At your first dental visit, a comprehensive dental exam will be done by your dentist to give you a complete picture of what you may need over the next several years. We will also evaluate the current state of your oral hygiene, and devise a treatment plan for both present and long-term use. If at any point you have any questions about treatment options, do not hesitate to ask us.
At you following regular check-up exams, your dentist and will monitor and update the following areas of interest:
- Diagnostic x-rays (radiographs) to detect decay, tumours, cysts and bone loss
- Gum disease evaluation to check your gums and bone around your teeth for any signs of periodontal (gum) disease
- Examination of tooth surfaces to check for dental decay
- Examination of existing restorations to check your fillings, crowns and other restorations to ensure they are being maintained
- Oral cancer screening for early detection and treatment
As part of your dental check-ups, your dentist examines the skin on your lips and the inside of your mouth for signs of oral diseases. The most serious of these is oral cancer. There are also other diseases that your dentist can diagnose and treat.
Early detection of oral cancer can mean the difference between life and death, and its symptoms are visible to a dentist before they are noticeable to the patient. The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that 4300 new cases of oral cancer were diagnosed in Canada as of 2013. It is also estimated that 1150 Canadians diagnosed in 2010 will result in fatality.
An oral cancer exam is one more important reason to schedule regular dental check-ups. The oral cancer exam takes only minutes and is done in conjuction with your regular dental exam.
Signs of oral cancer:
• lumps or change in texture on mouth or tongue
• bleeding, numbness or sores that don’t heal
• white or dark red patches on mouth or lips
If you are experiencing changes in your mouth like these, visit your dentist immediately.
The exact cause is unknown, but risk factors include:
• heavy alcohol consumption, particularly when combined with smoking
• prolonged and repeated exposure of lips to sunlight
• gender – men are diagnosed more often then women
• poor diet
Your dentist is also on the lookout for other diseases that affect the soft tissue of the mouth. They are not life threatening, but can be uncomfortable. Treatments are available to alleviate the discomfort, and they’re often simple. These include:
Hairy Tongue: The tongue appears hairy and discoloured due to an overgrowth of bacteria or yeast. Usually caused by poor oral hygiene, or by other treatments that can make the mouth more vulnerable to bacteria, such as antibiotics or radiation treatments.
HIV: Positive patients are also prone to hairy tongue. May be treated by improving oral hygiene practices including mouthwashes, and antibiotics in some cases.
Cyst: A small fluid-filled sac that appears near the skin surface. Depending on size and location within the mouth, cysts may cause pain or difficulties with breathing or speech. The cyst may be removed surgically, usually a relatively simple procedure.
Geographic tongue: The tongue appears patchy with red rash-like areas that may be sensitive. This condition can come and go. It is harmless and seldom requires treatment. In rare cases where sensitivity is extreme, topical anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed.
Other Cleaning & Prevention Services: