On a regular basis, when our patient comes in and sees our hygienist, or if they’re a new patient, they’ll get an oral cancer screening. Only about 25% of offices do that regularly. It’s really important to us to do that when you’re seeing the hygienist.
It basically consists of a manual examination where we are physically touching the areas to see if there is any differences, and also using the velscope to see if there are any changes on a cellular level, just below the surface of the tissue, just to see if there is anything starting that we can’t feel.
Arvada, CO dentist Dr. Pollack and Dr. Phan emphasize the importance of preventive care to excellent oral and general health. The best way to keep your smile healthy for life is regular dental visits and early treatment. At Family and Implant Dentistry of Arvada, we provide preventive dentistry for the whole family: professional teeth cleaning, X-rays and diagnostics, checkups, oral cancer screening, caries screening, and anti-cavity treatments.
Cleaning and Checkups
Along with daily brushing and flossing, regular checkups and cleanings are the cornerstone of great oral health. Our friendly hygienist will use special instruments to remove plaque and tartar from hard to reach areas of your mouth and polish your teeth to make it harder for bacteria to stick to the enamel. It is recommended that you see your dentist at least twice a year, but this schedule may change depending on your risk for cavities and gum disease.
One of our technologies is use of the diagnodent for decay detection in teeth. And what it is is a laser that gives us a reading that tells us how much bacteria is in that area and if we should go ahead and think about doing a filling or not, and depending on the digital readout we can make an assessment there and do a filling that’s smaller and more precise and keeps the tooth stronger, or we can go ahead if it’s a lower reading, watch that and monitor it over a period of time to see if it’s changing and if we need to do something at that point.
We can now screen for dental caries or cavities even before they start. Using the CAMBRA test, your dentist will swab your teeth to identify changes in oral bacteria. Dr. Pollack and Dr. Phan can then prescribe the best oral care regimen depending on your cavity risk.
At each appointment, we will do a quick screening to check the health of your gums. We provide non-invasive laser treatments to remove diseased gum tissue and medication to keep your gums healthy.
As far as educating our patients go, especially in the range when they come in with TMD, headaches, there is a whole lot that can be happening there so we have to kind of find out from a dental standpoint what we might be able to help them with.
So I go through a process where I will do an exam where I am checking muscles, I am checking the jaw joint, head, face and neck down to the shoulders. If they have muscle tenderness, what I’m going to do is I’m going to make a device that anti deprogrammer and we’re going to let them rest on that little piece of plastic between their teeth separating them for maybe ten minutes or so, and then we’re going to come back, recheck some of those muscles and see if that has made any difference. A lot of times if there is muscle pain, we’ll find out that there is a significant difference, maybe fifty percent or greater, and then we know with some certainty that there’s some bite issues there, and if we start making corrections in those bite issues for them, we are going to help them with that muscle tenderness, maybe even get rid of some of headaches for them. There’s a good chance of that.
We’re going to use Doppler, as another technology, listen inside the jaw joint, really look at the whole system in quite a bit of depth. We’re going to get those impressions put together very similar to how their jaw works, using an instrument called an articulator and get a bite index of how those teeth comes together with their jaw seated position.
Once we get that together, we’re going to do a little bit of studying, have the patient back in and we will do a consult, a little co-diagnosis, we’re going to sit down and teach them a little bit using a program called BiteFX, how the jaw system should work, what is the jaw system supposed to be doing, how does it work best.
During the cavity-prone years, your dentist in Arvada may recommend extra protection with dental sealants. Sealant is resin material that is painted on the biting surfaces of the back teeth to prevent bacteria from entering through the grooves. With proper care and checks, dental sealants can last for a few years before needing to be replaced.