What to Expect: Your First Dental Appointment and Beyond

first dental appointment

Dentists play a huge role in helping you maintain your oral health.

Finding a great dentist and visiting them twice a year for a regular evaluation is crucial for your oral health. Dentists are trained to spot signs of tooth decay and gum disease early, before they develop into much larger issues, and thoroughly clean your teeth to remove hardened tartar you can’t clean off at home; paired with the expert advice they can offer you, this helps prevent cavities and gum disease from happening in the first place. Visiting even the most talented dentist for the first time, however, can be incredibly intimidating. You may find yourself thinking, “I’ve found a great dentist near me, but what can I expect from my first dental appointment?” If this sounds familiar, we have provided a guide that may help you know what to expect during your first dental appointment and beyond.

Your new dentist will take X-rays of your teeth.

During your first dental appointment with a new dentist, you’ll almost certainly get X-rays of your teeth taken. X-rays function as an excellent diagnostic tool because they reveal problems, like failed fillings and small cavities, that may not be visible to the naked eye yet, which enables Dr. Sexton to spot issues early. This saves you the pain and expense of discovering them later on when they’re bigger and require more extensive treatment. Taking X-rays also gives Dr. Sexton up-to-date X-rays to place in your file and compare to any old X-rays he may have received from your previous dentist.

You’ll get a consultation with your dentist.

Once Dr. Sexton has taken your X-rays and evaluated your teeth, you’ll have the opportunity to spend time speaking to him. Dr. Sexton will speak honestly to you about the state of your oral health and offer advice about how to care for your teeth and gums better, such as suggesting a special toothpaste or mouthwash that’s more tailored to your individual needs. If you need any treatments to improve your oral health, he will discuss your options with you thoroughly, with an honest look at how long each treatment will take, its pros and cons, and what it is likely to cost. Your consultation won’t just involve Dr. Sexton talking to you, though; you can also use this time to share your goals for your oral health and any questions or concerns you have about it or the treatments you may need.

Your dentist will use cutting-edge technology to diagnose and treat you.

Whether it’s your first visit to our office or your 20th, you can rest assured we will always use the most up-to-date technology to help evaluate your oral health and diagnose and treat any issues that may appear. We use laser teeth-cleaning techniques and digital X-rays, which provide a clearer image with zero time spent waiting for the film to develop—all with even less exposure to radiation. Additionally, Dr. Sexton may use an intraoral camera during your regular evaluations. These cameras are the size of a pen, easily maneuverable in your mouth, and connect to an iPad or TV, so you can see what he sees in real time. This enables him to more easily explain a diagnosis to you, and it can even help mitigate some patients’ dental anxiety.

If you suffer from dental anxiety, we also offer inhalation sedation for adults. Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, takes effect and wears off quickly; this means that in addition to getting a painless tooth filling, you’re able to minimize your anxiety by relaxing quickly and easily—without needing to call a ride to pick you up after a routine filling. Laughing gas wears off so quickly, you’ll be able to drive yourself home just a few minutes after your procedure is complete.

You’ll benefit from comprehensive dentistry.

Comprehensive dentistry focuses on every aspect of your dental health; we don’t just prevent and treat cavities or gum disease, rather  we look at the entirety of your smile to ensure it’s functioning properly. Your teeth don’t function in isolation, so they shouldn’t be treated that way, either. We examine your bite, as well as your individual teeth, offer treatments for pain in the joints of your jaw, and work to ensure you love the health and appearance of your smile. Dentists, like Dr. Sexton, who can provide a wide range of skilled care, from preventive to restorative and cosmetic dentistry, save you from spending countless hours tracking down specialists, getting referrals, and driving across town to see them. Instead, at our office, you’ll get treatment for virtually all of your family’s dental needs in a single location—all from the dentist you already know and trust!

You’ll enjoy our friendly staff for years to come.

A great dentist can’t accomplish much without a great staff, and our office certainly has just that! Our office is well-known for its friendly, caring atmosphere; you’ll feel welcome and appreciated from the instant you walk through our doors. The warm atmosphere of our office doesn’t vanish once we have made a good first impression, either; our amazing staff loves what they do and works hard to make sure all of our patients feel valued every time they walk through our doors. Although it’s a seemingly simple detail, a friendly, caring staff can dramatically change your experience at the dentist, helping you and your children feel more relaxed during your appointments.

Although your first dental appointment with a new dentist can be intimidating, it’s usually not too different from an average appointment; it just has a few extra steps thrown in to ensure your teeth are healthy, which can give Dr. Sexton an idea of your oral health and what you’d like to work on. Once you have laid the groundwork in this first dental appointment, you and Dr. Sexton can get to work together, helping your teeth look and feel better than they have in years! If you’re interested in setting up an appointment with Dr. Sexton, feel free to call our office at any time.