What to Expect at a Dental Check-Up
If you have not visited your dentist for a long time, or even never been to see one before, you may be concerned about what to expect during a check-up. This is perfectly understandable and many people needlessly worry about dental check-ups when just knowing what they can expect to happen will allay their fears. Importantly, a check-up is just that, and you won't be receiving any treatment, certainly not without speaking to you about it first. If your dentist thinks that you need a filling or a similar procedure, then they will probably book you in for another appointment. Consequently, the vast majority of check-ups will involve just three basic elements.
After your dentist has introduced themself, you'll be invited to sit in their reclining chair for an oral examination. You'll need to open your mouth widely and the dentist will position a light over your mouth so they can see inside. The check-up will involve a count up and inspection of each of your teeth. To see around corners, your dentist will use a small hand-held mirror. Nothing that will be placed inside your mouth will be there for long. You'll feel no discomfort from your examination. As well as checking your teeth, dentists look for other oral health issues, such as signs of gum disease and even indications of mouth cancer. In short, you can expect a thorough check-up.
It is not always possible to determine the condition of teeth from an oral examination alone. Therefore, you will probably have an x-ray taken of your teeth, especially if no prior records exist. This won't necessarily happen every time you see your dentist from now on. However, it is standard procedure to do this regularly. The x-ray will take just a few seconds and is perfectly safe. Your dentist may retire from the room while it is taken, however, so that he or she does not suffer from repeated exposure to x-ray waves. This is quite normal and nothing to worry about.
Following the oral examination and your dentist's review of your x-rays, you can expect the results. This may mean offering you advice on parts of your mouth that you need to pay more attention to when brushing, for example, or it could involve suggesting a further procedure. Your dentist may have removed some tartar during their initial examination. However, if there is some left, then you might be booked in for a visit with the dental hygienist who specialises in clearing this up. After that, you'll need to schedule your next dental check-up.