In general, you should attend a dental checkup at least twice a year to keep a close eye on your dental health and any issues that may develop. Routine checkups facilitate early treatment, when necessary, which can help save time and money by preventing the need for future extensive restorations or specialized treatment. Your checkup appointments also include professional cleanings, and tips for improved home hygiene practices, to further reduce the risk of serious dental health issues developing between visits.
During your visit, your dentist will carefully inspect your teeth, gums, and other tissues and structures within your oral cavity, sometimes with the help of intraoral X-rays and other diagnostic imaging technology. The inspection will reveal concerns such as gingivitis, which can quickly mature into gum disease, and enamel erosion, which can lead to tooth infection and cavities. Your dentist will also be able to spot structural damage to one or more teeth that could continue to grow more severe without treatment.
If your dentist detects any concerns, he or she can also teach you techniques to improve your daily hygiene routines at home and take better care of your oral health between visits. Every checkup will also include a thorough oral cancer screening to check for warnings signs of the disease, such as lumps, lesions, sores that do not heal, and more.
What is the difference between a checkup and a cleaning?
A checkup (examination) and cleaning (prophylaxis) are performed during the same visit, and serve two distinct preventative purposes. Dental examinations allow your dentist to thoroughly inspect the state of your teeth, gums, and oral cavity for signs of developing or impending trouble. If detected, issues like tooth infection, gum disease, and conditions that could lead to tooth loss may be more effectively treated in their earliest stages. Dental cleaning, or prophylaxis, involves the careful and complete removal of harmful plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth, and along your gum line. Removing the bacteria-rich films periodically will greatly reduce your risk of developing serious dental health issues.
What is the cost of a checkup and cleaning?
The average cost of a dental checkup ranges between $75 and $300 or more, depending on the dentist. But with a general dentist in Doctors Network, the cost including X-rays and cleaning is only $25.