What to Expect During Your First Visit With a Dentist

Going to a new dentist can be an experience, but it does not have to be a daunting one. Your first visit with your new dentist will mostly be about the two of you getting to know each other. Here is what will happen on your first visit.

1. Submitting patient information

At the reception area of the dentist's office, a person is given a patient information form to fill out. This form serves as a sort of medical and dental history.

The dentist needs to know if the patient is on any medication. They also need to know if the patient has any medical conditions or has recently undergone surgery. This information helps the dentist accommodate the needs of the patient when making a treatment plan. The patient also gives their contact information.

2. A comprehensive visual dental exam

The dentist visually inspects the patient's gums, teeth and mouth. The process is painless and only takes about ten minutes. The first part of the exam is known as dental charting. Here, the dentist counts the teeth and notes down the number and type of tooth restorations the patient has. They also measure the space between the gums and teeth. The information is recorded and becomes part of the patient's dental records. Next, the dentist evaluates the health of the gums and identifies damaged teeth.

The patient and the dentist then talk and get to know each other. The patient should take this time to learn more about the dentist. In turn, the dentist asks about the patient's oral habits. Finally, the dentist concludes the exam by asking if the patient has recent or current dental problems.

3. Dental x-rays

A complete dental exam requires x-ray images of the teeth, gums and jaw. If the patient has recent x-rays of their mouths, they can give them to their new dentist along with dental records from their previous doctors.

If no recent dental x-rays are available, the dentist takes x-rays of the mouth. There are two types of x-rays that are needed.

Bitewing x-rays: Are used to detect problems like infection, gum disease, tooth decay or bone loss

Panoramic x-rays: Are used to check the health and alignment of the jaw and detect faults like impacted teeth and bone abnormalities

4. Cleaning

During the first dental visit, the patient's teeth are cleaned to remove plaque and any tartar on them. The teeth are then polished. Dental cleanings should be done every six months.

5. Any necessary dental procedure

If the patient has a dental problem, the dentist will treat it. If a tooth restoration is needed, the dentist will start the process and, where necessary, schedule a second appointment to complete the restoration.

In the case of a serious problem that requires orthodontic surgery or an orthodontic appliance, a second dentist appointment will be made.

6. Billing and payment

The front office of the dentist will accept and process payment. Where needed, a payment plan will be set up.

As painless as can be

The primary aim of the first dentist visit is to collect valuable information that will determine the kind of treatment the patient needs. Subsequent visits will focus on diagnosis, treatment and routine checkups.

Are you considering getting a new dentist in the Bel Air area? Get more information at https://www.abingdonfamilydentistry.com.

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