What To Expect During Your Visit To The Dentist After It Has Been A While

Dentist Blog

Have an upcoming visit to the dentist and it has been a while since you have gone?  You'll likely want to know what will happen during this appointment so that you have realistic expectations.


The dentist is going to want to take a look at what is happening inside your teeth to know if there are any problems that they need to be aware of. Having x-rays taken will be an essential part to start off your visit because of this. If it has been many years since you've visited the dentist, a full mouth x-ray will likely be part of your visit as well.  However, this type of full mouth x-ray is taken infrequently, so you won't need to have it done again anytime soon.


You should anticipate that the cleaning is going to take longer than normal if you have not visited the dentist in a while. This is due to having a lot of tartar on your teeth and under the gum line, and the hygienist simply needs to take more time to get all of that tartar off the surface to prevent gum disease from forming.  

Be aware that your dentist may do things a bit differently when taking precautions with COVID-19 still going around in the local community. While using an ultrasonic scaler is pretty common for dental appointments these days, your hygienist may use a hand scaler instead. This is due to the water that is used with an ultrasonic scaler putting a lot of droplets in the air, and the dental practice may have decided that it is not worth the risk to the hygienist. However, ultrasonic scaling may come back when it is safe.

Perio Charting

A dentist likely alternates between visits when it comes to x-rays and perio charting.  However, that first appointment will likely involve having both procedures done. If you do not know what perio charting is, it's the process of taking measurements of your gum pockets so that they can be tracked at future appointments. This can give your dentist a good baseline to determine if your gums are receding faster than normal and if they need to start taking preventative measures to reverse the process of gum disease. 


A cleaning and examination should end with dental polishing. This will help smooth out the rough surfaces on the teeth where plaque can build up, and remove any stains on your teeth that are due to neglect from not visiting the dentist frequently. 

Contact a local dentist to learn more.


26 February 2021

Dentistry for the Whole Family

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