A dental examination is a very important part of your overall health for a variety of reasons. Prevention, rather than treatment, of disease, is a tenant of modern healthcare. Dental care is no exception.
Regular checkups give us the opportunity to identify many factors or potential problems very early. This allows us to make recommendations that can sometimes prevent treatment at all, or other times make the treatment much less invasive and expensive. A comprehensive dental exam focuses on many different areas of the mouth. Let’s break them down and discuss each one.
Home Care Routine
The primary line of defense against dental disease is your routine at home. Brushing twice a day for two minutes and flossing once a day is the gold standard. During your exam, we can tell from clues like tartar accumulation or bleeding gums, areas where you might need to improve your oral hygiene. Using these clues, we will recommend techniques or products that can give you a better chance of keeping your mouth healthy.
Cavities happen. Unless we all start drinking only water and brushing and flossing every time we eat or drink anything, tooth decay is just a part of life. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard “but it doesn’t hurt” when I have informed a patient they have a cavity.
Treatment to repair tooth decay is less invasive and less expensive when the problem is found early. We use top of the line x-ray sensors and high-tech magnification to be able to diagnose tooth decay as soon as possible to avoid major dental work. Once a tooth hurts, the cavity is well into the dentin and could be close to the nerve which can require a root canal. If the best thing is preventing cavities, the next best thing is catching them early.
Gum disease is truly the silent killer of teeth. Unlike tooth decay, which will begin to be sensitive and painful as is progresses, gum disease can be severe and still never be symptomatic. This is a very common problem in patients who have not had a professional cleaning in many years. Early warning signs of gum disease are bleeding puffy gums.
Severe gum disease causes bone loss and can lead to irreversible mobility of teeth leading to tooth loss. Gum disease is caused by many factors. Almost all of them can be prevented or treated with regular examinations and following treatment recommendations.
No one likes to talk about the big C word, but cancer is a reality in all of our lives. You, a close family member, or a close loved one has statistically been directly affected by cancer somehow. Oral cancer, like skin cancer, is one of the few types that has great potential to be identified and treated early before it is symptomatic. At every examination, we perform a thorough oral cancer screening checking of the lips and cheeks, and also the tongue, floor of the mouth and throat. Survival rates for cancers are greatly improved with early detection and treatment. This 30-second screening could save your life.
Add them all together, and the answer is clear - dental exams are imperative to your health. Call us today to make your appointment to have your regular dental exam. We look forward to seeing you.