Finding a new dental office can often be a challenge. Fortunately, Harbison Hill Dentistry in Columbia, South Carolina can satisfy all your dental needs. The following will provide you with an overview of what to expect from your first visit to our dental office.
It can be easy to forget when you scheduled a dental appointment but now we're able to remind you with an Appointment Reminder via email or text message. And if it's your first visit, we'll be happy to provide driving directions. Just click on the link below to let us know how you'd like to be contacted. We'll do the rest!
Release of Records Form
Download the Release of Records Consent form.
You have the option of completing the new patient paperwork prior to your first appointment to ensure an expedient visit. Click the following link to download our new patient forms:
What to Expect at Your First Dentist Appointment
While many believe that at-home oral hygiene alone is sufficient in maintaining good oral health, regular dental cleaning appointments are crucial to rounding out your routine. Without these, the teeth and gums are susceptible to infection and decay. This can be detrimental to your oral and overall health.
We recommend you make a dentist appointment twice a year to ensure optimal oral health, but patients that are more susceptible to gum disease or cavities should consider more frequent visits.
Contact Harbison Hill Dentistry in Columbia, South Carolina at 803-661-9529 for more information on what to expect at your first checkup, or continue reading below!
Smile and Relax
Let’s face it… few things are more tedious than the process of scheduling and attending an appointment, dental or otherwise. That’s why we promise to make you comfortable, treat you with the utmost respect, and help you get on with your day. We pride ourselves on being friendly, understanding people who know what you are going through, and we promise to support you every step of the way!
What Happens at My First Visit?
First, you should schedule a dentist appointment (online, over the phone, or in-person). Be sure to set reminders on your phone or even a physical calendar so you don’t miss your appointment! Then, at your initial appointment, we'll perform a quick oral exam and check for issues such as tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems that can affect not only your mouth but your overall health. Lastly, we’ll discuss personalized treatment options that can help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health.
Dental Cleaning Expectations
Below, you will find things to expect from a typical dental cleaning appointment:
- Teeth cleaning: The main goal of cleaning is for the teeth to be cleaned and polished. Your dentist will scrub both the front and back of each tooth with a high-grade professional toothpaste and an electronic toothbrush, both of which help remove plaque and tartar that may have accumulated.
- Flossing: Your general dentist or hygienist will floss in between each tooth, which is essential for removing built-up food and keeping the gums and teeth healthy. Many people make the mistake of not flossing every day, which is why it's so important during a dental cleaning appointment.
- Troubleshooting: During your exam, your dentist will keep an eye out for cavities, gum inflammation, and other issues that may affect your oral health. If a problem is found, we may suggest a follow-up appointment to remedy the situation.
- Setting up Future Visits: Consistency is key in maintaining good oral hygiene. This not only includes regularly taking care of your smile at home but also scheduling a dental exam every 6 months or so. Life is hectic, and it can be easy for things like dentist appointments to slide to the backburner. Scheduling your appointment while at the dentist is a great way to make sure your next visit is set!
What to Expect FAQs
What is the Importance of Oral Health?
Oral hygiene is vital for eliminating harmful bacteria in the mouth. Bacteria accumulates and forms plaque that can harden, leading to long-term ailments such as gingivitis if not removed. A good dental care routine and regular 6-month checkups will keep your mouth healthy while preventing inflammation, infection, decay, and tooth loss.
Why Get a Dental Exam?
Dental exams help us in evaluating the effectiveness of your current routine while providing suggestions to protect you from common complications such as cavities and gum disease. They also allow us to quickly and easily detect and fix problems.
How Can You Prepare for a Dental Exam?
Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to prepare for your upcoming dental exam. We recommend brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Before you arrive for your appointment, make sure to brush your teeth. We’ll clean your teeth for you, but it’s helpful to remove as much plaque as possible beforehand so we can focus on more urgent areas. Be prepared to share your medical history, insurance coverage, and current dental care methods with us. Don’t be embarrassed – it's best to be honest about your oral hygiene habits. We are not here to judge you, but to work with you to improve your oral health!
Don’t forget to bring:
- Dental X-rays from the last six months (we can take X-rays if you don’t have any)
- Your medical and dental history information, including any medications you’re currently prescribed
- Your dental insurance card (if applicable)
- Your parent or guardian (if you’re under 18)
How Long Does a Dental Cleaning Take?
Depending on a patient’s oral health, the average dental cleaning procedure can take anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. During the exam, a dental hygienist will first check your gums for disease and your teeth for cavities. Then, they’ll remove any plaque or tartar build-up with various instruments. Typically, once the hygienist completes their job, the dentist will step in to give a quick but thorough once-over and add any necessary input to the hygienist's conclusions about the status of your oral health. Keep in mind - more is involved in a dental cleaning than just the physical act of cleaning! During your appointment, the dentist and staff may:
- Take X-rays
- Check the space between your teeth and gums for signs of gum disease
- Examine your teeth, tongue, and other oral cavities to ensure they are healthy and not an impediment to your health
Are you ready to smile? Book your dental exam today with Harbison Hill Dentistry in Columbia, South Carolina at 803-661-9529!