How often should I visit the dentist for dental cleanings?

Preventative appointments, or checkup and cleaning appointments, are typically scheduled no more than six months apart. An important goal in preventative treatment is to avoid the buildup of bacteria-rich plaque and tartar, which contribute to tooth infection, gum disease, and more if allowed to accumulate. Visiting your dentist at least twice a year can help effectively keep harmful oral bacteria at bay and reduce your risk for more extensive and costly dental treatment down the road.

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 technology do dentists use during a preventative visit?

With a skilled and experienced eye, your dentist will first perform a visual inspection of your oral cavity to search for noticeable signs of trouble. During your exam your dentist may also utilize digital intraoral X-rays – which emit up to 90 percent less radiation than traditional X-rays – or panoramic digital X-rays that can capture your entire mouth on a single X-ray. Advanced imaging using iCAT and CBCT (cone beam) scans can provide additional information, especially when planning more involved treatment with a specialist.

What is the cost of a checkup?

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.

What is the cost of a tooth whitening?

The average cost of tooth whitening ranges between $400 and $700 for both arches, depending on the dentist. But with a general dentist in Doctors Network, the cost is only $100 per arch.