Most people are familiar with regular visits to their dentists. If the office is large enough, there will likely be a hygienist that will clean your teeth, do an initial exam, and even take some x-rays. The dentist will then come into the exam room, look at the x-rays, and check your teeth for any issues that might have come up since your last visit. Dentists will check gums for oral cancer and other diseases and your teeth for signs of decay. This is what you can expect from a regular visit to your dentist office, but sometimes, dentists also want to do a more thorough exam. These comprehensive exams will include a thorough look at the entirety of your mouth as well as your head and neck. Dentists will also take larger x-rays and ask you about your medical history.
You can expect dentists to do one of these comprehensive exams the very first time you visit their office as a new patient. If you have had regular care under the same dentist for many years, your dentist will already be familiar with your medical history and current health. When you switch to a new dentist, however, that dentist will need to become familiar with your background. That way, any of the dentists in the new office you visit should be able to notice changes or problems that might arise when you return to the office again in the future.
Some things that will occur at any visit to the dentist will be normal, but each dentist has their own set of skills and styles. Dentists do not necessarily do everything every time you visit and that does not mean that he or she is not doing a good job on your dental health. If you have any questions, you should ask your dentist why he or she leaves some things out at times and includes others. You should also be prepared for dentists to vary the order of things during your visits. Your dentist will likely want to update your medical history each time you come in, but this can be done at the beginning or end of the visit.
When you are asked about your health, make sure you mention any issue you have, even if the disease in question does not seem to affect your oral health. Many different issues can affect your teeth and gums without you even realizing it. Dentists will know what is important and what is not so you should mention everything that you think might even be slightly relevant. When addressing your health, bring a list of medications you are currently taking so your dentist can make sure you don’t receive any new prescriptions from his office that interacts with what you are already taking.
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