If you are truly committed to your oral health, it is vital that you schedule your regular dental exams. At these appointments, your dentist can look for small cavities and the early signs of gum disease. When we catch such problems early, we can provide conservative treatment that will prevent serious dental damage. Dental exams are also important because your dentist can check for oral cancer, referring you to a specialist for potentially lifesaving treatment. At Value Dental Centers in Goodyear, AZ, we use state-of-the-art technology to make more accurate diagnoses. With tools such as laser cavity detection and oral cancer screenings, we can often detect serious problems before you even notice any symptoms.
The Importance of Dental Exams
During your exam, your dentist will look for cavities and gum disease. Left undiagnosed, these conditions can be quite serious. If you have a cavity, bacteria and acid will continue to erode your tooth. Eventually, your cavity could be so large that you will require a crown or even an extraction. When you schedule regular exams, however, we can find cavities when they are still very small. Then we can treat them with small, simple fillings. Similarly, without a gum disease diagnosis, the pockets of bacteria in your gums will grow much larger. Your gums could even recede so far that you suffer major tooth loss. On the other hand, with regular exams, we can usually diagnose and treat gum disease scaling and root planing.
Oral cancer screenings are another important part of our exams. This disease is often fatal because it is not caught in time, allowing the cancer to spread to other parts of the body. Fortunately, with regular exams and early detection, patients usually have a very good prognosis.
Who Should Schedule Dental Exams?
Everyone needs dental exams, even children. In fact, regular dental visits are particularly important for young patients because we can monitor their dental development. At each appointment, we will look for misalignment, over-retained baby teeth, and impacted teeth. Catching these problems in the initial stages, we can often prevent even more serious problems. For example, children who receive early orthodontic care may be able to avoid a pronounced overbite or underbite.
How Often Should You Have an Exam?
You should have a dental exam at least once every six months. If you have a recurring dental problem, you should consider making extra appointments. These causes for concern can include gum disease, frequent decay, dental misalignment, and a history of oral cancer.
What You Should Expect during Your Exam
Exams usually occur in conjunction with regular cleanings. First, your dentist will conduct a visual exam, using a small mirror to get a close-up view of your teeth. Then he or she will use our advanced technology to perform a more detailed assessment of your oral health. These tools include:
- X-rays: X-rays can capture pictures of specific teeth or your whole dental arch. Unless we suspect a problem, we will only need to take x-rays at every other visit.
- Laser cavity detection: By measuring the levels of fluorescence in your teeth, laser cavity detection can help us diagnose decay long before you notice any discomfort.
- Laser oral cancer detection: Laser cancer scans work much like cavity detection. Our advanced tool will measure fluoresce in your soft tissues. If there is an unusually high reading, we will order a biopsy.
- Oral DNA tests: Gum disease has a strong genetic component. Testing your DNA, we can determine whether you are likely to develop this condition. If we establish that you are a high-risk patient, we can provide hard-hitting preventive maintenance.
At Value Dental Centers Goodyear, we are committed to personalized care. We will always keep you informed about the results of your exam, as well as all your treatment options.
Contact Us to Schedule Your Appointment
Do not overlook this important aspect of oral health. Contact our office today to book your exam and protect your beautiful smile.