Why Aren't More People Opting to Have Oral Cancer Screenings?

The American Dental Association estimates that 60% of Americans see their dentist at least once each year for regular cleanings and preventative treatments. There is another important procedure being performed in dental offices each year. The procedure is performed quickly, is painless and non-invasive and may just save your life. The procedure is the oral cancer screening. Over 48,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and over 7,000 of that number will die as a result of their diagnosis within five years, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation.

With almost two-thirds of the population visiting the dentist each year, there are thousands of opportunities to diagnose oral cancer in its early stages. Despite this high rate of patient to dentist contact, only 15 to 25 percent of patients choose to have an oral cancer screening performed as part of their regular checkup.

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An Ounce of Prevention Really is Worth a Pound of Cure When it Comes to Oral Health

The process of aging impacts the entire body - hair turns gray and becomes thinner, fine lines and wrinkles begin to appear on the face and health can begin to diminish. Aging also impacts dental health, too. Older patients often experience tooth loss, painful gum disease and tooth sensitivity and diminished or dull smiles. While all of these conditions can be treated after they occur, dentists agree that is better to take preventative measures sooner rather than later to preserve pearly whites, improve tooth retention and stay healthy.

Tooth loss is a common problem among senior patients that can be prevented by practicing proper hygiene and taking the time for regular trips to the dentist. Dr. Steven P. Rogers, D.M.D., P.C., a Grant’s Pass, Oregon, dentist, agrees. "If a patient practices regular and routine hygiene techniques throughout their life, the chances of losing a tooth later in life can be diminished," says Rogers.

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What are Dental Sealants and Why Does My Child Need Them?

Dental sealants help reduce dental complications and adverse health outcomes in adults and children who are at risk of developing cavities and tooth decay. They are especially valuable for patients who have a higher risk of decay as a result of a lack of access to dental care, a genetic or medical history that precludes them to cavities or merely because they do not practice good dental hygiene habits. Dental sealants are a popular cavity prevention treatment used by many dentists to protect the teeth of their patients.

Dental sealants are covers that are placed in the pits and grooves of the teeth. Pits and grooves occur naturally as part of the tooth’s construction. Although sealants have been made out of a variety of materials over the years, modern dental sealants are made out of plastic resin or ceramic. The reason behind the use of these particular materials is that they can bond easily to the tooth enamel.

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Flossing to Save Your Teeth...and Your Heart?

Dentists are always reminding their patients to floss - but how many people take their advice? Most people do not associate their heart health with their oral health, but the connection exists. Dentists recommend their patients to floss their teeth to not only protect their gums but their hearts, too.

Regular flossing helps to prevent gum disease. This gum disease leads to inflammation of the gum tissue. Gum disease begins with the buildup of bacteria in a sticky film called plaque. This film is caused by tiny bits of food left behind from improper brushing, or from food stuck between the teeth that are missed when patients do not floss.

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Overcoming Fear of the Dentist with Light Touch Dentistry

Nearly 30 percent of Americans suffer from fear or anxiety during a trip to the dentist according to the Dental Fears Clinic at the University of Washington. Fear about going to the dentist prevents many people from seeking treatment for problems or necessary preventative care. Many would-be dental patients suffer gum disease, tooth loss, pain and even experience negative overall health impacts as a result. More dentists are moving to biomimetic, or light touch dentistry to help ease fears and encourage patients to seek the care they need.

Research has shown that patients' fears regarding the dentist are usually a result of a previous bad experience. Others are embarrassed or fear being judged by the state of their dental health, lifestyle choices such as drug abuse or eating habits or have sensory issues with the sights, sounds and the smell of the dentist's office.

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Biomimetic dentistry offers a pain free treatment for tooth decay.

Australian researchers at the University of Sydney have found that tooth decay can be reversed when patients focus on proper hygiene techniques. The study published in the journal, Community Dentistry, and Oral Epidemiology, reports the need for dental fillings was reduced up to 50 percent when participants practiced regular hygiene and saw professionals for routine preventative treatment. The study observed patients with a high risk of tooth decay over a period of seven years. They tracked the success rates of using high concentration fluoride applied directly to sites of decay, improving toothbrushing procedure and dental hygiene practices, limiting sugary snacks and beverages and monitoring patients with additional risks like genetic history or illness than can increase the rate of tooth decay.

Results of the study showed that the speed of decay is not as fast as dental professionals once thought. "It can take several years for a spot decay to become an actual cavity," says Dr. Steven Rogers, D.M.D, P.C. Rogers cautions, "However, even though deterioration takes longer in some individuals, tooth decay should be evaluated and monitored through regular and routine dental checkups. Decay should be treated."

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