Meeting with a dentist for the first time can be a daunting experience. But it doesn’t have to be. Most people avoid seeing the dentist because of fear and anxiety and visiting a new dental practice could increase stress. Knowing what to expect at a new dentist appointment can alleviate any fears you have. Here is what you can expect at your first appointment at Beach Grove Dental Tsawwassen:
The first person you will meet during your dental appointment is the receptionist. At your first appointment at our practice, the receptionist will register you as a new patient. If you have a medical condition which requires pre-medication, please be sure to request a prescription prior to you appointment, or if you are unsure, please contact the office. Prior to your consultation exam, you might be required to fill in a short questionnaire about your oral health and requested to provide a contact phone number and email address. The receptionist will answer any questions you may have about treatment, schedule or payment.
Our Hygienist & Dental Assistant
The next person you will meet is your hygienist or the dental assistant depending on your appointment. Both staff members assist Dr. Beeram in different ways. A dental hygienist blends health advocacy, technology, science, psychology and direct patient care to help people prevent or halt existing dental diseases and support total wellness. They are trained and licensed to provide professional dental care. Our patients find Beach Grove Dental hygienists to be a wealth of information about everything from easy flossing tips to toothpaste recommendations and much more. Dental Assistants are certified and registered to work in a dental practice. Although dental assistants do not provide oral care, they provide excellent support with the preparation work and with assisting dentists during procedures.
Oral Health Evaluation
At your first appointment, your new dentist will likely evaluate your oral health. Before any treatment, Dr. Beeram or the hygienist will need to know about your medical history if this is your first appointment at our practice or, if you have been to the practice before, any changes in your health such as new medications, diabetes, arthritis, pregnancy, etc. It is important that your dental care team knows about any health concerns, anxieties, or allergies you may have in advance to personalize your care and to avoid any unfortunate incidents. This initial appointment is particularly important if you haven’t seen a dentist in a while.
During your first visit, Dr. Beeram will use a metal probe with a small angled mirror, which helps him see behind and between teeth and gums, as well as check for the softening of tooth enamel and dentin. He will also check for the swelling of gums in any areas, mouth sores, and redness. He will count your teeth and any fillings that you might have, and use a dental instrument to measure the space (“pocket”) between your gums and teeth. Ideally, this pocket should only be between one and three millimeters deep, however, deeper pockets can be a sign of gum disease and thus should be closely monitored. Usually, the assistant will write everything down — a process called dental charting. This chart will form part of your dental records, and your dentist will refer to this information when you visit again in the future.Dr. Beeram always makes it a point to ensure patients are comfortable in the chair during this process, check the bite and jaw for any problems, and provide tips on how to better care for your teeth.
X-ray pictures of your teeth will be taken to check if there are any issues beneath the mouth’s surface. Dentists use x-rays to monitor gum disease, oral infections, cavities and even some types of oral tumors, making them a crucial component of your dental care program. X-rays usually do not hurt and can take as little as a few minutes to complete. This involves biting down on a piece of specially designed plastic while an x-ray imaging machine is placed against your cheek. The resulting image will show the visible parts of your teeth and roots below the gum line and your jawbones, allowing Dr. Beeram to look for signs of disease, oral cancer, teeth grinding etc., and plan your oral care as needed.
After the dental exam is complete, Dr. Beeram will advise you of next steps. Sometimes it may involve another appointment or Dr. Beeram may advise you about oral care.
It is important you see your dentist regularly. Research shows that frequent dental visits prevent gum disease, cavities, oral cancer and tooth decay. After your initial dental exam, the dentist’s receptionist will schedule a follow-up appointment. Scheduling your next appointment right away is the easiest and most effective way to ensure that you don’t forget to have your dental checkup regularly. If you have any questions or concerns about any part of your visit or your scheduled visits, make sure to ask the receptionist.
Each of us can relate to getting home and realizing there is a question we forgot to ask. No problem. Beach Grove Dental has a Facebook page and you can submit your dental-related question online and Dr. Beeram or our wonderful staff will address it.