I haven’t been to the dentist in years. Now what?

Let’s face it, nobody enjoys going to the dentist. Not only is it time consuming, but the poking and prodding isn’t any fun either. While the visit isn’t always the most enjoyable, the outcome is definitely worth it as your teeth aren’t something that you want to neglect. In addition, if you find the right dentist who has an updated practice with the latest technological advancements, some of the memories of the past can be wiped away. If you haven’t been to the dentist in years, it’s a good idea to get back on track and make an appointment now. The dentists with Parker West Dental Associates in Plano, TX, have provided more than enough reasons to get you into the dentist chair, and hopefully sooner than later.

Why should I go?

There’s a good reason why routine dental examinations and cleanings are suggested every six months, and that’s because this allows your dentist to examine your teeth for any potential issues. If you have the beginnings of a cavity it’s in your best interest, not just from a financial perspective, to get the issue taken care of quickly. When a cavity is caught early it usually can be resolved with a simple filling, but if you’ve waited and allowed the cavity to get deeper you may need a root canal or more extensive dental work to resolve the issue. Other important issues can also be identified and treated at your appointment including cracked or broken teeth, gum disease, tooth decay, or other dental concerns.

What can I expect at my visit?

At our Plano, TX dental practice, we see patients who haven’t been to the dentist in some time. We spend time reassuring them and making them feel comfortable that everything will be ok. Once they are settled in our chair, that alone is a great step in the right direction.

If you haven’t been to the dentist in some time you can expect to have X-rays taken of your teeth. Thanks to the advancements in digital X-rays, this process has become much easier for both the dentist and patient. Some dentists require panoramic and bitewings in order to get a full view of the teeth and jaw. Usually your dental hygienist will take the X-rays and then you can consult with the dentist to review them and see if there are any issues to investigate. Your dentist may ask if you’re experiencing any issues with your teeth, request for you to bite down so they can examine your bite, and also inspect your gums. They may even gently poke the gums a few times with a probe in order to score how healthy they are by observing the way they react when poked by the probe. This usually is not painful and the examination goes pretty quickly. Once that has been completed your hygienist will then perform a cleaning, which involves removing plaque from the teeth, polishing them, and flossing.

How long does an appointment take?

Most dental cleanings are finished within 45 minutes to an hour. If you haven’t been seen in a long time, or if you’re experiencing other issues with your teeth you’ll need to allow more time for the dentist to perform an exam. The entire appointment shouldn’t take too long, and it’s a short visit that you only have to sit through twice a year in order to maintain a healthy smile.

What should I look for in a dentist?

When selecting a Plano area dentist it’s always good to find one that comes highly recommended. You’re sure to find someone whether you ask your friends or family who they go to, or if you perform a quick Google search to find results. Once you’ve found a dentist you can also search online to find reviews left by patients and see if the dentist sounds like a good fit for you. Some traits to look for in a dentist are someone who is compassionate and will take the time to walk you through each step of the examination. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while you may also have some anxiety and you want someone who is able to make you feel calm and confident in their abilities. You also want a dentist who you feel comfortable with and can get you back on track for your cleanings.

A friendly, helpful staff can also go a long way. If you ever have to call to schedule an appointment, ask a question about a dental emergency, or an issue with your bill, then you want to speak with someone who is polite and accommodating. It’s also wise to take a look around the dental office and see if they’re up to date with the latest technology. Find out if their X-rays are performed in office or if you have to go elsewhere to get them done. It’s also a good idea to ask if they have television screens you can watch or music you can listen to in order to take your mind off of things while you’re getting your teeth cleaned.

Next steps

If you’d like to get back on track with your cleanings then give our Plano, TX dental office a call to set-up an appointment. We invite you to tour our office and learn more about our dental practice. Our highly skilled dentists, Dr. Ron Bosher and Dr. Tim Nguyen, will gladly take the time to make you feel comfortable during your examinations and cleanings.

Dentist appointments don’t have to be scary or burdensome. Regular examinations and dental cleanings are an important part of preventive health care. Taking a few moments out of your day, twice per year, can help you maintain your smile for years to come. We look forward to meeting you and having you see why so many people trust Parker West Dental Associates with their smiles.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.