When it comes to your health, you should try to avoid dental issues and get diagnosed before they develop into larger conditions. These problems can be identified during an annual dental exam for yourself and your whole family. While the mouth is superficially examined in your bi-annual cleaning, a comprehensive dental exam consists of a more thorough analysis. Dental examinations at Alpine Dental Arts assess your general health and your oral health, including signs of oral cancer, your risk for diseases, and tooth decay. Lakewood, CO dentist Dr. Justin Becerra will determine your need for procedures and/or dental restorations and look for problems with your bite and jaw. Digital images will also be used for a better view of the hidden problems in your teeth, gums, and jawbone. If you live near Lakewood or Denver, CO, make an appointment for an annual dental examination for yourself and your family at Alpine Dental Arts.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is an abnormal growth of cells in the mouth, including the jawbone, gums, lips, throat, tongue, and salivary glands. Each dental exam at Alpine Dental Arts will include screening for oral cancer to check for any symptoms including inflammation, sores, lesions, and lumps. Dr. Becerra will also feel your throat and jaw for abnormal growths. Should any areas of concern be discovered, a biopsy can be done or you may need care from a specialist.
Dr. Becerra and his team at Alpine Dental Arts utilize the caries management by risk assessment (CAMBRA) approach to treating and preventing tooth decay and cavities at the earliest stages. This works by identifying the patient's risk of developing dental caries to create a more effective dental treatment plan. For example, those that are of a high risk may need to receive routine fluoride treatments even past the recommended age in order to help prevent dental caries from occurring. Risk factors are identified with testing of the bacteria levels, saliva, diet and lifestyle factors, protective factors, xylitol levels, and antimicrobial levels of the patient.
Lakewood, CO residents of every age should get an annual dental exam. Even when there are no signs or symptoms of a dental issue, it is still important to attend regular dental exams. Some of the most common problems such as periodontal disease (the top reason for tooth loss) don’t have signs you can notice. If problems are noticed 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 they turn one. A dentist can talk about common issues including teething, baby bottle tooth decay, and the use of pacifiers. Our team at Alpine Dental Arts can help you understand ways to clean and care for your baby's oral health so they develop good habits early in life. Dental examinations are also important for older children as their teeth develop. Even though baby teeth fall out, Dr. Becerra will look for issues with development in the jaw and gums.
What To Expect
Your examination will begin with an initial assessment of your tongue, teeth, gums, roof of your mouth, inside your cheeks, throat, and other checkpoints. This includes checking for symptoms of oral cancer throughout your mouth. Dr. Becerra or a member of his team may take x-rays and check for abnormal gum tissue. Dr. Becerra will evaluate your neck, head, and jaw, including the bite and temporomandibular joints. He will then discuss anything discovered and your treatment options. Dr. Becerra will go over any other problems you may have, medications you are taking, and if they might affect your dental health by causing tooth decay or dry mouth. Lastly, he will check any restorations you have, such as dentures or bridges, to assess their wear and fit.
The follow-up period of an exam will be based on the results of your exam. If Dr. Becerra doesn't find any issues, then you can follow a regimen of dental health with flossing and brushing every day, plus yearly dental examinations and twice yearly professional cleanings at Alpine Dental Arts. If Dr. Becerra does find a concern that needs to be addressed, procedures will be reviewed and planned.
Since a dental exam is critical to your oral health, it's typically covered by insurance. We can work with your dental insurance company to determine your coverage and any personal expenses. If you don't have insurance, Alpine Dental Arts takes several payments, including medical financing. Our team is happy to work with you to help you afford good dental health.
Annual Dental Exams
Having a healthy mouth means you can't go to the dentist only when something start hurting. Preventive care is vital and may save your teeth, plus it can help you save a lot of extra time and money. We suggest seeing Dr. Becerra at Alpine Dental Arts every year for a dental exam. This can help you to minimize issues by catching and treating them in the early stages. We do our best to make dental exams a pleasant experience for you and your family so staying healthy is easier. Contact our team in Lakewood, CO to schedule your dental exam today.