Comprehensive Dental Exams in Lancaster, PA

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What are Dental Exams?

When it comes to your oral health and smile, being proactive is the key to minimizing your risk of dental concerns. Oral problems can be identified during routine dental exams in Lancaster, PA, with our experienced team. Dental checkups allow us to evaluate your overall oral health by screening for signs of oral cancer, tooth decay, gum (periodontal) disease, and other oral conditions. These routine examinations also give us the opportunity to assess how your upper and lower teeth fit together (your bite) and the function of your temporomandibular joints (TMJ). At certain visits, digital x-rays may be taken to examine hidden areas within your mouth, such as under the gums, within the jawbone, and between teeth. For more on the benefits of routine dental exams in Lancaster, PA, reach out to our friendly team at LANCO Dental Care.

Why are Oral Cancer Screenings important?

Part of a comprehensive exam is screening for abnormal precancerous or cancerous areas within the oral cavity. Oral cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the mouth and may affect the gums, jawbone, lips, salivary glands, tongue, floor of the mouth, hard and soft palates, or throat. Every dental examination at our state-of-the-art dental practice includes a screening for oral cancer with VELscope Vx technology to check for any indication of concern, including sores, lesions, nodules, and lumps. The VELscope Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System is a handheld device that emits a safe blue-spectrum light, which allows us to better visualize any abnormalities within the soft tissues. We will also palpate around the jaw, chin, and throat areas for irregularities. Should any areas of concern be found, a biopsy may be performed, or we may refer you to a specialist for further evaluation and care.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Exams?

There are several benefits of routine dental assessments conducted by LANCO Dental Care providers. A few of the primary advantages of a dental exam include:

  • Early cavity detection
  • Lowers the risk of tooth loss
  • Opportunity to provide dental imaging or different diagnostic services
  • Personalized dental advice
  • Improved oral hygiene
  • Learning about correct brushing and flossing practices
  • Fresh breath
  • Preserving the health of your teeth
  • Early care and management
  • Offers an opportunity for a periodontal screening

Who is a good candidate for routine dental exams?

Patients of all ages should undergo a dental checkup in Lancaster, PA, at least once per year. Some of the most common oral problems, such as periodontal disease (the leading reason for tooth loss), may not have signs you can easily identify. If dental issues are detected early, the better your chances will be for a successful treatment with less invasive options.

The ADA (American Dental Association) suggests that all children visit a dentist before their first birthday. Our experienced team can help with common concerns, like teething, pacifier use, and baby bottle tooth decay. We can also show you ways to clean and care for your baby's gums and teeth — so they start healthy habits early in life. Dental exams are also important for older children as their baby teeth exfoliate (fall out), permanent teeth emerge, and jaws develop.

What happens during the dental exam?

Before getting started, we will review your medical and dental histories, prescriptions, or supplements you are taking and discuss any concerns you may have. A member of our clinical team will take digital x-rays and perform a screening for gum disease. Once we have this information, we will then perform an initial assessment of your tongue, gums, teeth, throat, inside your cheeks, the roof of your mouth, and other checkpoints. This includes evaluating for signs of oral cancer or other irregularities in and around your mouth. We will evaluate your head, neck, and jaw, including the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), and bite and assess the wear and fit of any crowns, bridges, or other restorations. Any issues or concerns discovered during the dental checkup and their recommended treatment options will be thoroughly explained to you by our caring team.

What happens after the dental exam?

Any treatment recommendations following your dental exam will be based upon our findings and your treatment needs. If there are no concerns detected during your exam, our recommendations will generally be to follow a regular oral hygiene regimen that includes flossing and brushing every day and to schedule routine dental exams, which are generally provided during dental cleaning visits. In the event that you do require further treatment to improve your oral health, we will review our recommendations and provide you with a detailed treatment plan. Any questions that you may have will be thoroughly answered by our team.

Dental exam FAQ

Do dental exams hurt?
Dental exams at LANCO Dental Care should not cause any extreme discomfort. They may cause soreness, but it shouldn't hurt. Our dental team uses the latest dental techniques and technology to make sure you have little to no pain during your exam. For more information, schedule an appointment with our team.

How long will my dental exam take?
Generally, your dental exam will take around 30 – 60 minutes. However, if you've had significant changes to your oral health since your last appointment, your oral exam may take longer. Contact us to schedule an appointment so that we can determine your proper treatment and gather the correct information.

How do I prepare for a dental exam?
You should prepare for a dental exam by maintaining proper oral hygiene by flossing and brushing twice daily. On the day of your appointment, it may be ideal to brush your teeth and avoid consuming beverages and food an hour before the appointment. If possible, write down any concerns you have so they can be addressed during your appointment.

How do I know if I should have a dental exam?
Individuals should receive annual dental exams and biannual dental cleanings. If you are experiencing any of the below-listed signs, you should schedule a dental exam:

  • Recurring bad breath
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Toothaches
  • Bleeding gums

Should I brush my teeth before my dental exam?
You do not have to brush your teeth before your dental exam, but there is no downside to doing so. Many patients elect to brush their teeth because they are concerned about bad breath. Don't worry! Our team will eliminate any plaque and bacteria that you would have removed on your own, leaving you with fresh breath.

What happens if my dentist finds a dental concern?
If a dental issue, like a cavity, signs of gum disease, or a damaged tooth, is found during your cleaning, our team will create a comprehensive treatment plan. If there is time available in our schedule, some oral concerns can be treated on the same day. Otherwise, a follow-up appointment can be scheduled to address any concerns found.

Preventative Care for Healthy Teeth

Keeping up with preventive care, like routine dental examinations, can reduce your risk of greater treatment needs over the long term. When we can detect tooth decay, gum disease, and other problems early, we can often treat such concerns more conservatively and save you time and expense. To schedule a comprehensive dental exam for you and your family, get in touch with LANCO Dental Care in Lancaster, PA, today. We strive to make dental visits a positive and comfortable experience for all patients, no matter your oral health needs.

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