DaVinci Dental Blog
Haven’t been to the dentist in awhile?
Expect some surprises. Some might even be pleasant.
Most of us know that for optimal dental health, it is recommended that we see the dentist for an exam every year and get our teeth cleaned twice a year, but it is not always that simple. In fact, only 61.6% of adults ages 18-64 visited the dentist in 2012. So if you have missed a visit, or two, or three, don’t feel so bad. Perhaps you were between doctors and time just got away from you. Maybe you missed a visit and it was easier just not to call back. Or you may have dental anxiety and have delayed your dental visits because you are nervous. Regardless of the reasons, we understand that it happens, and it’s our goal to help get your dental well being back on track!
Here is what you can expect from your new visit; good and bad
- SURPRISE: No lectures! Yes, we WILL ask you if you have flossed and yes we WILL know if you are telling the truth, but this question is NOT geared at shaming you. It helps us understand what is going on in your mouth. Every person is different and some people ARE more prone to cavities. We can offer tips aside from brushing and flossing that will help keep decay at bay. We are NOT judging you. We have seen it all. We are just here to help you get back on track and keep those pearly whites whitish. We will review flossing and brushing techniques to insure that the brushing and flossing you do manage is effective.
- NO SURPRISE: Your first appointment might take longer. The first appointment after a dental hiatus will take longer than an average appointment. You will need an exam with x-rays and the dentist will ask lots of questions about your general health and your habits to get a better understanding of your dental health. We will be looking at every single tooth, all surfaces of each tooth, along with your gums and everything else in your mouth. These days, your dentist is even screening for oral cancer.
- NO SURPRISE: Your first ”cleaning” might take longer. A professional dental cleaning is a preventative measure that removes dental plaque and other irritants that may cause decay or gum disease from above AND below your gum line. It stands to reason that if it has been awhile since your last “cleaning,” that plaque may have built up and hardened. Your hygienist will have to spend extra time removing that for you. You might be a little sore after, but you will be rewarded with smoother and in some cases, whiter teeth, not to mention that you have just successfully battled gum disease and decay!!
- SURPRISE: You may NOT have cavities! This is a mixed bag. Some people are genetically blessed and paired with excellent homecare; this protects them from pesky cavities (these amazing specimens are often naturally thin because they hate sugar). However, cavities are nothing to fear. Most people get several in their lifetime. Getting a filling doesn’t take that much time and it is usually a painless procedure. It may sound like lecturing, but we call it educating when we remind patients that letting a cavity go untreated can actually cause more problems and lead to more serious procedures like root canals or tooth extraction. Many patients leave pleasantly surprised that they don’t need 20 fillings or crowns after their dental office vacation.
So, at the end of the day, we are just here to help folks. Ask around, we are friendly, nice people just trying to keep you healthy. Teeth need care just like any other part your body. If we let our oral health decline, we will actually invite larger health problems in. And so while going to the dental office may not be your favorite thing, just get it over with. Your smile will thank you and you may be pleasantly surprised.
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