Comprehensive Dental Examination (Oral Cancer Exam) – Chandler, AZ

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Overview

In order to maintain optimal oral health, we recommend avoiding dental conditions and complications by having your mouth and teeth examined on a regular basis. Potential problems can be identified during a dental exam for yourself or your whole family. While the mouth is checked in your bi-annual cleaning, a dental exam consists of a more thorough analysis. Dental examinations at the private practice of Dr. Troy Gombert assess your overall and oral health by looking for tooth decay, diseases, and signs of oral cancer. Dr. Gombert will determine your need for procedures and look for problems with your bite and jaw at each dental exam. Digital images will be used for a better view of the hidden problems in your teeth, jaw, and gums. If you live near Chandler, AZ, schedule your appointment for a dental exam for you and your family at our practice once a year.

What is Tooth Decay?

Tooth decay occurs when bacteria in dental plaque damages the enamel of your teeth, leaving a hole or cavity. Any part of a tooth can decay, from the roots below the gumline to the chewing surface. If plaque bacteria reach and damage the pulp, the tooth will likely die as the pulp contains nerves and blood vessels that supply the tooth. Tooth decay can occur due to a number of issues, including poor brushing and flossing habits, diets rich in sugar, the presence of risk factors such as smoking, and lack of fluoride in the water supply.

Included During Your Exam:

  • Dental Radiographs: Dental x-rays provide early detection of decay, tumors, cysts, and bone loss that cannot be seen in a visual exam. X-rays also help determine tooth and root positions. Dental x-rays are taken at scheduled intervals to allow for a thorough examination while limiting radiation. At our dental facility, we use digital technology in order to greatly reduce radiation.
  • Tooth Decay Exam: In addition to your dental x-rays, all tooth surfaces will be checked for decay with special state-of-the-art decay detection instruments.
  • Gum Disease Evaluation: We will check the gums and bone around your teeth for any signs of periodontal disease.
  • Examination of Existing Restorations: Check current fillings, crowns, bridges and other dental work for fit, leakage, or unusual wear.
  • Oral Cancer Screening: We will check your face, neck, lips, tongue, throat, tissues, and gums for any signs of oral cancer. In addition, we offer the state-of-the-art Velscope examination to aid in early detection of oral cancer and dysplasia.

Best Candidates

Chandler, AZ residents of every age should get a dental exam every year. Some of the most common conditions, such as periodontal disease (the leading cause of tooth loss), do not have symptoms you can see. If concerns are noticed early, you are more likely to have more options for treatment.

The ADA (American Dental Association) suggests that children visit a dentist before they turn one. Dr. Gombert can talk about common problems including using pacifiers, teething, and baby bottle tooth decay. Our team can teach you ways to clean and care for your baby's oral health so they develop good habits early in life. Dental examinations are also crucial for older children as their teeth, gums, and jaw develop.

What To Expect

Your dental examination will begin with an initial assessment of your gums, teeth, tongue, throat, the roof of your mouth, inside your cheeks, and other checkpoints. This includes checking for symptoms of oral cancer in your mouth. Dr. Gombert or a member of his team may take digital x-rays and check for abnormal gum tissue. We will also evaluate your neck, head, and jaw, including your bite and temporomandibular joints (TMJ). He will then discuss any concerns discovered as well as your treatment options. Dr. Gombert will go over any other conditions you may have, prescriptions 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 bridges and dentures, to assess the wear and fit.

Follow-Up

When to schedule your next appointment will be based on the results of your exam. If Dr. Gombert doesn't find any problems, then you can follow-up with a home oral care routine including flossing and brushing every day, plus yearly dental examinations and twice yearly professional cleanings at our facility. If Dr. Gombert does find a concern that needs to be treated, procedures can be reviewed and planned.

Insurance Coverage

Since a dental exam is vital to your dental health, it's usually covered by insurance. We can talk to your insurance company to understand your coverage and help you plan for any personal expenses. If you don't have insurance, our practice accepts several payments, including medical financing. Dr. Gombert works with each of our patients to help them afford good dental health.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What causes bad breath?

A. While bad breath might be a symptom of some other disorder, it most likely stems from dental decay and periodontitis. Periodontitis is a disease that affects the gums and bone that support the teeth, resulting from inadequate tooth brushing and flossing. In this disease, the irritated gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets between the teeth and the gums. These pockets fill with bacteria that give off a foul odor.

Patients with bad breath need a complete dental evaluation. If gum disease and/or dental decay are diagnosed, it can be treated readily. The patient will no longer have an infection in his or her mouth, and he or she will no longer have the embarrassment of bad breath.

Q: What do I do if my tooth is loose or knocked out?

A: Know the proper first aid for saving a loose or dislocated tooth. If the tooth is loose but is still attached in any way, leave it in place; do not remove it. If it is out of its socket completely and unattached but still in your mouth, it is best if you hold it there until a dentist can attempt re-implantation. If it has fallen out completely, you must keep it moist and handle it as little as possible. Do not attempt to disinfect the tooth, scrub it, or remove any tissue attached to it. If it is recovered from the ground or other soiled area, rinse it off in lukewarm water. Preserve it in milk until a dentist is available. If milk is not available, lukewarm water will suffice.

Time out of the socket is critical in the long-term success of re-implantation. After 30 minutes, the success potential begins to decline. However, re-implantation is still possible after several hours, so the attempt can still be made even if the tooth has been out for a long period.

Q: How do I manage dry mouth?

A: More seniors today have retained their own teeth, avoiding the trauma of removable dentures. Many have been prescribed mediations, which can cause dryness of the mouth as a side effect. Without the natural benefit of saliva to decrease bacterial action, we see an increase of cavities on the root surfaces of these patients. Anyone on a medication causing a dry mouth effect should be encouraged to see their dentist for regular dental cleanings and topical fluoride rinses.

Q: What should I bring to my appointment?

A: Please bring the following items to your first dental appointmen:

  • Your filled-out patient information form, if you’ve already received one.
  • Please bring your dental insurance card if you are insured so that we can bill your insurance.
  • If you are insured and have a co-pay, please bring payment to your appointment.
  • Please bring your valid form of ID which could include your driver's license, military ID or state ID.
  • If you have a patient health history form that is filled out already, please bring this.
  • Your HIPAA consent form, if you need someone other than yourself to access your health information.
  • Filled-out treatment consent form.

Q: How long does a dental appointment last?

A: Depending on the purpose of your first visit, most patients can expect to spend 1-2 hours for their first visit. Follow up visits can be significantly shorter.

Q: How often should I go in for a dentistry appointment and/or checkup?

A: It is no surprise that most people do not visit a dentist office for a checkup on a regular basis. Most people end up only going in for dentistry work when they have a problem, or an emergency. Many patients feel they are saving money by only going to the dentist when it is needed, but the truth is that it often ends up costing much more time any money due to long term neglect. Many dental issues come up when patients do not have or do not recognize symptoms like pain or sensitivity until it is too late to prevent issues. One example of this is tooth decay.

Patients often say, "Nothing hurts, or I don't have any dental problems. I don’t need to see a dentist." The big problem is that tooth decay is not usually painful until it gets close to the nerve of the decayed tooth. Unfortunately, it is very common to see patients with huge cavities, yet they have never felt any pain associated with the cavity/tooth decay. Your dentist can usually detect cavities several years before any pain or symptoms arise. Yearly checkups and maintenance will result in early cavity detection and help reduce the need to expensive, major procures such as root canals on damaged teeth.

Annual Dental Exams

Maintaining great oral health means you can't go to the dentist only when something is wrong. You have to be proactive with preventive care. This may save your teeth and gums, plus a lot of time and money. We suggest visiting Dr. Gombert annually for a dental exam. This can help you to minimize problems by catching them in the early stages. We work hard to make dental examinations a pleasant experience for you so you'll enjoy coming back. Contact our team in Chandler, AZ to schedule your exam.

Related Procedures

* All information subject to change. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.