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Affordable Dental Checkup

When you invest in your oral health, you invest in your overall health, and dental checkups are one of the best investments you can make. Scheduling routine dental check ups is just as important as daily brushing and flossing, and they are an affordable way to maintain a healthy, beautiful smile. 

Regular dental checkups are just part of Monarch Dental’s comprehensive dental care offerings. During a checkup, a dental hygienist cleans any buildup of tartar, plaque and stains of your teeth. After the cleaning, a dentist will then perform a thorough evaluation to screen for any gum disease, cavities or oral cancers. Catching these conditions like these early will allow for more effective treatment and save you time, money, and potential discomfort down the road.

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How often should I see my dentist?

Dental checkups should be scheduled annually, and dental cleanings twice a year starting as early as 6 months old. Annual exams allow your dentist to become familiar with your overall oral health and be in tune with any unique circumstances regarding your teeth. Everyone should be visiting the dentist regularly, but routine exams are especially important for children, teenagers, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with persistent health conditions.

It is not uncommon for people to avoid the dentist because of fear or anxiety. The staff at Monarch Dental understands that going to the dentist can be stressful, so our professionals have a plethora of support options and resources to help make your visits just a little easier. If you are nervous or anxious about a dental checkup, we encourage you to speak with our team about all the ways we can create an experience that is as comfortable as possible. 

Why are dental checkups and oral exams important?

Research continues to indicate that oral health is connected to your overall health. For example, if you are experiencing tooth pain, it could affect your diet, and dietary deficiencies can cause a number of other ailments. Another example is that people with gum disease tend to be at a higher risk for developing heart disease.

Dental checkups and oral exams allow your dentist to screen for a variety of issues, such as:

  • Tooth decay. Tooth decay can lead to enamel erosion and infected teeth. This is because when bacteria feed on sugar in the mouth, the acid it secretes wears down tooth enamel, leading to bad breath, tooth pain, sensitivity to hot and cold, cavities, or infections. Untreated tooth decay can eventually lead to the need for restorative treatments like crowns, root canals, or even extraction.
  • Gum disease. If it’s detected early, gum disease can be treated and even halted fairly easily. Simple improvements in your dental hygiene routine may be enough to alleviate the uncomfortable symptoms such as swelling, redness and bleeding during brushing and flossing. By increasing the frequency and thoroughness of which you brush and floss your teeth, you can avoid more serious cases of gum disease which can lead to surgery or deep cleaning treatments. 
  • Oral cancer. Anyone can develop oral cancer, however it is more likely to appear in people who smoke, chew tobacco and drink heavily. A typical early symptom may look like small, white dots on the gums and/or cheeks. When you visit your dentist regularly enough you improve your chances of detecting this cancer early on which can have a significant effect on the growth and spread of the cancer. By catching it early, you gain access to treatment that will prevent the cancer from spreading to your jawbones or lymph nodes.

When treatment for these conditions is delayed, you could experience significant health concerns in the future. Visiting your dentist regularly ensures problems are detected and treated as early, quickly, and effectively as possible.

What happens during a dental checkup?

Dental checkups primarily consist of a thorough visual evaluation of your mouth, teeth, tongue, gums, and throat, as well as a discussion with the dentist regarding your dental history, any symptoms you’ve been experiencing at home, and any treatments you may need in the future.

What happens during your dental checkup depends on whether or not you’ll also be getting x-rays and having your teeth cleaned. Most of the time, patients schedule a cleaning and an exam at the same time. This is often for convenience, and because problems are more easily identified on clean teeth and gums, but you can still get a checkup without a cleaning. 

Dental Cleaning. During your cleaning, a dental hygienist will use special tools to remove plaque and tartar that has built up on the teeth. 

X-rays. X-rays provide a comprehensive picture of your teeth and gums, as well as anything that might be underneath them, and are usually only taken yearly, so you may not need to get them at every appointment. To take dental x-rays:

  1. The dental assistant or hygienist will place a protective lead vest over your chest to protect you from unnecessary exposure to radiation.
  2. You will bite down on a small device that holds the x-ray film.
  3. The assistant or hygienist will position the x-ray camera up to the sides or front of your jaw, wherever they need the image.
  4. The x-ray will be taken and the camera and x-ray film repositioned as necessary for more images. 

Oral Exam. Once an x-ray and/or cleaning has been completed, your dentist will come and perform a thorough visual examination of all your teeth. He or she will use a mirror and special tools to assess the health of each and every tooth, looking for signs of cavities, gum disease, oral cancer, or other health issues. He or she may also have you open and close your mouth and bite down to check that your jaws and teeth are properly aligned and functioning correctly. 

Exam Summary. Lastly, your dentist will have a conversation with you about their findings, any irregularities or areas of concern they noticed, any treatment plans that need to be made, and any concerns you may have. This is your opportunity to discuss any tooth or jaw pain, gum pain or bleeding, sensitivity to hold or cold food and drinks that you may be experiencing.

For more on what happens during a dental checkup, you can also visit our What to Expect page for more information. 

The Cost of a Dental Checkup

Most dental insurance plans will cover most or all of the cost of routine dental checkups, but costs can vary. At Monarch Dental, we know dental checkups are crucial to good oral health, and that when you spend a little now, you save a lot later. That’s why we work hard to make dental checkups affordable and accessible to everyone. In addition to our long list of accepted dental insurances, we regularly offer new patient discounts and specials, like $59 exams and x-rays, as well as our own OneSmile Dental Plan, which provides members with free exams and x-rays and discounts on all dental services. 

You shouldn’t have to forgo preventative care because of cost. If you think you may have trouble covering the cost of dental checkups, call Monarch Dental. We’ll work with you to find ways for you to afford the care you need.

Make Dental Health a Priority with Dental Checkups at Monarch Dental

When it comes to dental health, a little goes a long way, and routine dental checkups from Monarch Dental are just one easy, affordable way to keep your mouth, teeth, and gums going strong. It doesn’t matter when your last checkup was, or even if you’ve never had one–it’s never too late to start taking care of your teeth.If you are experiencing any pain or discomfort, schedule an appointment even if it is within the six month range of your last checkup; these could be signs of a bigger problem such as infection or tooth decay. Find the location nearest you and contact us today!