How Long Is a Dentist Appointment?


In our fast-paced lives, it can be difficult to work in the extra things needed to take care of our health. And one of the things often put off or avoided is a dental appointment. Regular exams from your family dentist are essential for maintaining proper oral care, but it may seem like you don’t have the time to fit dental checkups into your daily schedule, and this can lead to putting them off for much longer than recommended.

Knowing how long a dentist appointment usually lasts can help. Typically, a routine dental exam can last anywhere between 30 minutes to 1 hour, but your appointment may last longer depending on your needs. If any additional services are needed, like fillings, dental implants, or teeth whitening, the length of your appointment can vary.

What Should You Expect at a Dental Exam?

A standard dental exam is a fundamental part of maintaining good oral health. During this routine appointment, we can check your teeth and assess your dental and oral health to identify any potentially developing oral conditions.

Through an examination of your mouth, we can check for signs of cavities, gum disease, and other health problems. We may use a small mirror or small handheld tools to check between and behind your teeth as well.

In most cases we take X-rays to check areas that can’t be seen by the naked eye, which can help us detect underlying problems like shifting teeth, bone loss, or even abscesses in your mouth. Depending on your health, we may check for other conditions near your tongue or throat as well.

During your appointment, we typically also complete a full cleaning to help maintain the appearance and health of your teeth. Typically, an examination and cleaning can take between 1 to 2 hours. However, this can vary depending on the results of your examination.

We may take extra time to perform a more thorough screening for particular conditions. We may also recommend additional treatments or procedures based on our findings, which could require a follow-up appointment.

The exact time for a dental appointment can vary depending on whether or not you’re receiving additional services. For treatments like teeth whitening, fillings, and other services, your appointment can run longer than 90 minutes. The exact time will vary based on your oral health and the type of treatments you’re visiting us for.

How Important Are Dental Cleanings?

Preventive dental care plays a vital role when it comes to oral hygiene. During a routine cleaning, we can remove plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth using specialized tools and a process known as scaling. We can then polish and further clean your teeth to remove surface stains and smooth them out. We can also provide fluoride treatments to help strengthen your teeth and prevent cavities.

Regular dental cleanings can help prevent gum disease and other tooth problems and can help you maintain fresh breath and a bright smile. Often, the time needed for a cleaning and exam is roughly 1.5 hours. However, if it’s been a while since you last visited your dentist, your appointment may take longer.

How Long Do Teeth Whitening Appointments Take?

Teeth whitening procedures can help you get a bright, white smile. Professional teeth whitening is performed by dentists and involves the application of whitening agents to brighten your teeth. Depending on the method used, this process can take roughly 45 minutes to 1 hour. The number of sessions needed can vary depending on your lifestyle and oral health.

How Long Do Fillings Take?

Fillings are a common solution for repairing and restoring teeth. The procedure for fillings involves the removal of decayed or damaged portions of a tooth before the area is cleaned and filled with a composite material. The time needed for fillings can greatly vary on a case-by-case basis, as every person’s specific needs are different.

The duration of an appointment for fillings can depend on:

  • The size of the cavity
  • The location of the damage
  • The type of filling used
  • The dentist performing the procedure

Extensive or complex repairs can take much longer, so it’s important to consult your dentist beforehand so they can provide an accurate estimate for how long it will take.


What Can Make a Dental Appointment Take Longer?

One of the biggest factors that can make a dentist appointment last longer is simple: how long it’s been since you were last there. However, the length of an appointment can also be affected by:

  • Dental emergencies: If your dentist finds an oral condition developing or something that requires immediate treatment, they may need to allocate extra time so you can receive the care you need.
  • Specific procedures: Treatments like root canals, fillings, bridges, or implant fittings can be more time-consuming. This may require additional appointments or more time for your existing appointment, so it’s important to speak with your dentist about what to expect for specific procedures.
  • Your needs: Your dentist may take extra time to explain what they’re doing so you can feel more relaxed and comfortable, or they may choose to use a different technique based on your unique needs.

During a routine exam, your dentist may discover unexpected issues that require intervention. This can lead to an appointment taking some extra time, as they may want to address and treat those potential developing conditions.

Speak with Your Dentist in St. Albert

When it comes to a regular dentist appointment, Green Grove Dental is here for you. Every person’s oral needs are different, and we’re here to answer all your questions about how we can help brighten your smile.

Contact us today to schedule your next visit and ask us any questions you may have!