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Dentist Office

Dentist Office


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Dentist's Office

Hello! In this lesson, we will practice the English associated with visiting the dentist. Most dentists' offices have a counter that you will see when you enter.

You will announce your arrival at a counter which says "Reception" or "Check-in". Go to the counter, give your name, and tell the time of your appointment and the name of your doctor. For example, David might say "My name is David Jones. I have an appointment with Dr. Miller at 10:00.".

If this is your first time at this dentist's office, the receptionist might ask you to fill out some forms. There might be a health history form, a form which explains your rights as a patient, and some insurance forms. Since you will have to be prepared to fill out all these forms at the dentist's office, take your insurance cards or numbers with you, and take along any health information that you have. After you fill out the forms, the receptionist will invite you to have a seat in a waiting area. "Please sit down there." or "You can wait there." or "Take a seat and someone will be with you.".

It is likely that a hygienist or dentist will come to the door of the waiting room and call your name. You will be escorted to the dental examining area.

When you reach the examination room, the hygienist or dentist will invite you to sit or recline in the dentist's chair. A small paper bib will be attached around your neck to protect your clothes.
What are some reasons you might go to the dentist? You might say "I need a regular checkup.", "I need to get my teeth cleaned.", "I have a toothache.", "I have a sore in my mouth.", "My gums have been bleeding.", "My teeth are sensitive.", "I broke a tooth.", "A filling fell out.", "A cap came off.", "My bridgework is broken.".

Let's discuss some of the directives the dentist or the hygienist might give you. When the dentist or hygienist wants to look in your mouth to clean or examine your teeth, he or she will say "Open." or "Open wide." When it is time for you to close your mouth around the suctioning tube, he will say "Close." Or "Close your lips around the suction tube.". Then you should close your lips around the tube. Or when the dentist wants you to close your mouth slightly, he might say "Close.".

The dentist might ask you, "Do you want to spit?" or might direct you to a small basin next to the dental chair and say "Spit". The dentist might give you a glass of water and say "Rinse.". Or "Swish this around in your mouth.".

Sometimes the dentist will ask you to bite down for an X-ray or a filling. He will say "Bite down gently."

If the dentist gives you a shot of Novacaine or other numbing agent, he might say "I'm going to give you a shot to numb the area." Some dentists say "I'm going to numb you up." The dentist might ask you if your mouth is numb. "Can you feel that?" "Is your mouth numb?" As the feeling begins to come back, you can say "My mouth is tingly.", or "The feeling is coming back.".

If you are afraid, you might say "I am very nervous." or "I am afraid." The dentist might say "Raise your hand if I hurt you, and I will stop immediately."

What are some things the dentist might say about your teeth? He could say "You have a cavity.", or "I see some decay.". He might say "The root is exposed.", or "The root is dead.". He might say "Your tooth is cracked.". He might say "Your tooth is broken." He could say "You have an infection." or "You have an impaction.". In a severe case, the dentist might say "This tooth has to come out.". He might say "Your gums are receding.".

What might the dentist say you need? He might say "You need a filling.", "You need a bridge." "You need a cap.", or "You need a crown.". He might say "You need an X-ray.".

The dentist might ask you "Do you floss?", "How often do you floss?", "How often do you brush?", "Are you using a toothpaste for sensitive teeth?", "Are your teeth sensitive to hot or cold?", "Have your gums been bleeding or swollen?".

Let us listen while David and the dentist talk about David's toothache and what is causing it.

David: I have a toothache.

Dentist: Open up and we'll take a look.

David: (opens mouth) uh huh

Dentist: You have a cavity.

David: I need a filling?

Dentist: Yes. It's a small one. We can fill that today.

David: Okay.

Dentist: I'm going to give you a shot to numb it up.

David: Will it hurt?

Dentist: Just a little pinprick. Then we will drill it and fill it.

David: And then I can go home?

Dentist: Yes, and don’t chew on that side tonight.

Let us examine the sentences that David and the dentist used.

David starts by telling the dentist "I have a toothache.". He could have said "My tooth hurts.", or "I have had some tooth pain.".

The dentist says "Open up and we'll take a look.". He might have said "Open your mouth." or "Open wide." or "Let me see.".

The dentist says "You have a cavity. He might have said "You have a hole in your tooth." or I see some decay.". He might have asked "Has this tooth been sensitive to cold?". He might have asked "How long has this been causing you trouble?".

David asks "I need a filling?". He might have asked 'Do I need a filling?" or "Can you fill it?".

The dentist says "Yes, it's a small one. We can fill that today." He could have said "It's a small cavity.". Or he might have said "It's a large cavity. Let's make an appointment to fill it sometime next week.". David agrees by saying "Okay.".

The dentist then says "I'm going to give you a shot to numb it up." He might have said "I'm going to put some Novacaine in it to numb the area.". He might have said "Let's numb the area so we can fill it.".
David knows he is going to get an injection, so he asks "Will it hurt?" He could say "Is it going to hurt?", or "How much is it going to hurt?".

The dentist might answer "Just a little pinprick." The dentist might want to put a topical numbing gel on the area before he numbs it with a shot. He might say "I'll put a little topical on it first.". He might say "It might be uncomfortable for a few seconds." or "It won’t hurt very much." Some dentists say "Just a little pressure." Then he says "Then we can drill it and fill it.". The dentist will then drill David's tooth, and then he will fill the tooth.

David then says "Then I can go home?" He could say "Then I can leave?" or "Is that all?" or "Is that it?".
David wants to know if the procedure will require any more appointments or any more time.

The dentist assures David "Yes.". Then the dentist reminds David not to chew on that tooth tonight. He says "Don’t chew on that side tonight." He might have said "Don’t chew on that tooth tonight." He could have reminded David "Don't drink anything cold or hot tonight.".
David's teeth are going to be fine. Your teeth will be fine too, now that you know the English associated with visiting a dentist. "Smile.".