Are you taking full advantage of your time at the dentist? Asking questions is a great way to start taking a more active role in your dental health. Keep reading for our list of 7 important questions we’re always hoping patients ask during their dental exams.
1. How can I improve my dental health?
During your exam, your dentist will look for and explain areas of future concern as well as any current issues. Pay attention to this information and use it as an opportunity to ask follow-up questions.
Ask your dentist for a summary of your overall dental health, how you can better manage your daily care, and any other areas you can improve.
A few specific dental care questions you can ask include:
- Am I brushing and flossing correctly?
- Can you demonstrate proper brushing and flossing technique?
- Are the dental tools I’m using the best choice for my teeth?
- How do my gums look?
- Are there any teeth we need to keep a closer eye on?
In addition to these questions, make sure to mention any problems you’re experiencing, even if they seem minor. If you have pain, sensitivity, or abnormalities, bring them up! Remember, catching issues early on is the key to successful treatment and the best way to ensure lifelong dental health.
2. Is there anything I should discuss with my family doctor?
We often tell our patients to think of their mouth as a window to their overall health. This is because a range of whole-body health issues begin by displaying symptoms in the mouth. For example, certain changes in your mouth can be a sign of conditions such as:
- Vitamin deficiencies
Additionally, research suggests common dental issues like gum disease can lead to heart disease, stroke, and other problems like premature birth.
Your time with the dentist is a great time to ask if there are any dental concerns you should discuss with your primary care provider. Find out if your dentist needs to know anything from your doctor as well. For instance, let your dentist know if you recently started taking medication, as it could cause dental complications (like dry mouth).
3. What are the warning signs of gum disease?
A startling 1 out of every 2 American adults age 30 and older
Gum disease is not an issue to ignore, yet the majority of those who have the disease either haven’t been diagnosed or are not actively seeking treatment.
During your regular dental exam, your dentist will look for signs of gum disease and also assess your future risk of developing gum disease. Knowing your risk level and how to watch for these signs yourself is also important. Ask your dentist what to watch for and what kind of preventive steps you can take to keep this dangerous disease at bay.
If you are showing symptoms of gum disease, don’t wait to get treatment. Thanks to technological advancements, gum disease treatments today are minimally invasive and stop the disease right in its tracks
4. What foods are good (and bad) for my teeth?
Did you know that the foods you eat affect more than your general body health? They also play a role in the health of your teeth and gums!
In general, eating a diet rich in protein, leafy greens, and whole fruit is great for your mouth. While sugary, sticky, and acidic foods can cause cavities and should be avoided. Additionally, coffee, tea, and wine can stain your teeth.
If you have concerns about how your diet choices might be affecting your teeth, talk to your dentist. Together you can can discuss what food choices might be causing issues for your dental health.
Keep in mind that over-the-counter teeth whitening kits can actually do more harm than good. Many will cause tooth sensitivity and damage the roots of your teeth. Your dentist can prescribe a professional teeth whitening treatment to help you achieve a smile you’re proud of.
5. When should dental implants be considered?
Have you chipped or broken a tooth? Are you experiencing weak or decaying teeth? Did you get in an accident and lose a tooth completely? Whether you’re currently experiencing any one of these issues or simply want to be informed in case of a future issue, talk to your dentist about dental implants.
Dental implants are the best way to replace and restore missing or damaged teeth. Not only will they bring back the natural and healthy functionality of your smile, they also look and feel just like your natural teeth.
Make sure your dentist offers titanium dental implants and can offer CEREC technology in order to get the most long-lasting and natural results.
6. Will you conduct an oral cancer screening?
Oral cancer can be a life-threatening disease, so it’s important to be screened regularly. While traditional oral cancer screenings were done with the naked eye, modern dental technology now allows dentists to take a more effective approach.
Here at Neish Dentistry, we use the VELscope, a minimally-invasive and highly thorough tool that allows us to accurately identify oral cancer or precancerous growths early on. It’s a completely painless process and takes just a few minutes.
7. Can you help me overcome my dental anxiety?
If you get nervous before visiting the dentist, you’re not alone. An estimated 60% of the population has anxiety about going to the dentist. It’s okay to be nervous as long as you don’t let it stop you from taking care of your mouth.
If you have feelings of anxiety, bring it up at your appointment! A trusted dental team will be more than happy to help you overcome this fear. For example, you may feel more relaxed if your dental team explained every step of the exam to you, paid close attention to anything causing you discomfort, and offered comfort amenities to help you relax.
Our Neish Dentistry team has purposefully designed the most comfortable dentist office in Beaverton to help alleviate this fear. We’re committed to your comfort and satisfaction and we’ll do everything we can to help you feel relaxed.
“Dr. Neish and his team are very professional while making you comfortable during your visit. They keep up-to-date on all the current dentistry advancements and always provide all the information needed when making recommendations.”
Have questions? We’d love to answer them!
Great dental health is possible when you take an active role in your care! Don’t pass up the opportunity to ask questions and get valuable advice from your dentist.
Our Beaverton dental team strongly believes in working closely with our patients to provide integrative, proactive, and personal dental care. If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, now is a great time to make a dental exam appointment. Give us a call at (503) 641-1600. We’re here to listen to your questions and work together to get you on a path toward lifelong dental health.