Visit to the dentist, ergo

At the dentist

Which dentist is right for me? Those who are well informed beforehand are usually more satisfied afterwards.

By definition, a dentist is a dentist who is responsible for the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diseases of the teeth, mouth and jaw. Quite a few people are afraid of the dentist, some patients also prefer dental treatment under general anesthesia. Dental treatment is always a matter of trust. It is therefore important to leave the treatment of the teeth to the right specialist. Unfortunately, it can usually only be determined after treatment or over time whether your dentist is really good. Nevertheless, there are a few points through which you can assess your dentist and his dental practice right from the start.

Before visiting the dentist: the appointment

It is often the case today that dentists have either extended their consultation hours or arranged them in such a way that working people can also easily find an appointment. How is it with your dentist? Does it meet the needs of the patients and offer special opening times – for example, once a week until 7 p.m.? Do you really get to the appointment or do you have to sit in the waiting room with other patients for an hour? A well-organized dentist makes sure that this is not the case and that you can rely on your agreed appointment.

Atmosphere in the dental office

What is the atmosphere like in your dental practice? Friendly, bright and nice, courteous staff or rather uncomfortable, dusty and stressed out dental assistants? What about cleanliness? Is the floor neglected, are the sinks calcified and the air stale? Then the hygiene of the dental practice is usually not far off.

The dentist

The dentist can only do a really good job if he is constantly training. This is of enormous importance, especially in the frenzied development in dentistry.


In principle, your dentist should inform you about prophylaxis measures and, if desired, give tips on correct dental care and tooth cleaning. He will also explain to you thoroughly what you can do to prevent healthy teeth.

Transparent costs

If treatment is pending, there should be a discussion between the doctor and patient about possible denture materials and the costs involved – usually a healing and cost plan is drawn up here. All prices for dentures and dental treatments should be transparent and understandable for you after the interview.


It is important when giving advice that your dentist takes enough time for you. During an initial consultation, he should carefully inquire about your medical history – that is, the medical history. Even if you have been to him several times, the appointment begins with a conversation in which you can describe your complaints to the dentist or ask questions. He then asks questions about it before starting the investigation.

The treatment room

Hygiene in the treatment room is of immense importance. Everything should already be prepared for your investigation here. The basic cutlery is on the shelf and all other dental instruments are clean and within easy reach.

The investigation

A good dentist pays attention to comprehensive hygiene. Both the dentist and the dental assistant wear mouth and nose protection, gloves and often work glasses during the examination. The entire mouth is examined thoroughly. If treatments are required, minimally invasive methods are used in modern dentistry. H. existing defects are treated as early as possible to prevent worse consequential damage. Care is taken to damage the tooth substance as little as possible.

fillings & Co.

If the use of dentures is necessary, your dentist should inform you about the different materials that can be used. Good fillings last about 6 to 10 years. If it is necessary to replace a filling earlier, this is a bad sign. No further intervention is actually necessary after the dental treatment is completed. However, if the denture does not fit perfectly – so you notice pressure or a feeling of tension, the dentist is obliged to rework it.


After particularly expensive dental treatments, a good dentist offers a follow-up check to observe the progress of the healing. As it turned out, patients who perceive the recall have a much better tooth condition.

The patient-dentist conversation

It is important, especially when you visit us for the first time, that the dentist looks carefully at your medical history. You often get a questionnaire in advance, a so-called medical history sheet, which you should fill out carefully.

The following points can be asked here:

  • complaints
  • Age
  • Metabolic diseases (diabetes mellitus etc.)
  • Underlying diseases (diseases of organs, heart, circulatory or lung diseases)
  • Gastric or intestinal disorders
  • Dermatological diseases
  • allergies
  • medication
  • pregnancy
  • smoking habits
  • operations
  • dental care
  • nutrition

Based on your information, the dentist will respond to you individually and adapt a possible treatment accordingly.

General diagnostics

When looking into the mouth, the dentist examines the entire area for possible dental diseases, such as tooth decay, periodontitis or other abnormalities, e.g. B. Abrasions on the teeth. He checks the back of the teeth with a mouth mirror and uses a metal probe to check whether the fillings have loosened, whether the tooth enamel is solid or whether there is caries. Possible plaque is also checked: is it fresh or has it turned into hard tartar? If you have dentures or missing teeth, this is also recorded so that the dentist always has an overview of your teeth. If the dentist wants to test whether a tooth has already died or is still functional, he will do a vitality check with him. To do this, he holds a cotton ball soaked in liquid against the tooth. If the tooth is still alive, it senses this touch immediately. Not only the teeth, but also the mouth and throat are examined. Here the dentist pays attention to an altered oral mucosa, redness, gingivitis or ulcers. If the dentist notices any abnormalities, further treatment steps are initiated.

functional analysis

The functional analysis examines the interaction of the teeth and muscles. If they do not work properly together, pain or tension can quickly arise – often resulting in bruxism or even craniomandibular dysfunction. The method is used to examine teeth, tooth support, chewing muscles and TMJ in detail.

The following functions are analyzed:

  • How great is the mobility of the jaw?
  • How high is the pain sensitivity of the teeth?
  • The jaw often cracks?
  • There are ringing in the ears or frequent headaches?
  • Pain in the muscles or tight neck?

Imprints of the jaw are the next important step. A model of the denture is then made from the impression. This model is then clamped in a so-called articulator, which checks the bite carefully. Any disruptions can be traced directly and the therapeutic measures derived from them.

bite control

If you complain of jaw pain, loose teeth, neck tension or frequent headaches, the dentist will do a bite check with you. Especially if he has already noticed abrasions on individual teeth during the visual inspection. The suspicion is that you grind your teeth. A bite check is carried out using a thin, colored special film. It is placed on the chewing surface of the lower jaw, then the teeth are clenched. The film leaves traces of color on the chewing surfaces of the teeth – this way the dentist can see how the teeth are in relation to each other, whether they meet at an angle and which teeth are particularly affected. This test is also carried out if you e.g. B. have a filling or crown. If the new denture does not exactly fit your rest of the teeth, you bite crookedly or the teeth do not fit together directly and the film leaves traces of color.

X-ray at the dentist

To supplement a dental exam, it may be necessary to have an X-ray of your dentition. It is possible to take panorama pictures or individual pictures of 2 to 3 teeth. The former show an overview of the dentition: are missing individual teeth, are some not yet broken through, are individual root tips inflamed or is the strength of the jaw bone sufficient to anchor an implant? The individual images show certain teeth in detail – here you can determine, for example, what the condition of the tooth is or whether caries has formed in the interdental spaces. A single picture is also often taken to assess the tooth before the use of dentures or periodontitis treatment.

In X-rays, X-rays penetrate the various types of tissue in the body. These individual structures each absorb the radiation differently and individual black and white cross-sectional images are created. X-rays are harmful to the human organism and should therefore not be carried out too often. Before the dentist X-rays you, you should inquire about the last time you were x-rayed or if you are pregnant. So that you have an overview, you can have an X-ray card created.

In a modern dental practice, digital X-rays are usually offered today – in contrast to conventional X-rays, the rays do not hit a film, but a sensor. The images can then easily be saved and further processed. Another advantage is that the radiation exposure is much lower because less intensive radiation is required. The dentist can conclude from the pictures whether one of the above-mentioned findings is present. B. on darker areas on the otherwise white tooth.

If you need the x-rays to e.g. For example, to get a second doctor’s opinion, the dentist must lend you the original. However, you should bring it back after 6 months at the latest.

saliva test

The saliva test shows how well your teeth are protected from daily acid attacks. It also determines how many microorganisms that are responsible for caries formation (Streptococcus mutans bacteria or lactobacilli) are in your mouth.

How high the acid protection of your teeth is expressed by the so-called buffer capacity. This is determined by putting some saliva on a test strip. If the result shows a high buffer capacity, a high level of protection for your teeth is guaranteed. A good flow of saliva is of great importance for oral health. Because our saliva neutralizes acid, remineralizes the enamel and forms a kind of protective film over the teeth.

To determine the bacterial density in the oral cavity, a test spatula is used to move the tongue back and forth several times. The spatula is then dipped in a special nutrient solution and stored in an incubator at a constant temperature for 2 days. A comparison scale can then be used to determine the number of bacteria you have. However, saliva tests only give a snapshot – no predictions can be made for the future of your oral health.

Ultrasound at the dentist

Ultrasound examinations, so-called sonographies, are increasingly being used in the dental practice for the early detection of the following diseases:

  • abscesses
  • cysts
  • tumors
  • inflammation
  • pus

In sonography, the transducer is placed close to the body region to be examined, e.g. B. pulled the jaw. A piezoelectric crystal, which is located in the transducer, is excited by certain high frequencies to generate sound waves. The ultrasound waves now hit various interfaces, such as bones, teeth or soft tissue in the body, and are thrown back from there. These echo pulses are received again and converted into electrical signals. They can be recognized on the screen as black and white images. There is no harmful radiation, such as X-rays, so this type of examination is risk-free and painless for the patient. A disadvantage, however, is that the interpretation of the pictures is sometimes not easy and requires a lot of experience.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

MRI is used when the dentist suspects a tumor. Problems with the temporomandibular joint can also be assessed well with this examination. MRI, also called magnetic resonance imaging, creates images of the inside of the body using a strong magnetic field and radiated radio waves. For the examination, the patient is pushed into a narrow tube in which they have to lie still for 30 to 90 minutes. There are loud knocking noises due to technical reasons, so that you have to wear hearing protection. If desired, it is usually also possible to listen to music using headphones. The patient gets a bell button in his hand so that he can make himself known to the staff if claustrophobia arises.

The images generated by the MRI represent the organs either in slices or spatially and, thanks to the integrated computer software, they can be rotated, enlarged and analyzed from different perspectives. Different types of tissue stand out from each other particularly well – so sick tissue is very easy to recognize.

Anesthesia and anesthesia at the dentist

Dental treatments are often lengthy and painful. The pain does not have to be endured, however, because there are now gentle options for anesthesia. There are 3 different types:

This local anesthetic, in which a liquid or spray is applied to the oral mucosa, makes the surroundings of the tissue to be treated insensitive. Mostly it is only used to prepare for infiltration anesthesia.

In order not only to numb the surface, but also smaller nerve branches in depth, an anesthetic liquid is injected under the skin in the upper jaw. Experienced dentists perform the injection largely painlessly.

In contrast, the injection into the harder lower jaw is somewhat more difficult. Here, so-called conduction anesthesia is used, which anesthetizes the entire nerve area of ​​one half of the lower jaw.

The active ingredients

The active ingredients contained, lidocaine, mepivacaine or bupivacaine, prevent the nerves from being able to transmit pain signals. Thus, the pain practically gets stuck in the nerve tract and is not transported to the brain.

Inflamed tissue, thick bones, or inaccurate syringes may make the syringe ineffective – you should tell your dentist. He will then inject another time.

In rare cases, e.g. B. with strong dental phobia, i.e. the fear of the dentist, general anesthesia can also be performed. The new anesthetics are usually well tolerated and can be quickly excreted by the organism. So it is not a problem if the anesthetic lasts for several hours at the dentist – this way, larger treatments can be completed at once. Side effects are very rare – but your dentist should definitely tell you about them.

Duration of anesthesia or anesthesia

The numb feeling in the mouth lasts for about 2 to 3 hours. You should not eat anything until the effects have passed, otherwise you could bite your tongue or lips. Responsiveness remains somewhat limited for this length of time – so you shouldn’t drive a car.

Provision for the costs at the dentist

If you do not want to do without the best possible treatment at the dentist, just because the costs are too high without additional payment from your health insurance: Private provision for tooth preservation and dentures at ERGO are cheap and advantageous. Discover your options here.

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