What to Expect at a Dental Visit

A Dentist Greenville SC is a doctor that specializes in the care of the teeth, gums and jaw structure. They help you prevent and fight disease and repair decay and trauma. Here we will review what to expect when visiting the dentist!


Your First Visit

Visiting a dentist for the first time can be a little nerve-racking if you do not know what to expect. When you make your initial appointment, the office may ask for the name of your previous dentist in order to obtain records of your dental care. If you are visiting a dentist for the first time, they will establish care and determine what treatment you may require.


At this first visit, they will likely take x-rays of your entire mouth so that they are able to see what is going on inside of your teeth and under the gumline, including your jawbone structure. Your first visit may also include a preventative cleaning but if you require a more intense cleaning, you may be asked to come back for another visit. Patients with periodontal disease may need a scaling and root planing which usually takes place over two visits. During a scaling and root planing, your gums will be numbed so that the hygienist can reach well below the gum line to remove any plaque buildup.


If you only need a routine cleaning, the hygienist will use manual tools to scrape off plaque and tartar below the gum line in between your teeth that your toothbrush and floss miss. Once a year, your hygienist will also measure your gum pockets between the teeth and gum tissue to make sure that they are not too deep, measuring only between one and 3 mm. Gum pockets that Measure above four or 5 mm may require additional treatment. After your hygienist finishes cleaning your teeth, your new dentist will come examine your teeth and make sure that everything is in alignment and that you have a nice bite with no malocclusion that could cause issues.


The x-rays that were taken will help your dentist see if you have any decay that needs to be removed. If you do, the restorative treatment advised will depend on the varying degree of decay. A small area may be fixed with a simple composite filling. Larger areas of decay may require an online or even a crown. If your dentist believes that there is something more to be treated before a restoration can be placed, they may refer you to a specialist such as an endodontist for a root canal or an oral surgeon for an extraction.


How often should I visit the Dentist?

For most healthy patients, twice a year is sufficient for routine visits to your dentist. Other patients may require more frequent visits, including those who:

  • Are pregnant
  • Smoke
  • Suffer from periodontal disease
  • Are on medications that cause dry mouth
  • Patients with a weakened immune system or diabetes


These patients may find that they benefit from 3 to 4 visits per year to keep their oral health in check. Good oral health leads to better overall health so it is important to maintain a relationship with a dentist and to visit regularly, following through with any treatments that are advised.


More on Dentistry : What Does a Dentist Do?

Meet Dr. Preston Hamrick
About Your First Visit
About Your First Visit