What To Expect From A Dental Visit

If your knees start knocking at the thought of visiting the dentist, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans experience some level of fear surrounding dental care, but these checkups don’t have to be something you dread! Many people who are anxious about scheduling an appointment with a dentist aren’t sure what to expect, and what they imagine is often far worse than anything they’re likely to experience. We’re here to take the mystery out of the process and outline exactly what you can expect from a dental visit with Belle Meade Smile Center. Keep reading to learn more! 

Why are regular dental visits important?

Dental checkups are an essential part of caring for your teeth and gums, and avoiding them can be detrimental to your oral health. But did you know that missing dental visits can also affect your overall health and wellbeing? Poor dental hygiene has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease and other chronic health problems. Regular visits to the dentist will boost your oral health, improve the appearance of your smile, and contribute to a better overall quality of life! You may find that you’re able to eat, sleep, and concentrate better. Quality dental care can also improve the digestive process, reduce the chances of developing infection and inflammation, and help you maintain healthy cognitive function. 

What to expect from a dental visit

Once you’ve checked in to our Nashville office, we’ll gather a full health history on you. This will only need to be once—on subsequent visits, you’ll just need to make us aware if there are any new changes to your health. Most dental visits are regularly scheduled checkups. We encourage you to visit us every six months for the best results! This will keep your teeth and gums in good shape, and also allows us to catch any potential problems before they have the chance to develop into something more serious. 

Professional cleaning

Your checkup with us will normally include an assessment of your oral health and a complete cleaning performed by Dr. Shipp or one of our dental hygienists. During this cleaning, we’ll use a special instrument to remove any plaque or tartar tatscrape that’s accumulated below the gum line. We may also polish and floss your teeth before examining your teeth and gums. Deep cleaning like this reduces your risk of developing cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues in between visits. 

This type of cleaning may be slightly uncomfortable, especially if it’s been a while since your last checkup and tartar has built up around your teeth and gum line. We take your comfort seriously, so if your jaw feels sore or you have any pain while we’re cleaning, be sure to let us know! Similarly, if you suffer from sensitive teeth, you should alert us to this fact prior to your appointment or when you sit in the chair. We’re often able to offer a variety of numbing options before we begin cleaning your teeth for a completely comfortable experience.  

Examination and X-rays

When you trust your smile to our practice, the ultimate goal is help you maintain a healthy mouth by ensuring your dental hygiene routine is sufficient along with identifying and treating issues as soon as we can. Our office uses the latest technology to achieve this, including digital X-rays and intraoral cameras. These help us provide convenient, comfortable, and efficient oral exams! 

For the exam portion of your visit, Dr. Shipp will inspect your teeth and mouth for any potential issues, like tooth decay, gingivitis, and gum disease. The X-rays and digital photographs we capture are used in conjunction with his findings, giving us a closer look at what’s happening with the teeth, gums, and supporting bone structures. These images can also diagnose problems that may otherwise go unnoticed, such as:

  • impacted teeth
  • abscesses
  • cysts
  • tumors
  • damage to the jawbone
  • decay in between the teeth

There are few different types of X-rays that may be utilized during your initial exam with us. These include the following. 

Bitewing X-rays—these allow Dr. Shipp to see the upper and lower teeth. You’ll fbbe asked to bite down on an X-ray film holder while the images are taken.  

Periapical X-rays—these images let Dr. Shipp view the full length of 2-3 teeth and the bone that surrounds them.  

Panoramic X-rays—as the name implies, these images give Dr. Shipp the broadest view of your mouth and jaw bones. 

Cone Beam Computerized Tomography (CBCT)—this provides Dr. Shipp with a 3-D view of your mouth so he can better understand the spacing of your teeth and the adjacent structures. This tends to be a more specialized x-ray for specific procedures, so it may not be necessary for you.

After we’ve collected any X-rays we need, cleaned your teeth, and examined your mouth, you’ll have time to talk about anything that’s concerning you. If you’ve noticed anything new or want to discuss recent problems you’ve been experiencing with your oral health, we’ll be happy to talk about it before concluding your visit.

What To Expect From A Dental Visit

Trust your teeth to the expert team at Belle Meade Smile Center

When it comes to regular dental visits, remember that you’re doing the best thing for your smile! Even if you’re feeling nervous about your appointment, that should be short-lived. Any minor discomfort will be temporary, too. Your future self will thank you for getting past your fears to take care of your teeth and gums!

If your mouth is healthy, we’ll recommend an exam and cleaning every six months. If we find anything during your visit that requires further treatment, we’ll get you set up with an appointment before leaving the office. You’ll likely need to be seen sooner than you normally would so we can take care of the issue promptly. Our practice offers a variety of services to cover every need, including cosmetic, restorative, and laser dentistry. 

Whether you’re looking for a new dental practice in Nashville or just haven’t seen us in a while, we’d love to welcome you to our friendly office! Get in touch today to schedule an appointment and keep your smile healthy and happy.