Trip to the dentist

It has never been easy to get the courage to make it to the dentist appointment. Normally, we only go when we are in dire need of dental care like bloody gum or unbearable toothache.  I don't actually have this problem, but with time constraint it made it so difficult to get this task in the schedule...yeah right. :-)

I went on my 1st dental appointment in the states, I have been going to my own dentist in Malaysia, so this will be interesting to see how much the difference is here.

The 1st thing I noticed was we were required to fill in forms about my dental history, such as your allergy to medication, heart problem etc.  In Malaysia, the dentist only want your ic and ask what wrong with your teeth.

Then you will be introduced to your dental hygienist (DH), they are registered nurse but is specially trained dental professional who provide service with the dentist for your dental care.  Something I have never seen or heard of in Malaysia.

My dental hygienist check my completed forms and asked me few questions to get in more detail about my past dental history.  Then for 1st time patient, she took X'ray of my teeth few times.   The gadget is pretty cool. Here's the photo I found online.  I was not about to ask the nurse to take photo of me in this.  SO the photos will do.

This X'ray can take 360 degree angle of your entire teeth

This is another X'ray which took closer look of your inner tooth,
Then, my DH study my x-ray and check for all sign of dental problem.  She explained to me what I have and informed me that my tooth cleaning going to take more than 1 appointment.  She pointed out that few area between my teeth has plaque built-up or calculus.  These are the cause of me sometimes bleed as I brush my teeth.  I inform her that I have the feeling of discomfort when I eat and have food trap in between my teeth, again she explain by showing me my x-ray that the peaks forms in between the my teeth is actually plaque or calculus.  This will lead to more discomfit if not taken care of and cause inflammation and bleeding.

All this time, I thought I have sensitive tooth!   Now I started to doubt my old dentist who suggested me to get root canal when in fact there is nothing wrong with my teeth!  He is so fired!

Well, after that lengthy explanation, she start the process of tooth scaling.  It was somewhat painful but nothing bad.  Again this depends how bad the plaque built-up is, the harder it is, the more difficult it is to clean it off.  My Dental Hygienist was very thorough with her job.  Did that struck you as unnatural? It was for me, in Malaysia, Dentist perform everything from tooth scaling, pulling, filling to cosmetic surgery.  But the DH took a lot of that from a Dentist here.  There were no assistant, just my DH for today.  The equipment are very high tech, you need not have to spit on the sink which is pretty gross in the 1st place. They have the suction hose which suck water, debris out without ever exposing you to any yucky stuff that came out from your mouth.  You can see professionalism as the DH conduct the minor procedure.  Changing the metal head or curettes  few times to ensure that she scrap off all the stubborn plaque, even changing her gloves etc.  This maybe a standard procedure here but it made a huge different for the patient.

Finally when the job was done, I was so relieved.  The dentist finally came to examined my teeth to make sure my dental hygienist did a proper job.  He reviewed my X-ray and confirm what my DH has informed me earlier.

Now I felt sore and my gum tender.  But after the entire episode to the dentist,  I think I am ready for my next appointment.  It wasn't so bad when you know it could be worst and going for regular teeth scaling isn't as bad as losing a tooth!

My take away after the visit are:
Continue brushing my teeth
Floss everyday ( I will try even though this will be challenge for me!)
Gargle with mouth wash

By following these simple steps, then, I think I will have even a brighter smile.

A friendly reminder to all my friends, don't forget to schedule a dental appointment for yourself after this. :-)    


  1. Hah, what a coincident, I had my first dental check after about 7 years since I last had my teeth checked. My 1st dentist has either committed suicide or it was a tragic accident (drunk and fell into a deep drain). So I just stopped going because there wasn't another dental practise in my area.

    Now, after 7 years not having been to a dentist, my first impression of the clinic was that I was so out-dated! Everything is so high-tech! After being examined (x-rayed, poked and scraped here and there) I got away from having a root canal... phew.... but I will have to go back twice to sort out some cavities and thorough cleaning of some tar build-up. Best of all for me is that it's free because I have a maternity exemption.

  2. Oh indeed, yes, very coincident. Great that you have a free dental care over there. Did you know, I forgot to mention on my notes that I have freebies on my way out, I was given a free tooth brush, tooth paste, floss, Colgate mouthwash. Not too savvy eh.

  3. For some, going to the dentist can be very difficult because of the stigma of pain attached to dental procedures. But we must fear neither dentists nor dental procedures. Instead, we must appreciate the things they do to help improve our dental health.


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