Exams & Screenings
You may not realize your regular six month checkups are for more than just cleanings and catching up with your hygienist and favorite dentist. Your regular checkups also include comprehensive exams and screenings to make sure we catch any potential problems before they become serious. Dr. Meyer is always on the lookout (and you should be too) for any changes or abnormalities in your mouth that may be potential signs of a problem. Early detection of disease and decay are essential for the most successful treatment and recovery.
Our advanced technology allows us to detect disease and decay earlier than ever before. Intra-oral cameras give us a better view of the surfaces of your mouth. We also perform regular periodontal exams to check your gum health, looking for signs of gum disease and gum recession.
Oral Cancer Screenings
One of our most important jobs as your oral healthcare professionals is to perform regular oral cancer screenings to ensure early detection and the best chance for survival and recovery. Because you generally only see your regular doctor when a problem comes up, your dentist is in a unique position – inside your mouth – to screen you for oral cancer on a regular, twice yearly basis. Some of the things we look for and things you should be on the lookout for at home include (can occur anywhere inside the mouth including the lips, cheeks, tongue, gums, and throat):
- Sores, swelling, lumps or thick patches
- Red or white lesions
- Feeling of lump or something stuck in throat
- Numbness, pain or tenderness
- Pain in the ear without loss of hearing
- Trouble moving jaw or tongue, swallowing or speaking
- Loose teeth with no apparent dental problem
- Lingering sore throat or hoarseness
Oral cancer is unfortunately on the rise in the United States – one American dies every hour. There are certain lifestyle habits and risk factors that put you at a higher risk for developing oral cancer, although 25% of oral cancer patients have no risk factors.
Risk factors for oral cancer include:
- Men are 2x more likely to develop oral cancer
- Smoking or chewing tobacco
- Alcohol use
- Poor diet
- Sun exposure
Oral cancer screenings save lives. Be sure to visit your Monticello, IA dentist regularly for checkups and screenings.