A regular dental check up is important because they help keep your teeth and gums healthy. You should have a regular dental visit at least every 6 months or as recommended by your dental professional. So rather this checkup is a the first time in a long time or after relocation to a new area, or you may just want a refresher on what to expect at your check-up, we have a few tips to get you prepared for your next dentist appointment.

Helping You Prepare for Your Next Dental Appointment

It doesn’t matter if your dental appointment is for a routine checkup, dental cleaning, or a more advanced procedure -there are a few things you should do to prior to your dental visit.

  • Take along to your appointment all your medical history and medication you are taking.
  • If this is the first time you are seeing this dentist, have your former dentist transfer your records to your new dentist.
  • If you are pregnant, have diabetes, epilepsy, or special needs… let your dentist know in advance/
  • Don’t be afraid to tell your dentist about your fears. Work together to find a solution to help you relax during treatment.

Arrive a few minutes ahead of your appointment so you will have time to fill all the paperwork needed for your insurance. If you need to eat before going to the dentist just take your toothbrush with you and brush your teeth at the dental office.

What Happens at the Typical Check-up Appointment?

  • You will be welcomed by the receptionist and he/she will collect your contact information, health history, and insurance information.
  • Be sure and answer all the questions so the dental team can make the best recommendations for you. Remember your information is always kept private, so it’s important to be thorough and honest.
  • Be sure and bring your insurance information. If you do not have insurance, let the staff know as they will likely have ways to help pay for any treatment you need.
  • Be sure and let your dentist know if there are ever any changes to any of this information.

Expect the Following Oral Healthcare Activities

Professionals who will treat you

Two oral healthcare professionals – your dentist and the dental hygienist – will likely see you. The hygienist will conduct an initial oral exam of your gums. (Hygienists are not allowed to diagnose tooth or gum problems but can document them) Hygienists document any changes in your overall health and medicine use, clean and polish your teeth, talk to you about caring for your teeth and gums, and answer any questions you might have about home care products. Your dentist will also conduct an oral exam of your gums and teeth, ask about changes in your overall health or medicine use, review the cleaning done by the hygienist, look for signs of oral cancer and other diseases, diagnose any oral health problems, and make treatment recommendations.


X-rays may be taken during your checkup. Your dentist will consider your oral exam, dental history, and risk for developing cavities to decide how often you need X-rays. It is an important part of the dental check-up and can help with early detection of certain disease and disorders.


Although tooth brushing and flossing help remove plaque, only a professional cleaning – provided by your dentist or dental hygienist – can thoroughly clean your teeth and remove the hardened plaque (called calculus or tartar) that builds up on teeth. Most hygienists use a series of metal hand instruments to clean your teeth. Some are using ultrasonic scalers, which provide deep cleaning above and below the gum line. After your teeth have been cleaned, they are polished to remove plaque and stains on the tooth surface.


Take the opportunity with the dental team to ask questions about any concerns you have with your oral care, such as pain, habits or cosmetic services. Once you finish with the clinical team, you will need to pay for your visit and schedule your next appointment, so it is likely back up front to visit with the office team or receptionist before you depart. It is recommended that most people get a dental check-up at least twice a year, but the length between visits will vary based on your oral health.

We hope you fell better about knowing what to expect at your next dental check-up!

Contact Us (859-689-1105) For More Information or to Make an Appointment!


About Tri-State Family Dentistry

Tri-State Family Dentistry is dedicated to providing the highest quality dental care possible. Being privately owned since 2009, we don’t experience the corporate pressure that other dental practices have to hit certain revenue numbers. You will never be ‘sold’ dentistry at Tri-State Family Dentistry. After we explain your treatment options, you can make your own decisions.