24 Apr What to Expect at your First Dental Appointment
Many people delay seeing a dentist for any number of reasons. Whether it’s your first check-up, you have a dental problem that needs attention, or you’re investigating cosmetic options, the dentist will have many questions to determine how best to serve you.
Your dentist will want to make the experience as pleasant as possible. You’ll sit in the dentist chair and a paper shield will be placed over your clothing. The dentist will explain what’s to be done and why.
The first step is to obtain a set of x-rays that will enable dentist to obtain an in-depth view of all existing dental problems so a treatment plan can be created to address any issues that are causing you pain or discomfort. A second shield will be placed over you to shield you from any potential x-rays before they’re taken.
You may be asked to bite down on a small “film” while the dental assistant positions a tube at various places around your cheeks to take the x-rays. If the dentist uses panoramic x-rays, you’ll be asked stand next to a machine and bite down on a piece of material to align the teeth. An arm of the machine will automatically move around your cheeks while taking the x-rays.
Once the dentist has the x-rays, they will be able to see every tooth and ascertain the best course of action. Your dentist will also want to perform a hands-on exam. You’ll be asked to open your mouth so they can peer inside and touch your teeth. They may use a periodontal probe to identify the depth of any cavities, locate trouble spots, test for looseness, and look for gum disease.
Before any work can be done, you’ll need to have your teeth cleaned. It will aid in preventing any potential for infection. The cleaning may or may not be scheduled for the same day. If your teeth are sensitive or there’s a chance that you may be uncomfortable, there are numbing options that can be employed.
A tooth cleaning can be uncomfortable if you haven’t had one. Don’t be alarmed if you see some blood during the cleaning. That’s normal, since the hygienist will be cleaning under the edge of the gums to remove tartar. If your mouth is sore after the cleaning, over-the-counter pain relievers can be taken.
The dentist may or may not want to examine your teeth again after the cleaning to discuss any future treatment plan or instructions, depending upon what your previous x-rays have disclosed. Don’t be surprised if the dentist finds problems you didn’t even know existed.
Depending upon the state of your oral health, you may need fillings, crowns to protect the core of a damaged tooth, an extraction and bridge to fill the gap, or even an implant. If there’s an existing infection, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics.
Above all, congratulate yourself on taking the first step to a healthier mouth and more confident smile. You deserve it.
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Boroondara Family Dentist was established in the 70’s, and we’ve been treating patients in Balwyn North, Ivanhoe, Kew, Doncaster, Templestowe, Bulleen, Balwyn, Templestowe Lower, Kew East, Mont Albert and the surrounding suburbs for over 40 years.