How Long Do Dental Exams Take?


We know how busy you are and want to respect your time. We know just how important it is that you have a dental exam in NE Calgary twice a year. To help ensure you get a dental exam every six months, dentists do their best to schedule appointments and perform services as efficiently as possible.

While we’re unwilling to say that any person’s mouth is “typical,” we can say that a “typical” dental examination will take approximately 45 minutes. Our dental hygienist near you will frequently ask patients to attend their appointment 10 or 15 minutes early to take care of any paperwork and administrative chores before the examination begins. All told, you should expect to invest roughly an hour in each dental exam in Saddle Ridge.

Remember that the 45-minute estimate can change depending on what our dentist or hygienist finds during their examinations. Suppose significant tooth decay, gum disease or damage to prior dental work is found during an examination. In that case, your appointment may take longer while you receive advice, get answers to any questions that you have and start developing a treatment plan about how to address those issues effectively as soon as possible.

What Will Happen at a Typical Dental Examination?

Our dental exam in Saddle Ridge consists of five parts. First, our dentist and staff will take dental X-rays of your mouth, teeth and jaw. Our dentist, dentist’s assistant or dental hygienist will then take a complete medical history to identify any issues affecting your oral health. This stage may be relatively quick if you have an ongoing relationship with the same dentist. If, on the other hand, you’re commencing a new dentist-patient relationship, a new dentist may have more questions for you to understand your prior medical and dental history.

The third stage in your dental examination will be a thorough examination of each surface in your mouth — soft tissues like your gums, cheeks and tongue and hard tissues like your teeth. The examination will extend beyond examining your teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay and gum disease, including screening for other health conditions such as oral cancer. Beyond that, our dentist and their staff will screen you for other conditions such as temporomandibular joint dysfunction, sleep apnea, sleep bruxism and more.

Once the examination has been completed, you and our dentist will develop a treatment plan to address any issues of concern. This stage, too, may be very quick and nothing more than a refresher on dental hygiene best practices. On the other hand, it may also involve discussing and scheduling procedures such as deep cleanings, fillings, and more. This treatment-planning stage is also your chance to ask any questions you have — or to tell our dentist — about symptoms you may be experiencing in or around your mouth.

The final stage of every examination is a professional cleaning of your teeth. This “routine” professional cleaning is not a “deep” cleaning that would need to be scheduled separately but will leave your teeth clean, smooth and free of plaque and tartar until your next scheduled appointment.

It is easy in the busyness of everyday life. It works to skip dental examinations, but doing so puts your oral and general health at risk while denying yourself the benefits of regular inspections, assessments and cleaning of your teeth and gums. Suppose you’ve been inconsistent in attending your current dentist for any reason or don’t have a current relationship with our dentist to maintain your dental health. In that case, the first step to getting and staying healthy is to contact our dentist near you to arrange a check-up.