It is easy to miss certain dental problems, such as decay and gum disease, until you experience significant discomfort. In some cases, you could even lose teeth due to undiagnosed oral health problems. That is why dental exams at our Chandler, AZ office are so vital. At these appointments, we can look for the early symptoms of cavities, periodontitis, and related concerns. With timely diagnoses, we can often provide simpler, more conservative treatments. At Value Dental Centers Chandler, we proudly utilize modern technology, such as laser cavity detection. We also use advanced methods to test for oral cancer and gum disease. With these techniques, we can perform more accurate and efficient exams.
Why Are Dental Exams Important?
When cavities are undiagnosed, they will grow larger very quickly, eventually weakening your entire tooth. In the initial stages, we can treat dental decay with small, conservative fillings. However, once decay spreads, you may require a crown, root canal therapy, or even extraction. Similarly, gum disease can cause major problems once it starts to spread. We can treat gingivitis with a routine cleaning. However, more widespread gum disease could necessitate scaling and root planing, gum grafting, or even a bone graft. Dental exams will enable us to discover these conditions when they are still easy to treat.
Exams are also important because they include oral cancer scans. This disease can affect any of the soft tissues in the mouth or throat. In advanced stages, it is very difficult to beat. However, when patients receive a timely diagnosis, they typically fare quite well.
Who Should Receive Dental Exams?
Everyone requires dental exams. Even children should visit the dentist regularly, since they are just as susceptible to cavities as adults. Many patients who wear full dentures believe that they do not need dental visits. However, even those without any remaining teeth are still subject to periodontitis. In turn gum disease can affect the fit of dentures, and it can lead to dental implant failure. Therefore, exams are essential for these patients as well.
What Should You Expect during Your Exam?
We typically conduct exams after our routine cleanings. Your dentist will visually scan your teeth and gums, looking for any irregularities. However, decay and gum disease often do not exhibit visible symptoms until the advanced stages. Therefore, we will use our diagnostic technology to perform more detailed and accurate exams. Our ultramodern include:
- X-rays: Intraoral and extraoral images can reveal cracks, impacted teeth, crowded wisdom teeth, and widespread dental misalignment.
- Laser cavity detection: Using a special laser, your dentist can measure fluorescence in your teeth. High levels will indicate a cavity, usually long before you experience any discomfort.
- Oral cancer scans: We can also use laser to check for oral cancer. These tools are similar to laser cavity detection and will also measure fluorescence in your teeth. A high reading may indicate cancer, though we will need to order a biopsy to provide a conclusive diagnosis.
We also offer innovative oral DNA tests. By evaluating a sample of your saliva, we can discover whether you have a genetic predisposition to gum disease. If there is a high likelihood that you will develop the condition, we can provide more aggressive preventive care. We will only need to perform this test once, so it will not be a part of every regular exam.
How Often Should You Have an Exam?
Typically, we recommend biannual exams. However, if you already have gum disease or oral cancer, you should schedule more frequent appointments. You may also benefit from additional exams if you have recurring tooth decay, a family history of cancer, or a genetic proclivity for gum disease.
Contact Us to Book an Appointment
Take pre-emptive measures to protect your oral health. Contact Value Dental Centers Chandler to schedule your exam.