Dental Check-Up Dentist in Tarzana, CA

Dental Check-Up Dentist in Tarzana, CA

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What Happens During a Dental Check-Up?

What’s included in a dental check-up?

A dental check-up usually involves a comprehensive assessment of your oral health. The process starts with a patient questionnaire to gather your oral health history. When you're called to the exam room, you'll meet with a hygienist or certified dental assistant who will initiate your check-up by performing a dental X-Ray and a teeth cleaning, including:

  • Using various tools and instruments to eliminate tartar and plaque from around your gum line and teeth surface.
  • Polishing your teeth to remove surface stains and leave them smooth.
  • Reporting findings to the dentist, including signs of decay, gum disease, or other oral health issues.
  • Taking X-rays if ordered by the dentist to examine the inside of your teeth and gums.

Remember, a dental check-up is not only about cleaning teeth; it's also about identifying and preventing potential oral health problems before they escalate. Regular check-ups help detect and prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and other oral conditions, ultimately saving you time, money, and discomfort in the long term.

What’s the distinction between a dental check-up and a dental exam?

During a dental exam at Life Smile Dental, a dentist examines your teeth, gums, and oral structures for any signs of issues. Using tools like mirrors, probes, and X-rays, they assess your teeth, gums, and mouth. They search for cavities, decay, and other problems like chips, cracks, or wear. They also check for gum disease indicators such as redness, swelling, or bleeding.

The dentist also inspects your soft palate, throat, and neck for abnormalities or signs of oral cancer. Oral cancer, a serious condition, can be life-threatening if not caught early. They look for red or white patches, lumps, or persistent sores.

The dentist reviews any taken X-rays, providing a detailed view of your teeth and jaws to reveal hidden issues. Problems like decay, bone loss, or impacted teeth can be detected through X-rays.

If the dentist identifies any problems, they recommend suitable treatment, which may involve fillings, crowns, or root canals to restore teeth or address gum disease and oral issues.

The dentist discusses your oral health and habits, providing advice on enhancing oral hygiene and suggesting changes to brushing and flossing. They may recommend regular dental check-ups and cleanings for better oral health.

While dental check-ups and dental exams are often used interchangeably, some differentiate them based on tasks assigned to dental professionals. A dental check-up is usually performed by a dental hygienist, involving tasks like teeth cleaning, plaque removal, and teeth polishing.

Conversely, a dental exam is typically conducted by a dentist and involves a thorough evaluation of teeth, gums, and overall oral health. The exam may also include diagnostic procedures like X-rays and bite evaluation.

To summarize, a dental check-up emphasizes cleaning and maintenance, while a dental exam focuses more on diagnosis and treatment planning.

How much does a dental check-up cost?

The cost of a dental check-up varies, influenced by factors like dental insurance and procedures performed during the visit.

Many routine teeth cleanings are covered by dental insurance, though copays may apply. If the dentist suggests additional work, they'll provide a cost estimate in advance.

Several dental procedures receive partial insurance coverage, so understanding your plan details is vital. Minimize costs by being aware of coverage and potential out-of-pocket expenses.

At our Tarzana dental practice, we offer new patient options. Life Smile Dental in Tarzana presents a new patient special at $39.99, so visit our online booking page.

What if something is wrong with my teeth?

If the dental exam reveals issues, your Tarzana dentist provides a detailed diagnosis and explains the problem. They may suggest procedures or refer you to a specialist based on the problem's nature.

For instance, tooth alignment issues might lead to orthodontic treatment like braces or clear aligners. Your dentist could refer you to an orthodontist, a specialist in this field.

Expect a treatment plan outlining recommended procedures and costs. Your dentist explains options, considering your budget, insurance, and oral health for an informed decision.

Your dentist collaborates with specialists like orthodontists for coordinated care, communication, and updates. They ensure adjustments are made for the best oral health outcome.

How often do I need a dental check-up?

Regular dental check-ups and exams are vital for maintaining oral health. Early identification prevents severe issues that are expensive to treat.

Tartar buildup can lead to cavities and gum disease. Schedule at least one check-up and exam annually to prevent such problems. Understand your dental insurance for cost planning.

Dental expenses vary based on treatment and insurance. Understanding coverage helps plan for expenses. Check plan details for covered procedures.


Dental Services provided by Life Smile Dental.