What you do at your first visit to the dentist:

Your dentist needs to know everything that may help him or her diagnose problems or treat you appropriately. Tell your dentist:

  • Your fears — Many people have fears of the dentist that go back to childhood. Pain control and treatment techniques change constantly. The things you fear most may not exist any longer, or there may be new and improved ways of dealing with them. If you fear you have a particular disease or condition, let your dentist know. He or she can look for signs and either diagnose the problem or set your mind at ease. Often, just talking about your fears will take some of the edge off.
  • Your overall health — Tell your dentist if you’ve been diagnosed with any diseases or are taking any new medicines. It is important to tell your dentist about all medicines you take. This includes prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines. Even diseases that seem to be unrelated to the mouth may require a different approach to dental treatments or prevention.
  • Your dental health — Before the examination starts, tell your dentist if:
    • You think you have a new cavity
    • Your teeth have become sensitive
    • You feel lumps inside your mouth

Don’t wait to see if the dentist catches it or silently hope the dentist misses it. By telling your dentist your symptoms, you may help him or her make an early diagnosis.