It is recommended that you visit your dentist for a routine examination at regular intervals, where a thorough examination of your mouth, teeth and gums will be carried out. 

What to expect during your examination

Regular check-ups allow potential problems to be identified early to prevent the risk of further damage. Appointments take approximately 15-30 minutes for adults and 10 minutes for children.


If dental decay is suspected, X-rays will be taken to assess the extent of the damage and plan future treatment. X-rays of back teeth are taken at regular intervals based on your dental disease risk. For new patients, X-rays will be taken to provide a complete overview of your dental health.

Periodontal (gum) examination

Your gums and periodontal health will be assessed for any indicators of gum disease using a specialised instrument. This is particularly important as gum disease can lead to tooth loss if left untreated.

Mouth cancer screening 

We will check the soft tissues inside your mouth for any lesions or patches that may require investigation. The majority of these are harmless, but to be safe we may refer you to a local oral medicine department for specialist investigations. 

At the end of your examination

Your dentist will discuss the findings from your examination with you. Should you require any treatment, options will be discussed with you, followed by the creation of a bespoke treatment plan. Follow up appointments can then be arranged as required.

"They always chat through my treatment plan and explain each step as we go along"

Anon 2015, NHS Choices

Last Updated June 2020

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