Dental Checkups and Examinations
Routine dental checkups and examinations are an important preventive health care procedure not only for maintaining healthy teeth and gums but also for the early diagnosis of severe health conditions such as oral cancer. Dental checkups are generally divided into two parts which are a dental examination and oral prophylaxis or teeth cleaning.
What are the different procedures involved in dental examinations?
1. Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is a severe health condition which can prove fatal if not treated quickly. Without knowledge of the early symptoms of the onset of the disease, oral cancer can go undetected and quickly become life-threatening. Therefore, timely diagnosis of the condition is crucial to effectively treating oral cancer. Dentists screen the mouth for any signs of oral cancer during dental checkups. Additionally, periodic dental checkups conducted in a space of every six months increases the probability of detecting oral cancer substantially. While oral abnormalities may easily go undetected by the common man, dentists can easily classify them as symptoms alluding to the onset of the disease and take prompt action for the treatment of the condition.
Generally, a VELscopeCancer exam which uses a special light to detect dead tissue caused due to the formation of tumors is used for oral cancer screening. The process is minimally invasive, painless, and quick.
2. Head, Neck, and Lymph Node Examination
In addition to checking the condition of a patient’s teeth and gums, the dentist also conducts a thorough examination of the head, neck, jaw and lymph nodes located below a patient’s jawline. The dentist checks for any abnormalities, swelling, or lumps in different regions of the face. Detection of an abnormality can be a sign of a serious health condition such as cancer and may require prompt action to be taken. Skipping or avoiding dental examinations drastically delays the examination of lymph nodes, neck, and thyroid glands which can lead to the development of serious health conditions beyond their initial phase.
3. Dental Checkup and X-rays
The oral examination during a routine dental checkup involves examination of the gums and detection of signs of gum disease development, checking for the presence of any loose teeth, examination of the tongue, checking a patient’s bite, looking for signs of tooth decay. Additionally, the procedure also evaluates dental restorations, dental fillings, and examines the condition of the gums covering the teeth.
Dental X-rays are an integral part of routine examinations and shed light on the issues that may not be visible to the naked eye. X-ray imaging diagnoses issues such as impacted teeth unable to push through the gum line, internal damage to the jawbone, cysts, swelling, tumors, and bone decay. The detection of these symptoms is essential for the quick diagnosis of severe diseases which do not show any visible symptoms and can progress quickly.
4. Dental Cleaning
Tartar and plaque buildup over time can cause severe tooth decay and harm the gum tissues. Prolonged exposure of gums to these harmful depositions can cause gums to recede and bleed leading to the development of gingivitis. Gingivitis can, in turn, cause damage to the bone holding the teeth and cause them to fall out over time. In order to prevent such conditions from occurring, dentists thoroughly clean the tartar and plaque depositions on a patient’s teeth. In addition, the teeth are polished and flossed to enhance the aesthetics of the smile.
How often should a patient schedule an appointment for a dental checkup?
Patients should visit their dentist for a routine checkup at least every six months or as per the directions and recommendations of an expert dental professional.
Managing oral health during dental checkups
While dental checkups are essential, people should take good care of their teeth and gums between routine dental examinations. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily are recommended by dental professionals for maintaining healthy teeth. Additionally, cleansing the mouth using mouthwash is recommended to prevent bacteria buildup.
We, at LaCanne Family Dental, Menominee, provide for all your needs pertaining to dental services and routine exams. Our dentists with their entire team persist to present you with exceptional treatment that enhances and maintains the beauty of your smile.
If you have any further question, queries or dental emergencies and are looking for an accomplished dentist, feel free to contact us at (906) 352-4100 to schedule an appointment.