There are certain risk factors for oral cancer that are important to be mindful about. Along with routine oral cancer screenings from your dentist, it is encouraged to check for any early signs of oral cancer every so often, especially if you meet one or more of the criteria for being at higher risk. By understanding…
Why You Need an Oral Cancer Screening
We offer an Oral Cancer Screening in our dental clinic. Oral cancer is a serious health problem and one that everyone needs to know about. Though people do not often discuss it, oral cancer can be deadly if left untreated. Unfortunately, most people do not realize that they have oral cancer until the disease is in its later stages.
At this point, there are fewer treatment options and the success rate is significantly lower. Early detection is critical for oral cancer since the sooner the patient learns of the problem, the faster the patient can seek treatment. The earlier the treatment, the higher chance for recovery. We provide an Oral Cancer Screening to help patients detect the problem early on.
First line of defense
As a dentist, we are the first line of defense. We conduct regular dental examinations anyway and so adding an Oral Cancer Screening to the process is a simple and convenient solution for helping to inform our patients and potentially save lives. From a patient's perspective, there is no need to schedule a separate appointment for a cancer screening since we can complete it at the same time as a teeth cleaning and dental exam.
Completing the screening may add a few extra minutes to the appointment but also provides the benefits of being able to identify oral cancer before it spreads. Since we conduct regular examinations, we will often see the warning signs of oral cancer. Whether something like a red bump is cancerous or not will be determined through a meeting with an oncologist.
However, if during an examination we make a recommendation to complete a screening, we highly encourage doing so. It is likely that we can make the recommendation because we observe something in the mouth that can be indicative of cancerous tissue.
Watch for the signs
Call right away if there are signs of oral cancer. Some of the signs of cancer include:
- White or red bumps
- Rough patches
- Hard lumps that are unexplainable
- Changes to the shape of the jaw
These are just a few of the signs of oral cancer. However, since few people can see inside of their mouth, it is difficult to notice if they are present.
We recommend running the tongue along the gums and cheeks to observe if there are any bumps or rough patches. If so, visiting our clinic for an oral cancer screening is wise. We can determine if cancer is causing the symptom or if it is due to some other form of irritation.
Some people are at a greater risk for cancer. This includes those who smoke, use chewing tobacco, drink excessive amounts of alcohol or spend a lot of time in the sun. Anyone with these risk factors should make a point to schedule an oral cancer screening at least every couple of years.
If you have not scheduled a screening, call our clinic today. Doing so could be important to your future.
#2 Gum Disease Symptoms and Treatments
Gum disease can lead to adult tooth loss and a variety of health problems. It is critical that anyone who has gum disease visit our clinic for gum disease treatment right away. If you are unsure if you have the condition or not, here are some signs to look for:
- Red and swollen gums
- Bleeding gums
- Receding gum tissue
- Pockets in the gum tissue
- Painful gums
- Bad breath even when teeth are clean
If these symptoms are present, even if it is only one symptom, call our clinic and schedule a consultation. It is important for us to be able to diagnose the condition right away. Many people suffer from gum disease but do not realize it and therefore, do not seek treatment until it has advanced. This can be problematic because the further along gum disease gets, the more invasive the treatment required will be. Therefore, it is in our patients' best interest to visit our clinic twice per year for a thorough teeth examination and cleaning.
Types of gum disease treatment
If gum disease is identified early, it may be possible to eliminate the disease by performing a deep cleaning. This is an ideal treatment because it removes the plaque and tartar that is causing the discomfort in the first place. In fact, the condition typically develops because plaque has built up on the surface of the teeth that is underneath the gums. Once there, it is impossible to remove it with at-home care. Because this area of the teeth is not exposed, the only way to remove it is by visiting a dentist for a thorough deep cleaning. In this procedure, the area under the gums is accessed so the plaque can be removed. Once done, the gums can begin to heal.
If a deep cleaning is not completed early enough, the gum tissue may begin to recede and pull back from the tooth structure so significantly that a gum graft will be required. This is where tissue is sutured to the existing and remaining gum tissue. Once complete, the gums will be secured around the teeth again, something that is important for protecting them and preventing further infection. Naturally, this procedure is going to result in some swelling and require a recovery. So it is important to plan ahead and take a few days off work. Still, it is critical to have this done because if it is not, tooth loss could be the result.
Schedule an examination
To find out what is required for your gum disease treatment, call our clinic and schedule an appointment. We will need to conduct a physical examination and may take x-rays to determine the extent of the damage to the gums and also to determine if the teeth are suffering from infection. This allows us to determine what is necessary for treating the disease and address any other oral health problems that may be of concern. We can then make treatment recommendations and start the process of improving your oral health.
Call our clinic today to schedule your appointment.
We placed composite fillings on a regular basis and use them to restore a patient's tooth after they have suffered from a dental infection. This is an incredibly popular dental restoration because it is among the most natural looking. We can change the shape of the composite filling to ensure that it blends in with the surrounding tooth structure so that no one can tell which tooth was damaged or infected.
To determine if this is the right solution for a damaged tooth, we will need to complete a thorough examination. The examination will tell us if the tooth can be restored with a filling or if it is something more significant that would be required a solution like an inlay, onlay or dental crown. If we feel filling is the right restoration, here is what a patient can expect.
#1. We will first remove the decay or infections.
The tooth needs a filling because it has suffered from dental decay or an infection, we will need to remove the decayed portion of the tooth first. This is incredibly important because otherwise, the infection could spread and create further problems. The decay removal procedure is typically done using a dental drill. Before we remove the decay, we will sufficiently numb the area and use pain medication so that our patients do not experience any discomfort during this process. It is actually relatively fast and the procedure is over before most patients realize what we're doing.
#2. Clean the area.
Next, we will need to clean out this area of the tooth. This is done using water and dental tools.
#3. The composite fillings are placed.
We will place the dental filling while the patient is sitting in the chair. This does not cause any discomfort but must be done carefully to ensure that the filling fills the area correctly. By this, we mean that the cavity needs to be entirely filled but it also needs to be shaped. Is important that the filling has the right shape so that when a patient bites down, there is no difference in their bite and how their teeth come together. As an experienced dentist, we have a great deal of practice in this procedure. Because of our experience, our patients do not experience any discomfort when chewing afterwards.
#4. The filling is hardened.
Once the filling has been shaped, it will be hardened using a dental light.
The reasons patients visit us for composite fillings is that the results are spectacular. Using the solution, we can restore a tooth that has suffered from dental decay or minor damage. It does not take very long for us to place a filling so it is possible for someone to visit our clinic before or after work and leave with a fully restored tooth.
In addition to how quickly a filling can be placed, one of the greatest benefits is that these filling looks completely natural. Unlike amalgam silver fillings that stand out in the mouth, composite ones blend in with the natural tooth structure so that no one can tell the tooth was ever damaged in the first place. This is ideal for anyone who is concerned with how their smile will look after the restoration is complete.
We even replace metal fillings with composite ones in patients who wish to improve the appearance of their smile.
Schedule an appointment today
If you or someone in your family is suffering from dental decay or needs to have a dental restoration due to minor damage, composite fillings could be the right solution. To find out, we recommend calling our office and schedule an appointment today.
Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Oral Cancer Screening.
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