Check up and clean

I need a dentist expert tips

Be wary of 15-minute appointments: This is not an adequate amount of time to perform a thorough examination and clean. Appointments should be between 30 and 90 minutes.

The dentist withholding any information, or not informing you of costs, associated with an extra procedure such as x-rays: Dentists should seek consent regarding additional procedures and costs. They should be transparent with the reasons behind their recommendations.

Avoid Health Fund recommendations: In order to receive no out of pocket expenses your Health Fund may insist you attend its own branded clinic. Dentists at these clinics often have revenue targets and over-service patients. Choose a dentist that suits your needs, NOT a Health Fund clinic. It may cost a little more upfront but will save you in the long run.

WHY HAVE REGULAR CHECKS?

A regular check up enables your dentist to find and address current oral health and dental issues, discuss planned treatment and prevent more serious issues from developing. This reduces the risk of expensive or extensive dental treatment.

WHAT HAPPENS DURING THE TREATMENT?

The average check up and clean requires at least 30 minutes, though a thorough examination may take up to 90 minutes. The dentist, oral health therapist or dental therapist will examine the teeth, gum, lips, tongue and saliva to assess oral health. 

WHEN SHOULD CHILDREN START HAVING CHECK UPS?

Children should attend their first dental check up at the age of 2 years. The initial visit and annual follow up appointments should focus on familiarisation with both the equipment and the dentist in order to build trust. This is recommended until the child is comfortable with the dentist examining and cleaning their teeth.

HOW OFTEN DO I NEED A CHECK?

The frequency with which you should schedule a check up and clean depends on your personal oral health. Appointments are spaced 6-12 months apart for the average patient, but only 3-4 months for those prone to decay and/or gum disease.

COSTS

Without a health fund rebate, the average cost is $240.  With a health fund rebate, the average out of pocket expense is between $50-$100.

Some health funds, such as MBP and HCF, provide a 100 percent rebate on dental check ups, so some patients will have no out of pocket expense.

ASK YOUR INEEDA DENTIST

What is the total cost? The dentist should not withhold information and should be open and transparent regarding the reasons for all procedures, and their costs.

Do you take digital x-rays, including OPGs (x-ray of jaw/all teeth)? Dentists who are up to date with technology will use digital x-rays. These use 90 percent less radiation than older style films and are safer for use.