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What to Expect If You Haven’t Seen a Dentist in a While

July 22, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — drvalentine @ 10:58 pm
Man smiling in dental chair

Has it been a while since the last time you went to the dentist for a cleaning or checkup? You aren’t alone. According to the American Dental Association (ADA), approximately 43% of Americans don’t see a dentist as often as they should. There are numerous reasons why you could’ve gotten off track, including dental anxiety, lack of insurance, or just being busy. Continue reading to learn what you can expect during your first visit back.

How Long Does a Dental Appointment Last?

For your first appointment back, it’s a good idea to plan for extra time to fill out any paperwork. This goes over your contact information, health history, and dental insurance if you have it. After this, you are ready to get started. You will want to reserve approximately an hour for your appointment so that your dental team has enough time to get everything done and thoroughly answer all of the questions that you have.

What Are the Steps of a Typical Dental Visit?

Here are the steps that you can expect to experience during your upcoming appointment:


Having x-rays taken on a regular basis helps your dentist to see issues that are not very easily detected by the naked eye. This includes any jawbone issues, impacted teeth, tooth decay, and other hidden problems. This process is very quick and painless. A lead apron will be placed over your chest and an x-ray sensor is placed in your mouth. You will be instructed when to bite down. This will only take a few seconds.

Dental Cleaning

Your dental hygienist will clean your teeth using special dental tools. They will check your gumline, remove plaque and tartar, floss your teeth, and polish them to remove surface stains.

Dental Checkup

After your cleaning is complete, your dentist will step in to take a look at your smile. They will check for signs of gum disease, tooth decay, oral cancer, and other abnormalities. This is a great time to bring up any issues that have been bothering you so they can be addressed. Your dentist will discuss any findings with you and what steps are next.


Your dental visit is a great time to learn more about oral hygiene, dental treatments, and anything else you want to know. Who is better to ask these questions to than your dentist?

Before heading out, don’t forget to schedule your next appointment. This way, you can stay on track with your oral care going forward.

About the Author

Dr. Julie Valentine offers a variety of services in one location so patients can conveniently get pretty much anything they need under one roof. This includes affordable family dentistry, dental implant placement, and same-day oral surgery. If it has been a while since your last checkup, she would be happy to help you get back on track. For more information or to schedule an appointment at her office in Beverly Hills, visit her website or call (310) 551-2955.

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