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What to Expect If You Haven’t Visited Your Dentist in a While

April 1, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — petalumasmilesteam @ 9:54 pm
a patient attending their dental appointment

If you’re a busy person, at times it might seem impossible to keep track of everything going on in your life, and there’s a good chance that despite your best efforts, things might slip through the cracks and become afterthoughts or forgotten about entirely! Unfortunately, something that people often neglect is routine dental care—and though it might not always seem like a huge deal, skipping out on these routine visits can spell bad news for your oral health. But you also shouldn’t fret about visiting your dentist if you haven’t gone in a while; at the end of the day, they still want to help your smile to look and feel its best! With that said, here’s what you should keep in mind if you find yourself finally heading back to your dentist’s office after an extended hiatus.

X-Rays Will Likely Be Necessary

Today, X-rays are standard in many areas of healthcare, and if it’s been a while since you’ve seen your dentist, they’ll likely need to update the X-rays you have on file. These images give dentists a detailed view and understanding of your oral structures, so having updated ones on file is in everyone’s best interest.

Expect a Comprehensive Oral Exam and Review of Your Medical Records

Your mouth will also need to be carefully examined—your dentist and their team have undergone rigorous training to be able to identify oral health issues and their associated warning signs. If you haven’t been to the dentist in years, it’s likely that you’ll have a cavity or two hiding in your mouth that will require attention, or some other type of issue that’s not outwardly obvious. If your dentist has access to your previous medical records, they can also check their findings against them and have a better idea of your smile’s medical history. One significant component of these oral examinations is checking for precancerous conditions.

Cleaning Might Take Awhile

If quite some time has passed since your last visit, you’ll likely have a significant amount of plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth. This is normal, but it might mean that you’ll have to spend more time seated in the chair as the dental team cleans your teeth. This process is essential, so if you’re feeling nervous or stressed out about it, you can inquire with your dentist about possible sedation options. It’s also possible that you’ll experience light bleeding during this cleaning, but you shouldn’t feel unnerved by this.

You’ll Be Given a Gameplan for Moving Forward

It’s going to be in your best interest to return to your dentist’s office every six months, or as often as instructed, to maintain your oral health moving forward. Your dentist is still your ally, even outside of their office, so be sure that you’re asking for help and guidance concerning how to care for your teeth. They’ll provide you with the knowledge and means to tackle any present issues and prevent future ones from unfolding so that when you come back next time, things are in much better shape!

About the Author

A Petaluma native himself, Dr. Bob Koenitzer received his DDS from the University of California at San Francisco and has spent countless years continuing his education in a wide range of fields. His practice is thrilled to offer patients and families in Petaluma various types of services including preventive, restorative, and cosmetic treatments. If you have any questions about the article or would like to arrange a visit for you or a loved one, feel free to contact his practice online or by phone for further assistance: (707) 766-6666.

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