About Dental Exams
When it comes to your oral health and smile, being proactive is the key to minimizing your risk of dental concerns. Oral problems can be identified during routine dental exams with our experienced team. Dental exams allow us to evaluate your overall oral health by screening for signs of oral cancer, tooth decay, gum (periodontal) disease, and other oral conditions. These routine examinations also give us the opportunity to assess how your upper and lower teeth fit together (your bite) and the function of your temporomandibular joints (TMJ). At certain visits, digital x-rays may be taken to examine hidden areas within your mouth, such as under the gums, within the jawbone, and between teeth. For more on the benefits of routine dental exams, reach out to our friendly team at Gibson Dental Care in Lancaster, PA.
Oral Cancer Screenings
Part of a comprehensive exam is screening for abnormal precancerous or cancerous areas within the oral cavity. Oral cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the mouth and may affect the gums, jawbone, lips, salivary glands, tongue, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palates, or throat. Every dental examination at our state-of-the-art dental practice includes a screening for oral cancer with VELscope Vx technology to check for any indication of concern, including sores, lesions, nodules, and lumps. The VELscope Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System is a handheld device that emits a safe blue-spectrum light, which allows us to better visualize any abnormalities within the soft tissues. We will also palpate around the jaw, chin, and throat areas for irregularities. Should any areas of concern be found, a biopsy may be performed or we may refer you to a specialist for further evaluation and care.
Candidates for Routine Exams
Lancaster, PA patients of all ages should undergo a dental exam at least once per year. Some of the most common oral problems, such as periodontal disease (the leading reason for tooth loss), may not have signs you can easily identify. If dental issues are detected early, the better your chances will be for a successful treatment with less invasive options.
The ADA (American Dental Association) suggests that all children visit a dentist before their first birthday. Our experienced team can help with common concerns, like teething, pacifier use, and baby bottle tooth decay. We can also show you ways to clean and care for your baby's gums and teeth so they start healthy habits early in life. Dental exams are also important for older children as their baby teeth exfoliate (fall out), permanent teeth emerge, and jaws develop.
What To Expect During Visits
Before getting started, we will review your medical and dental histories, prescriptions, or supplements you are taking and discuss any concerns you may have. A member of our clinical team will take digital x-rays and perform a screening for gum disease. Once we have this information, we will then perform an initial assessment of your tongue, gums, teeth, throat, inside your cheeks, roof of your mouth, and other checkpoints. This includes evaluating for signs of oral cancer or other irregularities in and around your mouth. We will evaluate your head, neck, and jaw, including the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) and bite and assess the wear and fit of any crowns, bridges, or other restorations. Any issues or concerns discovered during the exam and recommended treatment options with be thoroughly explained to you by our caring team.
After Your Evaluation
Any treatment recommendations following your dental exam will be based upon our findings and your treatment needs. If there are no concerns detected during your exam, our recommendations will generally be to follow a regular oral hygiene regimen that includes flossing and brushing every day and to schedule routine dental exams, which are generally provided during dental cleaning visits. In the event that you do require further treatment to improve your oral health, we will review our recommendations and provide you with a detailed treatment plan. Any questions that you may have will be thoroughly answered by our team.
A Proactive Approach to Health
Keeping up with preventive care, like routine dental examinations, can reduce your risk of greater treatment needs over the long-term. When we can detect tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems early, we can often treat such concerns more conservatively and save you time and expense. To schedule a comprehensive dental exam for you and your family, get in touch with Gibson Dental Care in Lancaster, PA today. We strive to make dental visits a positive and comfortable experience for all patients, no matter your oral health needs.