Most of us don’t exactly love going to the dentist. At best, it’s a tolerable chore or good excuse to miss an hour of work — and at worst, it’s an anxiety-riddled nightmare. We get it!
To help ease your worries, we’re here to walk you through a routine dental cleaning and exam step by step.
Hear it straight from a current Madison Family Dental patient:
First: check in and hang out in the waiting room
When you walk into Madison Family Dental’s office, you’re greeted right away by someone at the front desk. It only takes a minute to confirm your personal details and get checked in.
After that, you can hang out in the comfortable waiting room and help yourself to coffee, tea, and a variety of magazines. Be sure to take a look at all of the artwork on the walls — there are so many beautiful photographs that have actually been taken by Madison Family Dental staff members over the years! It’s really cool to see.
One of my favorite things about going to MFD is that they respect your schedule. I’ve never gotten in late for an appointment — within a few minutes of getting checked in, your hygienist will come to bring you back to your exam room.
Second: discuss any questions or concerns with your hygienist
Before your hygienist starts actually working in your mouth, you’ll have the opportunity to talk through any questions or concerns you have. This is a great time to let them know if anything has changed since your last visit, especially your medications. It’s also nice to just catch up and get to chat for a few minutes about general life updates.
Third: relax while your hygienist cleans your teeth
Having to sit still while someone cleaned, scraped, and flossed my teeth was always my least favorite part of going to the dentist. Thankfully, though, Madison Family Dental makes it easier than I ever thought possible!
You can listen to music to help you relax, and your hygienist will take care to make sure you’re comfortable throughout the entire process. Some of our rooms even have massaging patient op chairs! During a routine cleaning, your hygienist will:
- Perform a physical exam with a small mirror to check your teeth and gums for any concerns.
- Use a vibrating tool called a scaler to remove plaque and tartar from your teeth. This is fast and doesn’t require too much scraping at all — I usually barely feel it!
- Polish your teeth with a high-powered electric toothbrush. One of my favorite things is how great Madison Family Dental is about taking regular breaks to let you rinse your mouth. I’ve always hated that gritty polish feeling, and they do a great job of preventing it.
- Floss between your teeth and around your retainers.
- Thoroughly rinse your mouth again so that you don’t feel any uncomfortable residue from your cleaning.
At every other appointment, or once a year, you’ll also have x-rays and periodontal (gum) pocket measurements taken. The x-rays are easy and done right in the comfort of your exam room dentist chair — and the pocket measurements don’t feel like anything more than subtle pressure around the roots of your teeth.
Before you know it, your cleaning will be done!
Fourth: talk to your dentist about needed treatment
Once your teeth are cleaned and polished, your dentist will come in to do a full examination. He or she will look at all of your teeth, existing dental treatments, retainers, and soft tissue to make sure everything is in top shape.
Depending on what your dentist finds, you might just be asked to schedule your next routine cleaning for six months out — or you might need to come in to get additional treatment like a filling. Either way, I promise it’s no big deal!
Madison Family Dental performs restorative treatments in-house, so the same dentist you’ve already come to trust will be able to take care of all of your follow-up services.
Fifth: schedule follow-ups and be on your way
You can either schedule your next appointment right away after your cleaning, or you can wait and call back at a later date. I personally like to schedule right away so that I don’t have to worry about setting a reminder or possibly forgetting — otherwise I find myself scrambling once I hit that six-month mark. Plus, you have more options for dates and times that fit with your schedule.
If you need any additional treatment, your hygienist will take you back to the business office where another Madison Family Dental staff member will walk you through your insurance information and estimated out-of-pocket costs. They’ll be there to answer any questions you have and make sure you’re completely comfortable before you head home.
And that’s it — you’ll be in on time, out on time, and off to enjoy the rest of your day.
Madison Family Dental hopes to see you soon!
Our staff is trained to prioritize your comfort at every appointment with Madison Family Dental, and we’re always here to answer any questions you have. We hope to see you soon — and help you have a good dentist experience to remember!