For a range of reasons, many people often miss going to the dentist for several years. Some get distracted with the responsibilities of life, others may lack insurance coverage and still others may stay away due to fear or trauma. Regardless of why you haven't been to the dentist for years, it's not too late to go back.
Here are some essential tips to help you get through your appointment.
1. Anticipate a relatively long appointment
At a standard dentist appointment, you are likely to have your teeth cleaned, x-rays taken and issues diagnosed. If you have been to the dentist just six or twelve months previously, those steps can be completed fairly quickly.
However, if you haven't been to the dentist for a long time, your should anticipate having a relatively longer appointment. Your cleaning, in most cases, will take longer as you are likely to have more plaque and calcium deposits built up on your teeth. Your dentist may also want to devote extra time getting as many x-rays as possible so he or she can see what's really going on in your mouth.
2. Discuss issues before arriving
If you are worried about anything, discuss that with the receptionist as you make your dental appointment. For example, if you have pain in a specific tooth and you want it treated immediately, make that clear as you make your appointment.
However, also consider discussing with the receptionist the reason you stayed away from the dentist for so long. In particular, if you experienced trauma, talk with the new dental clinic about that experience to ensure it doesn't happen again.
Specify if you need a gentle hygienist or a dentist who is willing to work slowly and talk you through the procedure. If a dental clinic is not willing to accommodate those issues, you may need to find one that will.
3. Consider relaxation techniques
Whether you experienced past trauma or not, it can be scary to return to the dentist after many years or decades out of the chair. To make it easier on yourself, explore some relaxation techniques before you arrive at the dental clinic.
You can relax yourself using anything from essential oils to meditation, or you can ask the dentist to prescribe medication to take before the appointment that will help you relax.
4. Discuss payment options and plans
Through a combination of good luck and great dental hygiene, many people go to a dental appointment after five or ten years away, and they don't have any significant issues. Others, in contrast, have lots of cavities or gum issues due to the years of not getting treatment.
If you anticipate needing a lot of work, talk with a dental clinic like Bruce Stevens Dental about its payment options or discount programs so you can start to make a financial plan.
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