When you first enter our office you’ll be greeted at reception. Please check in so that we know you’ve arrived and can notify the members of our team that will be taking care of you.
Next, you’ll be escorted to the room where we’ll be conducting your checkup, and one of our lovely Certified Dental Assistants or Dental Hygienists will get you settled in. Please don’t hesitate to let them know if there’s anything we can do to make you even more comfortable.
Before we get going, your hygienist will go over your medical history (if you’re new to our office) or double check to see if anything has changed with your health (such as new medications, pregnancy, arthritis, diabetes, etc.) It’s VERY IMPORTANT that we have accurate information in order to ensure the process is 100% safe for you. As well, PLEASE let us know if you’re feeling any anxiety or discomfort – your wellness is our top priority, and we want to make sure the process is as comfortable and easy for you as possible. Most importantly: if you’ve been experiencing any changes or pain around your mouth, big or small, let us know. It could be an indicator of something that requires further attention.
We’ll start off your treatment with x-rays to see if there are any issues occurring below the surface. You’ll bite down on a piece of plastic while the x-ray is placed against your cheek. We know these aren’t the most fun, so we try to make it as quick and comfortable as we can! X-rays allow us to see your teeth, roots, and jaw bones so the dentist can provide the best recommendations for your oral care. We may also utilize 3D Imaging to get a 360 look at your oral health! Using a cone-shaped x-ray beam, we are able to gather data that results in a 3D image of your teeth, mouth, jaw, neck, ears, nose, and even throat. The fast, non-invasive scan drastically improves diagnosis, evaluation, and the planning of treatment for many dental conditions including implants.
The best part about getting a checkup? The squeaky clean feeling afterward! Your hygienist will gently scrape off any built up plaque and tartar, floss around every tooth to remove any residual food particles or plaque, and finish with a tooth polish. You’ll also be given fluoride to help prevent cavities and tooth decay, and we’ll most likely request that you don’t rinse, eat, or drink for 30 minutes afterwards. This whole time, your hygienist will keep a lookout to see if anything out of the ordinary is happening with your mouth.
Your dentist will arrive sometime during the procedure to give you your full exam. They’ll ask about any changes or pain, probe your teeth using a small angled mirror to see all areas of your mouth, and check for softening of tooth enamel or dentin. While they’re looking, they’ll check for gum swelling, sores, redness, and the depth of your periodontal pocket (the area between the top of the gum line and where the gum tissue attaches to the tooth) to ensure there aren’t any developing signs of gum disease. If you had any “watches” placed on any teeth (meaning they didn’t require attention at a previous time, but may soon in the future), the dentist will also check on the status of those. They’ll review your x-rays to see if there are any under-surface abnormalities, check for bite alignment and smoothness, and look for any signs of oral cancer.
Once they’ve completed their exam, your dentist will discuss everything that they’ve noticed and advise you on any necessary next steps. If you’re unsure about anything or need further clarification, don’t be shy! Ask away!
Our friends at Century Stone Dental nicely summarized everything that goes into your exam and why “It’s Not Just a Cleaning”:
Once your dentist has completed your exam, your hygienist will finish up any remaining parts of your cleaning. Once we’re confident that you’re ready to go, we’ll take you to the front desk to schedule any additional procedures that have been recommended/book your next checkup. That’s it! You’re off and on your way with a healthy, happy smile. Click here to book your checkup today.