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Dental Appointments: Expectation vs Reality

There is a definite misconception, especially among children, that going to the dentist is a scary ordeal. In fact, most people avoid going to the dentist at all, which means that once they do build up  the courage to brave the dental chair, their oral hygiene is far worse than it would have been had they made the appointment sooner.

In reality, with the advancement of technology and medicine – especially pain management medication – going to the dentist is no scarier or more painful than going to a regular doctor.


What should you expect at your first visit?

When you first visit a dentist, there is an assessment process, in order for the dentist to evaluate exactly what type of dental work you will need done at future appointments.

Usually, once you arrive, the receptionist will ask you to complete a form with questions about your medical and dental history. You will have to declare any allergies or prior dental surgeries that you have undergone.’

You will also be asked for your medical aid or dental insurance information.

Once inside and on the examination chair, your dentist will carry out a full examination of your mouth, teeth and gums.

At your check-up, your dentist will assess your current oral health, any risk of future disease and advise you on the care and treatment required to secure good oral health. It is important that you try to keep your teeth healthy and clean to maintain good oral health, says NHS.

It is generally advised that you visit the dentist every six months for a check-up and most likely a professional cleaning. Your dentist will then arrange for when your next appointment will be. If you need dental work done, that will also be booked with the receptionist.

The receptionist will give you a list of do’s and don’ts for the day of your procedure.