EXAM & CLEANINGS
Along with brushing and flossing every day, one of the key steps to maintaining good oral health is keeping regular appointments with your dentist at WellSmiles in Houston. It's recommended that you receive a dental cleaning and exam (approximately every six months).
At WellSmiles, a routine dental exam consists of a thorough evaluation of the health of the teeth, gums, and mouth overall. Your dentist will first check for signs of plaque and cavities on the teeth, then check for sings of disease in the gums. An oral cancer screening can also be a part of a dental exam and x-rays are usually taken once a year.
Oral diseases can develop without presenting obvious symptoms, and thorough dental exams by a professional are integral in detecting issues in their early stages. Being able to treat these conditions before they progress is very helpful in restoring oral health.
The dental cleaning will follow the exam and is usually performed by a hygienist. First, plaque and tartar will be removed from the tooth surfaces up to the gum line and between the teeth. You will then have your teeth brushed with a high-powered electric toothbrush and special toothpaste that has a grittier consistency than one you would use at home. This toothpaste will more effectively scrub and polish the tooth surfaces and remove additional traces of tartar. Finally, your hygienist will floss your teeth. This step serves multiple purposes: it removes any remaining traces of tartar, alerts the hygienist of any problem areas in the gums where there is bleeding, and will provide you with a refresher on how to properly floss. The cleaning will end with a good rinse to flush out any debris.
Depending on your needs or preferences, you may also receive a fluoride treatment during your appointment. This procedure is helpful in protecting against tooth decay.
ORAL CANCER SCREENINGS
Did you know that over 50,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer this year alone? Of those 50,000+, only about 8% of these patients will survive. While oral cancer may not be one of the ones we often hear about, that doesn't make it any less deadly. In fact, due to most patients being diagnosed later rather than earlier, their prognosis is worse. When it comes to treating oral cancer, it is best to diagnose and begin early for the best outcomes. When is the last time you had an oral cancer screening? Contact WellSmiles today to schedule your oral cancer screening in Houston.
About Oral Cancer Screenings
Would you know how to spot the signs of oral cancer if you had them? Most patients wouldn't either! At WellSmiles we have the tools, experience and knowledge to properly diagnose oral cancer. During your oral cancer screening, your dentist will provide both a visual and physical assessment, looking at your gums, tongue, lips and overall oral health to see if there are any sports, rough area or other common signs oral cancer. During the physical examination, your dentist will feel around your mouth, lips, jaw and even face to check for any abnormal growths or spots. In the event that your dentist notices any risk factors, you will be referred to a specialist for more thorough testing and potential treatment.
How Often Should I Get Oral Cancer Screenings?
At WellSmiles we recommend oral cancer screenings during routine appointments (about twice a year). They take only a few minutes and could greatly increase your chance of survival.
Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings
As mentioned above, early diagnosis of oral cancer can greatly increase a patient's survival rate.
Schedule Your Houston Oral Cancer Screening Today
Ready to schedule your oral cancer screening near you? Contact WellSmiles today, we are always welcoming new patients at our clinic and would be happy to provide you with an examination. We look forward to treating your smile and keeping you healthy!