Oral pathology refers to the specialized study concerned with diagnosing and examining the cause and effects of diseases around the oral and maxillofacial region. At Platt Family Dentistry, we offer a wide range of these type of services, as well as cosmetic and restorative dentistry. From Dayton to across the country and internationally, we welcome all patients to experience outstanding customer service and tailored treatment plans. If you are scheduled for an oral exam, or if you would like to ask our staff any questions about this procedure or schedule an appointment, please contact us today.
What Is Involved in an Oral Examination?
One of the best ways to maintain your oral health and address potential issues before they turn into larger problems is to schedule regular checkups and exams every six months. During this comprehensive exam, your dentist will have the opportunity to perform a deep cleaning using specialized equipment. During these regular exams, you can generally expect the following to be done:
- Examination for gum disease: Examination of gums and the bone around your teeth to determine if any signs of periodontal disease are present
- Examination for signs of tooth decay: Use of special instruments to examine the surfaces of your teeth for signs of decay
- Evaluation of existing restorations: Examination of the current status of your fillings, crowns, and any other restorations
- Examination of X-rays: Evaluation of X-rays is essential in early detection of tumors, cysts, bone loss, and decay
- Oral cancer screening: Precautionary exam of the neck, face, lips, throat and gums for any warning signs of cancer
While oral cancer is the most serious issue that may be detected during your oral exam, there are other pathologic issues that may have developed, such as:
- Hairy Tongue: This condition, which causes the tongue to turn black and look hairy, is caused by a yeast infection or excessive overgrowth of bacteria. Hairy tongue generally develops due to poor hygiene, as a side-effect to radiation treatment, or due to prolonged use of particular antibiotics.
- Geographic Tongue: This condition presents itself as red patches on the side of the tongue, which is caused by missing papillae in various areas around the tongue.
- Median Palatal Cyst: This condition results in a fluid filled sac that generally appears in the middle of the patient’s palate, causing discomfort.
How to Treat Pathological Diseases
Most pathological changes tend to be somewhat uncomfortable and perhaps a bit unsightly, but they are seldom life threatening. However, current statistics indicate that 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year, and of these diagnoses, almost 10,000 cases are fatal. There are several different treatment options available for patients facing an oral cancer diagnosis, but for less serious issues, treatment options generally take the form of the following:
- Antibiotics: Your dentist may prescribe antibiotic treatment if you have persistent soreness or are suffering from a bacterial infection.
- Oral Surgery: Oral surgery may be recommended for patients who have non-cancerous growths or cysts, as removing these can address breathing issues, improve the ability speak, and increase overall patient comfort.
- Diluted Hydrogen Peroxide: Occasionally dentists will recommend using hydrogen peroxide as a mouthwash for patients who have poor oral hygiene, periodontitis, or halitosis.
Oral Exams and Cancer Screenings
It is incredibly important to schedule regular oral cancer screenings, which can take place at your regularly scheduled dental exams. The screening only takes a couple of minutes and are painless. Our office uses a small laser light that is able to determine if cell changes indicative or oral cancer have taken place. If this is the case, we will perform a biopsy to determine the nature of the cell change. Once the results of your biopsy are back, your dentist will discuss your treatment plan moving forward.
There are several places in the oral cavity and maxillofacial region where oral cancers can develop, including:
- Salivary Glands
If you have been experiencing any pain, irregularities, or symptoms that have raised concerns, please contact us today to set up an appointment.
Cost of an Oral Examination
The final cost of your procedure will be determined by a variety of factors, such as the severity of your case and what type of dental plan you are currently enrolled in. Our office does accept cash, most major credit cards, money orders, and personal checks.
If you have concerns about the extent of care required and would like to discuss alternate financial arrangements, please feel free to contact our office to discuss CareCredit. CareCredit helps patients pay for procedures and treatments that are not covered by insurance by offering low minimum monthly payments and No Interest* financing so you can get what you want, when you want it. Applying for Care Credit only takes three simple steps and can provide instant approval.
If you have any additional questions regarding payments, dental insurance coverage, or available financial options, please contact our office and we will be happy to help.
For Beautiful, Healthy Smiles, Contact Us Today!
At Platinum Dentistry, we believe a healthy smile is a beautiful smile, which is why we provide an array of dental treatments to cater to health as well as aesthetics. Our practice utilizes world-class labs that create customized restorations to restore the structure and beauty of your teeth. We take the time to explain and educate our patients about the importance of health care and answer any questions you may have about treatment so you can make the best decision for your smile.
With our attention-to-detail for providing high aesthetic results to restoring the health of patients’ teeth and gums, at Platinum Dentistry you are in experienced hands. Take your first step towards a beautiful, healthy smile today and schedule an appointment by contacting our office by phone at 937.293.3402 or fill out our online form.