Oral Cancer Screening
As part of your dental exam, an oral cancer screening will be performed by your dentist. The goal of this oral cancer screening is to detect mouth cancer or precancerous lesions at an early stage. There are many risk factors that can increase your risk of oral cancer. Some of these include:
- Heavy alcohol use
- Tobacco use, including but not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff
- A history of significant exposure to the sun, which can increase the risk of lip cancer
- Certain strands of the Human papillomavirus (HPV)
Make sure to tell your dentist if you have noticed any spots or lesions that have been in your mouth or on your lip for longer than 2 weeks.
Expect a thorough and professional dental cleaning and examination of your teeth and gums when you come in for your preventative care appointments. Your appointment will include diagnostic x-rays, a dental scaling (to remove plaque and calculus/tartar both above and below the gum line), polishing of the teeth, an oral cancer screening, and recommendations for at-home care.
We recommend fluoride treatments for patients of all ages to provide continued protection from cavities. Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral that our teeth need to maintain their protective enamel. Fluoride treatments help protect our teeth by replacing the minerals lost through exposure to various sugars, acids, and bacteria in the foods we eat and drink.
Sealants are used to prevent cavities and decay in teeth that are deeply grooved or hard to reach with brushing. Applying a sealant to molars while they are still healthy can prevent the need for fillings or more extensive treatment later.
Digital radiographs (x-rays) allow us to see above and below the gum line in amazing detail for accurate and early diagnosis of dental issues such as developing cavities, impacted wisdom teeth, and more. Digital technology allows us to use 80% less radiation than conventional x-ray technology.
The Diagnodent fluorescent laser finds cavities beneath the surface of the tooth that x-rays and visual examinations may miss. This advanced dental technology aids in early detection of cavities and helps to preserve a greater amount of tooth structure by uncovering decay before it progresses too far.