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I haven’t been to the dentist in years! Should I be concerned?

Posted By  
17/07/2019
09:00 AM

So, you’ve finally taken the plunge and booked your long overdue dental appointment. You’re probably feeling a bit nervous. But you shouldn’t be.

 

With today’s busy lifestyles, it’s totally normal to overlook a few dental check-ups. Most of the time that’s okay – you’ll catch up sooner or later.

 

Or, if you’re still harbouring a fear of dentists, you might be actively ignoring your appointment reminders. That’s also pretty normal. But, remember, dental technologies have come a long way and you’d be surprised at how quick and pain-free check-ups are these days. It’s far worse to suffer toothache!

 

Get back in the chair!

 

Whatever the reason, your dental check-ups were a low priority on your to-do list. Then, before you knew it, years had passed since your last appointment. Long absences then compounded the problem, with shame and poor dental hygiene becoming a further delaying factor.

 

Relax! Unless you’ve been experiencing significant pain or issues, chances are that the state of your teeth aren’t as bad as you think they’re going to be.

 

And don’t worry what your dentist’s going to think. Dental professionals are experienced in dealing with patients who don’t have regular check-ups. They understand that anxiety and finances play a significant role in whether patients see them often. Your dentist isn’t going to judge you. Their only objective is to get your smile back on track.

 

What will your first visit entail?

 

Your first visit will involve filling out paperwork to obtain your dental history. Try to get to your appointment a little early. Not only will this allow you to get everything sorted before your appointment, but it will also help to alleviate any feelings of nervousness. Don’t forget to bring any dental insurance information with you to this first appointment.

 

Once you’ve got the paperwork out of the way, your appointment will involve cleaning and a thorough examination of your teeth. This may include dental x-rays to let your dentist see if there are any signs of tooth decay or other issues lurking beneath the surface of your gums.

 

If you’ve booked your teeth to be cleaned as well as examined, it’s best to allow extra time for your first appointment as you’ll likely have a higher build-up of plaque than usual, which may take longer to remove.

 

Your dentist will also check for decay, broken fillings and other conditions. After gathering all of this information, they will then be able to put together an action plan to map out the next stages of your dental journey.

 

Ask your dentist questions.

 

It is important understand the dental plan your dentist has mapped out for you. Feel free to ask them any questions. Don’t worry if you forget something; you can always ring your dental surgery later to go through any questions or concerns that you have or ask the dentist on your next visit.

 

What’s next after your first appointment?

 

Now that you’ve taken the plunge, it’s important to stick to the dental plan devised by your dentist, particularly if you require more dental work.

 

If your teeth don't need any immediate action, make sure you go back for check-ups every six months maximum. Practising healthy dental habits in between visits also makes it easier to maintain a healthy smile well into the future.