tips for making dental work less uncomfortable

Your Guide To Dental Visits

Many people avoid the dentist, but if you haven't been in a while, it's time to schedule an appointment. The dentist can help prevent and treat many complications. If you would like to know more, keep reading. 

What Happens at a General Exam/Cleaning?

At a general exam and cleaning, the dentist cleans and polishes the teeth. They may also take X-rays. The dentist also looks for signs of weakening/thinning enamel, decay, gum disease, infection, and much more.

Depending on your age and gum health, the dentist may measure the pockets. Large pockets can indicate gum disease. Plus, bacteria and plaque easily get trapped in these pockets, increasing the risk of decay and infection. For younger patients and/or those with weak enamel, fluoride treatments may be recommended.

How Else Can the Dentist Help Your Oral Health?

The dentist can help your teeth in many ways besides preventative care. Your dentist may do fillings, extractions, and root canal treatments. On top of that, many dentists offer cosmetic procedures, such as:

  • Teeth whitening
  • Invisalign
  • Veneers
  • Dental crowns
  • Dental bridges
  • Dentures
  • Bonding

Why Might You Need a Specialist?

In some cases, your dentist may recommend a specialist for a procedure. Many dentists prefer to refer patients to an endodontist for root canal treatment. A periodontist can help treat issues with the gums like advanced gum disease.

If you need braces, especially traditional braces, you may want to ask about an orthodontist, and an oral surgeon can help with surgical extractions, gum grafts, implants, bone grafts, and much more.

What if You Have Dental Anxiety?

If you have dental anxiety, you're not alone. Luckily, there are sedation options to help ease anxiety. These sedation methods usually leave you with little to no memory of the appointment. Sedation options include inhalation sedation (nitrous oxide or "laughing gas" that you inhale with a mix of oxygen), oral sedation (sedative oral medications), and IV sedation (the most advanced form of awake sedation). With inhalation sedation, the gas flushes from your body quickly, so you can drive home or go to work. With oral sedation and IV sedation, you will be groggy and should have someone drive you home. In some cases, the dentist may recommend more than one sedation option.

The dentist can help protect your oral health and treat complications. If you have anxiety, sedation dentistry can help. If you would like to know more, contact a dental clinic in your area today.