Why do I need a dental check-up?
Just like the importance of visiting your family doctor every few years to check your physical health, it is also important to have a dental check-up every 6-12 months. Even if you are doing an excellent job brushing and flossing, it’s important to see your dentist so they can make sure that your mouth is healthy and provide you with any preventative treatment if needed.
What happens at a dental check-up appointment?
A qualified and fully trained dentist and dental hygienist will work together to complete a comprehensive dental check-up for you. These appointments are approximately 60 minutes long. At this appointment, you can generally expect the following:
Examination: Your dentist will
- Take your medical and dental history
- Complete a head and neck examination (check for any concerns with your jaw, face muscles etc.)
- Complete an oral examination (examine your tongue, gum health, cheeks, teeth etc.)
Clean and polish: Your dental hygienist will remove soft and hard plaque and some superficial staining by using a fluoride-based polish (feels like sandy toothpaste!)
X-rays: If your dentist believes x-rays are needed at that appointment, typically 2 x-rays of your back teeth will be taken. This allows for cavity assessment and monitoring.
Oral health education: Your dentist will give you personalised advice on how you can improve your oral health habits. This may include:
- Brushing and flossing techniques
- Diet modification (reduce sugar/acidic foods, increase milk/tap water consumption etc.)
- Saliva substitutes
- Other products to use (different toothpastes, mouth rinses etc.)
Often, the dentist will recommend a thorough examination and a clean/polish twice a year, whereas x-rays are usually taken every 1-3 years. The timing of how frequently you have cleanings and x-rays will be personalised to you based on your oral health. If you have any questions about your check-up schedule and frequency, visit our qualified dentists for more information!
Will I feel numb during the appointment? Is it painful?
The instruments that are used during this appointment are very unlikely to cause any discomfort. The dentist and hygienist will be using a variety of instruments such as a mouth mirror, hand scaler and a rotating rubber brush (kind of like an electric toothbrush). If you are feeling uncomfortable or nervous during the appointment, let our dental staff know and we’d gladly find ways to make the appointment more comfortable for you.
How expensive are dental check-ups?
The standard fee for an examination and a clean/polish is $199, which includes the price of x-rays. Often if you have private health insurance, there will be no gap for this package.
What happens if I don’t do frequent dental check-ups?
Unfortunately, if your teeth are not monitored by a skilled dental professional, it’s possible that oral disease that may not be causing you pain now, may continue to progress. This can lead to severe pain and infection in other parts of the body; not only will this be uncomfortable, but it will also be a more expensive and invasive treatment.
If you have any questions or would like to book in your check-up appointment, call us today!