4 Questions to Ask Your Dentist
Having a dentist and visiting the dentist regularly is important for your oral health. Canatella Dental offers comprehensive dental care, and we provide great care for patients and their families. Call us today or visit us online to book an appointment. We have two locations to serve you in Metairie LA, and New Orleans LA!
What will a dentist do on the first visit?
When you visit a new dentist for the first time as a new patient, or if you are visiting the dentist for the first time after a long period of time between visits, your dentist is going to want to familiarize themselves with your health and dental history. Many dentists now offer the option to fill in the required forms online ahead of your visit, but if they don’t you will need to fill them out upon arrival at the office. You will need to plan an additional 10-15 minutes ahead of your appointment time to arrive to fill in the forms if needed. Once you get into the chair, the dentist will ask you about your medical history from your completed forms and ask about your oral health needs, including any current concerns or past factors that could impact your treatment. After that, the dentist will then complete a thorough exam of your teeth, gums, jaw and bite to test for any areas of concern. The dentist will also take a series of pictures and x-rays as a starting point for your file to compare future pictures and x-rays to identify changes in your smile and teeth. Finally, the dentist will build a comprehensive plan that they will review with you, covering ongoing hygiene, preventative care and recommended treatment for any issues. The dentist will also make recommendations on when to book your next visits for a check up, cleanings and any additional visits needed to start treatments or follow up on concerns addressed during your visit.
What does a dentist treat?
Dentists treat a wide range of oral health concerns. Their primary focus is on preventative care to help you avoid costly, invasive and painful treatments in the future. While their exact list of treatments may differ slightly from one dentist to another, depending on their schooling and specialized areas of focus, they are able to perform common treatments such as fillings, tooth extractions, mouthguards and cosmetic dental services such as bridges and dentures. If you are unsure of the services a dentist can provide, check out their services section on their website for a comprehensive list of their services. Larger dental offices often have several dentists on staff with differing areas of interest and expertise. This allows the office the ability to offer a wider range of services within the same office and prevent their patients from having to be referred to a specialist or other dentist. When discussing your treatment plan with your dentist, ensure you ask questions about what they are able to do in office, either themselves or through one of the other dentists on staff, and what you would need to be referred elsewhere for.
How do I prepare for my appointment?
Preparing for a dentist appointment doesn’t have to be an elaborate experience. If you are consistent with brushing and flossing between appointments, you won’t need to do anything special to prepare. If you aren’t consistent with flossing, starting it up the week before your appointment isn’t going to make much of a difference. As a courtesy, it is a good idea to brush and floss a couple of hours prior to your appointment, and to try to avoid eating before your appointment. If you’re going in for a cleaning, this might seem like overkill as the hygienist is going to do a professional cleaning. Flossing and brushing ahead of time can help cut down on the amount of surface cleaning needed, and it also ensures you have fresh breath when the hygienist and dentist are looking in your mouth.
What does a dentist do for your teeth?
Dentists focus on preventative measures to ensure your teeth are healthy and strong, and you are able to keep your natural teeth for as long as possible. The easiest preventative measure is to take care of your teeth, both through your at home routine of cleaning and flossing, and through your regularly scheduled cleaning appointments with your dentist. Your dentist is able to flag any potential issues with your teeth that could cause issues down the road and recommend preventative steps to take, such as sealants on areas that could develop cavities if left as is or a mouthguard for safety during sports or to prevent teeth grinding at night. Dentists are also able to help with treatments such as tooth extractions for decayed or broken teeth, bridges and dentures for missing teeth, and teeth whitening. If you are unclear of what services your dentist is able to offer, check their website, call the office or ask your dentist on your next visit. We serve patients from Metairie LA, New Orleans LA, Harahan LA, Jackson Square LA, Bella Chasse LA, St. Bernard LA, Meraux LA, Chalmette LA, Jefferson LA, River Ridge LA, and Kenner LA.