Have you ever missed a dental appointment? You know that you are supposed to see your dentist twice a year just as a general step to avoid dental problems, but life sometimes gets in the way. Who hasn’t missed an exam and cleaning at least once? The issue isn’t in the occasional oops, it’s that many people let that initial missed appointment lead to more. This is a dangerous thing because, before you know it, you realize you haven’t seen your dentist in years.
In this type of a situation, what typically prompts a return to the dental office is the development of a painful problem. Let’s not let that be you. If you’re reading this, you’ve got five minutes to give our friendly team a call and get an appointment on the books. When you do visit after a long break in dental care, we want you to know what you can expect.
An initial return to professional dental care may involve a consultation and exam process that requires an hour to 90 minutes. This is important to know so you can plan accordingly and not feel hurried. We don’t want to rush this first step in getting to know you and your dental needs. During this consultation, you will have the opportunity to discuss any immediate concerns, such as a toothache. Also, this may be a great chance also to discuss any particular reason that you may have avoided seeing the dentist, such as anxiety related to dental treatment.
After familiarizing ourselves with you on a personal level, we get down to business with a review of your dental history. X-rays will be taken to provide us with valuable details of your teeth and roots. A periodontal exam will be performed to observe the condition of the gums around each tooth. This is a brief process that takes only a minute or two but shows us just how much gum recession, if any, has occurred since your last exam and cleaning. A general dental exam will observe each tooth, including any fillings or other restorations you have. The information obtained through these exams will drive our treatment protocol.
A thorough exam is usually followed immediately by a professional cleaning. If there is a pressing need for restoration, specific treatment is likely to be conducted the same day. Sometimes, we can schedule follow-up treatment for further restorative work. For example, if you have gum disease, we may schedule a second visit for you to return for a deeper cleaning to remove plaque and bacteria from root surfaces.
We want to make your return to the dental office as comfortable as possible. Contact our Scottsdale cosmetic and general dentistry practice at (480) 657-6981.