Regular dental visits are important for more reasons than just checking for cavities or gum disease. Dr. Kamal also checks for abnormal sores, lumps, cysts, discolorations, etc as part of his cancer screening. Many of the things he finds that are not quite normal can be considered normal for a particular individual, and others require very close monitoring as some conditions could become cancerous. That is why it is important to have a good baseline to compare future visits to. This is why it is our goal at My Family Dentist to have a panoramic x-ray and digital photos of all our patients, as well as encouraging dental visits at least once a year, even for those with complete dentures.
With these photos, x-rays, and regular exams we will be able to monitor existing conditions with the soft tissue, teeth, gums, and bone support. The x-rays provide information for diagnosing decay, defective fillings, bone support around the teeth, analysis of the joints of the jaw, as well as the jaw bones themselves. The photos help provide a more 3-D view of the teeth and their existing restorations. They also allow us to monitor the soft tissue for possible changes.
Over time the body changes, and so does your teeth, gums, and jaw structure. This is very important when it comes to oral cancer screening as the mortality rate for oral cancer is very high if not caught early, yet very low when caught and treated early. With the records and regular exams done at My Family Dentist, we can track the rate of changes and help differentiate between the normal and abnormal and recommend treatment when required.
This concept of visual charting to aid in cancer screening is still relatively new to the dental field, but is growing in popularity. With the advancements in technology more and more dentists will be adopting this approach to total patient care, but unfortunately we are still a long way from this becoming considered the standard of care that all dentists must meet.
The pages in this category include cases demonstrating the power of visual charting, and the benefits of panoramic x-rays, photos, and regular exams.