What Can I Expect If I Haven’t Been To The Dentist In A While

You just realized you haven’t visited the dentist in a long time? No dental insurance, you had a poor experience, you don’t have any pain, no time, along with a million other reasons. You’re not alone, it’s estimated that one in every five adults haven’t visited a dentist at all in the past few years. No matter how long it’s been since you had an exam and cleaning at the dentist, now is the right time to go back. Start by choosing a board-certified dentist near you in Cary, NC with hours that fit your schedule. DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads accepts new patients and our experienced team offers compassionate care for patients of all ages no matter how long that it has been since you’ve visited the dentist.

One of the most common reasons people stop visiting the dentist is because of fear or anxiety. Whether this is caused by a bad experience or another reason, our team can help you conquer your dental worries. At DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads, we offer several sedation dentistry techniques to help keep you calm and relaxed during both routine visits and treatments. For dentophobia and general anxiety about dental treatments, we typically offer nitrous oxide (commonly known as laughing gas) or oral-conscious medication (a prescription for a sedative, like Valium, that is taken before your appointment). Before your exam and cleaning, your dentist will perform a consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry. Along with determining if you will need sedation, your dentist will determine if you can safely receive sedation. Your dentist will ask about your medical history, known allergies, and what medications you are presently taking. This information will help them to decide which technique to select. Before you leave, your dentist will let you know what to expect before, during, and after your sedation, such as whether you can drive or if you need to arrange for a ride home.

Your visit to the dentist in Cary, NC will likely consist of three basic parts — an exam, a deep cleaning, along with your personalized plan to treat or prevent problems.

    A dental exam is normally conducted at least once every year. During the exam, your dentist will check the health of your mouth.
      Taking digital x-rays give your dentist a much better view of your oral health. Most of the time, digital x-rays will be taken of your teeth to show your dental team areas of existing and developing issues. Digital x-rays can be completed in a few minutes with a small sensor placed between your lower and upper teeth. Your dentist may recommend a whole mouth series to inspect the health of your gums and jawbone every few years. This also only takes a few minutes as you are asked to stand still and the camera rotates around you.
      One of the most crucial components of a dental exam is checking for oral cancer. People who smoke or have HPV (human papilloma virus) are at higher risk for getting oral cancer, but everyone should be checked. Throughout your oral cancer screening, your dentist will check your tongue and the soft tissue in your mouth for abnormalities. Then, they will feel your throat and jaw for any lumps. While this typically only takes a few minutes, detecting oral cancer early is crucial.
      During your dental exam, your dentist will assess the condition of your gums and check for signs of periodontal (gum) disease. Your dentist will measure the depth of your gum pockets, look at the color of your gums, and see if you have any inflammation. Tell your dentist if you have any soreness in your gums or if they bleed easily when you brush and floss.
    Even though you are hopefully brushing and flossing your teeth twice every day at home, you are still able to benefit from a professional cleaning to remove buildup and stains.
      If you haven’t been to the dentist for a while, you might have a significant amount of plaque and tartar buildup on your enamel. Your dental team will carefully scrape away these deposits using special tools. Proper brushing and flossing at home as well as frequent cleanings at the dentist should make this process shorter.
      When your enamel is free from excess buildup, your hygienist can polish your enamel. This helps to remove stains that make your smile dull. Talk to your hygienist if you prefer to have small areas treated at a time with breaks between.
      Typically recommend for younger patients while their teeth are developing and anyone at high risk for cavities, you can consider asking for a fluoride treatment following your cleaning. A professional fluoride treatment helps to strengthen your enamel, which can help prevent cavities, decay, and other dental problems.
    After your dental exam and cleaning are done, your dentist can talk to you about your next steps. If you don’t have any problems, they might recommend proactive measures. If you do have a problem, your dentist will talk about your treatment options.
      To keep your mouth healthy, your dentist can demonstrate proper techniques for brushing and flossing, help you create a good home oral care routine, recommend products that match your particular goals, and schedule your next visit. If your mouth is healthy, DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads offers cosmetic dentistry to enhance the overall look of your smile with treatments like professional teeth whitening.
      When you have a cavity, gum disease, or another problem, your dentist will discuss your treatment options. As soon as you have selected a treatment, your dentist will tell you when to schedule your procedure. Some issues, like a small cavity, can be performed during your next cleaning. However, if a problem is serious or causing pain, an appointment will need to be made as soon as possible. For lengthy procedures, your dentist will discuss sedation options that will help keep you comfortable.

It can be scary to go back to the dentist when you haven’t been for a few years, but our compassionate team at DentalWorks – Cary Crossroads will do everything they can to make you feel welcome and relaxed. Our dental office in Cary, NC uses modern procedures and state-of-the-art equipment to make your visit fast and effective. If you’re still stressed about going to the dentist, ask about sedation dentistry choices to help with dental fears and anxieties.