The Purpose of a Diagnostic Dental Visit and What You Can Expect

| 7 min read

You have to start somewhere. And relative to your oral health that could have something to do with understanding the purpose of a dental diagnostic visit.

Getting to the source of a dental problem can be challenging.

  • You feel certain symptoms
  • You’re concerned it could worsen
  • You want to avoid further pain
  • You’re tempted to self-diagnose rather see a dentist

Those are common thoughts associated with the question:

“Do I need a dental diagnosis…?”

First things first

It’s important to confirm that your dental issue isn’t an emergency. That being the case it’s essential to treat the primary problem first.

A dental emergency could involve -

  • An infection
  • A broken or fractured tooth
  • Trauma to your mouth, lips, tongue, or gums

Prompt attention is the recommended course of action.

But if you’re not experiencing an emergency related dental trauma or a related condition you can proceed to discover the value of a diagnostic dental visit.

It starts with a diagnosis

Aside from routine preventive dental care, a diagnostic dental visit is key to maintaining your oral health.PullQuote_DentalCare 

A licensed dentist is trained and skilled as a diagnostician. They’re qualified to answer your symptom related questions, assess your current or ongoing dental issue, diagnose the problem, and provide a treatment solution.

Those are the step-by-step outcomes you can expect from a diagnostic dental visit. There are also additional baked-in benefits you can experience during the appointment.

Care awareness

A diagnostic dental visit helps get-the-ball-rolling on your oral health care. It provides initial and ongoing awareness about any issues that could impact your teeth and gums.

Care relationship

It’s good to establish rapport with a dental provider. A diagnostic dental appointment is useful for introducing you to a dentist’s services, care standard, team, and overall patient experience.

Care information

Dentistry can prompt a lot of questions. Diagnostic dental visits allow you an opportunity to ask specific questions relative to your current condition and seek answers about preventive care, treatment solutions, and how to make informed oral health decisions.

What happens during a diagnostic dental visit?

A comprehensive dental examination

This gives your dentist the opportunity to review your oral health condition in the context of your past and present care history.

This often includes:

  • Your medical history and list of medications
  • Your oral health history
  • Previous x-rays and/or oral images
  • Allowing you to ask questions about your current dental issue and ongoing care goals


Digital images could be required to pinpoint the source of your current dental condition. There might be a need to obtain a full-mouth series of images or x-rays to determine the health of your teeth, gums, and bone structure.

A periodontal (gum) examination

The pockets between your teeth and gums can be checked. Pocket depth is useful for determining your gum health and to monitor the presence of gum disease.

An oral cancer screening

This fast and efficient screening checks your tongue, lips, mouth surfaces, jaw, and neck. Any abnormalities will be noted and further tested to assure your tissue is healthy.

A treatment plan

Your diagnosis typically leads to a care solution. A treatment plan provides a thorough and comprehensive outline of the procedure(s) that are designed to resolve your dental issue.

  • Treatment explanation
  • Timeline
  • Results and benefits
  • Costs
  • Follow-up process - including any medications, etc.

Virtual dental care provides an opportunity to access a diagnostic dental visit. A licensed, online dentist is equipped to diagnose your current dental issue and/or keep you up to date with your oral health.

Receive a comprehensive diagnostic dental visit from an online dentist on a dedicated virtual dentistry platform

The team of dental professionals are trained to identify, diagnose, and treat any dental condition. From toothaches to second opinions - you’re covered!

  • Access a 24 hour dentist now from your personal, private, and secure account.
  • Select a reason for your visit using a brief questionnaire.
  • Receive virtual dental care from a licensed dentist when you provide your issue details, any photos, and/or dental/health records.

Discover more about on our How it Works page. Or Register Now.