You know that brushing and flossing your teeth at home are vital to promoting your dental health. While they are important, they are only half of the care you need. It is also best to see your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup. Although you may not feel that these appointments are necessary, they play a key role in your oral and general health. Not only will your dentist look for complications, like tooth decay and gum disease but also other issues that can occur in your mouth, like oral cancer.
Don’t Skip Your Routine Appointments
Although it is recommended that you visit your dentist twice a year, only a little more than half of people maintain their appointments. If you are among those who skip scheduling routine visits, you are not only placing your teeth and gums at risk, but you may also be allowing serious concerns to go undetected.
Your preventive appointments involve more than just monitoring for tooth decay and gum disease. They also look at your dental health as a whole to check for any suspicious areas, like lesions, bumps, or rough patches that may indicate the early stages of oral cancer.
Benefit from Early Detection
It is estimated that 450,000 new cases of oral cancer are diagnosed worldwide every year. Unfortunately for those who are diagnosed with it, only 57% percent will survive longer than 5 years. The long-term survival rate is low due to late detection. Often, the cancer is not found until it has reached advanced stages or spread to other areas in the body.
With early detection, the long-term prognosis significantly increases. To find cancerous and precancerous cells early, your dentist can easily perform an oral cancer screening during your routine appointments.
It is estimated that 80% of new cases can be diagnosed by a dentist. If you are not maintaining your preventive appointments, you are missing a key opportunity to discover potential areas of concern sooner, even before symptoms develop.
In addition to checking the health of your teeth and gums, your dentist will also evaluate the tissues in your oral cavities to look for any concerning areas, such as changes in color or texture of the tissue, lumps, bumps, or lesions, and sores that will not heal.
If they find an area that does not seem normal, they will order a biopsy of the tissue to have it tested in a dental lab. They will then inform you of the results and if any additional treatment will be needed.
Protect Your Health
If you have not been to your dentist recently, do not place your dental and general health at risk. Schedule an appointment today to benefit from a cleaning, checkup, and oral cancer screening.
About Bethel Dental
At Bethel Dental, we believe that a healthy smile starts here. We not only offer the services you need for healthy teeth and gums but oral cancer screenings as well. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.