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Some of you may live in fear of them, but dental check-ups are a fact of life. Here we take a look at everything you need to know about that trip to the dentist…..
First things first: How much does a dental check-up cost?
A routine dentist check up on the NHS is £19.70*( NHS Choices) Private care costs can vary, so consult your dental practice for the price. Having dental insurance can help to manage and spread cost of routine check-ups.
What does a dental check-up involve?
A standard dental check-up may include any number of different things, including an inspection of your teeth, mouth and gums to look for signs of dental decay, the build-up of tartar, crowding of your teeth and even signs of mouth cancer. They will also check to see if you have been grinding your teeth as the effects can be serious and irreversible. (NHS Choices)
The dentist may inquire about your general health, your diet, and how often (and if) you drink and smoke. They are also likely to ask about your dental care regime - how often you brush, floss, etc.
The visit may include a simple scale and polish, which, once the tartar has been removed, should leave your teeth feeling smoother and cleaner.
If necessary, they will discuss if any treatment is required, and how much it might cost. If not, they may provide some advice on dental care and suggest when your next appointment should be. (Source: NHS Direct).
How often should I have a check-up with my dentist?
The dentist is best placed to decide how often you should see them. They will make the decision based upon the condition of your oral health, particularly your teeth, mouth and gums. For adults, it can be as far apart as two years, but children should go at least once a year. (Source: NHS Direct).
What if I miss my appointment?
You should do your best to inform your dental practice if you are likely to miss your appointment. If it’s an NHS practice, failure to notify them will give your dentist grounds to cancel your treatment, and withhold the fees. You may then have to pay again for a new course of treatment.
An NHS dentist can’t charge you for missing an appointment. However, if you persistently do so, they can ask you to find another dentist. (Source: NHS Direct).
What should I do if I’m afraid of going to the dentist?
Fear of visiting the dentist is surprisingly common. Almost half of adults suffer from a fear of the dentist. Of this, 12% suffer with serious dental phobia (Source: Oral Health Foundation / National Smile Month). Remember that you are not alone. Many doctors offer help with this specific issue. Consult your dental practice for further details.
*Information correct as of 09/16, subject to change.