What Happens During a Regular Oral Health Check-Up?

Apr 01, 2020

Drs. Rubinstein & Ducoff recommend going for check-ups at least twice in 12 months. However, patients with the following problems should go more often:

  • People with a family history of cavities or plaque
  • Gum disease
  • People with a weak immune system

Go for a regular dental check-up in Providence to ensure your teeth stay healthy, and any dental problems get attended to early. At our facilities, we have experienced professionals who will ensure you receive excellent care to better your health.

During a teeth check-up, you are bound to meet the following people:

The Receptionist

A receptionist is the first person you are going to meet. They coordinate appointments and payments. They also inform patients when their next visit is.

The Hygienist/Dentist

After getting clearance at the reception, you will head to your dentist or hygienist, where you will spend most of your time. These are professionals who are trained to conduct routine care and other procedures.

If it’s your first appointment, ensure to take your previous medical history with you. It is crucial to let your hygienist know about your health concerns or allergies to avoid the occurrence of any unforeseen incident. A thorough examination will follow next.

The Examination:

Your dental hygienist will examine your mouth, gums, and teeth for any signs of tooth decay, mouth sores, or potential disease. A hand light and mirror are the tools used. There are symptoms of three teeth ailments that specialists look out for:

  1. CavitiesCavities are a common tooth disease. They are formed when bacteria act on the food substances left in between teeth when we eat. Acids are produced in the process dissolving the enamel, causing tooth decay. If there is no early treatment, the tooth is lost.

    A restorative procedure involves drilling out the rotten part and filling the cavity with dental amalgam, gold, or composite resins.

  2. PlaqueBacteria that live in your mouth are responsible for plaque formation. Plaque is a soft, sticky substance formed from the mixing of saliva and food leftovers in your mouth. Failure to brush your teeth after every meal encourages the build-up of plaque, which causes gum disease and tooth decay.

    A scaler is used to scrape the plaque off your teeth. Practitioners in the field will recommend eating raw foods and maintaining a diet rich in fiber.

  3. Bad BreathBad breath, also known as halitosis, is brought about by the action of bacteria on proteins inside the mouth. Stabilized chlorine dioxide found in certain kinds of toothpaste and mouthwashes can be used to eliminate halitosis.

Teeth Cleaning

After the examination, tartar and plaque will be scraped off if present. Then, you will have your teeth polished. Polishing smoothen your teeth and also causes it to shine. The practitioner will use a slightly abrasive foam together with a tooth polisher.

Dental X-Ray

This should be the last thing you take. It assists the specialist in detecting issues below the surface. A select type of plastic is handed out to you to bite down. Meanwhile, an x-ray machine placed against your cheeks takes the image. The image taken will tell your dentist which oral health care is best for you.

Digital x-rays are preferred because they emit less radiation.

Dental Exam

This exam contrasts with the one done before by the hygienist. With the help of your dental x-rays, your dentist can look for any fractures, bone loss, or any visible abnormalities. Other issues that are to be searched include oral cancer, teeth grinding, and jaw alignment.

If you are a patient for the first time in the facility, this exam will be mandatory. The following body parts are examined:

  • Soft tissues – They include the inside of your cheeks, lips, tonsil area, and the tongue. Your dentist will look for signs of lesions, swellings, cuts, and growths.
  • The neck and head – The swelling of salivary glands and lymph nodes can be a sign of a disease or an infection.
  • Gum tissue – Puffy, red, and bleeding gums indicate the possibility of gum disease.


Once this is done, your dentist will be in a position to prescribe any necessary treatment procedures required to treat your dental problems. You will be advised on the next steps to take, including the date scheduled for your next appointment.

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