What to Expect during a Checkup

  • Sep 27 2016

Does the idea of going to the dentist make you nervous? If so, you aren’t alone. Lots of people are known to fear dental exams (even, according to J-14 celebs like Justin Bieber!) This could be based on a variety of factors, from a bad experience as a child to worry about pain to simply not liking medical environments. But not going to the dentist can have big consequences — including cavities, tartar buildup, missing teeth, and gingivitis — that can be reduced with preventative care. What’s more, when those larger conditions arise, appointments become more complex, lengthy, and possibly uncomfortable. This is why it’s important to have regular checkups.

So how often is “regular”? As one Huffington Post writer found out, it really depends on your current dental health. For some people with severely damaged teeth, quarterly appointments might be necessary. For others, less frequent trips might be sufficient. The article revealed that a common choice is to have check-ups twice a year. This is not a firm number, but it’s a pretty solid figure. For one, the article explains, it’s easy to just book two appointments in advance, six months apart, while you are already in the office. Factors beyond your control, like insurance allotments and appointment availability, should also be taken into consideration. And these regular checkups are important for all members of your family – including little ones who still have baby teeth, which, as Cold Spring, New York, mom Melinda Wenner Moye recently learned, are just as important to care for as adult teeth.

But let’s get back to the idea of fearing the dentist. Sometimes, our patients simply don’t know what to expect while they are in our office, which can lead to apprehension before and during an appointment. While each patient is different and treated with a unique care plan, there are certain consistencies during all regular appointments. Here are a few things that you can expect when you come in for a treatment:


Despite your best efforts to brush and floss (yes, we still recommend this!), some plaque can’t be removed without a professional cleaning. We’ll use our tools to loosen and remove plaque buildup, giving you care that you just can’t get at home.


While you’re in the chair, we’ll use a mirror and some tools to closely examine your mouth and spot any cavities, infections, or early signs of oral cancer or gum disease.


Dental radiographs (X-rays) are one of the most effective ways to sight dental issues before they become major concerns. We’ll take several images of your upper and lower teeth, as well as your jaws, sinuses, nasal area, and the floor of the mouth. It might be a mouthful, but it’s pretty quick and it gives us a comprehensive picture of your oral health.

After your checkup is complete, we’ll discuss any concerns that popped up and communicate about future appointments.

Going to the dentist shouldn’t be scary. If you need a checkup, call or stop by our Forest Hills office to discuss the process and learn about our complete services. The more informed you are, the more at ease you’ll feel about getting the dental treatment you need.

We are well aware that many patients are anxious about going to the dentist, particularly if it is their first time visiting our office. We always spend a few minutes getting to know our new patients and find out if they have any particular concerns we can address. In addition to taking X-rays and taking the time to do a head and neck cancer screening, we always take the time to reduce out patients’ anxieties and make them feel comfortable.

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