What to Expect During Your First Dental Visit in a While

February 25, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — dooley @ 6:13 am
Woman at dentist

Has it been a while since the last time you went to the dental office for a cleaning or checkup? You certainly aren’t alone. According to the American Dental Association, approximately 43% of Americans don’t see a dentist as often as they should. There are all sorts of reasons why you may have gotten a bit off track, but it is never too late to start caring for your oral health. Continue reading to learn more about what you can expect during your first dental checkup with your dentist in Spring Lake after a hiatus.

How Long Will Your Appointment Last?

For your first appointment in a while, it is a good idea to plan for extra time in order to fill out paperwork related to contact information, health history, and dental insurance if you have it. After you complete this, you can get started! You’ll want to reserve about an hour so that your dental team has plenty of time to get everything done and answer any questions you may have about your smile or dentistry in general.

What Are the Steps of a Dental Appointment?

Here are the main steps that you can expect to experience during your next visit:


Having x-rays taken on a regular basis helps your dentist to see issues that are not easily detectable by the naked eye. This includes jawbone issues, impacted teeth, tooth decay, and other problems. This process is 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 process only takes a few seconds.


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.


After your cleaning is complete, your mouth will be examined by your dentist. 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 all findings with you and what steps are next.

Ask Questions

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 you head out, you should schedule your next appointment so that you don’t accidentally forget. This way, you can stay on track towards a healthy, happy smile!

About the Author

Dr. Edward J. Dooley is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for nearly four decades. After earning his dental doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Dental Medicine, he served at a Dental Officer in the Navy. Currently, he is a member of numerous professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. If it has been a while since your last visit to the dentist, he’d be happy to help you get back on track. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit his website or call (972) 495-8100.

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