Patient Education

The Basics of A Dental Checkup

You’ve probably been going to the dentist twice a year for as long as you can remember. This doesn’t mean that you can’t learn a thing or two about these visits though. You may not be aware of what actually happens each time you have a dental checkup so here are the basics of what these appointments look like.

First, you should know that dental checkups and cleanings are not the same things, although they may happen at the same time. We’ll go over what both entail here.


Your dental hygienist will start by removing tartar and build up from your teeth, floss, use a polishing brush, and then apply a fluoride treatment if needed. None of these procedures should be painful so if they are, let your dentist know so you can discuss the underlying cause.

Every 6 months or year, your dentist will want to get x-rays of your teeth to make sure everything is fine. X-rays can be used to determine if there are cavities or other issues. These only take a few minutes and involves you biting on a small piece of plastic while the machine captures an image of your teeth.


After your hygienist has finished with the cleaning, your dentist will perform an examination. He or she will be looking for any problems you may have, from cavities and cracked teeth to gum disease or irritation.

If your dentist finds something of concern during the cleaning or checkup, solutions will be discussed to correct or treat the problem.

As always, take this time with your dentist to ask questions about your oral health or problems you’re suffering from.

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