Checkups and Cleanings
especially true when it comes to your mouth!
Routine checkups can help prevent serious problems, by catching minor issues before they require major work, like root canals, implants, or other serious restorative work.
Even if you have a great routine at home (if so, give yourself a pat on the back!), routine checkups and professional cleans should still be a part of your routine. Even the most dedicated flosser gets a cavity every now and then.
For adults, it is recommended that you schedule a regular check up & clean every 6 months. Of course, if you have special needs or dental concerns, your dentist or hygienist may recommend an alternative schedule.
We recommend the same schedule, even for children under 5, to get them used to routine checkups and help them build habits that will keep their teeth healthy for years to come.
So what should you expect froma routine checkup?
If this routine checkup is also your first visit to Bexley Dental, you’ll also want to see our new patient page here for information on what to expect from your first appointment, what we need to know about you, and new patient offers.
If this is your first visit to Bexley Dental, we book you for a full 60 minutes so that you have ample time to get to know your dentist, ask questions, and have current head and neck scans taken.
After that, routine appointments generally last 30 – 45 minutes if oral health is good.
First, you’ll meet with your hygienist, who does your clean. During this time, they will typically ask you about any difficulties or concerns you’ve had since your last visit.
While your hygienist works, they are taking notes of any potential trouble areas to alert your dentist to, removing any plaque and tartar buildup that may be on your teeth, and finishing up with a polish, to bring out the shine (and protect) your pearly whites.
To do this, the hygienist uses special instruments, like an ultrasonic scaler, to knock loose any larger pieces of tartar, and clean thoroughly both above and below the gum line. This typically just feels like a tickling vibration.
Once all of the tartar and plaque are removed, your teeth are polished to remove stains and apply a protective layer of fluoride using a handpiece with a slow-spinning rubber cup that holds and applies the polish.
Once your hygienist is finished, your dentist will come through to take a more thorough examination.
During this part of your checkup, your dentist examines your gums to see if the spaces between your teeth and gums indicates any gum disease or early warning signs. Your dentist will also take a closer look for any signs of decay, grinding or clenching (which can wear enamel), sleep or orthodontic issues. And if you have any concerns or questions about alternative options for missing teeth, your dentist will also address those during this time.
Finally, your dentist checks your tongue, throat, face and neck for any signs that could indicate other periodontal problems or oral cancers.
The Team at Bexley Dental recommends taking new 2D X-rays every 2 years, to monitor changes and make sure any problems are caught early.
If you’ve opted to do the 3D OPG scan, these can be updated every 5 years, if there are not pressing issues that we need to track and monitor.
Of course, these guidelines depend on your oral exam, dental history, and risk for developing cavities. X-rays give your dentist a good view of jaw alignment, any decay between your teeth that might not be visible externally, as well as identifying any impacted teeth, abscesses, or cysts on the roots of your teeth.
In short, they’re a very useful tool to have for managing your long term oral health!
After your exam is complete, your dentist will discuss any treatment recommendations, and if there are any complications, they may recommend a return visit for restoration work, like fillings or a crown.
Assuming you don’t have any complications to worry about (because you’ve been keeping up with your oral health at home and your regular checkups!), you can head over to to the reception desk to schedule your next appointment and pick up your “goodie bag,” complete with:
A new toothbrush (if you come see us every 6 months, you’ll never have to buy one again!)
And mouthwash, all in a nice travel pack
But you can’t collect your prize unless you come in to see us.