When it comes to your health, you need to be proactive with dental problems by getting them diagnosed and treated before they become larger issues. This is why it's important to schedule an annual dental exam for you and your family. While teeth are superficially examined during a cleaning, a comprehensive dental exam provides a much more in-depth analysis. Dental exams at Stone Lake Dental evaluate your general and oral health by checking for tooth decay, disease, and signs of oral cancer. Our certified team of dentists will determine your need for treatments and check your bite and jaw for problems. A series of x-rays will also be taken to get better insight into the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. If you live in or near Wichita Falls, TX, schedule an annual dental examination for yourself and your family at Stone Lake Dental.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer includes any abnormal growth of cells in the mouth, including the gums, lips, jawbone, cheeks, sinuses, tongue, salivary glands, and throat. Every dental exam at Stone Lake Dental includes an oral cancer screening using the innovative Oral-ID technology to look for early signs, including sores, inflammation, lumps, and lesions. Additionally, we offer Oral-ID cancer screening lights as a free service for our Wichita Falls patients. Our dentists will also palpate the throat and jaw for abnormalities. If any areas of concern are found, a biopsy may be performed or you will be referred to a specialist for further care. Some common signs of oral cancer include:
- A persistent sore throat or feeling that something is caught at the back of the throat
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
- A persistent or lasting sore on the face, neck, or mouth that bleeds easily and does not heal within two weeks
- Unexplained loss of feeling, pain, or numbness in the face, neck, or mouth
- Ear pain
- Lumps, bumps, or rough spots on the gums, lips, or other parts of the mouth
- Red, white, or speckled red and white patches in the mouth
- Difficulty chewing, speaking, or swallowing
- A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
Wichita Falls patients of all ages should receive an annual dental exam. Many common problems, like gum disease (the biggest cause of tooth loss), do not have symptoms you can easily notice. When problems are caught early, the better your chances will be for a successful treatment with less invasive options.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that all children go to the dentist before their first birthday. Our dentists can help with issues, like teething, baby bottle tooth decay, and the use of pacifiers. The team at Stone Lake Dental can help you understand how to care and clean your baby's mouth so they start healthy habits early — this will also help them throughout their life. Dental exams are also important for children as they get older and as their mouth develops.
What To Expect
Your exam will start with an overall assessment of your teeth, tongue, gums, roof of your mouth, inside your cheeks, throat, and other oral checkpoints. This includes looking for signs of oral cancer throughout your mouth. We will take x-rays and screen for abnormal tissue in the gums. Our dentists will evaluate your head, neck, and jaw, including your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) and bite. They will then talk about anything found and how to best treat it. We will discuss any health problems you have, medications you may be taking, and how they might impact your oral health by causing dry mouth and tooth decay. Finally, we will examine any prosthetics you have, like dentures or bridges, to check the fit and wear.
The follow-up period will depend on your oral health. If our dentists do not identify any issues, then the only follow-up would be to continue a regimen of dental health, including brushing and flossing twice a day, along with annual dental exams and bi-annual cleanings at Stone Lake Dental. If they do see an issue that needs to be addressed, options will be discussed and scheduled.
Since a dental exam is important to your oral health, it is typically covered by dental insurance. Our office will work with your dental insurance company to determine your coverage and any out-of-pocket costs. If you do not have dental insurance, Stone Lake Dental accepts many payment options, including medical financing. We are happy to work with you to make sure you can afford good oral health.
Annual Dental Exams
Having a healthy mouth means you do not just go to the dentist only when something goes wrong. Preventive care is vital, and it can save your teeth, as well as a significant amount of money. We recommend seeing one of our experienced dentists at Stone Lake Dental every year for a dental examination. Doing so will enable you to stay on top of issues by catching and treating them early. We do our best to make dental exams a positive experience for you and your family so staying healthy is easier. Contact our office in Wichita Falls, TX to make your appointment.