What a dentist does

Checks your teeth and gums

Your dentist will carry out a visual check and may take x-rays to get more information. If they find cavities (decay or ‘holes’) or other problems, they’ll probably ask you to make another appointment to get those fixed. They’ll also be able to let you know the cost of the treatment and discuss payment options.


Dentists use professional cleaning instruments and techniques that clean your teeth much more thoroughly than you’re able to at home. Your dentist may have a dental hygienist in their practice. If they do, the hygienist will do the cleaning and can give you advice on cleaning and caring for your teeth.

Works out a treatment plan

If you need major work done, your dentist may work out a treatment plan for you. This will outline what needs to be done, what the timeframe might be, and what the costs will be and options for payment.

Related websites

New Zealand Dental Association
A New Zealand Dental Association website with useful information for the public.

Dental Council
The Dental Council is the regulatory body for all dental practitioners.

NHS Choices
Targeted at a UK audience, but good overview information and useful links to related topics.

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