When looking for diagnostic dentistry services in Columbia, Maryland, you may want to first answer the question, “what is diagnostic dentistry?” Regardless of the state of your oral health, it is important to maintain a schedule of regular dental appointments. A reasonable goal is to visit the dentist once a year, at least, for an oral health checkup.
Although you may be free of many oral health concerns, it’s still important to undergo preventative procedures such as dental cleanings. An early diagnosis of an oral health problem can go a long way in effective treatment. Searching for diagnostic dental care in Columbia, Maryland? Reach out to Dr. Michael Hsu at Columbia Smiles today. You can call 410.690.4855 or contact our team online.
What Are Diagnostic Dentistry Services?
Diagnostic dentistry allows dentists to spot oral health issues in their patients before they turn into costly, painful, or time-consuming problems. The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends two dental cleanings and two diagnostic checkups per year. This schedule has been shown to reduce the risk of developing oral health problems.
Diagnostic dentistry services may include the following:
- Blood pressure check
- Checking biting, chewing, and swallowing patterns
- Evaluation of gum tissue
- Examination of teeth to detect decay
- Oral cancer examination and screening
- Reviewing and updating medical history, including cancer treatment, diabetes, heart problems, joint replacement, medications, pregnancy, and surgeries
- Treatment planning, including referrals to specialists for specific treatment
What Are the Procedures Used in Diagnostic Dentistry?
Now that we’ve defined diagnostic dentistry, you may be wondering what procedures dentists use to check for any oral health problems that may have developed since a patient’s last dental appointment. Diagnostic dentistry procedures include any procedure used to find a problem with gum tissue, teeth, or other oral structures of the mouth. These procedures include the following:
- Bite imprints to determine if there are jaw malformations affecting biting and chewing
- Extrapolation of fluids from swollen gums or abscesses to detect infection or disease
- Referrals to bone specialists for signs of bone degeneration or malformation
- Surgical removal or biopsy of strange tissues
- Swabs of mouth sores
A dentist is more likely to spot oral health problems than your general physician, so don’t skip dental diagnostic checkups even if you go to your trusted doctor regularly.
When Should You Consider Diagnostic Dental Care?
Diagnostic dentistry is intended to discover oral health issues before they become huge problems. If you care about your oral health, diagnostic dental care shouldn’t be just a consideration—it should already be part of your schedule.
Diagnostic dental care can provide you with the following benefits:
- Better dental care: When a dentist knows exactly what needs a checkup, maintenance, and treatment in a patient’s mouth, the appointments are more efficient. The appointment is more focused thus addressing the specific area of concern. For example, if you have periodontal disease, they will perform periodontal dental cleaning instead of simple prophylaxis during professional teeth cleaning appointments.
- Rapport with your dentist: Building a relationship with your dentist and their staff is important, especially if you experience dental anxiety. Diagnostic dental care appointments don’t often include fear-inducing procedures. Having face time with your dentist can help you get to know them better and be more comfortable with going to their office for preventative and treatment appointments.
- Options for treatment: When an oral health problem is diagnosed early, there’s often a wider range of components available for appropriate and effective treatment. Your dentist will often talk to you about your options for treatment after a diagnosis. Because these newly diagnosed oral health problems are often not emergency situations, there’s also often more time to deal with them. With your dentist, you can plan out a treatment program that fits your needs, your budget, and your schedule.
Contact Columbia Smiles Today
If you’re looking for diagnostic dental care in Columbia, Maryland, contact Dr. Michael Hsu at Columbia Smiles today. You can call 410.690.4855 or reach out to our team online.