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Why Are Routine Dental Exams So Important?
We recommend that you have a dental exam every six months, yet people often skip an exam or two because they believe their teeth are fine. Unfortunately, oral health issues as diverse as decay and oral cancer don’t cause pain in their earliest stage. A routine dental exam lets our dentist catch problems early when treatment is easier on you and less expensive. We offer a full range of treatments and procedures. During your dental exam, you can expect your dentist to:
- Order diagnostic x-rays
- Check your teeth for decay
- Check your gums for signs of gum disease
- Check your bite
- Evaluate existing fillings, crowns and bridges
- Look for signs you grind your teeth at night
- Screen you for oral cancer
Before your initial exam, we will have you fill out a medical history questionnaire. Please bring a list of your current medications with you. After your exam, you’ll have to opportunity to ask your dentist questions. Your dentist will review the results of your exam and if he or she found any problems, you will learn about your treatment options with you. You can expect your exam to last 45 minutes to an hour. Call us to make an appointment for a dental exam in Westminster. We enjoy welcoming new patients to our practice.
Where Can I Get a Dental Cleaning and Gum Disease Treatment in the Same Dental Office?
We offer both services for our valued patients. We, along with the American Dental Association and the Academy of General Dentistry, recommend you have your teeth professionally cleaned twice a year to remove plaque you can’t reach with a toothbrush. Ignoring dental cleanings can lead to plaque buildup, which can harden into tartar. Only a dentist or dental hygienist can use special instruments to remove tartar. Tartar at your gum line can cause gingivitis, which leads to gum inflammation. Having a teeth cleaning also has cosmetic benefits; your teeth will look brighter and the cleaning can remove minor staining. The treatment is painless and only takes between 30 and 60 minutes. Call us today to schedule your dental cleaning or if your gums are bright red and bleed when you brush your teeth, symptoms which indicate you need gingivitis treatment.
It’s important to see a dentist if you have gingivitis as it may lead to periodontal disease, or a chronic infection around your tooth below the gum line. Without periodontal treatment, the disease can cause problems ranging from bad breath to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is the primary cause of tooth loss in adults and it can also damage your overall health. Studies have linked chronic, untreated gum disease to heart disease and strokes. Call our office to schedule an appointment if you need treatment for any stage of gum disease.
Why Should I See a Dentist About My Bad Breath?
Bad breath is a common issue that many people prefer to cover up with breath mints instead of treating the cause. Unfortunately, individuals don’t always seek treatment because they are embarrassed. After seeing a dentist, most patients find that they can remedy bad breath with more diligent oral hygiene habits and they don’t have to be embarrassed anymore. Bacteria on your teeth and tongue and bits of food stuck between your teeth can cause a foul odor. Your dentist will suggest oral hygiene products and habits that should eliminate your bad breath. Your dentist will also suggest quitting if you are a smoker as cigarettes cause bad breath. Your dentist will also check for decay and gum disease, which can also cause bad breath. If you’re not sure if you have bad breath, ask a close friend. Don’t hesitate to call our office to make an appointment.
What Is an Oral Cancer Screening?
It’s a simple visual and tactile screening dentists perform to look for the early signs of oral cancer, such as white patches, lumps or bleeding sores that won’t heal. The screening is part of a regular dental exam for all adults, even those who don’t use tobacco, because about one-quarter of newly diagnosed individuals don’t use tobacco or have any lifestyle risk factors. If oral cancer is caught early, you have a greater chance of being cured. On average, one person dies every hour in our nation from oral cancer; we want to lower this statistic. If you notice a sore in your mouth that won’t heal, thickening skin, a rough or whitish patch, call our office right away to have our dentist evaluate the abnormal tissue. Early detection could save your life.
If you have been looking for a new dentist for a dental exam in Westminster that includes a screening for oral cancer, phone our office to make an appointment. We welcome new patients.