What to Expect if You Haven't Been to the Dentist for Years

Posted on: 12 May 2023

You may not have been to the dentist for a while because of COVID-19 and are now thinking about making an appointment. If it's been over two years since your last visit, you will certainly have many questions. 

Remember, there is absolutely no need to feel embarrassed. The dentist's role is to offer expert dental care and guidance, not to shame or humiliate their patients. 

When you make your appointment there are a number of things to keep in mind after an extended absence. Here's what you can expect for that important visit.

Prepare for a Long Visit

Make sure you schedule enough time for your appointment. Your records will need updating to cover your full history.

The examination and cleaning may take longer than you anticipate once you are seated in the dentist's chair. The hygienist will want to do everything thoroughly. 

Expect To Have X-Rays

The dentist needs time to become acquainted with your case. Even if your teeth feel healthy, a full set of X-rays will be taken to get a complete picture of your dental health.

X-rays can identify issues before the patient even notices them because they are the only way to view extremely small cavities or tiny fissures in the teeth. The ideal situation is to discover a cavity before it becomes large enough to cause any pain. 

Anticipate a Comprehensive Examination

The dentist will probably enquire about any recent changes in your general health as well as any dental problems you may be having. 

Dentists are fully aware that a patient's teeth may be affected by medical conditions or prescription medications. 

He or she will review your X-rays, check your bite alignment, prod your fillings to look for deterioration, and inspect the state of your gums for indications of periodontal disease.

Be sure to ask if you have any inquiries regarding what they are looking for. 

Assume a Little Bleeding and Discomfort

There can be a bit of bleeding or discomfort during a cleaning. This is much more likely when it hasn't been done for an extensive period. 

The harder the hygienist has to work to scrape plaque off the teeth, the more likely there will be some pain. It might last for a short while after the appointment but is rarely of any concern.

Dental instruments probing tender gums can cause a little bleeding. It's usually only slight and stops quite quickly. 

Once you've taken the initiative and made that appointment with the dentist after a long absence, make sure you try to keep more regular visits.

For more information about visiting a dentist, contact a local office.