What Happens at a Dental Checkup?

What Happens at a Dental Checkup?

At Care Dental Center in Carson, we love helping our patients with their oral health. A healthy mouth along with a beautiful smile is an important part of a happy, successful life. One of the best ways to ensure good oral health is through a regular dental checkup.

What Is a Dental Checkup?

A dental checkup or examination is a medical process by which the dentist will assess the health of your teeth, as well as your gums, jaw, and surrounding tissue. It’s the foundation for everything we do at our Carson dental office.

How Often Are Dental Checkups Needed?

Both children and adults need dental checkups and should visit the dentist for a routine checkup and teeth cleaning at least twice per year. Your yearly checkup will be a bit more comprehensive and usually includes digital X-rays to see what’s happening inside the teeth. You’ll also get a routine teeth cleaning. Then, you’ll come back six months later for a briefer checkup (more like a check-in) and a routine teeth cleaning.

What Happens When You Arrive for Your Dental Checkup?

When you arrive at our welcoming dental office in Carson, you’ll fill out some forms and a medical history if you haven’t already filled them out online. (We recommend filling out the forms in advance of your appointment, and you can find them here at this link.)

If pandemic protocols are in place, you may be required to wear a mask into the office and have your temperature taken. (Please, if you or your children have any symptoms of cold, flu, or covid, call us to reschedule, even if it’s at the last minute.)

We will also want to see your current ID and dental insurance card, if you have one, so please have them handy.

What Happens During a Dental Checkup?

When it is time for your appointment, you or your child will be brought into a private area for your examination and teeth cleaning. Our staff will be wearing hygienic masks so you will be protected as we do the examination. The dental assistant or hygienist will take digital X-rays and images as needed.

Then, the dentist will come in to examine your teeth and gums. This is generally a painless process, but it might be slightly uncomfortable as you will have your mouth open while the dentist is examining your mouth.

A small metal probe may also be used to check your gums for pockets. This is a way to determine if any sort of gum disease is an issue.

After the exam, the dentist will discuss any potential problems and possible treatment plans. Then, the dental hygienist will perform a comprehensive teeth cleaning.

What Happens During a Teeth Cleaning?

A routine teeth cleaning will usually occur right after your checkup. You will relax in the dental chair while the hygienist uses professional tools to carefully scrape away tartar and plaque buildup that can harm your teeth. A suction device is also placed in the mouth to clear away water and debris. Once complete, the dental hygienist will polish and floss the teeth.

What Happens If I or My Child Have Dental Anxiety?

If you or your child suffer from anxiety during dental appointments, we have safe sedation options such as nitrous oxide. Just let our team know in advance of the appointment so we can be prepared. The dentist will be happy to answer any questions you have about dental sedation.

What Can Happen If I Don’t Get a Dental Checkup?

Getting a dental checkup at least once per year is really important for your oral health. Even if you think your teeth are OK, you still need to get a regular checkup at the dentist. You may have things going on with your teeth that you can’t see but will show up in an exam. We’ll be checking not just for cavities but gum disease, infection, and any signs of oral cancer.

If you don’t get a regular dental checkup, you could be at risk for a serious condition that could have been easily treated if caught early on. Some conditions, such as cancer, can actually be life-threatening.

Why Is Oral Cancer Screening So Important?

A very important part of your dental checkup is the screening for oral cancer. Oral cancer is very common and occurs in more than 3 million people in the United States each year. While oral cancer can occur in people of all ages, women and anyone over 45 are at higher risk.

During your dental checkup, your Carson dentist will look for any signs such as red or white patches on the tissues of the mouth. Early treatment is the key to success with this type of cancer. Oral cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy.

What Does a Dental Checkup Cost?

A dental checkup is not that expensive and it may be covered by your dental insurance. Many dental insurance companies understand the value of a regular dental checkup and so they will often cover the entire cost. A professional dental examination in Carson, California can cost from $75 to $150 or more; if digital X-rays or other images are required, they may be a little extra. Our front desk staff at Care Dental Center in Carson can help you with an estimate for your specific needs.

Getting Started With a Dental Checkup in Carson

Care Dental Center in Carson, California is a great place to get dental checkups for your whole family. Our friendly and skilled staff is here to help you and your family gain amazing smiles to be proud of. The first step in this process is a dental checkup. We have convenient, flexible appointment times and take many kinds of dental insurance.

So what are you waiting for? Call us today at (310) 626-0004 to schedule a dental checkup for you and your family. We are looking forward to meeting you!

Looking for a great dentist in Southern California in the South Bay? Try Care Dental Center in Carson, California. Call us today at (310) 626-0004 to schedule your dental checkup or use our convenient online appointment request form.

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