Has it been a while since you’ve visited the dentist?
It’s okay to be honest… we know there are a lot of patients out there who haven’t had a regular dental check up in a while for one reason or another. Whether it be because of anxiety, financial reasons, or just generally being busy, unfortunately a lot of people don’t come see the dentist as often as they should.
However, it’s not only very important for your oral health, but your overall health care to have routine dental care completed at least twice a year by a dentist like Dr. Li and the team at Ellerslie 66 Dental Clinic.
Plus, visiting the dentist isn’t as scary or as costly as you might think. That’s why we’re here to give you a quick overview of what you should expect from your next dental check up, and why you shouldn’t put off your next visit.
Say Hello to Our Receptionist!
When you arrive at your appointment you will be greeted by our receptionist who will check you in for your appointment and have you fill out some routine paperwork before your exam. The paperwork you’ll be asked to fill out will include information about your medical history, current medications and conditions, and any symptoms of oral problems you might be experiencing.
It’s important to be honest and comprehensive in your responses. As previously mentioned, your oral health is closely connected to your overall health, and some medical conditions and medications may increase your risk of dental issues or require us to take a different approach to your oral care. In addition, letting us know about any symptoms you are experiencing can help us diagnose and catch problems early, and ultimately help prevent more extensive dental treatments.
When it’s time for your check up to begin one of our experienced and caring dental hygienists will greet you and take you back to get comfortable in the examination chair.
Your Dental Check Up
Once you are brought to the back room the dental hygienist will take the time to review your medical history and ask you more information about any symptoms you might be experiencing. This information can help us get a better idea of any potential problems to look out for, and help Dr. Li make a more informed diagnosis.
Your dental hygienist will then ask you about any fears or anxieties you might have about coming to the dentist. We want to make sure that your experience is as comfortable as possible, so don’t try to be brave, be honest!
Having anxiety about coming to the dentist is very common so there’s absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. Dental treatments and technology have improved quite a bit over the decades to be much less painful and invasive. Therefore, if we know about your fears, we’ll be able to better explain the procedures to you and help alleviate your anxiety.
After we’ve taken the time to get to know a bit more about you and your background, the dental hygienist will begin your preventative dental check up. Your check up will include the following procedures:
- Teeth Cleaning And Polishing: Using various tools the dental hygienist will take the time to thoroughly clean and polish your teeth. This process will remove the hardened plaque and tartar on the surface of your teeth that can potentially cause cavities, gum disease, and bad breath.
- Digital Dental X-Rays: Digital x-rays of your mouth may be taken to look for any potential issues below the gum line or in the interior of your teeth. Dental x-rays may not be required at every dental check up. We will consider the time elapsed since your last visit, your dental history, and any possible symptoms you might be experiencing.
- Home Prevention Recommendations: Your dental hygienist will give you some tips and instructions for home preventative oral care including recommendations for good brushing and flossing habits, and possibly other preventative measures you can do at home to maintain your teeth and gums.
Your Dental Exam With Dr. Li
After your cleaning and x-rays are complete, Dr. Li will come greet you and give you your dental examination. She will review your dental history, your x-rays, and any findings reported by the hygienist while cleaning your teeth to help her identify any potential problems to look out for.
Some of the things Dr. Li will look at during her examination may include:
- Head & Neck: We do this to look for any swelling or tenderness in your head and neck area, which could be signs of disease or infection. Dr. Li will also check the movement of the joints in your jawbone to make sure they are functioning properly.
- Bite: Dr. Li will take a look at how your upper and lower sets of teeth align to determine if there are any issues with your bite that could lead to future problems.
- Teeth: Dr. Li will conduct a more thorough examination of your teeth, looking for signs of tooth decay, enamel erosion, and potential cavities. She will also examine any existing fillings, bridges, crowns, or other restorations for any potential problems.
- Gum Tissue: Dr. Li will take the time to examine your gums for signs of gingivitis and gum disease that may need to be treated.
- Soft Tissue: Dr. Li will look for any signs of spots, swelling, lesions, cuts or growths that could indicate a potential problem with your oral health.
- X-Rays: Finally, Dr. Li will review your x-rays for any signs of problems that may not be visible on the surface of your teeth or mouth.
Once her examination is complete, Dr. Li will let you know if there are any concerns and what the next steps for treatment are. In many cases there are no additional steps that need to be taken aside from scheduling your next regular check up. Simple and easy!
However, if any problems are found that require additional treatment, Dr. Li will carefully and thoroughly explain your treatment options and work with you to find the right solution for your personal comfort, health, and finances. We want to make sure that you not only walk away with a healthy, confident smile, but that you do so in a way that is as gentle, caring, and tailored to your needs as possible.
Before You Leave
Before you leave we’ll remind you about any home preventative measures you can take to care for your oral health. We also recommend scheduling any future appointments you may need, whether it be your next dental check up, or a treatment procedure.
We have numerous payment options available to make the cost of your visit affordable and carefree. If you have dental benefits, we will submit your claims on your behalf and accept payment from your insurance company. Otherwise, we welcome cash, Visa, MasterCard, and e-Transfer payment methods to make things as easy as we can for you.
If you have any additional questions about our preventative dental check-up services, or would like to schedule an appointment, feel free to call us at (780) 705-9866 or contact us and we’ll be happy to help however we can!