Regular comprehensive oral exams are necessary to maintain the health of your mouth as well as to help prevent future problems from occurring. Waiting until something hurts to have your oral health evaluated is guaranteed to lead to greater pain, cost and risk of tooth loss than maintaining a schedule of routine examination and evaluation. During an initial evaluation, the doctor will thoroughly examine your mouth to see if you have any issues that need to be addressed, and repeat this process at subsequent exams. If needed, the doctor will recommend the best course of action to get you back to a healthy smile.
In the case of a dental emergency, the doctor may do a limited exam and address just the area of concern because getting you out of pain would be the #1 priority.
Gum Disease and Oral Cancer Screenings
The American Dental Association estimates that nearly half of Americans over the age of 30 and above, have some form of periodontal (gum) disease. That is why we need to examine the health of your gums and the other supporting structures of your teeth on a regular basis. The doctor will screen for gum disease as part of your oral exam, and if gum disease is detected, the doctor will recommend the best course of action to treat it.
The doctor will also screen for oral cancer during the exam because early detection can save your life. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, approximately 48,000 people in the US are diagnosed with oral cancer each a year. If the doctor finds an area of concern, he may recommend having a laboratory evaluation of the tissue involved.
Most Periodontal (gum) diseases cannot be cured; they can however, be controlled. Symptoms may be subtle or even non-existent, making it hard to detect without a visit to the dentist. Periodontal evaluations are performed in order to assess the health of your gum tissues. During this exam, measurements will be taken around each tooth to determine the depth of space between the tooth and gums for documentary purposes and to evaluate bleeding, which is a leading indicator of gum disease. If gum disease is detected, the doctor and hygienist will discuss your treatment options and proper homecare. Because gum disease is linked to heart disease, diabetes, stroke and more, periodontal evaluations are important not only to your oral health but your general health as well.
X-rays and 3D Scan
Our staff will need to take x-rays of your mouth periodically in order to detect any issues. We utilize intraoral x-rays (film is inside of the mouth), as well as cone beam 3D images using our i-CAT 3D Imaging System (x-ray source revolves around your head in a 360-degree rotation). All of our radiographic systems are digital, allowing us to achieve the greatest level of diagnostic quality with the lowest exposure to x-rays. Using one of the latest advancements in dentistry, the Cone Beam CT technology we can generate accurate, high-quality 3D images of dental structures, soft tissues, nerve paths and bone, allowing for better precision in our care. CosMedic Dentistry understands the importance of keeping up with the latest technology and is one of the few offices in the northwest Missouri region with cone beam 3D imaging capabilities.
It's more than "just a cleaning". Routine professional cleanings are necessary to keep your mouth healthy. Although you may brush and floss properly, some plaque remains on your teeth and hardens to become tartar, which can only be removed with a professional cleaning. Plaque and tartar are the main culprits of tooth decay and gum disease, so it is important to visit the hygienist regularly.
Contrary to popular belief, fluoride has many benefits for both children and adults. When teeth are forming, fluoride strengthens the enamel surface and makes it more resistant to decay. For adult teeth, fluoride can help repair a cavity in its earlier stages, rebuild the enamel layer of the tooth and make it more resistant to decay and sensitivity.
While almost all water naturally contains some fluoride, the quantity is not enough to protect your teeth. Our hygienists may recommend fluoride treatments to help with tooth decay and sensitivity for both children and adults.
A sealant is a plastic coating placed in the deep grooves of the chewing surfaces of teeth in order to help prevent decay. Sealants act as a shield against food and acid, which weaken the enamel and cause cavities. Both children and adults can benefit from sealants, and sealants may last a number of years before they need to be reapplied, but preventing the need for a filling.