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Dental Exams and Check-ups

What to expect during your dental examination

Patients are often confused by what they’re receiving from a dental exam.  Most patients arrive to a dental office to simply ask for a check-up and cleaning.  A “check-up” is an examination and assessment of pre-existing diagnoses.  It is necessary for the dentist to examine your oral health before providing treatment (even for simple cleanings).

Your dental exam will include the following:

Medical History ReviewYour new patient form provides your dentist with important information about your medical and dental history.  Be sure to bring a list of all medications and supplements you take, including their dosages.  Certains types of medications or surgeries may contraindicate certain dental treatments.  This is why your medical history is very important to the success of any treatments.

Baseline X-rays and Photographs:  To fully diagnose and assess your oral health, recent dental X-rays are necessary.  This may include X-rays using a set of bitewings for some or all your teeth and/or a full-mouth panoramic X-ray.  Also, digital and intraoral photographs may be taken throughout the course of your exam to better communicate and visually show what your dentist finds.

Comprehensive Exam: What makes Brushwell Dental unique from most other dental offices is our comprehensive exam.  Here is what your dentist will evaluate:

  • Periodontal (gum) health
  • Bite alignment
  • TMJ (jaw) function
  • Primary dental concerns
  • Newly diagnosed conditions
  • Existing dental work (if any)
  • Oral cancer risk and screening

Proposed Treatment Plan:  After thoroughly reviewing your history and exam findings, your dentist will educate and share with you their recommended treatment options, if any.

If you require immediate attention and care, some treatments may start the same day.  However, in most cases, your treatment will be staged and mapped out on a personalized basis and scheduled for a future date.  One of our staff members will check and verify for any insurance benefits that may help cover your treatment costs.  For most pre-authorizations, which helps provide patients with an idea of how much insurance may help (insurance reimbursements are never guaranteed) with a specific procedure , it typically takes up to 3 weeks for the dental insurance to process (and this is out of our control).

Some patients may not need any treatment.  The treatment planning step is only for those with problems that need to be addressed or for elective services, such as cosmetic procedures to improve the look of your smile.

Dental Cleaning: As long as your teeth and gums are healthy, our hygienist or dentist will usually clean your teeth during your first dental checkup.  If you suffer from moderate or severe periodontal (gum) disease, then you’ll be rescheduled for a deep cleaning. 

To maintain a healthy smile, you’ll want to schedule a preventative care appointment every 6 months.  However, if you have periodontal disease or heavy tartar buildup, then we recommend that you schedule a periodontal maintenance every 3 to 4 months.

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.