Dr. Michael Handler

What to Expect If You are Going to A Dentist After a Long Time

By Dr. Michael Handler

Haven’t been to the dentist in years?

Don’t worry, it’s actually not that uncommon. There are a lot of adults who have somehow missed their regular dental visits. There are so many reasons why people skip regular visits to the dentist. Some people experience anxiety or fear going to the dentist and avoid it. Others are concerned about the cost, especially if they’re not covered by dental insurance. And if dental care isn’t conveniently located or doesn’t have flexible hours, it can be hard to coordinate it with a busy schedule. Recently, COVID-19 was another major reason why people weren't able to keep up with their regular dental appointments.

Whatever your reason might be for not going to the dentist regularly, you will definitely have some questions when you do decide to go. Here are a few things to know as you get back on track with your dental care.

#1: Check your dental insurance plan

Make sure to check with your dental insurance plan to see how much coverage you have and which dental services are covered. When you haven’t been to the dentist in years, there’s a chance you’ll need additional dental work like fillings or periodontal treatment. Check to see what your policy covers so you’ll be prepared for any additional expenses.

#2: Don’t be embarrassed!

Dentists do not judge you for not being able to follow through with regular dental checkups. They will only make suggestions for what’s best for your dental health. Don’t feel the need to explain or make excuses.

#3: Extended Teeth Cleaning

If you haven’t been to the dentist for some time, you will probably have a significant amount of plaque on the surfaces of your teeth. For this reason, it may take some time for the hygienist to professionally clean each tooth. You might need to get this done in more than one appointment if necessary.

#4: You will likely need an x-ray

X-rays are an important part of dental exams as they help the dentist diagnose your oral health needs. Your dentist will need to take a series of X-rays to make sure there aren’t any underlying problems hidden out of sight. If you don’t have old x-rays for comparison, your dentist can use your new X-rays to create an oral health history to provide guidance for future appointments.

How often should you go to the dentist?

Most experts recommend that people visit their dentist for a routine checkup every six months. This is recommended so that patients stay up to date on your oral hygiene and avoid the need for emergency services that may or may not be covered by your insurance. Seeing the dentist at scheduled intervals can aid in early detection of gum disease, oral cancer and other potential diseases.

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Do you ever feel nervous about dentist appointments? Rest assured: we cater to nervous and anxious patients in a gentle and considerate manner. Call us now to schedule a free consultation!