Wedgewood Dental

What Happens At A Dental Check-Up?

What Happens At A Dental Check-Up?

Going into your dental check-up can feel daunting if it’s been a while since your last appointment and you’re not quite sure what to expect. Even though you’ll have a qualified and experienced dentist to guide you through the process, it’s good to be prepared, so we’ll talk through what you can typically expect from your check-up and how you can make the most of it.

The Beginning of Your Appointment

The appointment will typically begin with the dentist asking you some basic questions regarding medical and lifestyle factors that could affect your oral health, such as whether you smoke or drink alcohol, your dental hygiene routine, and whether you’ve been experiencing any issues. This lets them know what they can expect and what they need to look out for.

The dentist may also ask you how you’re feeling, but even if they don’t, you can let them know if you’re feeling nervous. Dentists see a wide range of patients and any good dentist will be kind, understanding, and supportive and will do their best to make you feel comfortable during your appointment.

Checking Your Teeth

Once they’ve gone through everything with you, the dentist will check your teeth. They’ll examine each tooth individually, as well as the surrounding gums, using small tools to help them as needed. This examination allows them to update your dental records, identify any problems, and assess the overall health and hygiene of your teeth and gums. This isn’t painful but may be uncomfortable as you’ll need to hold your mouth wide open for an extended period of time.

In some cases, the dentist may also take X-rays of your teeth and gums. This provides them with even more information about the health and positioning of your teeth and the surrounding bones and can be useful in identifying or assessing the severity of issues that are just starting to develop or are otherwise hard to see. You’ll not need X-rays every time, but if you’ve not been to the dentist in a while, they’ll likely want to take some as part of your check-up.

Dental Cleaning

After they’ve checked your teeth and gums, you’ll often be given a professional cleaning, either by your dentist or by a dental hygienist. During this cleaning, the dentist or hygienist will use metal tools to remove any plaque and tartar from your teeth before polishing them. This polishing is performed using a specialist device that is similar to an electric toothbrush with a rubber tip.

As with the examination of your teeth, the cleaning and polishing process is painless but may feel somewhat strange. If you’re feeling too uncomfortable or anxious and need to take a break, you can let the dentist or hygienist know.

If You Need Additional Work

If the dentist finds that your teeth need any additional work such as fillings or extractions, they’ll explain the problem to you and what your options are for addressing it. In some cases, they may be able to perform the necessary work immediately. This won’t always be possible, however, and they may ask you to make a follow-up appointment at a later date.

At the End of Your Appointment

Toward the end of your appointment, your dentist will talk with you about your teeth and gum health in general and any specific issues they’ve noticed when it comes to your dental hygiene. They’ll offer advice on how best to care for your teeth and to ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy. You’ll also be given a recommendation for when your next check-up should be. Typically this will be between six months and a year, though in some cases the dentist may recommend a sooner follow-up appointment.

Making The Most of Your Appointment

The following tips will help you to make the most of your check-up appointment:

  • Choose a trustworthy and qualified dentist with a good reputation.
  • Ensure you have plenty of time for the appointment so you won’t feel stressed or rushed.
  • If you have any questions or concerns, consider writing these down in advance to make sure you don’t forget anything.
  • Let your dentist know if you’re feeling nervous or uncomfortable at any point during the check-up.
  • Be sure to follow any advice from your dentist after the appointment.
  • Make sure you continue to have regular dental check-ups to ensure that your teeth and gums stay healthy and to catch any problems early.

Making Your Appointment

Even though they can feel scary, a dental check-up is nothing to worry about, especially when you’re going with a caring and professional dental team. If you’re ready to get back on track with your dental health, contact Wedgewood Dental and our supportive, understanding, and experienced team will be happy to help.


713 Salem Avenue Suite A, Rolla MO 65401

Office Hours

MON 7:30 am - 3:30 pm

TUE Closed

WED - THU 7:30 am - 3:30 pm

FRI - SUN Closed

Get in Touch


Phone: (573) 368-7325


1116 S. Main Street, Salem MO 65560

Office Hours

MON Closed

TUE 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

WED - THU Closed

FRI 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

SAT - SUN Closed

Get in Touch


Phone: (573) 729-7701