Why are checkups important?
Checkups are important for maintaining good oral health and detecting potential problems so that they can be thwarted. A checkup is an examination that involves screenings for oral cancer, gum disease, presence of tooth decay, and other signs of oral health issues. Sometimes symptoms for oral health issues are not immediately apparent to the patient. With advanced training and technology, Dr. Gross and our team can detect underlying oral health problems, as well as potential problems, and offer solutions.
What happens at a checkup?
Dr. Gross will use a variety of technology and skills to assess your oral health. Most importantly, he will address your concerns about your dental health or symptoms you notice. Are your teeth sensitive to pressure or temperature? Have you noticed sores that won’t seem to heal or discoloration of your gums? Tell Dr. Gross about any changes to your oral health.
Using digital radiography, Dr. Gross will inspect all previous dental work to ensure that crowns, fillings, and bridges are safe and protective. Over time, dental work may need to be replaced because it becomes worn down with daily chewing, grinding, and gnashing tooth functions.
Dr. Gross will also screen every patient for gum disease as a preventive measure. Screening for this condition is important, especially because early stages of the illness don’t often present noticeable symptoms. Caused by the aggressive bacteria present in plaque buildup, gum disease that goes undetected and untreated will worsen. Eventually the infection can cause inflammation, irritation, and of gum tissue. You may notice that your gums bleed easily during brushing or feel tender to the touch. Advanced gum disease can erode soft and hard tissues of the mouth, lead to tooth loss, and contribute to systemic health problems, so symptoms should be treated immediately.
A dental checkup also includes an oral cancer screening. A common affliction among Americans, oral cancer first appears as white or red sores in the mouth or on the tongue. Dr. Gross will inspect your soft oral tissue for signs of oral cancer. Tobacco use, alcohol consumption, family history, and age are risk factors, but anyone can develop oral cancer. For more information about oral cancer screenings and risk factors of oral cancer, you can read our oral cancer screening page.
What happens if Dr. Gross finds a problem with my oral health?
If Dr. Gross finds cause for concern during your checkup, he will first discuss the problem with you. We want you to be educated about your dental health, so you can make intelligent decisions about treatment. He will offer a treatment plan to address the issue and discuss options. Depending on the situation, you may need to return for a more thorough discussion and screening. You can schedule your next appointment with the front office before you leave. If Dr. Gross finds a problem during your dental examination, follow up with his treatment suggestions. While awareness of a problem is important, it is only the first step towards improving and maintaining good oral health.