Dental Exams and Detection of Oral Health Problems
There is an age-old adage that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. This neatly summarizes the philosophy of our Philadelphia cosmetic dentistry practice, Artistic Expressions Dentistry, where we use only state-of-the-art technology and diagnostic systems to detect potential oral health problems in their earliest stages. The foundation of a beautiful smile is good oral health, and preserving good oral health is always preferable than trying to restore it after it has been compromised. This is why we encourage our patients to schedule twice-yearly visits to our practice, even if they believe their oral health to be flawless.
At our practice in Philadelphia, dental exams can uncover not only relatively minor issues such as plaque buildup and debris between teeth, but also the early stages of potentially major problems, including gum and root canal infections and even oral cancer. In most cases, we can take aggressive action against these early indicators of damage and disease and, in doing so, effectively prevent patients from the pain and expense of having to deal with them in the future.
But, but…my teeth are fine!
Many people are aware that regular dental visits are recommended, but still believe themselves to be in perfect health and, therefore, immune to these recommendations. All too often, such people end up seeking dental care only after they are confronted by clear, and often painful, symptoms of a serious issue. By this point, more invasive procedures, such as root canal therapy or periodontal surgery, are usually necessary. These same patients could have saved themselves a lot of trouble and discomfort - not to mention money - by simply visiting the dentist twice a year for professional cleanings and screenings.
Dental conditions are very, very sneaky. Many of the most serious conditions present few, if any, detectable symptoms in their earliest stages. Indeed, while most areas of the body send pain signals in order to alert a person that he or she is presently ill or injured, dental pain is usually a sign that a condition has entered an advanced stage. By then, much of the damage has probably already been done.
Gum disease is especially prevalent, with nearly three-quarters of all American adults suffering from it to some degree. Most people are unaware of the disease in its first phase - gingivitis - when it is easily treated. Once it has progressed to its more serious stage - periodontitis - the gums, teeth, and jawbone are all at risk of permanent damage.
Of course, we offer a variety of highly effective treatments at our practice in Philadelphia; dental crowns, dental bridges, and dental implants can all be used to restore a mouth to its optimal state. There is no substitute, however, for keeping all of your natural oral structures intact, if possible - and, fortunately, through routine dental visits, it is very possible.
Oral Cancer Screening
Probably the most important component of the dental exams available at our Philadelphia practice is the oral cancer screening. Using advanced diagnostic technology, we are able to detect any abnormal tissues in the mouth, including those that may be cancerous or pre-cancerous. In most cases, these abnormalities are perfectly benign; however, in some other cases, they are early indications of cancer. Oral cancer is one of the most survivable forms of the disease - if it is detected and treated in its earliest stages. Since the only way to catch oral cancer at so early a stage is through professional screening, maintaining twice-yearly dental appointments could end up being lifesaving.
To learn more about dental exams and oral cancer screening at our Philadelphia cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry practice, please contact Artistic Expressions Dentistry today.