Your First Dental Checkup After a Hiatus: What to Expect

February 2, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — dr_donnelly @ 2:35 pm
Man wearing a white v-neck top in front of a light grey background with a worried look on his face

It is not uncommon to skip a dentist appointment. Sometimes a work trip or meeting pops up, you may suffer from dental anxiety or the cost may be an issue. If it’s been over a year since you’ve been in the dental chair, it is understandable to have a few worries. Learning the condition of your oral health and wondering what you may experience during this visit can make anyone a bit nervous, but try not to worry too much. Read below for an idea of what you can expect during your first dental checkup after time away from the dentist.

Your Visit May Be a Bit Long

If you are meeting with a new dentist or re-establishing a relationship with an old one, it will likely take a little while for the two of you to get to know each other and for them to get familiar with your oral health. They will examine your lips, teeth, gums and other soft tissue, check to see if you have any jaw issues and inspect your bite to see if it is properly aligned. It is also very likely that you will need a new set of X-rays. This will show your dentist any issues that could be hiding beneath the gums and aren’t visible to the naked eye. When your exam is done, your dentist or hygienist will clean your teeth. It is very probable that you have plaque and calculus buildup (hardened plaque) below your gum line that will need to be removed, so this may take some time as well.

New Technology

Dentistry is always evolving, so it is very likely that you will experience a new process or treatment during your visit. For example, if a fear of the dentist or previous traumatic dental experiences have been the cause of your staggard dental appointments, your dentist can offer sedation dentistry to help reduce stress. This technique is often in the form of nitrous oxide gas or a pill, which will relax you just enough to get the treatments you need.

Your Treatment Plan

During your visit, your dentist will be devising a plan to help you get your dental health back on track. At the end of your appointment, they will discuss any issues or concerns they may have found and make recommendations for how to resolve them. It is also very likely that they will go over your current at-home dental care recommend ways to improve it. At this time, it is a good idea to mention any questions, concerns or thoughts you have about your dental goals, like straightening your teeth or teeth whitening treatments.

One thing to remember when you are visiting your dentist for the first time is that they are not going to judge you. It’s never too late to get the bright, healthy smile you deserve, and your doctor and their staff are ready to help you achieve it!

About the Author

At Gentle Dental, Dr. J. Robert Donnelly is committed to providing comprehensive dental care in a comfortable environment to patients of all ages in San Marcos. After serving his country as an officer in The United States Marine Corps, he earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Dr. Donnelly offers a wide range of dental services that include general dentistry, sedation dentistry, cosmetic dental treatments and more. If you’re ready to get your dental health back on track, contact the office at (512) 396-5225 or visit the website to set an appointment today!

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