Seeing A Dentist When You Haven't Been In Years: Advice For Nervous Patients

If you're like most people, going to the dentist isn't exactly your idea of a great time. Still, seeing a dentist regularly for cleanings and check-ups is key to maintaining your oral health. Unfortunately, if you haven't been to the dentist in years, the idea of having even a routine cleaning done may give you feelings of anxiety. By keeping some tips and guidelines in mind as you prepare for your appointment, however, you can put your mind at ease.

Choose a Guilt-Free Dental Practice

Understand that not all dentists are created equal when it comes to how they treat their patients. The last thing you want is to be lectured by your dentist of hygienist about how terrible it is that you went all these years without dental care (you already know that). Consider looking for a dentist that advertises itself as being "judgement-free" or "guilt-free." These types of dental practices specialize in working with patients who haven't been to the dentist in awhile and will help you feel comfortable and relaxed.

Prepare for Prophylaxis

Be realistic. Even if you're not experiencing any tooth pain, there's a good chance that you could have some dental issues as a result of not having regular cleanings and exams done over the years. Expect to need more than just the "typical" cleaning; many patients who haven't had a cleaning in years will need prophylaxis, which is essentially a fancy term for a deep cleaning. 

Check Your Dental Insurance Coverage

If you have dental coverage, now is also a good time to review your policy so you know what to expect in terms of coverage. Find out not only what your out-of-pocket co-pay is for a dental visit, but what your annual deductible is and how much your insurance company will kick in for basic dental procedures (such as cavities and root canals). This is also a good opportunity to check and make sure the dentist you've chosen is within your network.

Don't Hesitate to Get a Second Opinion

Finally, remember that even if your dentist wants to do extensive work on your teeth, you always have the option of getting a second opinion before you commit to anything major. In fact, this is recommended anytime you're told that you need major dental work done. This is a great way to make sure you've explored all your treatment options before having a major oral procedure done. Contact a business, such as Louisville Family Dental, for more information.