A lot of people hate going to the dentist, but regular dental check-ups help maintain healthy and strong teeth. To make trips to the dentist more bearable, it pays to get familiar with the process of visiting for a check-up to ensure a smooth appointment.
It’s worth noting, however, that dental clinics do not always have the same routine, but this guide offers a brief that can get you started.
You have to gather information about your health history or request the records from your previous doctor. Dentists have to know the medications that you are currently taking and what they are for. This is so that they understand your health better and can find the probable causes of your teeth or mouth problems. Don’t worry — all the details you provide to your dentist will be kept confidential.
Your new dentist needs to have access to your previous dental records. It would be ideal if you help assist with its seamless transfer to your new dentist. Access to your previous dental records can provide them with a lot of insights about your dental history, which will help them understand what kind of treatment you need.
Being transparent about your current oral health conditions will avoid the risk of treatment errors and inaccuracy. To best support you, the clinic needs to know things like if you are pregnant, diabetic, epileptic, or a patient who has special needs. Dentists are always ready to adjust their prescription or treatment to suit your overall health.
Some patients have dental anxiety — which is not a rare occurrence. Dentists and their staff are all too familiar with most patients’ associated fear about going for a dental checkup. Informing them about your concerns or any reservations you have will enable the dental team to help you with your anxiety and make your visit more comfortable. Not telling them in advance could be a nuisance for both parties when the check-up begins.
Office staff or the dentist’s secretary will welcome you upon your arrival. This personnel ensures a successful appointment for all walk-in patients. They are in charge of collecting your information, including your dental insurance and health history. If you don’t have insurance, you can also ask the staff to orient you about their various clinic service packages.
In some clinics, first-time visitors will be required to fill up a form that contains questions about their medical and dental information, as well as other personal details about the patient. This record will be updated after your checkup to keep track of your progress in your next visit.
Depending on your dental concerns, your dentist may ask you to undergo an X-ray. This examination can help the dentist and hygienist inspect the condition of your teeth and jaw. They need to take a good look at your mouth, especially your gum line. X-rays are safe and are an important part of the whole dental check-up to detect disorders or diseases.
During the evaluation, the dentist will review your X-ray results and perform a physical examination of your gums, teeth, jaw, tongue, and neck. The evaluation stage is also when the dental team will look for signs of abnormalities, such as cavities and gum diseases. The team will then explain your condition to you and recommend a treatment. Possible recommendations would include dental procedures, products, or home care techniques.
As per the evaluation, the dentist may perform a cleaning to remove tartar or plaque in your mouth. Some treatments are immediately implemented, especially if the condition includes risky oral diseases. Your teeth will also be flossed and polished after the treatment is done. Fluoride is usually given to kids, but it can be recommended to adults as well.
During your appointment, it’s recommended that you ask your dentist any questions or concerns you may have about your treatment or your overall dental health. Before you leave the clinic, it’s a good idea to maximize your time by getting answers that will help you practice optimal oral care.
Once everything is done, you have to go back to the front desk to settle your payment or complete your insurance form. You can also pick a date and set an appointment for your next visit.
Going to a dental clinic for an appointment can be a scary and unsettling experience for some. But being familiar with the process can help make it more bearable. Prepare well for your next dental checkup and pave your way to better dental and oral health.