Most people postpone their regular visits to dentists because of lack of time, little attention to their health, or even fear of doctors. Sometimes trepidation causes patients to postpone their visits for years.
There are several reasons to cause fear or anxiety. The most common are childhood experiences and painful past procedures. Some people have a phobia of the dentist, called dentophobia, which affects over 2% of people.
On the other hand, a lot of people want to visit a dentist but they’re anxious and ashamed of how much time they’ve let pass. It could be hard to know where to start and overcome all of the possible concerns.
If you haven’t visited the dentist for years, probably your main fear is the state of your oral health. Research shows that oral health is linked to overall health, so it’s not recommended to neglect it.
Knowing what to expect at your first dental checkup for a long time might help in dealing with all your concerns and fears. As we all know, the biggest fear is the fear of the unknown, so keep on reading and prepare yourself for your next dental appointment with no more hesitation.
You were thinking you saved much time when you skipped a regular dental visit, but that’s not true. The first appointment you make will take longer than usual because there’ll probably be more to work on.
Furthermore, it would be best for you to arrive at the office for about 10 minutes before the time of your appointment. It will give you time to get used to the situation and avoid excessive stress. You may also have to fill out some forms, which will help the dentist provide you with the most relevant treatment.
As we mentioned, your first visit will take longer. That’s because you’ll need a thorough examination and in some cases, even a full set of x-rays. With this in mind, you might need a good couple of hours for your checkup, so plan accordingly. However, your next appointments won’t take that long if you do them regularly at the same office. It’s recommended to visit a dentist twice a year.
If you’ve skipped your checkups for several years, your first one in a while will probably include dental cleaning. Brushing and flossing are not enough to get rid of plaque and tarter. That’s why the dental hygienist might have to scrape it away from your teeth.
That’s nothing to worry about. Deep dental cleaning is a regular procedure performed by a dental hygienist, that help your teeth stay cleaner by removing plaque and tarter. It also protects your gums from any diseases as plaque build-up is what usually causes them.
The procedure might cause mild discomfort and gum bleeding, but nothing excruciating. The final result is worth it, so if your dentist suggests dental cleaning, don’t hesitate.
There’s no need to prepare for this part as it’s completely painless. At your first checkup, you may need several dental x-rays so that the dentist has a full view of your teeth, even below the gumline.
Yet, it might still cause some discomfort if you have a sensitive gag reflex, so if you have such a problem, inform the hygienist, as they know how to make the process more comfortable for you. Moreover, x-rays now are available instantly so that it won’t take that much time.
After examining your x-rays, your dentist will have a look at your teeth and the surrounding tissue in your mount in general. The things he’ll look for are cavities, gum disease, and signs of oral cancer.
They will inform you about any issues detected. However, this doesn’t mean that your problems will be addressed during one appointment, so you shouldn’t worry about that. You’ll have plenty of time to prepare for a follow-up appointment when the needed procedures can take place. Such include filling cavities, fitting crowns, or any other treatment you might need.
Dentistry has evolved in recent years. It might surprise you how much dental equipment and techniques have improved. All this is for the convenience of the patient. Procedures that were once painful are now much less invasive.
Dentists now work more efficiently and effectively than ever. Even if you have dentophobia, there are new improved sedation dentistry methods that will help you deal with all your anxieties.
Everyone working in the dental office aims to ensure your comfort. Today’s oral professions are aware of people’s fear of the dentist. They should always be willing to help you in the best way possible, so no one is going to shame you for not getting regular checkups.
If you feel like there’s something that makes you uncomfortable, make sure to tell them. Some dental offices now offer headphones or blankets to make you feel more comfortable and relaxed.
Whenever you feel excessive discomfort, inform the hygienist or dentist, and they’ll adjust their approach so that you feel good or give you a couple of minutes to get better.
Visiting the dentist can be intimidating, even if you haven’t skipped your regular checkups. We’ve listed the steps and some advice for your first visit after a long time. There’s nothing you should worry about. Remember, not taking take of your teeth may lead to some severe problems.
If you still have concerns, call your dentist and discuss the situation with them. Together you can find the best solution to make the experience less stressful and more productive.