Long Overdue: Tips for Returning to the Dentist’s Office

January 12, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — costellodental @ 10:17 pm
Woman getting her dental checkups after a long break

It’s not uncommon to let months or even years slip by without visiting the dentist. Whether it’s due to cost concerns, time constraints, or dental anxiety, many patients find themselves avoiding regular dental checkups. However, when you finally decide to schedule that long-overdue appointment, you might be wondering what to expect.

Continue reading for some tips that could help you effortlessly return to your dentist.

Your First Exam

Over time, your teeth will naturally shift and wear. This means that you won’t have the exact same smile you did in the months before—especially if you weren’t getting proper dental checkups. Here’s what will happen:

Scanning and Assessment

Your dentist will conduct a thorough examination of your oral health. This will include dental X-rays, visual inspections of your teeth and gums, and screenings. During this time, they’ll assess the current state of your mouth and check for signs of oral issues. Tooth decay and gum disease are among the problems that may have developed during your time away from the dentist.

Treatment Planning

Based on the findings of your examination, your dentist will develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your unique oral health issues. This may involve scheduling additional appointments for cleanings, fillings, or other necessary procedures.

Oral Hygiene Education

Your dentist and dental hygienist will both provide guidance on proper oral hygiene practices. This isn’t to judge or demean you but to guide you to maintain your dental health between appointments. This may include recommendations for brushing and flossing techniques and advice on diet and lifestyle habits impacting oral health.

Managing Dental Avoidance

Once you’ve made it back to the dentist, it may be time to start addressing some of the issues that kept you away.

Dental Anxiety

If dental anxiety contributed to your hiatus from the dentist, don’t hesitate to communicate your concerns with your dental team. They can offer strategies to help manage anxiety during your appointment, such as relaxation techniques.

Financial Planning

For many patients, cost concerns are a significant factor in avoiding dental care. First, you should know your dentist’s office is happy to work with you. Next, try to discuss payment options and financial arrangements ahead of time to make your dental treatment more affordable and less of a surprise.

Going Back Again

After your first appointment, it’s important to commit to regular dental checkups and cleanings to maintain your oral health. Your dentist can help you schedule future appointments and provide reminders to ensure you stay on track with your dental care routine.

Returning to the dentist after a long hiatus can feel daunting, but it’s a necessary step in keeping your smile healthy and beautiful. Be open and honest with your dentist so they can accommodate you in any way they can. Do this, and your future appointments will be a walk in the park.

About the Practice

Dr. Ernie Costello and Dr. Jay DeHart are understanding and friendly dentists who strive to make every experience at Costello & DeHart Dental Excellence a positive one. They use ultramodern dental technology and techniques to make treatments easier for you. Their combined knowledge and skills allow them to perform a wide range of treatments to better serve their patients. Call (847) 259-1111 to schedule an appointment or visit the website to learn more.

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