Dentists love their patients – they want to see them at least once a year. Twice a year is even better; a semi-annual cleaning can really improve your oral health!
The truth is, while dentists do love their patients, they want to see them every year in order to diagnose and treat any oral health problems. If you haven’t been to the dentist in years, it means there’s going to be more work to do – but trust us, it’s worthwhile. We’re going to go over 5 things you should be ready for if you can’t remember the last time you visited your dentist:
Dental x-rays are an essential diagnostic tool. They allow your dentist to see things that might not otherwise be visible to the naked eye – loss of bone structure, impacted wisdom teeth, cavities hidden by fillings, etc. Dentists like to take these x-rays on a fairly regular basis (every 2 or so years), so if it’s been awhile since you last saw your dentist, you’ll definitely need x-rays.
A fairly long cleaning
Dental cleanings take longer when you haven’t been to the dentist in years. It’s kind of like cleaning your house – the longer you go without doing it, the longer cleaning will take because more mess has accumulated.
In this case, “mess” is tartar, which can’t be removed with regular brushing. You’ll be in the chair for longer than usual, so be sure to prepare yourself for that.
A detailed exam
When you visit the dentist every 6 months, your exam will often consist of a quick check on any oral health problems that haven’t been addressed yet. Go to the dentist once every 6 years, and you can expect a much more thorough exam. They may check your neck and face for health issues, as well as your teeth and gums.
A stronger chance of oral health problems
You can develop cavities without noticing them. When it has been years since you’ve been to the dentist, you’re more likely to have cavities. You’re also more likely to have gum disease, need a root canal, or have other oral health problems. This isn’t a comfortable truth, but it is the honest truth. When you go to your dentist regularly, you reduce your chances of developing oral health problems.
A conversation with your dentist
Of course, your dentist will want to go over the results of your dental exam with you. They may also ask you why you haven’t been to the dentist in years.
This isn’t to guilt or shame you – it’s to find out whether or not there are circumstances causing you to avoid visiting the dentist that your dentist can address. Is it anxiety? Dentists have techniques to help with that. Is it money? Dentists may be able to refer you to programs that can provide you with financial aid. Is it that you simply forgot? Your dentist can schedule exams for you in advance.
A lot of the people who have landed on this article may be looking for a dentist – it’s likely, if you’re reading this, that you’re someone who hasn’t been to the dentist in awhile. If you’re looking for a teeth cleaning in Winnipeg, along with a comprehensive exam, get in touch with us. We’d be glad to take you on as a new patient, and more than happy to address any concerns you might have.