When Do You Need More Than One Appointment…For One Procedure?
Here at Dr. Ku’s, we understand that our patients are busy in their personal and family lives. And because of this, it can be especially hard to make time to come into your bi-annual appointment—much less other follow-up appointments!
If your dental situation requires extensive work, you might have had to deal with scheduling multiple appointments over a short amount of time. And while we know this can be a burden on your schedule, always remember that proper scheduling is just as important as the procedure.
For example, more comprehensive procedures (such as dental implant surgery) require time for your gums and mouth to heal before moving on to the next step. Below we’ll highlight several scenarios of when a procedure can be done in one visit…or could take you coming back several times.
If, over the course of your treatment, you ever have questions or concerns about the plan, please let our office know! Our goal is restore your smile and ensure you are comfortable throughout the whole process.
I have a cavity or several cavities…how long will the fillings take?
Most of the time, filling cavities can be done in a single visit. And thanks to advancements in dental technology, filling a cavity is quick and painless for most patients. And particularly because of that “painless” part, we’re able to easily fill several cavities in one visit. However, if you have a dozen or more (which is common for patients who haven’t been to the dentist in many years), we many choose to do work over two visits to give you a break. We understand having your mouth open for hours on end can be uncomfortable, so we always work within the comfort level of the patient.
If I need a root canal, how long should I budget for?
Root canals can typically be done in one day if it’s the first time that this tooth is getting treated. Traditionally, a root canal takes about 90 minutes and can be done in one sitting. However, if you have already had a root canal on the tooth and need the procedure redone, it could lengthen the treatment time.
If I am getting a dental implant, will it require follow up visits?
Dental implants procedures are more complex and take more time that filling cavities or performing root canals. Depending on the type of procedure (dental implant, bridge, or dentures), the length and complexity of the procedure will vary.
For example, a dental bridge is anchored by the teeth on either side of the cap through the use of crowns. In the gap, a false tooth made from gold, alloy or porcelain is placed. Getting a bridge placed will take several visits. At the first visit, impressions will be made and a temporary bridge will be placed. A second visit will allow the dentist to remove the temporary bridge and replace it with the permanent one.
For dental implants, the length and number of visits depends on your overall oral health and the number of teeth being replaced. Traditionally, the first phase includes implanting a titanium rod into the jaw bone. Healing will take several months, and the dentist will monitor how the rod attaches to the bone. The second phase will allow the dentist to place the crown on the implant. For this procedure, it’s especially important to not rush the healing process.
If I am having a complex or lengthy procedure, how do I relax?
Dr. Ku’s office offers sedation dentistry for our patients who are nervous about upcoming procedures, or those who have to spend significant time in the chair. Each form of sedation works a little differently, but they all work with the brain and nervous system to reduce fear and anxiety—while many times blocking out any memories of the event. Many patients report feeling a sense of deep relaxation throughout the appointment. In addition to fear, many of our patients are concerns about their gag reflex. When under sedation, patients lose the fear of choking or gagging. This allows them to relax and even nod off to sleep. Let us know if this is something you are interest in!
Also published on Medium.