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What to Expect at a Dental Checkup

April 14, 2014

A common misconception about dental checkups is that it only involves prophylaxis (dental cleaning) and if needed, elective procedures like fillings, tooth replacements or orthodontics. But a dental checkup is more than just dental procedures. Below is a list on what to expect at a dental checkup in our Indianapolis dental clinic.

What to Expect at a Dental Checkup

While treatment needs differ from person to person, most dentists start a standard dental checkup by cleaning the teeth. This task may be performed by either a dental hygienist or Dr. Reese himself. Our clinic has amenities that are purposely made to feel patients comfortable, it is very much going to a spa! We are a holistic dentistry so dental x-rays are optional, but required for a comprehensive exam.

After settling you in our treatment room, we will review your medical history (or take down notes if it’s your first time at the clinic) and ask for updates if necessary. It is during this time that we will ask you about your chief complaints and dental concerns. A visual oral screening of your teeth and gums is also done as well as feel for lymph nodes around your jaw.

To determine if your bite is working properly, Dr. Reese may ask you to open and close your mouth repeatedly a few times. If this is your first visit, our hygiene assistant will take a picture of your teeth to serve as the baseline for your teeth’s shade (color) so we can note any darkening or discoloration in future visits. Whitening is always an option - just ask!

Scaling the teeth is done next. This step involves the removal of the incrustation on the teeth (plaque hardened by mineral salt depositions), called tartar or calculus. During scaling, your dental hygienist or dentist will note any teeth that need more work (fillings, etc.)  or are decaying and inspect the condition of previous dental work. Any dentures, fillings, bridges, or crowns you may have will be checked to make sure they fit correctly.

After everything is done, your dentist will update you on the status of your oral health and will recommend proper nutrition and hygiene depending on your condition. He will then help you schedule your next visit. The frequency of visits for dental checkup depends on the health and oral hygiene habits of each family member.

Regular Dental Checkups Can Save Your Life

Do not underestimate the importance of regular dental checkups. Regular dental checkups not only preserve your smile, they can also save your life. Every year, around 300,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed around the world. While oral cancer is curable when found and treated in its early stages, the disease symptoms often go unnoticed. A dentist will check for these early warning symptoms and alert you should any sign of cancer be found.

Dr. Reese has many returning clients over the years. One thing that warms his heart are the patients he sees year after year for hygiene appointments or oral checkups. Being a practicing family dentist for over 30 years means he’s watched a lot of his patients grow up, graduate, and have families of their own.

At Indianapolis Dentistry we care so much about preventative care that we have shaped our 5-year warranty program around keeping regular cleaning appointments. As long as you continue to keep your oral hygiene visits every 6-months you can be eligible for free replacement or repair of Dr. Reese’s dental work within the previous 5-years. And if you’ve already had dental treatment, existing patients can be grandfathered into this program.  Call 317-882-0228 to schedule your appointment today!