What To Expect When You Haven’t Been To The Dentist In Years

by | Sep 7, 2023 | Family Dentistry

Life can get busy, and sometimes, our dental health takes a backseat to other priorities. However, neglecting regular dental check-ups for years can have consequences that go beyond your pearly whites. If you find yourself in a situation where you haven’t visited the dentist in years, don’t worry – you’re not alone, and there’s a path forward. In this blog, we’ll explore what to expect when you finally decide to face the dental chair!

Getting Ready for Your Appointment 

You’ll likely need to start by filling out or updating forms with your personal information, medical history, and any changes in your health since your last visit. Despite what you may have been thinking, the most difficult part of this whole procedure is actually the paperwork you’ll need to do prior to your appointment. Once you’ve completed the forms, your job is completely done, and you can let the dentists take over from there while you relax!

Remember to bring any important medical information with you, such as your insurance info & a list of medications you’re currently taking – unless you have these things memorized. Additionally, expect that the exam itself will most likely take a little longer than a usual exam, due to how long it has been.

X-rays and Imaging

Since your last visit, technology may have advanced in the dental field. X-rays and imaging will likely be used to get an in-depth look at your teeth and jawbone. This can help the dentist identify hidden issues like impacted teeth, bone loss, or other concerns that might not be visible during a regular examination.

Professional Cleaning

If it’s been years since your last dental cleaning, you might be due for a more intensive cleaning session. The dental hygienists will carefully remove built-up plaque, tartar, and stains from your teeth. This not only improves the appearance of your smile but also lays the foundation for better oral health moving forward.

Discussion of Dental History

Expect to discuss your dental history, including any pain or discomfort you might be experiencing. Be open about any changes you’ve noticed in your oral health, such as bleeding gums, tooth sensitivity, or persistent bad breath. It’s not something to be embarrassed about! This information will help the dentist tailor their recommendations to your specific needs.

Treatment Plan and Recommendations

Based on the assessment and discussions, your dentist will outline a treatment plan. This may involve addressing immediate concerns, such as cavities or gum disease, and planning for any necessary follow-up procedures. Don’t be surprised if the treatment plan spans multiple appointments, especially if there’s a need for more complex procedures! 

Educational Guidance

Your dentist and dental hygienist are invaluable sources of information. During your appointment, they will give guidance on proper oral hygiene practices, including brushing techniques, flossing, and rinsing. They might also suggest lifestyle changes, such as dietary adjustments, to support your oral health. It’s important that you remember these tips and tricks, and practice them regularly when you go home! 

No Judgment Zone

It’s natural to feel a bit apprehensive if it’s been a while since your last dental visit. However, remember that dental professionals are there to help, not to judge. They’re focused on improving your oral health and ensuring your comfort during the process.

After the Exam

It’d be easy to think that all your work is over once you’ve gone through with the exam – but not so quick! If you’re committed to your dental health, this is the perfect opportunity for you to get back on track. If you need additional treatments, the front desk will assist you in scheduling future appointments that fit your availability. Regular dental check-ups are crucial for maintaining your oral health. By scheduling multiple appointments throughout the year, you can ensure that your teeth and gums are consistently monitored for any issues or changes.

Schedule Your Appointment Today!

While it might feel intimidating to return to the dentist after years of absence, taking this step is crucial for your oral health and overall well-being. Regular dental check-ups play a vital role in preventing potential issues from escalating into more serious problems. Embrace the opportunity to reestablish your oral health routine and work collaboratively with your dental team to achieve a healthier, happier smile. Remember, it’s never too late to prioritize your dental health and take control of your overall wellness.

At Salling and Tate Dentistry, we foster a judgment-free environment and are committed to getting your oral health back to its best. To schedule an appointment, visit our website or call 910-256-9040. We look forward to seeing you!