Haven’t Had a Dental Appointment in a Long Time? Here’s What to Expect

By Dr. James Forester | Feb 16, 2022 | General Oral Care, Gentle Dentistry
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We often see patients at Lifetime Smiles in Johns Creek who haven’t had a dental appointment in a long time. Although most dental experts typically recommend a visit every 6 months, some people allow those months to turn into years and sometimes even decades.

We find people avoid the dentist for several different reasons:

  • You might fear the dentist because of a bad childhood experience or because of the movies.
  • You don’t want to find out that something is wrong.
  • You’re embarrassed to visit the dentist and admit how long it’s been since your last visit.
  • Life moves too fast! You don’t even have time to schedule an appointment, much less actually go to one. Days turn into months, months turn into years and before you know it, you haven’t professionally cleaned your teeth in 6 years. But now is the time!

Whatever your reasons for not visiting the dentist over the last few years, let us reassure you of a few things:

  • You don’t need to be afraid of us. Advancements have made going to the dentist a much easier visit than in the past.
  • You don’t need to feel embarrassed and we certainly won’t make you feel ashamed. We love meeting new patients!
  • In case you have something to be addressed, you will receive options to solve your dental issue and be able to choose the one that best fits your needs.
  • We get it…life does move fast, which is why we’ve made scheduling appointments so easy and we provide a variety of times to suit your needs.

Most importantly, you should know that dentistry has changed significantly over the last decade. As a self professed “continuing education junkie,” Dr. Forester has stayed on the forefront of integrative dentistry, dental technology, and best practice.

If it has been awhile since your last visit to the dentist, here are a few things you can expect that you may not remember from your last visit.

Integrative dentistry for excellent oral and body health

Dentistry is no longer just about drilling holes and filling cavities. You may not realize it, but oral health is related to body health.

For instance, there is a correlation between periodontal disease and heart disease. Inflammation in the mouth triggers inflammation in the body, which drives heart attacks and strokes.

As you can see, the entire body’s health system is interconnected. This means that good oral health is important for good bodily health, and it also means that a trip to the dentist might reveal health issues like diabetes or cancer in the early stages. For more on this, you can read our blog post on integrative dentistry.

Advancements in technology

We’ve all experienced unprecedented advancements in technology over the last few decades, and the dental industry has not been exempt. New approaches and advancements have made many of the painful, uncomfortable, and complicated processes of the past much easier.

Some of these advancements include:

  • Airway screening and solutions for snoring/sleep apnea
  • Velscope provides new techniques for cancer detection that allow us to identify problem areas early
  • Salivary diagnostics (oral DNA) to test for gum disease
  • Digital scanning instead of gooey impressions
  • Newer restorative materials that look and feel natural
  • Botox/filler solutions for headaches/clenching/grinding

As you can see, dentistry has come a long way. Ultimately, we want to ensure a healthy smile and a healthy body. The earlier we can identify an issue, the easier it will be to treat it and prevent it from becoming a major one.

Even if it has been years since your last appointment, visiting the dentist now can save you pain and problems in the future.

The perfect dental appointment — professional teeth cleaning and a consultation

We take a consultative approach with everything we do. During your first visit, this includes having a complete series of x-rays taken and a cleaning appropriate for your gum condition. Also during this appointment, you will meet Dr. Forester and discuss your dental history, goals, and expectations.

The cleaning is important because plaque and calculus build up over time and can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Calculus is problematic for many patients because they cannot remove it at home; you need to visit the dentist for removal. We’ll also polish your teeth to remove some of the stains, giving them a nice, smooth feeling.

Keeping your smile and body healthy is about more than visiting the dentist. We also work with our patients to discuss habits that will help ensure a healthy smile.

Rather than telling our patients what they should do, we take the time to develop a relationship and to teach them about their health.

If any problems are identified with the x-rays or during your cleaning, then Dr. Forester will discuss treatment options.

“We help patients solve the root cause of a dental problem instead of treating the symptoms or placing a band-aid over the problem. We are passionate about working with you to co-develop a customized plan of treatment that meets your needs and allows you to achieve a beautiful smile at a comfortable pace.”

We do this because we really care about our patients. We treat each person with respect, as if they are a member of our own family.

We’ll give you personal attention and we will take the time to develop a long-term relationship because we want you to keep that smile for a lifetime.

See the difference at your next dental appointment!

If that sounds different than what you were expecting out of your dentist, then great! We strive to be different and go above and beyond for our patients.

If you’re in the Johns Creek, Georgia area then we would love for you to contact us to schedule your dental appointment today. We love meeting new patients!