When you schedule an appointment with a dentist in Houston, it’s understandable to be a little nervous—especially if it’s been a few years since you’ve visited the dentist. To ease your nerves and to help you get prepared, here’s a quick rundown of everything you can expect from a modern dental exam.
Sign in and Greetings
Once you arrive to your dentist in Houston, the receptionist will have you fill out some new patient paperwork, provide your insurance card, and then you’ll settle in the waiting room and wait for a hygienist to call your name.
Before the appointment begins, your hygienist will ask you if you are having any problem areas or any swelling or sensitivity and if you would like to address those concerns today. After a discussion of your oral health, your hygienist will take a full set of x-rays and take intraoral pictures of any teeth that are of concern. They will also perform a pre-screening for oral cancer, screen your gums for the presence of periodontal disease, chart any existing dental work that you have records of, and take a look at your teeth and mouth to check for any signs of obvious dental pathology.
A Dental Cleaning
During your cleaning, the goal is to remove tarter, plaque, and any stains that have accumulated on the surface of your teeth. Brushing and flossing can only do so much, and some tooth buildup can only be cleaned by a professional teeth cleaning session. Regular dental cleanings contribute to excellent oral hygiene, which is pertinent for healthy living.
If you are nervous about the dentist—and don’t worry, you’re not alone—here is what you can expect during a typical cleaning at your dentist in Houston.
During the scaling part of the teeth cleaning process, your hygienist will use a small handheld tool to remove hard calculus from your teeth. If this amount is minimal, they will use a manual tool, but if you have a large amount of tarter they may use an ultrasonic scaler. This is a machine that uses a gentle vibration and streaming water to remove tarter from the teeth.
After the scaling is done, your hygienist will polish the surface of your teeth with a prophy cup, which is a small rubber cup that is attached to a polishing compound that has an abrasive effect on your teeth. This process will not only remove stains from your teeth, but it will also make it more difficult for plaque to accumulate on the tooth surface.
After the scaling and polishing is done, your hygienist will likely give you a fluoride treatment. Fluoride helps strengthen the enamel and helps your teeth protect itself from tooth decay. The fluoride treatment will typically come in the form of a gel, rinse, or varnish. Fluoride doesn’t exactly taste great, so your dentist in Houston will try to hide the flavor by adding some in like mint, cherry, strawberry, and even chocolate.
At Sair Dental, we’re dedicated to giving our patients the best care! Visit us on Fondren Road in Houston or give our office a call at 832-924-2666. We are open on Saturdays for your convenience and have a team of trained professionals ready to partner up with you for improved oral health.