What to Expect During an Annual Appointment with a Dentist in Utica, NY

by | Aug 28, 2018 | Dentistry

It’s really important to visit a dentist at least once a year for a routine checkup. Most dental problems gradually get worse over time, so it’s best to catch them while they are still minor and easy to treat. During an annual appointment, a dentist in Utica, NY will perform many tests and procedures.


Most dental checkups begin with a full set of x-rays. This is the only way the dentist can check the internal health of a tooth. The dentist will thoroughly examine the x-rays, paying particular attention to the health of the nerve and roots of each tooth. Cavities are also commonly found on x-rays.

Gum Health

Healthy gums are vital to a healthy smile. During an annual appointment, expect the dentist to measure the depth of the gum pockets. If the pockets are more than 3 millimeters deep, it may be an indication of gum disease. If caught early, gingivitis is reversible; however, advanced gum disease is more difficult to treat.

Removing Tartar

Plaque is the sticky substance that’s left on teeth after eating or drinking. If it’s not brushed away, it may eventually harden into tartar, which is almost impossible to remove at home. However, a dentist in Utica, NY has special tools to scrape away stubborn, yellow tartar.


The best part about an annual dental exam is leaving with a fresh, perfectly polished smile. Reaves Dental Practice PLLC uses a spinning dental polisher to give teeth a high shine. Toothpaste is used to remove any additional plaque and surface stains. Your teeth will never feel cleaner.


If the dentist does notice something out of the ordinary during an annual exam, they will recommend a followup treatment. For example, if a patient has a cavity, they will suggest scheduling another appointment to have it filled. If the gum tissue looks inflamed, they may suggest new oral hygiene products to try at home.

There’s nothing better than the feeling of a fresh smile after an annual dental cleaning and checkup. It’s important to stay on top of these exams every year. Problems are much easier to manage if they’re caught while they’re still in the early stages.

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