It seems the longer you stay away from the dentist, the harder it is to go back. After avoiding the dentist for many years, you may fear that you'll be "in trouble" once you finally do schedule an appointment, making it easier to just stay away. Instead of fearing a critical scolding from the dentist (which probably won't happen), consider these three positive benefits you'll receive your first time back in the dental chair.
1. Ample Time to Ask Questions
After years, or even decades, away from the dentist's office, you should expect your first appointment to be lengthier than a typical check-up for someone who goes regularly. Don't let this deter you from making an appointment, though. A lengthy visit provides ample opportunity for you to have all your dental questions answered by the dentist or hygienist.
During this first dental appointment after an extended absence, you'll have a full set of dental x-rays taken, as well as a thorough exam. In addition, the dentist must look at your medical history and fill in the gaps since your last dental appointment. This can take some time, but use it to your advantage by asking plenty of questions.
Depending on the condition of your teeth and the time allotted for your appointment, you will either have your teeth cleaned during this visit or you will have to schedule a follow-up cleaning appointment. If your teeth are cleaned during the first visit, it will probably take longer than future cleanings because the hygienist needs extra time to remove years' worth of plaque and tartar from your teeth.
2. Teeth Look and Feel Amazing Afterwards
After a long hiatus from the dentist's chair, you'll likely experience some mild discomfort after a dental cleaning, because the excess build-up of plaque deposits requires the hygienist to spend extra time scraping the areas between your teeth and gums. However, once all of this unhealthy plaque is removed, your teeth will look great!
For a short time after the cleaning, you can expect symptoms such as:
- Mild bleeding
- Tooth sensitivity
These symptoms are normal and should ease up within a few days. Don't let a fear of pain prevent you from making the appointment, because any mild discomfort you feel shouldn't interfere with eating, drinking or going about your regular daily routine. In fact, many patients are quite relieved after a thorough dental cleaning because their teeth look and feel better than they have in years.
3. Lingering Dental Problems are Resolved
If you've avoided dental appointments for a very long time, chances are good the dentist will discover at least one problem that requires treatment, however minor it may be. There is no reason to fear this discovery, because it will finally be resolved! You have a second chance to improve your dental health for the long haul once any lingering problems are fixed.
Sometimes people steer clear of the dentist because they know there is something wrong, but they fear a painful and scary prognosis. If this sounds like your situation, you've probably worried about it for awhile and blown the problem up in your mind. There's a very good chance your mind will finally rest easy after you undergo a thorough dental exam.
There are all sorts of reasons why people avoid the dentist: fear, embarrassment and anxiety, to name just a few. Instead of letting these types of emotional reasons prevent you from getting the dental care you really need, try reversing your outlook on the situation. Think about all of the benefits (including the three listed above) you'll receive once you sit back down in the dentist's chair after a long time away.
For more information, contact a local dental clinic like Family Dental Center TriCities, PC.