We know going to the dentist for the first time in a while can be a little scary. For many patients, a lot of this fear can come from overthinking or uncertainty about what to expect. Well, you can rest assured that your first dental visit will be short and won’t involve intensive or painful procedures, but there are a number of additional steps you can take to help alleviate your jitters. These first appointments are mainly so Dr. Scott Edwards and Dr. Julia Prince can get to know you and your dental needs, and then establish a personalized treatment plan to help you discover a beautiful, healthy smile. If you’re feeling anxious about your upcoming appointment with us, then you’ve come to the right place: keep reading below to learn about taking the fear out of your first dental visit to the office of Dr. Scott Edwards, DDS.
Keep up with your dental hygiene
Making sure that your teeth and gums are healthy is always important, but it’s can help make your dental appointments quicker and less treatment-intensive. Tooth decay and gum disease are easily avoidable with just a bit of daily effort to stick to the basics of dental hygiene! These guidelines will help you maintain clean teeth, a healthy mouth, and fresh breath:
- Brush at least three times a day, ideally after each meal and once before bed.
- Use fluoridated toothpaste and a toothbrush with soft bristles.
- Brush gently at a 45-degree angle toward the gum line, moving the toothbrush in a circular pattern across the teeth to effectively remove bacteria and any trapped food particles.
- Floss at least once per day to remove bacteria and any food that has accumulated throughout the day.
- Replace your toothbrush every 3-4 months, or sooner if you have a cold or any other illness.
- Use antimicrobial and fluoridated mouthwashes to help further improve your oral health.
We can easily and painlessly treat most dental issues here at the offices of Dr. Scott Edwards, DDS, but we know it can be less stressful coming in for an appointment when you’re certain that you’ve been doing all you can to maintain your smile!
Before your appointment
When you schedule your appointment with us, ask for an estimate of how long the examination and cleaning are likely to take—then add a bit to it! Giving yourself enough time off school or work will help you feel less rushed, and you’ll also be less anxious about getting back by a certain time.
If it’s been a while since your last visit, you may need to spend a little more time in the chair, so you might want to take that into account as well. If you’d prefer to avoid rushing altogether, an end-of-day appointment may be a good idea since you’ll be able to head home as soon as we’re finished.
Our website gives you the option to fill out your patient forms online, but if you plan to fill out your forms in our office, you should arrive a few minutes before your appointment time in order to do so. You’ll want to have your driver’s license and insurance card ready when you check in at the reception desk. We kindly ask that you call us as soon as possible if you are unable to make it to your appointment on time. We’ll be happy to arrange a new date and time that works for you.
Know what to expect at your first visit
During your first visit to our Memphis office, our team will take down a full health history for you. On subsequent visits, you’ll just need to let us know if your health status has changed in any way. Most of our dental visits are simply checkups. Scheduling regular checkups will help keep your teeth and gums in great shape, and also allow us to catch potential problems early on. This can often keep them from developing into something more serious.
Regular checkups with us will generally include a complete cleaning, which will be performed by one of our dentists or one of our dental hygienists. We use a special instrument to scrape below the gum line, removing any built-up plaque and tartar. This reduces your risk of developing cavities, gum disease, bad breath, and other dental issues. Following this, we may also polish and floss your teeth before carrying out an in-depth examination of your teeth, gums, and mouth.
The longer you wait between dental checkups, the more hard tartar can build up on your teeth and around the gum line. A deep cleaning session to remove this tartar can be mildly uncomfortable for some patients, but it’s worth it for how clean and smooth your teeth feel afterward! Your comfort is our priority, so if your jaw feels sore or you have any pain while we’re cleaning, don’t be afraid to let us know. We’ll be happy to give you a break.
Please let us know if you suffer from sensitive teeth when you schedule your appointment, when you arrive, or when you get in the chair. We can often offer you a variety of numbing options before we begin the cleaning process. During the exam, one of our dentists will inspect your teeth and mouth for any potential problems. This includes signs of tooth decay, gingivitis, and gum disease. We’ll also discuss any concerns you have or go over any problems you’ve been experiencing, such as toothaches or increased sensitivity.
Keeping you comfortable during your visit
Our team is committed to helping you feel comfortable and cared for during every visit to our office. Our expert team has been trained to respond to any anxiety you may be feeling over your appointment, and we’ve created a relaxing atmosphere with spa-like amenities to keep things as stress-free as possible. These include:
- hospitality water and coffee bar
- convenient wireless internet access
- cozy blankets
- paraffin hand wax
- sound-blocking headphones
- flat-screen satellite TVs
- satellite radio
- sedation options
- warmed aromatherapy towels
- a variety of courtesy toiletries
We’ll do whatever we can to make your visit with us a pleasant one!
Follow-up care after your first visit
If it’s been a while since you had a checkup, you may experience some slight tenderness after your visit. This can also happen if you’ve had a deep cleaning or had any dental work done. For tenderness, ask our dentists about taking an over-the-counter pain reliever. Be sure to call our office if you experience any pain or swelling so we can advise you on the next steps.
If your mouth is healthy, we recommend an exam and cleaning every six months. If we find anything during your visit that requires further treatment, you should make an appointment before leaving the office. You’ll likely need to be seen sooner than you normally would so we can take care of the issue in a timely manner.
If you have questions or concerns at any point during your visit, don’t hesitate to bring them up! We always want you to feel valued, respected, and confident in your decision to trust us with your smile.
Trust your smile to expert dentist Dr. Scott Edwards
Whether you’re looking for a new dental practice or we just haven’t seen you in a while, we’d love to have you in! We work hard to make you feel welcome and comfortable, so you never have to fear a checkup in our office. To keep your smile looking and feeling great, get in touch today to schedule an appointment!