What our dentist checks for during a dental examination

Most people have the assumption that when they attend a dental check-up every six months, the only thing that is being looked for is signs of dental decay, which would then usually warrant either a filling or a crown to be fitted.


However, dental check-ups are a lot more sophisticated than this, and while dental decay is one thing that our team will always aim to prevent and treat, we actually look for a lot more when we put that small mirror into your mouth.

Our team at Northern Beaches Dental firmly believes in prevention being better than cure, especially when it comes to dentistry. Our dentist MacKay always urges our patients to attend check-ups with our team at least twice a year to keep their teeth and gums in good condition and reap the benefit to their general health as well.

So, with that in mind, what are some of the things our dentist Mackay checks for during a routine appointment? Read on to find out!

Tooth decay

Tooth decay does not always present as small brown holes, and, in actuality, there are many ways that our team can spot the warning signs of a cavity forming. Our dentist Mackay looks out for potential cavities, if caught very early, we will aim to treat it with a high-fluoride treatment. This will prevent the area from developing into a cavity and keep your smile whiter for longer.

Gum disease

Gum disease is not pleasant for anybody suffering from it, and one thing that needs to be considered by patients is that untreated gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss. This is why we poke your gums with a metal pick; we are assessing the texture and sponginess of the gum tissue. If your gums bleed, this is a sign that there may be underlying issues with inflammation and the onset of periodontal disease. For this, we will usually offer a mouthwash aimed at treating gum disease and a scale-and-polish.

Restorative issues

If you have a crown, a filling or a root canal, it is more important than ever that you attend dental check-ups, as restorative issues can become very unpleasant very quickly. Specifically, if a crown or filling comes loose, this can cause dental decay and even an abscess.

Oral cancer

One of the more serious aspects of what we do during a dental check-up is to check your mouth for signs of oral cancer. This can be something as insidious as a patch of skin in your mouth that is a slightly different texture or something more obvious such as a lump or a bump. Either way, this is a core part of what we do as part of our dental maintenance, meaning that if you were a smoker or have a history of oral cancer in your family, you will need to see our team regularly.

Orthodontic problems

It is not only children who develop orthodontic issues. As teeth are in a constant state of motion, many adults may begin to develop orthodontic problems as well. If we spot that there is a misalignment forming with your teeth, we can offer you treatments to prevent it from worsening, such as clear aligners like Invisalign.


All treatment carries risks. Individual consultation is required with one of our practitioners to ensure that the treatment is right for you.