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900 Cummings Center,
Suite 106T, Beverly MA 01915

January 13, 2023

How long does a dental appointment take?

In today's world when we are always in a hurry and have what seem like a million obligations to take care of each day. It is easy to forget about making dental appointments or to postpone your dental visits, only because you are not sure how long a dental appointment take and whether your dental visit fits within your other obligations.

However, there is no good overall health without oral health without having regular dentist appointments. Therefore, before you go on with your other daily obligations, make sure you have a dental visit scheduled. To make it easier for you to fit dental appointments within your daily schedule, today we breakdown about how long a dental appointment takes.

How long is a standard dental appointment?

Generally speaking, a standard dental cleaning appointment takes between 45 minutes to one hour and includes a dental cleaning, a periodic doctor exam and at times, x-rays.

On the other hand, if the reason for your dental visit is a more serious situation that requires a more complex dental procedure, or it is your first visit to the dentist in a long time, then your dental appointment will take longer.

Therefore, your dental appointment can take one hour or longer in some more complex cases.

How long will my first appointment be?

If you are making a first visit to the dentist, changing to a new dentist or if it has been longer than two years since your last visit, be prepared that this dental visit will take longer than a standard appointment.

This is because your dentist will give you a comprehensive dental checkup, take necessary xrays, assess the condition of your whole mouth (teeth, jaws, gums, airway, TMJ, etc) and will discuss any recommended treatment that presents itself during the exam. This is not done only when you change your dentist, but also when you have not had a dental visit in the past two years. No matter how familiar your dentist was with your previous oral health condition, a lot can happen to your teeth in as short as 6 months, not to mention when there is even a longer period between your two dental appointments.

Your appointment time depends on your dental needs

Another important factor determining how long a dental appointment takes, are your dental needs.

Because the purpose of your dental appointment can be various reasons, such as having a standard cleaning, to having a cavity filled, gum disease, a broken tooth, an infection, the amount of time reserved for the appointment can vary as well.

Some of the above-listed dental conditions require more time to be fixed, and at times, the procedure may need to be completed over two or more appointments. Because every patient is different, and because we reserve appointment times based on the specific need of the patient and the procedure being performed, at the time of scheduling, we will be able to give you an estimated time for your specific appointment needs. However, if you want to make sure that your dental visits will be the shortest possible, the best way is to make and keep regular dental cleaning appointments.

Factors that make the dental appointment take longer?

Above we mentioned that your dental appointment time depends on your dental needs. However, if the reason for your dental visit is a root infection, for example, that does not imply that every root infection will take the same amount of time to be taken care of.

On the contrary. Often even the dentist cannot say how long the specific dental appointment will take until he or she starts working and fixing the condition. For example, on a surface level, it may seem that your tooth has a little dental caries that will be easily cleaned and fixed.
But once your dentist starts removing dental caries, he or she may find out that the cavity is deeper than it appeared on the x ray, or a problem with the root of that tooth, and that he or she will need to perform a more complex procedure that will require more time.

What is important is not to rush your dentist and to be patient. As with every other medical procedure, a dental visit is something that cannot always be predictable. We do our best to anticipate the outcome of every visit, however, at times the human body can surprise us. Therefore, every time you feel that something takes more time than usual, or that due to the longer dentist appointment you will miss some other obligation scheduled for that day, please remind yourself that your dental health is of the upmost importance and by keeping regular appointments, many times you can avoid surprise dental visits by keeping regular visits in your calendar .

How Long Do You Have to Wait Before a Dental Appointment?

Depending on the recommendation of your dental professionals (your dentist or hygienist) you will want to have your regularly scheduled cleanings either every 3, 4 or 6 months. The benefit of keeping these appointments is that you can schedule your follow-up appointment at the end of your appointment so it is already reserved for you. If you wait until you are due for your cleaning, or if you are over-due for your cleaning, sometimes it can take a month or so to get into the schedule as many hygiene appointments are pre-booked months in advance and only last minute openings are available.

If we are speaking about an emergency dentist appointment, then you should try to make the appointment within the same day of your pain starting, or as early as your dentist is available. For existing patients, or even new patients having pain, we do our very best to offer you a same day appointment. Having a toothache is painful and unpleasant and can disrupt your other daily activities. Additionally, a toothache is often a signal of a more complex issue that your dentist needs to fix, so whenever having a toothache, do not focus on just making your pain go away. Schedule your dentist appointment immediately for your overall health.

Listening to your dentist, taking regular dental appointments, and improving your eating habits and lifestyle will lead you to forget what a toothache looks like and most importantly, to have a pretty and happy smile!

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