Listening to the various opinions from people, concerning the pain (mental and physical) of going to a dental surgery, made me realise that everyone is in need of some basic dental tips! A lot of complaints center on the perception that the dentist charge patients for many unjustified work done. What many people refuse to register is the fact that if you don’t take care of your gums and teeth, see a dentist only when you’re in pain, then the chances are that you will need of a lot of work done.
Dental pain can easily be prevented by doing a few of the following:
Brush and Floss Daily
The number one dental tip to keep those cavities and gum troubles away is to keep your dentist and/or hygienist happy by regular brushing and flossing of teeth. It can be quite upsetting to see a patient who purposely comes in for a Scale & Polish (S&P) every 4-6 months because they don’t plan on clean their teeth regularly. For some reason, some people think that going for a S&P regularly renders at-home cleaning obsolete. This is not true!
A S&P is a once off thorough clean which can make your future brushing and flossing regime easier, but it doesn’t REPLACE at-home dental care! Don’t be a dental pain-in-the-ass and just take care of your gums and teeth.
Go for Check Ups
The next dental tip goes hand in hand with your regular at-home dental care. Going to check-ups will keep and eye one how your gums and teeth are and let you know of any dental troubles before things progress too far. The frequency of your checks will vary depending on your own oral health and how well you maintain it. Usually patients go for a check and a S&P every 6 months, some patients with gum trouble/disease will likely have to be seen more frequently, and the best patients who care for their teeth will have a check once a year at the very least.
See a Dentist You Like (and likes you)
This dental tip focuses more on the relationship side of dentistry. Going to see the dentist is a lot like going to see the doctor, you build up a relationship of trust and understanding over a period of time. Unlike the doctor however, you see your dentist a lot more regularly and on a more intimate level (they are working in your mouth), so it can be quite problematic if you don’t trust the dentist to work on your teeth. It can be quite difficult and frustrating working in a patients’ mouth if they’re too tense to let you get any work done!
Another handy thing with seeing a dentist you like is that, if they like you in return, you might get freebies such as toothpaste, floss, toothbrush or even a discount on your bill!
Stick with the Same Dentist
This dental tip can save you money and it’s also good to see the same dentist over a period of time so that they have a history of your oral health. The dentist won’t know if any dental problems are rapidly progressing or being maintained if they have no benchmark to work with. Another thing is that dentists must have recent records of your teeth before they can proceed with any treatment. X-rays are usually taken and a consultation made before treatment begins as a standard, however if you keep changing dentists you’ll find that you have to repeatedly pay for that consult and sometimes those x-rays.
Transfer Your File
This dental tip is especially important for those who move around a lot. Tell your new dentist to contact the old one to transfer your file so that the new surgery can be better informed of your dental issues as well as maybe saving you some money. You can attempt to ask them to hand over your file however most dental surgeries (and medical clinics) tend not to trust patients with their own file because they usually end up misplaced. These documents can be legally binding, and so if it is misplaced, the practitioner will get into a lot of trouble.
Know your Medical History
This isn’t really a dental tip but more of a general medical tip for your own benefit. Although some medical conditions do not have any effects on your trip to the dentist, it’s safer to just disclose everything you know. Something as common as allergies, diabetes or smoking habits can make a huge impact on your treatment plan. If you take any kind of medication (natural or not/legal or not), inform the surgery and write it down on your medical history form. The most important part is to keep the medical history updated especially if you end up in a hospital, this can cover your ass from any possible future dental pain or reactions.
If in doubt, ASK
The final dental tip would be to ASK! There’s only so much a dental professional can disclose to you in that short time frame you’re with them, and half the time we avoid talking to patients so that we can do our jobs. Most (if not all) dental surgeries have pamphlets with abundant information on almost any dental topic you can think of, so don’t hesitate to take one and read it. If there aren’t any lying around, ASK! Even if they don’t have any information in surgery, they can help redirect you and give you something to look up.