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What to Expect During Your First Dental Exam

Your first dental exam is a big deal, and it’s important to know what to expect to reduce anxiety. Whether this first exam is for you or your child, understanding the purpose and flow of the meeting and oral health screening can help put you at ease.

Before the AppointmentImage by <a href="">Freepik</a>

New patients will always need to fill out medical forms and submit care information. Many dentists, including the office of Dr. Barry Buchanan, provide the new patient forms online. Filling these out in advance can save you time and stress when going for your appointment. 

Make sure you plan to take enough time off of work or school for your appointment so you’re not feeling rushed. Plan to arrive for your appointment about 15 minutes early so you can finish any necessary paperwork and the staff can prepare for your visit. 

Be sure to bring any necessary identifications, such as your driver’s license, as well as your insurance cards. 

What to Expect at the First Appointment

Typically, a dental appointment will last approximately 30 to 45 minutes. You can expect a full examination of your entire mouth during the first exam. These exams usually involve the dentist visually examining your teeth, jaws, overall bite, and oral tissues. For children during their first exam, the dental professional will additionally look for dental growth and development. They will also provide a gentle oral cleaning followed by polishing the teeth. 

Your dentist will often provide a tutorial on how to properly floss and brush your teeth. The dentist might also take X-rays to check for anything that cannot be visually assessed. And this is the best time to ask any questions about oral health concerns you might have or explore treatment options should they apply to your situation. 

What to Expect After the First Appointment

The first exam with a dentist is typically a pain-free experience. However, if you experience minor soreness, over-the-counter pain relievers can help. If your dentist gives you any aftercare instructions, be sure to follow them exactly as prescribed for the best results. 

We Can Help!

The professionals at Dr. Barry Buchanan’s office work hard to ensure you have a comfortable experience at the dentist. We’re happy to talk to you about alleviating your anxiety and how we can make your child’s first exam even more fun! And we can walk you through any additional questions about what to expect during your first dental exam. Give our office a call today