What does the dentist check at your routine dental appointment?

03 May 2021

What does the dentist check at your routine dental appointment?

We all know that it is important that we attend for our routine dental appointments, but what is it that the dentist is actually checking when they look in our mouth?

In this month’s blog we explain the 7 things the dentist is checking every time you attend for a dental exam.

Oral Health

The dentist will first ask if you have any concerns relating to your teeth and oral health. They will then assess the overall health of your teeth and gums.

Risk of Tooth Decay

The dentist will assess your risk of cavities and provide advice on preventing tooth decay, this may involve cutting down your consumption of sweet treats and acidic drinks, using a higher fluoride toothpaste or using a soft bristled toothbrush.


X-rays allow the dentist to see if decay is present between teeth, under crowns or fillings and in tooth roots. The dentist will not take x-rays every time you attend for a routine appointment but will take them based on a number of risk factors, for most people these will be taken every 2-3 years.

Signs of gum disease

Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in adults in the UK. However, if spotted early it can be successfully treated with improves oral hygiene and regular hygienist appointments.

Your jaw and bite

Does your jaw click or pop, cause you discomfort or lock? The dentist may be able to relieve the symptoms with temporomandibular joint massage, a splint or bite guard or they may refer you to a specialist, who can further analyse the cause of your discomfort and provide additional treatment.

Your need for dental restorations

Should the dentist notice any areas of tooth decay, chipped or broken teeth or any areas of dental abscess, they will advise you on the best dental restorations to meet your needs. This may be a composite filling, dental crown or root canal treatment.

Signs of mouth cancer

Oral cancers are one of the few cancers on the rise. The dentist will check inside and outside your mouth to determine if there are any areas of concerns. Should they notice anything they will refer you to the hospital for further analysis. If mouth cancer is caught early, there is around a 90% chance of survival.

The dentist will also use your routine dental appointments to advise you on lifestyle choices that may be affecting the health of your teeth and gums and the best oral hygiene routine to follow to ensure that your teeth remain in the best possible condition in between appointments.

All the details of your assessment are recorded and will become part of your patient record which provides the basis for your ongoing treatment and ensures that the dentist can track your dental health between visits over time.

Each time you attend for your appointment, the dentist will advise you on how often you will need to attend, based on the health of your teeth and gums. It is normally advised that you attend the surgery every 6 months, this will ensure that any problems are identified early and can be treated effectively without the need for extensive restorations.

If you would like to book in for your routine dental appointment, call Teeth & Smiles on 020 7352 7049.