Answers About Your Dental Records
Getting the Dentistry Done in One Visit
A Guide to Dental Terms
We know that a dentist visit probably won't make your "faves" list. But with today's advanced dental technologies, a dental visit doesn't deserve a spot on your "hate" list either. In fact, one day at a dental spa might make your impression about visiting the dentist do a complete 180. But even if you stick with the tried and true general dental office, there are easy ways to make your dentist visits better. For starters, preparing for a visit to the dentist can result in fewer surprises; parents of newborns can benefit immensely from first dental visit prep work. And for all you A types chomping at the bit, you can stay lengths ahead by learning common dental terminology and basic dental anatomy. With the resources in this section, you can become a pro at prepping for dental visits.
Q: How can I prepare for a dentist visit?
A: It depends on the nature of your dentist visit. If you haven't had a visit to the dentist in a while, prepare to allot enough time for a full set of dental X-rays, a visual dental exam and maybe even a teeth cleaning. If you have dental insurance, make sure your dentist accepts it and inquire about co-pays beforehand. Be prepared to share your medical history with your dentist and make a list of any problems to discuss. After an exam, your dentist will present a treatment plan, and it's important to ask plenty of questions about treatment time, cost and post-treatment recovery so that you can plan accordingly. For specific dental treatments like a root canal, be sure to ask your dentist if any medications or supplements you're taking are off-limits. And if you have dental anxiety or any concerns, talk it over with your dentist. Other treatments have specific prep requirements, so be sure you follow them to a "T."
Q: What new technologies can improve my dental visit?
A: If you ever complained about a dental visit not being comfortable or taking too long, you've been heard! Advanced dental technologies make treatments more comfortable and cut down on overall treatment time. One example is Waterlase®, which uses hydrokinetic technology to remove tooth decay; no drill is needed and in many cases anesthesia isn't either! With CEREC®, you can get a dental crown, inlay or onlay in a day. And a tool like Endolase® makes root canals take far less time.
Q: How should I prepare for my child's first dental visit?
A: The first dental visit can be intimidating for a little one, but it doesn't have to be. Parents can help create a positive image of dental visits in at least four ways: 1) Read books about going to the dentist with your kids. This is a fun and easy way to familiarize your little one with the dentist before a dental visit, giving you the chance to explain why it's important and what's involved and your kid the chance to ask questions; 2) Bring your kid to one of your dental visits. This way, your little one can get used to being in a dental office environment; 3) Select a pediatric dental office. Pediatric dentists (and their staff) specialize in treating little ones - they have both the technical and interpersonal know-how to make a dentist visit comfortable for kids. Plus, their offices are usually stocked with toys and other fun stuff; and 4) Avoid using words like "scared" and "pain" when you visit the dentist, especially before your child's first dental visit.
Q: Why is it so important to visit the dentist every six months?
A: First and foremost, regular dental visits are key for preventive reasons: They help your dentist monitor your oral health and manage dental problems as they arise. Secondly, a visit to the dentist is necessary for restorative reasons: If you have a broken tooth, a toothache, a missing tooth, a cavity or other type of dental problem, it needs to be treated — and the sooner the better for you and your wallet! What many people don't realize is that a dentist visit can oftentimes clue you into other, more serious problems like diabetes and heart disease. In this way, your mouth is a window to your overall health — and your dentist is the one looking through it.