You Haven't Seen The Dentist In A While. Now What?
GOING BACK TO THE DENTIST
So, what's the reason you haven't been to the dentist in a few years? Maybe you don't have dental insurance, you had a terrible experience, you don't have any pain, not enough time, plus a million other reasons. You're not alone, it's estimated that one-fifth of adults haven't gone to the dentist at all in the past few years. No matter how long it's been since you've visited the dentist, now is a great time to go. Start by locating a board-certified dentist near you in Murphy, TX with hours that fit your schedule. Murphy Crossing Dental Care accepts new patients and our experienced team offers compassionate care for patients of all ages no matter how long it has been since you had a dental exam and cleaning.
DENTOPHOBIA: FEAR OF THE DENTIST
One of the most common reasons people don't go to the dentist is because of fear or anxiety. Whether this is caused by a bad experience or another reason, our team can help you deal with your dental anxieties. At Murphy Crossing Dental Care, we offer different sedation dentistry techniques to help keep you calm and comfortable during both routine visits and treatments. For anxiety or fear about getting a dental procedure, 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 you receive care, your dentist will schedule a visit for a consultation to determine if you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry. Besides determining if you require sedation, your dentist will determine if you can safely receive a method of sedation. Your dentist will ask about your medical history, known allergies, and what medications you are taking. This information will help them to decide which sedation is best. Before you leave, your dentist will let you know what to expect throughout your sedation, for example, whether you can drive or if you need to arrange for a ride home.
KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT BEFORE YOU GO
Your visit to the dentist in Murphy, TX will most likely consist of three parts — an oral health exam, a cleaning, plus your customized plan to prevent or treat concerns.
- DENTAL EXAM
A dental exam is normally done at least once per year. During the exam, your dentist will assess your oral health.
- DIGITAL X-RAYS
Getting digital x-rays give your dentist a comprehensive view of your teeth gums, and jaw. Most of the time, digital x-rays will be taken of your teeth to show areas of existing and developing concerns. Digital x-rays can be snapped in a few minutes with a small sensor placed between your teeth. Your dentist may recommend a whole mouth series to look at 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.
- SCREENING FOR ORAL CANCER
One of the most essential sections of a dental exam is checking for oral cancer. People who use tobacco or have HPV (human papilloma virus) are at higher risk for oral cancer, but everyone should be checked. In your oral cancer screening, your dentist will check your tongue and the soft tissue in your mouth for abnormalities. Then, they will feel your neck and jaw for any lumps. While this typically only takes a few minutes, early diagnosis of cancer is essential.
- SCREENING FOR GUM DISEASE
During your dental exam, your dentist will assess your gums and check for signs of gum (periodontal) 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.
- DIGITAL X-RAYS
- DEEP CLEANING
Although you are hopefully brushing and flossing your teeth twice each day at home, you need a professional cleaning to remove buildup and stains.
- ELIMINATING BUILDUP
If you haven't been to the dentist for a while, you could 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 appointments at the dentist can make this process shorter.
- ENAMEL POLISH
As soon as 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.
- OPTIONAL FLUORIDE
Often recommend for younger patients and patients at high risk for cavities, you might consider requesting a fluoride treatment once your teeth are clean. A professional fluoride treatment boosts the strength of your enamel, which can help prevent cavities, decay, and other dental problems.
- ELIMINATING BUILDUP
- YOUR ACTION PLAN
After your dental exam and cleaning are finished, your dentist can talk to you about what you should do next. If you don't have any problems, they might talk about proactive measures. If you do have an issue, your dentist will discuss your treatment options.
- PROACTIVE MEASURES
To keep your mouth healthy, your dental team can demonstrate proper techniques for brushing and flossing, help you build a good home oral care routine, recommend products that will help with your needs, and schedule your next cleaning. If your mouth is healthy, Murphy Crossing Dental Care offers cosmetic dentistry to enhance the look of your smile with treatments like professional teeth whitening.
- PLANNING YOUR PROCEDURE
If you have a cavity, gum disease, or another problem, your dentist will review your treatment options. When you have selected a treatment, your dentist will tell you when to schedule your procedure. Some issues, like a small cavity, can be combined with your next visit. However, if a problem is serious or giving you pain, an appointment will need to be performed as soon as possible. For lengthy procedures, your dentist will review sedation options that will help keep you comfortable.
- PROACTIVE MEASURES
SCHEDULE YOUR APPOINTMENT NOW
It can be scary to go back to the dentist in case you haven't been in a while, but our compassionate team at Murphy Crossing Dental Care will do everything they can to make you feel welcome and relaxed. Our dental office in Murphy, TX uses modern methods and state-of-the-art equipment for a better, faster visit. If you're still worried about going to the dentist, ask about sedation dentistry methods to help with dental fears and anxieties.
* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.