Tips for Talking to Your Dentist
Your dentist is there to help you recover or maintain optimum oral health. Communicating clearly and regularly with your dental provider is critical to enjoying healthy teeth and gums.
Read below for some tips to help you talk to your dentist about oral health in general and any oral or other medical issues you may be experiencing.
- Understand that your twice-yearly dental checkup is an opportunity for more than just getting your teeth cleaned and having your dentist check for cavities. It’s an essential part of preventative care.
- Before heading to the dentist, make a list of any concerns you may have or any questions you want to ask your dentist. Do you have pain or sensitivity in your mouth or on your teeth? Do your gums bleed when you brush them? Do you have sores in your mouth that aren’t healing? Are you having a hard time flossing or brushing (chipped teeth can make flossing problematic; arthritis can make it hard to floss)? Do you clench or grind your teeth?
- Make sure your dental care provider has a listing in your file of all medications you’re taking. Be sure to let the dentist know when changes in the dosages are made, or when you’ve added a medication to your regime or have removed one. The reason for making sure your dentist knows of your prescriptions is because some can make your blood thinner, thereby increasing the chance for bleeding during dental work. Don’t forget to let your dentist know of any non-prescription drugs and supplements (vitamins and minerals) you take, as well.
- Bring updates about your medical history. Did you recently have surgery? Make sure the dentist knows. Have you been diagnosed with diabetes, or are you pre-diabetic? Tell your dentist because diabetes can have an adverse impact on your teeth and gums.
- Ask for an update on new procedures, research or techniques that can help you take better care of your mouth and teeth.
- If your dentist recommends a procedure, or if he says you have a condition that needs immediate attention, you don’t have to agree to the work right away. Ask for places you can research the procedure or condition and then do some reading on your own. Make sure you perform research on legitimate dental/oral health sites such as the American Dental Association, WebMD, or other well-respected website. If the treatment or procedure is a large one, don’t be shy about seeking a second opinion. Any true professional, in fact, will encourage you to do so.
Schedule your next dental appointment with Plano dentist Dr. Darren Dickson today. Call us by phone or send us an e-mail message at [email protected].
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net