All new patients receive a thorough initial examination which includes, as applicable, a screening for: oral cancer, gum and bone disease, tooth decay, bite abnormalities, saliva function, TMJ dysfunction, denture fit and function, and systemic disease. Your gum tissue is measured with a high-tech computerized instrument to calibrate in millimeters the space between the tooth and the gum tissue around the tooth. Pockets measuring 5 millimeters or greater may be a cause for concern, and require immediate attention. As the space between the tooth and gum (periodontal pocketing) increases, more plaque bacteria collects in the space, causing gum infection and periodontal disease. X-rays are taken as needed. Please also check out the Periodontics section on gingivitis and periodontal disease.
Oral cancer screening is a routine part of a dental examination. Regular check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. You may have a very small, but dangerous, oral spot or sore and not be aware of it.
Dr. Rogge will carefully examine the inside of your mouth and tongue and in some patients may notice a flat, painless, white or red spot or a small sore. Although most of these are harmless, some are not. Harmful oral spots or sores often look identical to those that are harmless, but testing can tell them apart. If you have a sore with a likely cause, Dr. Rogge may treat it and ask you to return for re-examination.
To ensure that a spot or sore is not dangerous, Dr. Rogge may choose to perform a simple test, such as a brush test. A brush test collects cells from a suspicious lesion in the mouth. The cells are sent to a laboratory for analysis. If precancerous cells are found, the lesion can be surgically removed if necessary during a separate procedure. It's important to know that all atypical and positive results from a brush test, or other screening tests, must be confirmed by biopsy.
Oncology Nurse Advisor (8/30, Alexander) reports that a study published in the journal Cancer suggests poor oral health is associated with oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma (OPSCC) “regardless of HPV status.” According to the article, although poor oral health has been “linked to an increased risk for developing head and neck squamous cell carcinoma, including OPSCC,” the “impact of HPV status on the association between poor oral health and OPSCC cancer risk remains unclear.” Using data from the large population-based Carolina Head and Neck Cancer case-control study, researchers found “routine dental examinations were associated with a 48% reduced risk of HPV-negative OPSCC...and a 45% reduced risk of HPV-positive OPSCC.” Researchers also found “tooth mobility, which is an indicator for periodontal disease, increased the risk of HPV-negative OPSCC by 70%...and HPV-positive disease by 45%.”
MouthHealthy.org and the Oral Health Topics on ADA.org provide information on oral and oropharyngeal cancer for patients and for dental professionals. The ADA Council on Scientific Affairs provides a statement on human papillomavirus and squamous cell cancers of the oropharynx. MouthHealthy.org also provides information for patients on HPV and oral cancer.
Our office uses the latest in digital x-ray technology. Digital x-rays offer a detailed image of your entire mouth and also deliver 90% less radiation than traditional film x-rays. X-rays play an invaluable role in the diagnosis of periodontal problems as well as provide a clear picture for Dr. Rogge to accurately diagnose the problem and provide clear treatment regiments.
We place a small sensor in your mouth and then an x-ray beam is sent through your teeth and bone and onto the sensor, which records the image of your teeth and bone and sends it to the computer. The sensor can then be repositioned to capture images of other sections of your teeth and bones. The digital dental x-ray system is more sensitive than dental x-ray film systems so your exposure to x-rays is cut by 90%.
The large enhanced images that you see are what Dr. Rogge sees, so it is easier for you to understand how they will treat your teeth and bones. Your periodontal checkups take less time and it is fun to watch the system work. Most patients are amazed.
We use distilled water rather than tap water to help safeguard against germs and contamination.
Our office uses an intra-oral exam in order to allow the patient to see the what the doctor sees at the same time. This allows the patient to understand the issues the doctor is seeing and helps the doctor in discussing treatment plans.
We use a powerful autoclave to sterilize equipment and dental instruments. This helps to safeguard against germs and contamination.