Dentist's Office:
Dental Cleanings and Tooth Whitening
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Listen and Read | Vocabulary Exercise | Discussion
Role Play | Online Investigation | Other Online Listening Practice

Part I: Listen and Read: Read along with the audio recording.

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Every six months, I visit my dentist for a regular dental check up. At the dentist's office, a dental assistant will bring me into one of their private patient rooms and x-ray my teeth and gums to detect any problems inside my teeth. Then, the dentist reviews the x-rays and visually inspects my teeth to check to see if I have any dental problems like cavities. If he sees any cavities, he will clean and fill them. Of course, he first will give me a shot so I don't feel any pain. (He will anesthetize my gums so I don't feel any pain during the procedure.) After that, the dental assistant will clean my teeth by removing any plaque buildup on my teeth. Plaque contains bacteria that can damage your teeth. The assistant will also polish and floss my teeth at the end. I will also have the dentist whiten my teeth this time using a special procedure in his office. My dental insurance covers part of the cost of the dental cleaning and teeth fillings, but it doesn't cover non-essential procedures like tooth whitening.

Part II: Discussion

Visiting a dentist can be a different experience from office to office and from country to country. Describe one of your experiences to the dentist. Is there any reason why you might hesitate going to visit a dentist?

Part III: Role Play

Imagine that you have one or more of these problems. With a partner, play the role of a patient. Describe the problem, discuss when the issue started, and ask your partner questions. Your partner takes the role of the dentist or dental assistant.

Part IV: Online Investigation

Tooth whitening is becoming a popular way of improving one's appearance, but not all tooth whitening procedures and products are the same. In fact, you can have it done at a dentist's office, or you can do it at home in some cases. Use the Internet to identify at least two different types of procedures or products and discuss their advantages and disadvantages of each.

Part V: Online Listening Practice (from and


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