It is important to visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings. Plus, a lot can happen in six months, including some questions that you may have thought of in-between visits. Being an informed patient is one of the best things you can do for your dental health. Whether it is a question relating to your daily dental hygiene, or you are wondering about an upcoming dental procedure, having the right answers is crucial. Here are a few questions that you should ask your dentist before treatment.
Is My Daily Routine Effective?
Proper dental health starts at home. While getting regular cleanings can help with plaque buildup and cavity prevention, what dictates your overall tooth health is your daily habits. If you brush your teeth thoroughly (at least for two minutes, twice a day) and floss, you may be in an excellent position for healthy gums and teeth. However, sometimes you may be lacking in efficiently cleaning one or two areas of your mouth. Your dentist should be able to give you tips on how to get to those hard-to-reach areas of your mouth so you can prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Does My Pre-Existing Condition Impact Treatment?
If you have a pre-existing condition, disease, or health issue that you think may impact your dental treatment, notify your dentist as soon as possible. If you are on certain medications, like blood-thinners, you may need special consideration for specific dental procedures.
Will This Hurt?
There is a genuine fear of the dentist for many people. Mainly, people worry that procedures, such as fillings, can be painful. Thankfully, there are many numbing agents that dentists use to be able to effectively numb the area to be worked on, so you won’t feel a thing. However, it Is always a good idea to touch base with the dentist before your procedure to ask about the possible pain prior, during, or after treatment. That way you can notify your dentist if you feel something that may be out of the ordinary or unusual.
How Much Does This Cost?
It is no secret that insurance can be expensive, and many companies don’t offer dental as part of their insurance packages. This leaves many patients paying out-of-pocket for dental procedures. Before any treatment, make sure to talk to the dentist office staff about any costs you may incur. If you have dental insurance, make sure to read what is included in your plan so you can be financially prepared. You may even want to call and talk to an insurance representative before you have any expensive treatment done. They can guide you on what is and what is not covered under your plan. Thankfully, many dentist offices offer affordable payment plans and financing to cover any expenses that you may not be able to afford all at once.
Do I Need Any New Dental Tools?
You would be amazed at the advances in technology when it comes to dental health. Electric toothbrushes with special timers make cleaning a breeze. Water picks can help get food out of hard-to-reach areas and small crevice. This is especially helpful if you have permanent retainers or braces. Depending on the type of treatment you are having completed, you may need to add some tools to your dental toolbox. Specialized tools, new brushes, and prescription toothpaste are just a few of the things your dentist may recommend you use at home following treatment. At a minimum, you should have a good toothbrush, floss, and toothpaste that contains fluoride to protect your teeth.
When Should I Follow Up?
After treatment, you should have a clear game plan on when you need to come back. Sometimes, especially for treatments like crowns, you may need to come back in a few weeks to finish treatment. For cleanings, you may need to return when it is time for your next checkup in six months. Before treatment, understanding the overall strategy to reach your goals is crucial to being a partner with your dental health. Sometimes it is helpful to make these appointments in advance, especially if your dental office is busy.
Do I Need X-Rays?
For most people, getting x-rays done prior to treatment isn’t a big deal. However, if you are pregnant, you will want to talk to your dentist about x-rays before treatment. They may forego any x-rays until you have given birth, or provide you with extra protection if you need them. If you have any medical condition that would need accommodation prior to getting x-rays, let your dentist know as soon as possible.
No matter what your question, your dentist should be able to give you a thorough answer before you receive any treatment. On most dentist websites, they should provide necessary information about the most common procedures. There is a lot of misinformation online, so make sure to only trust answers that come from a licensed dentist.