Dental Exams Specialist

Having regular, comprehensive dental exams is the best way to ensure issues like decay, infection and other issues are caught and addressed early. Dr. Potesta-Knoll is skilled in performing dental exams aimed at helping patients throughout the San Francisco, CA, region enjoy optimal oral health at every age.

Dental Exams Q & A

What happens during a routine dental exam?

Dental exams begin with a complete medical history to look for any risk factors like diabetes or smoking that could increase your risk for dental issues. Next, a visual examination of the teeth and gums will be performed to look for any obvious issues that need to be addressed, and you'll be asked about any symptoms you may be having. Your teeth will be carefully cleaned to remove plaque and tartar and to look for any signs of gum disease. The hygienist can also provide you with guidance to help you improve your brushing and flossing techniques to keep your teeth and gums healthy between professional cleanings. Once the cleaning is complete, you may have x-rays to provide images of the tooth structure below the gum line, including the tooth root. Special instruments will be used to examine each tooth to look for signs of decay or other damage, and an oral cancer screening will be performed. Finally, the results of the examination will be reviewed and you'll learn about recommended care options that can help you improve your oral health.

How often do I need to have a dental exam?

Ideally, you should have a dental exam every six months to ensure issues like decay and gum disease are addressed as early as possible. Having exams twice a year also helps the dentist spot subtle changes that can indicate serious medical issues like oral cancer, obstructive sleep apnea or temporomandibular joint disorder so they can be treated.

Are dental X-rays safe?

Yes, dental X-rays are completely safe and provide the dentist with important visual information about the portion of your teeth located below the gum line as well as the gums themselves. Having dental X-rays on a routine basis helps ensure your teeth and gums stay as healthy as possible by identifying issues like decay and infection in their earliest stages when treatment is simpler and less costly. At our office, we use digital X-rays which use less radiation than traditional dental X-rays while also providing greater detail.


At our San Francisco dental office, we are committed to helping our patients afford high-quality dental care. We are in network with Delta Dental Premier dental insurance and CIGNA PPO; we welcome you to contact us to learn more about dental insurance benefits. We also accept the following forms of payment:

Credit cards

CareCredit, a third-party financing company, provides no- and low-interest payment plans. For more information on our financial options, we invite you to contact our dental office today. Our friendly dental team is happy to answer your questions!

Cigna PPO
Delta Dental Premier

Words from our patients

  • "I've been a patient here for well over 20 years & I can't imagine having my dental care performed anywhere else. You could not be in better hands."

    Peter B.
  • "Outstanding service. Very professional operation & they treat patients very well. The office is beautiful and the dentists and staff are extremely competent and caring."

    Robert O.
  • "I had my teeth cleaned by Stephanie, as usual. She does an excellent job, both thorough as well as comfortable. She's a really nice person too!"

    Stephen P.
  • "As always, Dr. Potesta-Knoll's office was friendly, efficient and one of the best dentist offices in San Francisco."

    Marty C.
  • "Stephanie & Dr. Podesta were great as usual as were Erika & Ada. Always a professional & pleasant experience as going to the dentist can be."

    Norman C.
  • "Dr. Potesta, Karen, Sue, Bella, and the rest of the staff are excellent, thorough, and friendly. Great atmosphere, and they always treat me like a VIP!"

    Katherine M.
  • "Had my 3 wisdom teeth removed and let me tell you my experience was great as a first timer here. Very friendly staff with such great service with an amazing view..."

    Arvin M.
  • "Well versed in major treatments. Very good in her diagnosis and follow through. Excellent background in various dental procedures."

    Michael J.
  • "Amazing expertise and service! I needed help with a chipped tooth and felt like a new person after leaving. So happy with my experience."

    Amy L.
  • "Dr Potesta-Knoll knows what she is doing. I did not feel anything more than a pinch. Her staff is wonderful and helpful."

    Mark R.
  • Friendly reception, Thorough yet relaxing cleaning, and efficient dealing with dental issues!

    Jan V.
  • Dr. Potesta-Knoll was wonderfully responsive to my dental problem during a long holiday weekend. Outstanding service as usual!

  • She always welcomes me by name and has a friendly comment or two about life, so that the visit has a personal touch, not just professional services.

    Suzanne D.
Fiorella Potesta-Knoll, DDS, MS
2001 Union Street, Suite #680

San Francisco, CA 94123
Phone: 415-776-4040
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