|Cleanings, Exams, and Oral Cancer Screenings
Even with a good oral hygiene routine, most people will experience tooth decay or gum disease at some point in their lives. However, there are certain steps you can take to reduce your chances. At Prosthodontics of Princeton, we recommend a professional cleaning and checkup exam about every six months. This, of course, is just a rule of thumb. Patients at a greater risk for dental diseases may need to schedule more frequent appointments. Those with pristine oral health may need less professional treatment.
Professional cleaning is an important part of your oral health. The biggest threat to your teeth and gums is the harmful bacteria found in plaque. Plaque is a thin biofilm that constantly forms on and around your teeth. If plaque is allowed to build up, it will eventually calcify into a substance called tartar which is much more difficult to remove. During your professional cleaning, our dental hygienist will remove all instances of plaque and tartar from the surfaces of your teeth. Once your teeth are clean, we will apply polish to restore the sheen of your smile.
In many cases, tartar can only be removed during a professional cleaning. We may use a tool known as an ultrasonic scaler, which is much safer and more effective than traditional hand tools. The ultrasonic scaler produces microscopic bubbles that implode on the surface of the enamel. The bubbles break up plaque and tartar deposits without damaging healthy enamel. They also kill off any remaining bacteria.
During your routine appointment, Dr. Isaacson, Dr. Reinhardt and Dr. Milone will perform a comprehensive examination of teeth, gums, and other oral tissues. Besides a physical and visual exam, we may also utilize diagnostic tools such as digital x-rays or digital Panorex films. Once a year we recommend an advanced technology called the VELscope® for early oral cancer detection. Thanks to technological advancements, professional dentistry is largely preventative these days.
Tooth decay and gum disease are preventable with good oral hygiene, professional cleanings, and regular exams. An exam allows us to prevent or catch minor problems before they develop into major complications. If we do diagnose any problems, we may need to perform restorative treatment. Our goal is to catch your problem early so the treatment is less invasive and less costly.
Oral Cancer Screenings
In many instances, we will perform an oral cancer screening during your routine exam. Screening is the best way to reassure you that there are no apparent problems related to oral cancer. Did you know that 25% of patients that develop oral cancer have no habits that would be considered risk factors. We have special technology called VELscope® that allows us to see a precancerous lesion in its most earliest stage. We recommend screening with the VELscope® Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System once per year.
More often than not, an oral cancer screening is a great opportunity for you to ask questions and reduce your risk factors. If we notice any potential lesion, we may recommend further testing or a biopsy. It is important to note that additional testing is not indicative of a cancer diagnosis. Additional testing is needed to reveal the root cause of a particular growth or discoloration of the tissue. If cancer is ultimately found, early diagnosis drastically reduces related health problems later down the line.
Schedule Your Appointment Today!
If you are in need of a professional cleaning or exam call (609) 924-1975 and schedule your appointment today!