At Value Dental Centers Gilbert, we heavily emphasize preventive treatments, including dental exams. When you visit us regularly, we can diagnose decay, gum disease, and related concerns very early on. Then we can treat these problems long before you develop a toothache or some other type of discomfort. Our team can also detect the initial signs of oral cancer before the disease spreads. At our Gilbert, AZ office, we proudly use state-of-the-art diagnostic tools. Laser cavity detection and oral cancer screenings are quick, comfortable, and highly accurate. Thanks to this technology, we can provide the highest quality dental care, along with outstanding protection for your oral and physical health.
Why Are Dental Exams Important?
First, dental exams are vital because they can save you from significant pain and dental damage. When cavities first develop, they often do not manifest any symptoms. Only when they grow larger and have destroyed a large portion of your tooth will you develop a toothache. Sometimes, decay will cause dental infection before you notice any discomfort. By diagnosing cavities early, we can treat decay before it causes sensitivity and inflammation.
Second, exams are important because they can save you time and money. When decay and gum disease reach the advanced stages, you may require extensive treatment. For example, we might have to restore a severely decayed tooth with a dental crown. If you develop an infection, you will typically require root canal therapy. Alternatively, if you have severe gum disease, you could eventually loose several teeth, requiring a traditional or implant-supported bridge. On the other hand, when we catch decay and gum in the initial stages, we can often treat these conditions with a simple filling or a thorough cleaning, respectively.
Finally, dental exams will protect your overall health. If gum disease goes undiagnosed, bacteria can move into your blood stream, increasing your risk for heart attack and stroke. As mentioned above, we will also conduct an oral cancer screening during your exam. With this process, we can usually catch the cancer before it moves into your lymph nodes and other parts of your body. Our scans and early detection will give you a much better chance of beating the disease.
Advanced Technology for a Highly Accurate Exam
During your cleaning, your hygienist will visually check your teeth and gums, looking for any abnormalities. Afterwards, your dentist will use modern tools to conduct an even more thorough evaluation. This technology includes:
- X-rays: In most cases, we will only take x-rays at every other exam. There are two types of x-rays. Intraoral images will provide a close view of individual teeth. Extraoral images will show the entire structure of your mouth, including dental alignment and any teeth that have not yet erupted.
- Laser cavity detection: Your dentist will first shine a special laser on one of your healthy teeth, measuring the normal levels of fluorescence. Then he or she will scan your other teeth, measuring these readings against the normal base reading. If you have an elevated level of fluorescence, it will likely indicate that you have a cavity. Lasers can reveal decay long before it is visible to the naked eye.
- Laser cancer scans: Laser cancer scans are similar to laser cavity detection. This tool will also measure levels of fluorescence, but your dentist will use it to examine your gums, tongue, floor of your mouth, and other soft tissues. A high fluorescence reading will often indicate cancer. However, we will need to take a biopsy to provide a definite diagnosis.
- Oral DNA tests: Though gum disease often occurs because of insufficient dental hygiene, there is also a genetic component to the condition. By testing a small sample of saliva, we can determine whether you are at a higher risk for periodontitis. If you are, we can provide more aggressive or more frequent preventive care. Typically, we will only need to perform a DNA test once.
When Should You Schedule Exams?
Both adults and children should have dental exams at least once every six months. In some cases, however, you may want to visit us more often. For example, if you have already been diagnosed with gum disease, more frequent visits will help us check for flare-ups. Similarly, you might schedule more appointments if you at a higher risk for periodontitis or oral cancer.
Book Your Appointment Today
Come benefit from our advanced technology and attention to detail. Contact Value Dental Centers Gilbert to schedule your dental exam.