Keeping your teeth in good shape is important to have a nice smile and chew well. To do this, you have to be proactive in maintaining good dental care. Having regular dentist checkups and exams done periodically will help you with this. But what does a dental exam cost?
Here’s a brief overview on the importance of checkups, and where you can get a free dental exam in the New York City area.
Why do I need a dental exam?
To prevent and correct teeth and gum problems, dentist perform a dental exam. They survey your gums, teeth, and the bone structure in your jaw for cavities, periodontal disease, and other issues. If anything needs to be addressed, your dentist will speak with you on the best plan to restore your oral health.
How often should I get an exam?
You need to have a dental exam done to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy. If they aren’t, you can create a treatment plan for any work that needs to be done. The recommended frequency to visit your dentist is twice a year and usually six months a part.
If you have good oral health, and are medically well, your dentist may decide only an annual exam is necessary. However, having certain medical conditions, such as diabetes, that often causes gum complications and bone decay, may require you to visit your dentist more often. Ultimately, your dentist will decide what regularity is best for you based upon your teeth’s health.
What happens if I don’t ever get a dental exam?
If you don’t have a dental exam to check for issues, problems will go untreated.
Tooth abscess, a cavity, inflammation, or an infection should not be ignored. Abscess and gum disease left untreated often results in tooth and bone loss. Having your teeth surveyed can act as preventive care, or stop small issues before they become costly. Repairing untreated and overdue procedures have higher fees than maintaining good oral health.
How long does a dental exam take?
The length of a dental exam varies, but usually it’s a 30 to 45-minute appointment. If you are going to a new dentist, you’ll need to add time to complete paperwork along with supplying insurance and billing information.
The next step is taking x-rays of your teeth and jaw. This looks for possible cavities and abnormalities that might be present. A dental hygienist may or may not clean your teeth. You should discuss your exam results with the dentist to see if any dental work is required.
Are dental exams safe?
For the most part, getting a dental exam is perfectly safe. However, the biggest concern for most people is getting the x-rays done on their teeth and jaw. An x-ray uses radiation to make images of your bones. The process has not dramatically changed over the past years. X-ray machines that produce radiation are still used. But as with everything else, improvements have been made. Kodak and other manufacturers of dental film have developed a faster process that does not need as much radiation. Digitizing the x-rays in the office reduces the amount of radiation required too.
Still, you will wear a protective apron to prevent other areas of your body from being exposed. If you have any concerns about the exam or x-ray, you should bring them up to your dentist so he or she can discuss what is happening and how it can affect you.
How much does a dental exam cost?
The average cost for a dental exam varies by regions, but you can expect to pay about $304 dollars in the greater New York City area if you don’t have insurance. You can get a free dental exam near you at a local clinic that offer services to economically disadvantaged residents.
Unfortunately, going to a clinic that offers a free dental exam often means long waiting room periods. If you are interested in exploring other possible options, check out Metrodent. It’s affordable, and has a list of qualified dentists you can choose from for your dental care. All in-network dentist accept Metrodents’ pre-negotiated discounted rates.
This article was reviewed and approved by a board certified dentist.