Serving patients of Erwin, Jonesborough, and Greeneville TN
Having your teeth regularly checked by a dentist is an essential part of good oral health. Along with regularly flossing and brushing, having a dental exam ensures that your teeth stay in good working condition for as long as possible. During a checkup, your dentist and dental hygienist will examine your teeth, gums, and mouth for any signs of decay, disease, or other issues that may require treatment. By catching these problems early, they can often be addressed with less invasive and more affordable treatments than if they were left untreated.
Many people put off having a dental exam because they are anxious about what goes on during a trip to the dentist. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you may be able to ease some uncertainty and anxiety by demystifying the experience. This blog post will help with that; it will take a closer look at what typically happens during a dental checkup, including what to do before the appointment, the checkup process itself, and what to do after the appointment. By the end of this article, you’ll have a better understanding of what to expect during your next dental visit and how to maintain optimal oral health.
Before your dental checkup, there are a few important things you should do to prepare for the visit. The first is scheduling the appointment, which can be done by calling the dental office. When speaking with the receptionist, you should make sure to choose a date and time that works well with your schedule. During this call, it’s a good idea to check that the dentist takes your insurance. If they do not take your insurance or you do not have dental insurance, you should find out what the self-payment options are and how much a new patient visit will cost. This will allow you to avoid any surprises or confusion at the appointment itself. The office staff will usually send paperwork to your email ahead of time, or they will ask for you to come to your visit early so that you can streamline the check-in process. This paperwork may include medical history forms, consent forms, and/or insurance information. By taking care of these tasks in advance, you can help ensure a smooth and stress-free check-in process, eliminating some of the stress that may accompany the visit.
Once you have arrived at the dental office and checked in, you will be called to a back room where the dental checkup process will begin. A dental hygienist will usually get to know you a little by making small talk while looking over your teeth. If it has been a while since you have been to the dentist, they will probably take X-rays to get a closer look at your teeth and jawbone before the cleaning. The X-rays may be taken in a standing X-ray machine or could be taken with a small camera in the room. The hygienist will then proceed with cleaning your teeth, scraping the plaque and tartar off the teeth first, then polishing the teeth with a small, soft rubber cup and polishing paste. While cleaning, the dental hygienist will look for places she or he believes the dentist should examine closely and will likely take measurements of the gum tissue around your teeth to see if they have receded or begun to form pockets between your teeth. After your teeth are clean, the hygienist will call for the dentist to examine your teeth, gums, and mouth, drawing attention to places she specifically noted while your teeth were being cleaned – these could be areas of decay (cavities) or gum disease (areas where the gum pockets are inflamed or too deep around your teeth). The dentist may also perform an oral cancer screening, which involves checking for any red or white patches or mouth sores, unusual bumps, lesions, or other abnormalities in your mouth. Throughout the checkup, the dental hygienist and dentist will work together to assess the health of your mouth and discuss any concerns or issues with you. If you have any questions, they will be more than willing to answer them. By the end of the checkup, you should have a good understanding of the current state of your oral health and any recommended treatments or follow-up appointments that may be necessary.
After your checkup, your dentist and dental hygienist will typically provide you with post-appointment care instructions to help you maintain optimal oral health. This will likely include guidance on brushing and flossing techniques and diet and lifestyle advice which can have an impact on your dental health. They may also recommend certain dental products, such as a particular toothpaste or mouthwash, to help you maintain good oral hygiene. Before you leave the appointment, you’ll want to schedule any future appointments that were recommended during the checkup. This can include a follow-up exam or an appointment to treat any cavities or gum disease discovered.
Staying on top of dental exams will ensure that your dentist and dental hygienist can examine your teeth, gums, and mouth for any signs of decay, disease, or other issues that may require treatment. Catching these problems early can result in less invasive and more affordable treatments than if the problem is untreated or postponed. If you suffer from anxiety, you can address these feelings with your dental team members, who can provide you with strategies to help you feel more comfortable and relaxed during your visit. This can include sedation dentistry for those who are too anxious to consider dentistry otherwise.
If you are in the Erwin, Jonesborough and Greeneville, Tennessee area, please contact our team at Tusculum Dental Care to schedule your dental checkup today!