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What To Expect At Your First Dental Visit

So, you’ve finally taken the plunge and picked a new dentist. The more you know about what to expect from your first visit with your dentist as an adult patient, the less anxious you will feel.

Here’s what you should know and be prepared to do: 1. You will probably need dental x-rays … unless you have had them recently and have brought them with you or asked your previous dentist to send them. No dentist can or will start working on you without getting a good perspective on what’s going on in your mouth. Modern dental x-ray equipment emits virtually no radiation, so you have no reason to be concerned about that, and most of the newer equipment isn’t as uncomfortable because the material you hold in your mouth is smaller and smoother. Your dentist could suggest a new panoramic type of x-ray, often called Panorex, which can show both your upper and lower jaw in one picture. This can be helpful in diagnosing bite and alignment issues.

2. You should be prepared to tell your dentist what previous treatment you have had. Although much will be evident when s/he looks in your mouth and at your x-rays, it is a good idea to share some details about what’s been done already.

3. Be ready to talk about any current dental problems you may be having. If this is a get-acquainted visit or you just need to get your teeth cleaned, more power to you. However, many adults wait till something is up, and any treatment plan should start with everything that is bothering you.

4. If you have any health issues or are currently taking medication for a condition like diabetes, heart disease or hypertension, be sure to let your dentist know about it. Many tooth and gum problems are related to medical issues and their treatment. Your new dentist will also examine your teeth and gums, looking for cavities or other problems.

5. Often, your first visit will include teeth cleaning, though if it’s been a while since you last had your teeth cleaned, you may need to be scheduled for a longer visit at a later time.

An added advantage of modern equipment is your dentist’s ability to see your x-ray results on the computer, immediately. That will speed up the diagnosis process. Often, simpler procedures can be done in that first visit. Your other dental issues will be dealt with during subsequent visits, which you should schedule before you leave the office.

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