Dental Cleaning, Examination, and Oral Cancer Screening

 
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A regular dental cleaning is an important part of maintaining overall oral health. This procedure is a valuable part of your dental check-up, along with dental x-rays to check for proper bone density and the presence of any cavities or other oral disease. A dental cleaning and complete examination is the foundation for good dental health.
 
During your visit, our registered dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth and update any changes to your oral health. Professional cleanings are a helpful way to gently remove plaque and tartar from areas that are hard to self-clean, as well as get a check on any signs of periodontal (gum) disease. Because it is so important to maintain good home care, we also educate our patients on how to properly brush and floss, making sure they are knowledgeable in proper home care.
 
Also at your visit, our dentists will perform an oral cancer screening within your mouth and also will examine your jaw and neck. We will look for any abnormalities, such as asymmetries, swelling, bumps, discolorations, and ulcerations. If something unusual is seen or felt, we may feel the need to bring you back for a follow-up visit or refer you to a specialist.
 
The goal of this oral cancer screening is early detection of mouth cancer or precancerous lesions, thus increasing the chance of a positive outcome. According to the American Cancer Society, an estimate of 53,000 people will get oral or oropharyngeal cancer and 10,860 deaths will occur because of these cancers in 2019. The key to survival is early detection.
 
The following are risk factors which can increase the chance of oral cancer:
  • Tobacco use (this includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, vaping, chewing tobacco and snuff)
  • Chronic alcohol use
  • Significant sun exposure (especially without protection)
  • Previous history of oral cancer
  • HPV (human papilloma virus)

Be certain to keep-up with your routine dental visits so these screenings can be done on a consistent basis.