Do I really have to go to the dentist every six months?
How often you go for a check-up depends on your oral health needs. The goal is to catch small problems early. For many people, this means a check-up every six months. Your dentist may suggest that you visit more or less often depending on how well you care for your teeth and gums, problems you have that need to be checked or treated, how fast tartar builds up on your teeth, and so on.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Do I floss every day?
- Do I brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and follow my dentist’s instructions on how to brush properly?
- Do I eat a well-balanced diet, including food from all food groups, and limit sweets and sticky foods?
- Do I smoke?
- Do I have a history of cavities or gum disease?
- Is my overall health good?
The answers to these questions are all factors that affect your oral health. They will help you and your dentist decide how often you need to visit for check-ups. It’s worth noting that you should not determine your need for dental care on what your dental plan covers.
Do I need x-rays at each visit?
It’s important to get an early start on dental care, so that your child will learn that visiting the dentist is a regular part of health care. The first step is to choose a dentist for your child.
It may be your own dentist or one who specializes in treating children (called a pediatric dentist). Once you have selected a dentist, call the office to find out at what age he or she prefers to see child patients for the first time. CDA encourages the assessment of infants, by a dentist, within 6 months of the eruption of the first tooth or by one year of age.
It’s important to make the first visit a positive experience for your child – one reason why it’s best to visit before a problem develops. If you think there is a problem, however, take your child to the dentist right away, no matter what age.
If you are a nervous dental patient, ask your spouse or another family member to take the child for the appointment. If your child senses that you are nervous, he or she may feel nervous too. When you talk to your child about going to the dentist, explain what will happen without adding things like “it won’t hurt” or “don’t be scared.”
Be sure to get an early start on regular dental care at home. Start cleaning your child’s mouth with a soft damp cloth before teeth come in and continue with a soft toothbrush once he or she has a first tooth. Limit the number of sugary treats you give your child, and focus on healthy food choices from the very beginning.
My dentist is recommending treatment which I know nothing about. What should I do?
You will feel much better, and be able to make a better decision, if you understand the dental procedure that is recommended to you. If you don’t say anything, your dentist may think that you already understand.
Here are some tips when asking questions. Ask:
- If you can see any pictures of the procedure or what it looks like when it is done
- How many times your dentist has done this procedure in the past
- How much it will cost
- How long it will take
- If it will need to be redone in the future
- If there are alternatives to the procedure and if so, what are the pros and cons of each option.
The final decision about how and when to proceed with any treatment is yours. To help you understand what is involved in the treatment, your dentist may give you some printed material to read.
If you have already left the dental office without asking questions, call back later. Be careful about getting information from unknown sources, including sources on the Internet. Some of this information may not be reliable.
If, after all of your questions have been answered you are still uncertain, you may wish to get a second opinion from another dentist. Often, a second opinion will give you confidence that your dentist has planned the right treatment for you.
Do you accept insurance?
We sure do! To offer excellent dental care for you and your family, we have an enhanced system to optimize your dental benefits. As a courtesy, we have staff members who are trained to manage the paperwork, submit pre-estimate materials and give estimates for treatment to be performed.
What should I expect from my first dental visit?
• Diagnostic x-rays (radiographs): to find decay, tumours, cysts, bone loss and tooth positions.
• Oral cancer screening: to check your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer.
• Gum disease evaluation: to check your gums and bone around your teeth for any signs of periodontal (gum) disease.
• Examination of tooth surfaces: to check for decay with special dental instruments.
• Examination of existing restorations: to check your fillings, crowns, veneers etc.
What does at home teeth whitening involve?
2. You will try on the trays for proper fit, and adjustments will be made if necessary. The
trays are worn with special whitening gel solution inside either twice a day for 30 minutes
or overnight for a couple of weeks depending on the degree of staining and desired level of whitening. It is normal to experience tooth sensitivity during the time you are whitening your teeth, but it will subside shortly after you have stopped bleaching. You will receive care instructions for your teeth and trays, and be encouraged to visit your dentist regularly to help maintain a beautiful, healthy, white smile.
How do you treat gum disease?
The dentist or dental hygienist removes the plaque with a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing. Scaling means scraping off the tartar build-up from above and below the gum line. Root planing gets rid of rough spots on the tooth root where the germs gather, and helps remove bacteria that contribute to gum disease. In some cases a laser may be used to remove plaque and tartar. This procedure can result in less bleeding, swelling, and discomfort compared to traditional deep cleaning methods as they are fairly invasive.