For most people, a visit to the dentist for a check-up can be a source of dread. Basic dental check-ups are, however, essential to maintaining good oral health and should be done regularly. So what should you expect during a dental check-up? This guide will give you an overview of what will generally happen during your visit.

In most cases, the dental hygienist will conduct the dental examination. The hygienist will generally examine your teeth and gums and discuss the proper way to care for your teeth at home. Although not every dental surgery operates in the same way, most check-ups generally include the following components:

Examination: Your mouth and teeth will be thoroughly examined to look for any signs of decay or any changes since your last visit. A rubber probe may be used to measure the distances between your teeth and gums. Another tool will be used to explore your teeth to determine if there are any cavities present and a mirror will be used to help see all sides of your teeth.

Cleaning: A professional clean effectively removes tartar, which forms when plaque hardens over time. It is only possible to remove tartar at the dentist. A special instrument is used to remove the tartar, which scrapes it away.

Polishing: After your teeth have been cleaned, they will be polished using a rotating brush or cup and an abrasive polishing substance. This serves to remove any final remnants of plaque or surface stains. The substance will feel gritty in your mouth and after the polishing is complete, you will be given the chance to rinse your mouth.

Discussion about oral care: During the examination, the hygienist will discuss your oral care routine and advise you how to care for your teeth in the best way possible at home.

X-rays: During some check-ups, your dentist may wish to take an x-ray of your mouth to look for signs of decay or impacted teeth.

How to get the most out of your dental check-up:

There are some things that you can do to ensure that you get the most out of your visit to the dentist. These include:

  • Notifying the dentist or hygienist of any changes you have noticed in your mouth
  • Advising them of any diagnoses you have had since your last visit by your doctor such as diabetes, pregnancy or heart disease, etc.
  • Bringing a list of all the medications you take
  • If you suffer from dental anxiety, letting your dentist or hygienist know so that they can make you feel more comfortable during your visit