Millions of people don’t go to the dentist. According to some reports, an estimated 100 million Americans don’t go because they don’t have dental insurance and can’t afford it. Millions more likely don’t go because they fear the dentist, and then there are those that just view a dentist appointment as an unnecessary inconvenience.
The bottom line is that you should be going at least twice a year for professional teeth cleanings. After all, not only can professional cleanings get your smile to look extra nice, but they can also help sniff out minor oral issues before they become larger ones. It’s a good routine to get into, and even if you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, it’s never really too late to right the situation.
However, it should go without saying that if you haven’t been to the dentist in several years, your initial situation will likely be much different than that of someone who has maintained regular appointments. On that note, here’s a look at what you can expect if you’ve just started seeing the dentist after a long period of time away:
Longer initial appointments
If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you have some catching up to do. Expect longer initial appointments, as X-rays will need to be taken and the hygienist may have to do more extensive cleaning.
One of the big benefits of regularly seeing a dentist is so they can remove the plaque buildup that flossing and brushing cannot. If it’s been years since your last appointment, the buildup may be considerable. Not only can this lead to a longer appointment, but also irritation and bleeding gums around the tooth line. Any soreness, however, should completely go away within a few days.
If you haven’t regularly seen a dentist and your oral care practices aren’t notable, it’s common to find a cavity or two upon your return. Tooth decay is normal – and cavities are generally pain-free and convenient to have filled. In more dire situations, the dentist may find gum disease, periodontitis or other more complicated oral health issues that need correcting.
Following the appointment, the dentist or hygienist may spend some time with you talking about what you can do (aside from regularly seeing a dentist) to maintain better oral care.
As we noted in the opening, it’s important to regularly see your dentist – and if it has been a while, the best course of action to take heading into the appointment is to be open and honest with the office staff. They understand the reasons why people don’t visit the dentist, and they should be more than willing to welcome you back as a patient and get you back on the right path to good overall oral health.
For more information on what to expect after an absence from the dentist, and to book an appointment today, contact Caven Dental.