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Dental Checkup

Just like regular visits to your doctor help keep your body healthy, regular dental checkups help keep your mouth, teeth, and gums healthy and functioning properly. Dental care and oral hygiene have been linked to everything from cardiovascular health to mental health, so taking care of them is just as important to your wellbeing as exercise and diet.  

Castle Dental knows dental checkups are crucial to your health. That’s why we make it convenient and affordable for you and your family to get the care you need. From multiple locations and a variety of payment, financing, and insurance options to a wide-ranging list of professional dental services, Castle Dental is committed to your oral health not just for today, but for tomorrow and every day after!

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When should you get a dental checkup or oral exam?

You should get a dental checkup every year at a minimum, with dental cleanings every six months. At Castle Dental, you can schedule to have both your checkup and your cleaning done in the same appointment, and we can see everyone in your family.

While biannual cleanings are sufficient for most people, others may need to visit the dentist more frequently. There are also several groups for whom regular checkups are especially important.

  • Pregnant women should pay extra close attention to their oral health as hormones can increase the risk of developing dental diseases such as periodontal disease. 
  • Elderly people will experience more dental issues with age, but regular checkups and exams can help slow the progression of these issues and help preserve good oral health.
  • Children should start attending a dentist or a pediatric dentist as early as 6 months. By one, children should have seen a dentist for at least an initial consultation. 
  • People with dental anxiety should not avoid regular care out of fear. Good dental care is critically important to overall health and quality of life, and the dentists at Castle Dental are trained and well-equipped to help make everyone’s experience as comfortable and stress-free as possible. If you are scared of going to the dentist, schedule an initial consultation with a dentist at Castle Dental to go over all the options available for helping you get the care you need. 

Why should you get a regular dental exam?

Preventative care is essential to maintaining good long-term dental health and good health overall. The mouth is often considered “the gateway” to the body. Not only do many broader health concerns such as cancer first manifest themselves as abnormalities in the mouth and throat, but many dental conditions–if left untreated–can develop into broader issues with overall health, like cardiovascular or heart disease and diabetes.

Regularly visiting Castle Dental for a checkup allows our team to have a better understanding of your overall dental needs so we can provide you with the best, most individualized care possible.

Regular dental checkups and oral exams help make sure small problems don’t become big problems, like:

Symptom: Swelling, red, or bleeding gums

Could be a sign of: Early stages of gingivitis and gum disease

If not treated, can lead to: Infection, tooth loss

Early detection can: Prevent progression of the disease with improvements to daily hygiene habits, including better brushing and flossing and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash

 

Symptom: Pain, sensitivity, or white spots on the soft tissues of the mouth

Could be a sign of: Oral cancer. People who smoke or chew tobacco, drink heavily, who are older, and who have poor dental hygiene are at higher risk.

If not treated, can lead to: Wide-spread cancer in the lymphatic or skeletal system; could be fatal.

Early detection can: Allow for early treatment and potentially better outcomes.

 

Symptom: Tooth sensitivity or discoloration, bad breath, or spots of tooth decay or enamel erosion

Could be a sign of: Chipped, cracked, or loosened teeth; damaged restorations; infected dental pulp; damage to tooth roots.

If not treated, can lead to: Further enamel erosion and decay, painful and dangerous infection, tooth damage or loss

Early detection can: Help restore integrity and functionality of the teeth with fillings, caps, or crowns and protect them from future damage. 

What steps do dental checkups include?

While dental checkups can technically be performed separate from a cleaning, most dentists will schedule you to receive both an exam and a cleaning at the same time. Clean teeth are easier to examine, making potential problems more noticeable. Additionally, getting both done in the same appointment saves you time and money. 

In general, most checkups consist of three parts:

  1. X-rays. Although most people only need them once a year, dental x-rays provide a better in-depth picture of your oral health. With x-rays, not only can your dentist check the surface of your teeth, but he or she can also check for any problems deeper inside the teeth and the jawbone that would be invisible to the naked eye.
  2. Cleaning. Performed by a dental hygienist with specialized tools, a professional dental cleaning removes accumulated plaque, tartar, and bacteria that regular brushing can’t reach or get rid of. Removing this buildup–especially from hard-to-reach places–helps reduce your risk of developing a cavity. 
  3. Visual exam. Once your teeth have been cleaned, the dentist will come in and check each tooth individually. He or she will use small mirrors and special tools to look at the backs of your teeth, your biting surfaces, and along your gum line, looking for any signs of cavities or gingivitis. They will also look for warning signs of bigger problems like infection and oral cancer, and check to make sure your jaw and teeth are properly aligned and working like they should. (Problems with alignment or jaw function can lead to uneven wear and tear on the teeth, excessive strain on the teeth and facial muscles, and TMJ.)

Once everything is complete, the dentist will discuss any areas of concern, schedule any necessary treatment, and ask if you are experiencing anything out of the ordinary, like tooth sensitivity, jaw pain, or other discomfort. This is also a good time to let your dentist know if you have any questions about your dental or oral health or have any concerns about anything. 

Still have questions about what happens during your dental checkup? Visit our What to Expect page for more information!

How much do dental checkups cost?

Compared to the types of restorative procedures required to repair or replace damaged, decayed, or missing teeth, dental checkups are among the most affordable ways to help protect and preserve your oral health. While the actual cost can vary by individual offices, most or all of it is usually covered by standard dental insurance plans. If you don’t have insurance, dental offices like Castle Dental typically offer lower service costs, discounts or specials, in addition to accepting CareCredit. 

At Castle Dental, new patients can receive an exam and digital x-rays for $59, while our OneSmile Dental Plan provides members with free exams and x-rays and money-saving discounts on all dental services for one low yearly rate.

Check In to Your Dental Health with Checkups from Castle Dental

Annual checkups and biannual cleanings are great times to check in with your dental health and check in with the team of friendly professionals at Castle Dental. Taking care of your teeth for a lifetime is a big job, and Castle Dental is here with all the comprehensive dental services you need to do it with ease, convenience, and affordability. It doesn’t matter when your last checkup was or if you’ve ever even had one, now is the perfect time to find the Castle Dental location nearest you and schedule an appointment! Your smile will thank you!