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I Haven’t Seen My Dentist in a While; What Should I Expect?

September 13, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — robertmitchelldds @ 5:09 pm
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There are many reasons why someone might skip a few dental appointments. Sometimes they change jobs and have a lapse in insurance. Other times, they avoid it out of dental anxiety. In many cases, people are so busy that it just slips their minds completely. If it’s been a while since you last sat in the dental chair, here’s what you can expect during your next dentist appointment.

Your Gums May Be Sensitive

If your gums haven’t been professionally cleaned for a while, they won’t be used to the stress of the process. They may bleed a little when your dental hygienist flosses your teeth. You can help avoid this by flossing before you go to the dentist. Excessive bleeding may be a sign of gum disease, which is a huge part of why regular dental exams are so important.

Your Cleaning May Take a While

Brushing and flossing can eliminate a lot of plaque and debris, but it can’t reach everything. This is where professional dental cleanings at regular dentist appointments come in to finish the job. If you haven’t seen the dentist for a while, you may have accumulated a significant amount of plaque. In this case, your dentist will probably take a while longer to clean your teeth.

Tips for Dealing with Dental Anxiety

Many people feel anxious about going to the dentist, and it’s a noble and admirable thing to schedule an appointment despite feeling nervous about it. Here are a few tips to help reduce your anxiety during your visit:

  • Avoid caffeine before treatment because it can make you more excitable.
  • Explain your fears to the staff so they can help mitigate them.
  • Use earbuds to listen to music or podcasts and ask your dentist if you can use them during your exam.
  • Schedule your appointment during a less busy time of day.
  • Use hand signals to alert your dentist of pain or discomfort.
  • Keep focused on breathing slowly and evenly during the procedure.

The least pleasant dental appointment is far more enjoyable than the consequences of untreated tooth decay or gum disease. Returning to the dentist after a while is a positive step for your personal health, and that’s something to be proud of.

About the Author

Dr. Robert Mitchell earned his Doctor of Dental Surgery from the world-renowned Baylor College of Dentistry. He serves as President of the Dallas Academy of General Dentistry and as a proud member of the American Dental Association, the Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and the Texas Dental Association. His practice in Dallas, TX offers general, cosmetic, and restorative dentistry. For more information on what you can expect when returning to the dentist’s office after a while away, contact his office online or dial (972) 233-1311.

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