend that you get them more often depending on your history.
After that, the hygienist will start cleaning your teeth, using dental tools to gently scrape tartar and plaque from the surface of your teeth. As they remove plaque near your gum line, you may experience some discomfort and light bleeding.
Once they’ve removed plaque and tartar, they’ll polish your teeth with a gentle smoothing tool. Most dentists offer flavored polish and will let you choose which flavor you want. Throughout the cleaning and polishing, they’ll periodically rinse your mouth with water and suction out any excess moisture.
After the hygienist is done cleaning and polishing your teeth, the dentist will come in. The hygienist will tell the dentist about any potential issues they might have noticed during the x-rays or the cleaning.
The dentist will then take a quick look at your teeth and examine your gums, neck, and throat to look for signs of any abnormalities. They’ll also look at your x-rays and any potential problem areas like stains or cavities.
Once they’re finished with the check-up, the dentist will talk with you for a few minutes about your dental habits and your overall oral health. If there are any issues that need to be addressed, they’ll tell you more about them and give you treatment recommendations.
For example, if they notice a cavity, they’ll tell you where it is and recommend when to come back to get it filled.
Finishing the Appointment
Once you’re done talking to the dentist, you’re all finished! Your hygienist or the receptionist may give you a bag of dental goodies like floss and toothpaste on your way out. At the reception desk, you’ll make any payments, if needed, and have the chance to book follow-up appointments for future dental work or your next check-up.
After that, you can breathe a sigh of relief that you made it through your appointment!
Don’t Put Off Your General Dentist Check-up
Now that you know more about what to expect during a general dentist check-up, you’re ready to do a search for the “best general dentist near me” and book your next appointment.
To read more health content like this, check out our other articles before you go.