What to Expect at Your Dental Check-Up

At Your Dental Check-Up
While every dentist office has their own process, you can expect some version of the following at your dental check-up.

Check In:
You will be welcomed by an office staff person or receptionist who will make sure the office has what they need from you to ensure a successful visit. This includes collecting your contact information, health history and insurance information. A few helpful tips to ensure an easy check in:

Be sure to answer all the questions in the health history so the dental team can make the best recommendations for you. Include information about any medications you are taking, and allergies you have. Remember, your information is always kept private, so it’s important to be thorough and honest.

Once you’ve checked in, a member of the clinical team will escort you to the back for your dental check-up. Again, every office has their own process, but you can expect some version of the following:

X-rays:
If you are new to this dentist, or haven’t been to the dentist in the last year, you will likely have x-rays taken. This helps the hygienist and dentist see things he or she couldn’t see about the condition of your teeth and jaw, especially below the gum line. It is an important part of the dental check-up and can help with early detection of certain disease and disorders. And don’t worry, x-rays are safe!

Evaluation:
a comprehensive evaluation will be performed to determine the health of your teeth and gums. It will likely include a review of your x-rays, a physical examination of your teeth and gums as well as a physical examination of your tongue, jaw and neck. During this evaluation, the team is looking for signs of gum disease, cavities, and other abnormalities including signs of oral cancer. The dental team will educate you and recommend treatment to help you achieve optimal oral health. They may recommend specific home care techniques, products or dental procedures.

Treatment:
based on the evaluation, your dentist will recommend treatment to remove any plaque and tartar as well as to address any other issues they might find concerning. You’ll likely have your teeth flossed and polished.

Q & A:
Take the opportunity with the dental team to ask questions about any concerns you have with your oral care, such as pain, habits, or cosmetic services.

Once you finish with the clinical team, you’ll need to pay for your visit and schedule your next appointment, so it’s likely back up front to visit with the office team or receptionist before you depart. The office staff will help you with any financial questions you have including expected insurance payments and your out-of-pocket costs. They will also help you reserve your next appointment. It is recommended that most people get a dental check-up at least twice a year, but the length between visits will vary based on your oral health.

By providing you with this quick resource about what to expect at your next dental check-up, we hope you feel more prepared for your next dental check-up. After all, a trip to the dentist is nothing to fear and you should be proud that you’re taking the next step to putting your health first. Your oral care is an important part of your overall health, and your dental team is here to help you have a successful and healthy experience.

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