When you are a new patient and decide to visit a dentist’s office, the initial step you can take is to schedule the first consultation. Remember that a consultation usually involves an examination and evaluation of the condition of your teeth. However, if you have not visited a dentist for some time, there is a good chance that you may be embarrassed or even worried about the current status of your teeth.
A good dentist cannot make you feel bad or be judgemental about your dental health. They simply want to restore the teeth to the best condition or improve your well-being and health. But if you are still unsure about this first appointment, it makes sense to know what to expect. This article explains what you should expect from a dental consultation.
New patient consultation
When you go for a dental consultation, besides talking to you about all your concerns and experiences, a dentist will conduct a detailed examination of the entire mouth. But this is nothing to be worried about because it’s just a thorough check so that the dentist can have the correct picture of your oral health.
A routine examination differs significantly from your initial consultation. You see, an initial consultation can sometimes take a bit longer because your dentist may want to fully discuss with you to understand a wide range of your oral health issues. In this way, the dentist can get a good picture of your dental requirements.
With routine dental consultation, the dentist’s office may ask you to complete a medical history form and dental health checklist. When you do this, it means your dentist wants to accurately and easily check the differences you report in oral health.
It’s worth noting that this checklist is simply a guideline for the dentist. This is because there can be some areas that don’t require any or much attention while others can need a bit of focus and advice from your dentist. The good thing is that the dentist may always discuss with you the specific areas they feel require to be addressed.
They will also talk with you about the reasons for making any dental decisions and their conclusions. Therefore, while this is referred to as a routine dental health consultation, all the consultations you will experience are not the same.
Key things involved in the dental consultation
As you have seen, dental consultations can differ significantly and depend on your health. That said, many dental consultations can involve the following:
Assess the oral and overall health
Keep in mind that there are several medical conditions that a dentist can spot, such as cancer. Your oral health can usually be a sign of your overall health. This is the reason why many dentists always perform detailed examinations to make sure they get enough information about your oral health and overall health.
Evaluate the risk of tooth decay
Unfortunately, there are many things out there that can lead to tooth decay. Some of these include a diet that has a high content of sugar or even acid like the ones you can find in fruit juice. Thankfully, oral issues that are caused by these things can be sorted out by changes in your lifestyle.
For example, you can find some medications that may cause a dry mouth, leading to cavities because good saliva flow assists to prevent tooth decay. Hence, your dentist can do a full assessment of the risk of cavities and may offer advice on the best ways you can prevent tooth decay.
Check for root caries
Root caries refers to a lesion that happens on the root of your tooth, usually below or close to the gingival margin. To identify a lesion, your dentist can often use a radiograph to assist in the diagnosis. Ideally, your dentist can examine some early signs of a matte look and a softening of the root surface.
It’s important to look out for root caries because as you grow older, your gums can recede to expose root surfaces, making them more susceptible. Hence, you will find that the elderly are sometimes more vulnerable to these root caries. Besides, taking some medications that tend to cause a dry mouth and reduce saliva flow can contribute to root caries.
Likewise, any person prone to root caries and has gingival recession can also suffer from root caries. Treatment for this condition usually needs restoration and an adaptation to the oral hygiene regime that involves the use of toothpaste with lots of fluoride content.
Check for gum disease
Gum diseases are quite common, and if they are not identified early, can cause a wide range of oral and even overall health problems. Therefore, you need to get your teeth and gums thoroughly checked by your dentist to prevent gum diseases.
Many people suffer from what is called a mild type of gum disease also known as gingivitis. This disease can cause the plaque to harden on the teeth to form a calcified deposit tartar or calculus.
Other people are genetically more vulnerable to the effects of plaque, so it can cause permanent and irreversible damage. This can lead to the attachment of the gum to your tooth in what is called periodontitis. In turn, this can result in gaps forming between your teeth and gums where more bacteria and plaque may collect.
As these gaps deepen, the plaque can become more inaccessible to teeth cleaning, extensive, and toxic. This may lead to more damage to the supporting bone that is around the roots of the teeth. If this is left untreated, it can lead to the loss of the tooth and other health issues.
For example, there is enough evidence that suggests that gum cells can release toxins that can go into the bloodstream and go to every part of your body where blood flows. There is also a strong link to an increased risk of heart disease and gum disease. You can eliminate all these oral and health issues with a thorough examination for gum disease.