Expectations at Your Dental Visit

A visit to the dentist is nothing to fear—even if you haven’t been to a dentist in a while. Still, it’s natural to be worried about a procedure when you don’t know what it involves. That’s why it’s good to know what to expect from a trip to the dentist.

What Is General Dentistry?

Most trips to the dentist involve general services, like cleanings and checkups. These fall under the category of “general dentistry.” General dentistry involves different preventative services that ensure a patient’s oral health by diagnosing any problems, and keeping the teeth clean to avoid any future oral health issues.

General Services

There are two main services that fall under the category of “general dentistry.”

These are:


During a dental checkup/exam a dentist examines the oral health of the patient, and diagnoses any oral health issues that may need additional care. Some of the issues that a dentist may diagnose include:

  • Cavities
  • Infections of the Tooth Pulp
  • Gum Disease
  • Broken or Chipped Teeth
  • Crowding
  • Tooth Migration
  • Bone Loss
  • Cancer

If a dentist notices any ailments during a checkup, they will suggest different options for treatment and restoration. For simple procedures, such as the filling of a cavity, the general dentist may be able to perform the services themselves. For more complicated services, the help of a specialist may be required.

If it has been a while since your last checkup, or if your dentist wants a better look at damage that may have occurred to the teeth or jawbone, they may take x-rays. These x-rays will allow the dentist to have a better view of your teeth and jawbone. While radiation may be a concern, modern x-rays emit very little radiation. Still, it’s important to speak with your dentist about any health concerns before the x-ray procedure.


Cleanings are another general procedure that a patient can expect when they visit the dentist for a regular checkup. Cleanings involve the removal of tartar, plaque and debris with special instruments. These cleanings are extremely important for maintaining the health of a patient’s gums and teeth. Even with proper at-home care, regular cleanings are needed.

Other Services

The expectations for a visit to the dentist will depend on the services that need to be provided. If there is a need for services that extend beyond general dentistry, there will be different expectations for your visit. For services outside the realm of general dentistry, speak with your dentist’s office about expectations for the visit.

When to Visit a Dentist

It’s extremely important to visit your dentist at least every six months for checkups and cleanings. If there are any oral health issues or concerns between those visits, make sure to schedule a visit as soon as possible. The earlier you treat any oral health issues you may have, the better.

A visit to the dentist is nothing to worry about. Whether it’s been a while, or you go to the dentist regularly, make sure to have an appointment set with your general dentist for your next checkup and cleaning.

Lansdowne Dental Care in Leesburg, VA

If you’re looking for a new dentist, or even a second opinion consider Lansdowne Dental Care, conveniently located in Leesburg, VA.

Interested in reading more about general dentistry? Here’s some tips on finding affordable dental options.

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