Cleanings, Exams, X-rays, Periodontal, Fluoride and Oral Cancer Screening

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Your oral health is important to use, and at Chelkowski Dentistry we believe regular dental exams and preventative services are the key to good oral health for you and your family. During regular exams the doctor can monitor and pinpoint any issues which may develop and treat them before they become painful and expensive to treat. Staying on a schedule of preventative services will ensure your teeth and gums stay healthy and look great. Dr. C recommends the following preventive services to keep ensure your oral and overall health.

Regular Dental Cleanings

Dr. C recommends you come in every six months for regular cleanings in addition to brushing and flossing at home. Professional cleanings will not only keep your teeth and gums healthy, but also help spot any potential problems before they become serious. During the cleaning the hygienist will remove plaque and tartar, remove stains, apply fluoride and sealants, and polish your teeth including crowns and fillings. You’ll leave the office with your teeth feeling and looking smooth, clean, and shiny.

Regular Oral Exams

One of the most effective ways you can be healthy is to have regular dental exams. Studies have shown that your oral health directly effects your overall health. By keeping your gums and teeth healthy, you can help lead a healthier lifestyle. During regular exams the doctor will review your medical history and go over your medications and any current health issues you are facing which may impact your oral health. Your doctor will evaluate your gum tissue and look for signs of gum disease. The doctor may also check for any chewing, biting, or swallowing issues. X-rays may be taken to check for teeth decay, and your teeth will be checked for cavities. Once the exam is complete the Dr. C will recommend a treatment plan tailored to your needs. The hygienist will also hlep you or your child on proper brushing and flossing techniques and recommend a fluoride treatment to protect your teeth.

Dental X-Rays

Dental x-rays are valuable diagnostic tools your doctor uses to evaluate your oral health. Not all damage or decay can be spotted with a visual exam. In children your doctor may use x-rays to be sure the jaw and teeth are developing correctly. Dental x-rays expose you to a very low dose of radiation and are considered safe for most patients. If you are pregnant or may think you are pregnant be sure to tell Dr. C since x-rays are not recommended for pregnant women.

If you are a new patient Dr. C may do a complete series of x-rays to examine your teeth and gums and to establish a baseline of care. If you have x-rays from another dentist, please have them forwarded to our office so we can add them to your history.

Periodontal Exam

Periodontal means “around the tooth” and periodontal disease affects the gums and bones surrounding the teeth. During a periodontal exam the doctor or hygienist uses a small dental instrument called a periodontal probe to measure the space between the tooth and gums (the sulcus). Ideally the sulcus should be no deeper than three millimeters. If periodontal disease is present, the sulcus may be deeper and bleed when probed.

Some of the factors contributing to periodontal disease is the presence of plaque and tartar which is caused by the buildup of food and bacteria in the mouth. While you may experience bleeding when you brush your teeth, or sensitivity, many times periodontal disease presents no symptoms. You may have periodontal disease and experience gum loss without even realizing it. This is why a periodontal exam is so important to your oral health.

Fluoride Treatment

Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral in nature. Fluoride is lost each day through demineralization which occurs from daily activities such as eating and drinking. Dr. C may recommend a fluoride application to help protect and strengthen your teeth. Your hygienist may apply fluoride as a gel, foam, or varnish. Fluoride treatments are especially important in children to help protect their teeth from tooth decay. It is recommended your child receives their first fluoride treatment between the ages of six months to 16 years of age. Fluoride treatments are a safe and easy way to help protect children and adults from tooth decay.

Oral Cancer Screening

Every year almost 42,000 American are diagnosed with oral cancer. Oral cancer can affect all of the tissues of the mouth. These include the cheek lining, lips, gums, tongue, floor of your mouth beneath the tongue, and hard palate. It can also affect your throat and soft tissues of your mouth. Symptoms of oral cancer include a sore or irritated throat that won’t go away, red or white patches on your gums or tongue, pain or tenderness in the mouth or lips, a lump or rough spot that won’t go away, and difficulty in chewing and swallowing. Sometimes oral cancer does not present any noticeable symptoms, and that is why regular oral cancer screening important.

During oral cancer screening Dr. C and the hygienist will examine your teeth, gums, and tissues surrounding and in your mouth. The doctor will also go over your medical history and ask questions to assess your oral health. Your face and neck will also be examined for any swollen nodes or lumps. The doctor may also take x-rays to further evaluate your teeth, gums, and jawbone. Regular oral cancer screening is an important step in preserving your overall health. When caught early, oral cancer has a high survival rate. Don’t put off screening, you owe it to yourself and your family to get screened and treated if necessary.

Call or contact Chelkowski Dentistry today and ask about our preventative services. Don’t wait until problems arise to seek treatment. Regular preventative exams and services are a proactive way to ensure you and your family’s oral health. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have about preventative services, and we look forward to hearing from you very soon.