If You Haven’t Been to the Dentist in Years, Here’s What to Expect

We often find that many new patients who come in for a cleaning are long overdue. If you haven’t been to the dentist in years, first of all, do not be embarrassed or ashamed. We see teeth of all shapes and sizes, some very healthy and others in need of some TLC. No matter how long it’s been, it’s never too late to get back in the chair.

When scheduling your appointment, make sure that you are honest when reporting your last dental visit, as it will give your dentist and hygienist an idea of what to expect, what tools are needed, and how long the appointment will be.

If it’s been a few years since your last cleaning, here is what you might expect at your appointment:

1. Bleeding gums. When your hygienist goes to floss your teeth, you will likely experience some bleeding. This occurs because your gums are not used to the pressure of the floss excavating between your teeth and gums. You can prevent some of this bleeding by flossing thoroughly, every day prior to your appointment.

2. Since you have not had your teeth professionally cleaned in some time, you can expect a significant amount of plaque build up on the surface of your teeth. It is for this reason that your cleaning may take longer than usual.

3. X-rays. Your dentist will want to take X-rays of your teeth and mouth to make sure that no serious problems have developed in the time since your last appointment. From the X-rays, your dentist will be able to assess your oral health in its entirety and then provide any necessary treatment recommendations from there.

4. Comprehensive mouth-check. After your teeth have been cleaned by the hygienist, your dentist will meticulously check your mouth for cavities, signs of gum disease, and possible problems that could have occurred. If you haven’t been to the dentist in over 10 years, it is likely that you will need to fill a cavity and/or take preventative action against gum disease.

5. One-on-one conversation. After your examination, you will want to chat with your dentist about next steps. You may have to make a follow up dental appointment for a filling, or perhaps you will be referred out for a more intensive procedure. Before leaving the office, make sure to schedule an appointment for six months out to continue on your journey to optimal dental health.

We understand that visiting the dentist every six months can be hard on your schedule, but we cannot stress enough the importance of bi-annual cleanings. You may feel as though life gets in the way of your oral health, but if the proper preventative measures aren’t taken, your oral health may start getting in the way of your life.

Whether it’s been six months or 16 years, Arvada Dental Center is happy to see you for a consultation and cleaning. Call 303.720.7465 today!


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