August 13, 2018
If you were to flip back through your calendar, how long would it take to find your last dental appointment? Last year sometime, perhaps? Even longer? Amid the busyness of daily life, regular dental checkups can sometimes fall far down the to-do list, especially when you are not experiencing any acute dental pain or discomfort. However, just because you do not feel or see any cavities does not mean that you should skip out on going to the dentist altogether. If left untreated, minor dental issues can develop into larger, more serious health problems. So, even if you cannot remember the date of your last dental checkup, now is a good time to pick up the phone and call a dentist office in Athens.
What to Expect at Your First Dental Visit in Years
If you have been away from the dentist’s office for a few years, here is what you can expect during your first visit back:
- Expert teeth cleaning – Even if you brush and floss every day at home, plaque and tartar can accumulate in your mouth – especially in those hard-to-reach places in between teeth. But don’t worry – a dental hygienist will scrape the harmful buildup from your teeth, leaving your smile clean and refreshed.
- Dental X-rays – Your mouth can change a lot in just a few short years, so your dental hygienist will take new X-rays of your teeth. Fortunately, X-rays are fast and painless – and unlike older X-rays, results are now available right away.
- Dental exam – After your teeth are cleaned and X-rays are taken, your dentist will examine your teeth and the surrounding tissues in your mouth. He or she will look for cavities, gum disease, early signs of oral cancer and other serious oral health issues. If any problems are detected, your dentist will have a conversation with you about the appropriate treatment or treatment options.
How Often Should You See a Dentist?
If you have avoided seeing the dentist recently, you are not alone. In fact, according to the Commonwealth Fund, more than 1 in 3 U.S. adults – or more than 100 million Americans – skipped a routine dental visit in 2016!
Fitting a routine dental checkup into your already busy schedule is not always easy but doing so is critical to maintaining good oral health. In addition to brushing twice daily and flossing every day, the American Dental Association recommends seeing a dentist for a routine cleaning and exam every six months.
Even if you have not been to the dentist in years, there is no better time than the present to get back on the path toward excellent oral health! Talk to a dentist in Athens today.
About the Author
Dr. J. Benjamin Patrick is an experienced restorative and cosmetic dentist who is dedicated to helping every Athens resident achieve the smile of their dreams. A visiting faculty member at the prestigious L. D. Pankey Institute for Advanced Education, Dr. Patrick is constantly learning and keeping up to date on the latest developments in dental research and technology. Patients old and new can contact Dr. Patrick and his team at Advanced Dentistry of Athens by visiting their website or calling the office at 706-546-8720.
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