What to Expect at the Dentist If It Has Been a While

We get it: sometimes life can get in the way of regular dental cleanings and exams. So if it’s your first time back at Southwest Smiles Family Dentistry after a long hiatus, don’t worry – we are so glad to have each one of our patients visit our Austin dental office! Our team will take special care to thoroughly examine your oral health and ensure that you’re comfortable each step of the way. Read on to learn more about what to expect during your first appointment after a long break.

Dental X-Rays

After a long time without visiting the dentist, your teeth have likely shifted and you may have some areas of tooth decay, cavities, and gum disease. To develop a full picture of your oral health, our team will take new dental X-rays. These X-rays allow us to check for potential problems invisible to the naked eye, such as tooth decay in hard-to-reach places or crowding issues presented by erupting wisdom teeth.

Professional Dental Cleaning

Daily brushing and flossing can remove most of the plaque that is responsible for odor, cavities, and irritated gums, but a professional cleaning is necessary to eliminate hardened plaque, called tartar or calculus. If it’s been a while since your last professional dental cleaning, our dental hygienists will spend some extra time cleaning off the plaque and tartar from your teeth. We’ll especially focus on the the nooks and crannies that are difficult to reach during at-home oral hygiene care.

Cavity Detection & Treatment

If we detect any cavities, depending on the severity of damage, we may recommend a filling, root canal therapy, or a tooth extraction. A cavity is a hole or pit created in your tooth enamel by acids. If left untreated, cavities can cause the spread of tooth decay to neighboring teeth, tooth loss, and bone loss. While regular brushing and flossing at home can help limit tooth decay and cavities, it is important to receive regular professional exams and cleanings to spot and treat any potential problem areas before they get worse.

Recommend Additional Procedures

In addition to taking X-rays of your mouth, professionally cleaning your teeth, and evaluating your oral health, expect to discuss your smile goals with our team. For patients who want a whiter, straighter smile, we can come up with an individualized treatment plan using our cosmetic dentistry services to give you the smile you’ve always wanted. Or, if you struggle with sleep apnea or temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction, we can help.

Are You Ready for Your Checkup?

Let our friendly team know if you have additional questions concerning what to expect at your next checkup, or if you need to schedule your appointment. Contact our office today!

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