Your First Dental Visit and What to Expect
Going to the dentist can be an overwhelming experience. Not knowing what to expect at this visit can add to your own anxiety and dental fear.
To be prepared for the appointment, we generally recommend something light before so you don’t feel too lightheaded coming into the the appointment. If you have questions, write them down on a list so that we can go through your concerns. You may want to bring your favourite earphones/headphones with a favourite playlist or podcast.
During our routine patient examination, we will discuss your medical and dental history; then recline the dental chair to a horizontal position or till comfortable. We will then check your teeth and probe your gums to assess their health. This can be sensitive but short lived. Our duty of care is to take radiographs if you have not had ones done in the past 2 years; however, you can respectfully decline. This is totally fine, just it means our diagnosis is limited to what we can visually see and we must legally offer the need to take xrays. For certain teeth, we may tap, prod, scratch them or we may put a cold ice stick to assess the tooth’s condition. These are normal procedures to assess the tooth correctly.
During the routine clean, we generally use a machine that vibrates; these vibrations assist in getting hard to remove tartar or plaque buildup off a tooth. The noise can be uncomfortable, so headphones or earphones or earplugs work well to distract. During this appointment; these may be transient periods of discomfort especially if it’s been a while since you were last seen. Some patients prefer us to apply topical, others may want a local anaesthetic before starting. At any time during this procedure you wish to take a break, usually a hand up will be enough indication. A polish of the teeth and application of fluoride gel usually finishes off the routine clean.
Post-treatment, we generally will educate on proper gum and tooth care. We might recommend or demonstrate brushing or flossing techniques. We will also educate you on your current condition of your teeth and gums, advise you of our findings and determine best course of treatment moving forward. Setting a precedent for dental appointments helps to become accustomed to a proper oral care routine.