Why do I need a dental examination?

An examination up allows your dentist to see if you have any dental problems and helps to keep your mouth healthy.  Leaving problems untreated could make them more difficult to treat in the future, so it’s best to deal with problems early, or, if possible, prevent them altogether.

What happens during an examination?

At each examination, your dentist should:

  • Examine your teeth, gums and mouth.
  • Ask about your general health and any problems you’ve had with your teeth, mouth or gums since your last visit.
  • Ask about, and give you advice on, your diet, smoking and alcohol use, and teeth-cleaning habits.
  • Discuss a date for your next visit.

How often should I have a dental examination?

After your examination, your dentist will recommend a date for your next visit. The time to your next examination could be as short as three months or as long as two years (or up to one year if you're under 18).

Generally, the lower your risk of dental problems, the longer you can wait before your next examination.  So people with good oral health will probably need to attend only once every 12 to 24 months, but those with more problems will need examination more often.

What about dental treatments?

This advice is about routine examinations only. You may have other appointments for dental treatments such as fillings, teeth cleaning (scale and polish), having a tooth taken out or emergency treatment.

If you have problems with your teeth between examinations, contact the practice to make an earlier appointment.  In an emergency outside normal working hours, contact the practice on its usual number and a message will explain how to access emergency dental care.