New patient exams by Advanced Dentistry of Richmond
What is a clinical exam?
A clinical exam is also known as a routine check-up. Check-ups let Dr.Klostermyer take an ‘inventory’ of the health of your of your teeth, mouth and jaw function. She will listen to any complaints or wishes and diagnose any potential problems. She presents her findings, offers her assessment and asks for your feedback.
What is an extra-oral exam?
Dr. Klostermyer will first check your face and neck for any abnormalities. Then she will palpate lymph nodes looking for lumps or swellings. Finally, she’ll examine your jaw joint, known as the temporal-mandibular joint (TMJ) and your chewing muscles. After the extra-oral examination, she will check the inside of your mouth.
What does an intra-oral exam cover?
Dr. Klostermyer will check for any signs of gum disease, and other disorders. She then examines your lips, gums, tongue, palate, and cheeks. She evaluates any abnormalities such as discolorations, ulcers or signs of cancer. Further tests may be necessary.
Finally, she checks your teeth for decay, bite, appearance and other problems. X-rays help in assessing issues with teeth below the gumline. She will be sure to especially look at any areas where you may have symptoms or concerns.
Why are x-rays necessary?
A clinical exam alone cannot diagnose all potential problems within your mouth. Many issues with your teeth may have to do with problems under the gumline. This is why x-rays play a key role in allowing a better, more accurate look. X-rays allow Dr. Klostermyer to check for any bone loss and tooth health. She can also determine the severity of any gum disease (periodontitis). X-rays complement the clinical exam by revealing any issues that were not visible. They also provide a point of comparison for bone, gum, tooth root and bone status during future visits. Advanced Dentistry of Richmond, uses a state-of-the-art digital x-ray system. This strongly diminishes potential exposure of patients and staff to harmful x-rays.
How prevalent is oral cancer?
We at Advanced Dentistry of Richmond take oral cancer screening very seriously. Every hour an American dies as a consequence of oral cancer! About 30,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer each year. Oral cancer has a higher mortality rate than other types of cancer. This includes cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s disease, liver cancer or kidney cancer. Early detection is key. If caught early, a patient with oral cancer has a 90 percent cure rate.
Who is at increased risk of contracting oral cancer?
Use tobacco in any form
Regularly consume alcohol combined with smoking
Are over age 40,
Have prolonged exposure to the sun (lip cancer)
What are the symptoms of oral cancer?
Because 25 percent of the people diagnosed with oral cancer have no risk factors, an oral cancer screening should be a routine part of a regular dental check-up. This includes an examination of the entire mouth for the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions.
Common symptoms of oral cancer or pre-cancerous cells include:
A change in occlusion (bite)
A color change in the oral tissues
Small white or red spot/sore anywhere in the mouth
Any sore that bleeds easily or refuses to heal
Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
Lumps, thickenings, rough spots, or crusty areas
Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth, lips or lymph nodes
What happens during an oral cancer exam?
During an oral cancer exam, Dr. Klostermyer will examine the inside of your mouth and your lips. She checks for spots or sores which can be a sign of cancer. These are normally harmless. In some cases, you may need a test to determine if a problem exists. A brush test is one type of test. This involves collecting cells from the sore area with a miniature brush. The cells are then sent to a lab for analysis. The analysis will determine whether symptomatic cells are present. If symptoms exist, a biopsy will provide a definitive diagnosis.
How is an intraoral camera used?
An intraoral camera is a lightweight handpiece that is designed for use inside the mouth. It uses LEDs for illumination and can be focused in any direction within the mouth. It captures images allowing archiving, magnification and viewing on a computer screen. Intraoral cameras provide detailed images which support an accurate diagnosis. Patients can view the images recorded to better understand treatment plan options.
Advanced Dentistry Of Richmond 7204 Glen Forest Drive, Suite 203 Richmond, Virginia 23226 (804) 767-1002