What to Ask Your Dentist During Your Next Appointment
For many, a dentist’s appointment is an unpleasant visit that should get done with as soon as possible. We all know the importance of getting your teeth cleaned twice a year, but you should also try to view the dentist’s appointment as a time to maximize your dental health.
Spend some time getting to know your dentist and oral hygienist, as they can offer you plenty of great advice that will keep your teeth and mouth in healthy shape for years to come. Below are some questions that you should be asking during your dentist appointment.
#1: Discuss your overall mouth health
The first question you should ask is about the overall health of your mouth. Your dentist should inform you if anything is severely wrong, but it may be that you can do extra to improve your mouth health. Most people underestimate the impact that foods can have on their dental health, and a good dentist will give you the advice you need to address any potential issues that can arise.
#2: Types of implements you should be using
The range of toothbrushes, toothpastes and dental floss on the market can be intimidating and it can be difficult to know which one to choose. The choice of toothbrush can vary depending on how hard you brush your teeth, with some people needing softer brushes than others. Speak to your dentist to find out what products they would recommend specifically for you.
#3: Questions about procedures
If your dentist or oral hygienist recommends some procedures during your dentist appointment, try and get much more information about them. Which of the treatments are really necessary, which are optional and which are purely cosmetic. Also discuss which of the treatments are extremely urgent and which ones are less so. This gives you a good idea of your priorities and what you should be spending your money on. Your dentist may strongly recommend vanity treatments, but these may not be necessary for your general mouth health.
#4: Grinding teeth
Many people grind their teeth and may not even know it. A good dentist will pick up on this and inform you, but if you notice symptoms of teeth-grinding such as headaches in the morning or clicking and popping of your jawline, mention it during your dentist appointment. Your dentist will be able to verify whether you do grind your teeth or not and recommend various treatments depending on the severity of the condition, such as mouth guards in mild cases to Botox in severe ones.
#5: Find out about oral cancer
Nobody considers oral cancer, and it is very difficult to detect in the early stages, even for experienced dentists. Talk to your dentist during your appointment to find out about ways that you can be screened for oral cancer, even if you don’t think you have it. Early detection is key to successful treatment and many dentists recommend screens at least once a year to detect any abnormal cells in your mouth, throat or tongue. This allows for a rapid response and early detection that may be the difference between successful or unsuccessful treatment.
Questions You Must Ask When Choosing a Dentist
Finding the best dentist is a very important step in ensuring your family maintains optimum dental health. Asking questions before booking an actual appointment is not only okay but highly recommended. Here are 10 questions you must ask when choosing a dentist.
Do you have experience with children?
Although all dentists must have a four-year bachelor’s degree to practice dentistry, some might have chosen to specialize in certain areas. As specialists, they might be better suited to your needs depending on conditions you might have or treatments you might require. As parents, you should always look for a dental clinic that has experience dealing with children.
Do you take X-rays?
You want a dentist who uses a preventative approach to dentistry. Using X-rays to identify serious issues and confirm a diagnosis is a must. Regular X-rays are also important to find issues that can’t be detected during a basic oral exam.
Do you provide treatment plans?
Treatment plans are very important as they provide each member of your family with specific recommendations based on their individual needs. It also provides you with a budget to determine how much treatment will cost and if it is covered by insurance.
Do you have any references?
Do not be afraid to ask for references. If you prefer to avoid this awkward question, you can opt to do a search for online reviews. Online ratings for a dentist show how well liked and appreciated they are by their patients. Established dental offices will often have reviews on their website as well.
What financing options are available?
This question is especially important if you do not have insurance. However, it can also provide insight into the success of a practice. When an office demands payment up front with no exceptions, it could be a sign they have few patients. A more successful practice will offer financing options with manageable payment plans that allow their patients to get the treatment they need.
3 Questions to Ask Your Dentist On Your First Visit
Regular dental visits are extremely important for maintaining healthy teeth and a perfect smile. Finding a dental practice and a dentist that’s right for you isn’t a very difficult job when you know what you are looking for and are aware of the questions you should ask your dentist. Good communication is the key to a healthy relationship. Your connection with your dentist depends on how effectively you communicate with them.
Discussing your health concerns, dental habits, fears, and apprehensions with your dentist makes a big difference. After all, this is the person who will look inside your mouth every 6 months. Hence, you must be comfortable with your dentist, especially when asking questions! Here are three questions that you must ask when going to a new dentist.
Question 1: How Can We Improve My Dental Health?
Dental health can be improved when you and your dentists work together towards the same goal. Share your routine with your new dentist and get the necessary guidelines about brushing and flossing. You can ask about what kind of toothbrush you should use and how often should you replace it. Ask your dentist to demonstrate the right way to brush and floss. Your dentist will guide you about the frequency of your dental visits. You can discuss the oral hygiene products that you are using or wish to use. Your dentist will give suggestions about your fluoride intake, night guards, and bad breath. Be sure to inform your dentist about any pain, discomfort, or anything out of the ordinary that you’re experiencing.
Question 2: How Is My Current Dental Health?
A new dentist will most probably examine your entire oral cavity, including teeth, gums, jaws, tongue, and throat. You’ll be checked for lesions, wounds, bumps, cavities, plaque, tartar, or signs of teeth grinding. They’ll assess your overall dental health and will be able to give you a proper analysis. Once this is done, they’ll discuss your treatment options and preferences. This is a good time to ask your dentist any questions about your current oral health, and any ways you can improve your oral health.
Question 3: What Ways Can I Optimize My Dental Health Through Diet and Hygiene?
Your diet and oral hygiene impact your oral health in many ways. Ask your Dentist about ways you can adjust your daily routine to support any dental treatments or needs you may have. What foods may impact your teeth for better or worse? What daily habits will support your goals? Your Dentist may be able to advise specific changes that will help to support what they are doing to treat or maintain your oral health.
The Three Most Common Dental Procedures
If you have been experiencing prolonged dental pain, or your dentist has already discovered a significant issue during an exam and/or x-ray, it’s likely that your dentist will recommend one of the following three dental procedures:
It is much preferred to leverage proper diet and dental hygiene to reverse cavities naturally, but that isn’t always possible. If a cavity is causing pain, is overly sensitive to heat or cold, or has reached the pulp of your tooth, you probably need a filling.
A filling is exactly what it sounds like: Your dentist will remove the diseased portion from the inside of your tooth and fill the resulting hole with a material that holds the form of your tooth.
The remaining part of the tooth is still alive and will continue to remineralize and demineralize based on your habits and diet.
A root canal is necessary if decay has grown unchecked to reach the roots of tooth, or if there is an infection.
Root canals differ from fillings in that they are designed to preserve—not save—a dead tooth. I compare this dental procedure to the mummification process.
A tooth that is dead will become brittle and prone to breaking after it is filled, which is why you need the crown that is placed on top of the tooth to protect it. And doing this, instead of pulling the tooth, can help you avoid problematic shifting and the need for a bridge or implant to fill the space.
When tartar builds up on teeth and is not removed through dental cleanings, it will slowly creep down past the gum line. And when the tartar gets to a certain point below the gums, the tooth will no longer attach correctly.
A root planing, also referred to as scaling, is the process of cleaning, scraping, and disinfecting affected teeth. Those words may sound scary, but the end result of this sometimes necessary procedure is smoother, healthier teeth.
Root planing is often more expensive than other dental procedures due to the additional time and work involved. Also, your dentist may recommend that you be given anesthesia depending on the extent of the tartar and calculus on your teeth.
What Are the Best Ways to Practice Good Oral Hygiene at Home?
It’s vital that all adults engage in daily brushing and flossing, but to take your oral hygiene to the next level, follow a handful of particular steps to good dental health. These include:
- Using products that contain fluoride.
- Limiting snacks that are high in sugar.
- Eating a balanced diet of fruits and vegetables.
- Avoiding tobacco in any form.
What Is Tooth Sensitivity and Why Do I Have It?
Your dentist will examine the affected teeth and recommend treatment to reduce your sensitivity.
- Receding gums
- Tooth grinding during sleep
- Chipped or fractured teeth
- Tooth whitening
- Orthodontics and fillings