What Will Happen On My First Visit?
Your initial visit is an important first step in letting us provide the best in oral health care. We take time to get know you as a person and identify your unique dental needs. A comprehensive periodontal examination, an oral cancer screening and a detailed review of your medical and dental history are completed. A verbal dialogue is conducted to find out about your past dental experiences and to determine treatment expectations. Diagnostic x-rays are taken and a clinical examination is performed.
After obtaining and reviewing this information we will discuss our findings and make recommendations for your treatment along with options and fees. We feel strongly that therapy should begin only when you are comfortable with the diagnosis, treatment plan and investment you will be making.
It is our philosophy that optimal outcome of treatment is best achieved when there is a mutual understanding and rapport between the patient and the doctor. We look forward to building a successful relationship.
Please Note: All patients under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the consultation appointment.
Please notify the office if you have a medical condition or concern prior to surgery (e.g. artificial heart valves or joints, heart murmurs requiring pre-medication, severe diabetes, or hypertension).
We will complete an in-depth medical and dental health history and a thorough examination to measure for bone loss, loose teeth, bite, oral cancer screening, TMJ, and other signs of periodontal disease.
Oral Cancer Exam
According to the American Cancer Society, over 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year, with over 7000 of these cases resulting in the death of the patient. Fortunately, oral cancer can be diagnosed with an annual cancer exam provided by Dr. Orth. If caught early, oral cancer can be effectively treated.
Oral cancer is a pathologic process, which begins by producing no symptoms making it hard to recognize without an exam. There are many types of oral cancer, including teratoma, adenocarcinoma and melanoma. The most common form of oral cancer is malignant squamous cell carcinoma, which typically originates in the lip and mouth tissue. There are many other places in which oral cancers occur, including: the tongue, salivary glands, throat, gums, and face.
What to Expect
The oral cancer examination is completely painless. Dr. Orth will look for abnormalities and feel the face, glands, and neck for unusual bumps. Lasers may be used to highlight pathologic changes, and can look below the surface for spots and legions invisible to the naked eye. Some of the signs that will be investigated are red patches and sores. Red patches on the floor of the mouth, or the front of the tongue, and bleeding sores which fail to heal easier, can be indicative of cancerous changes. Leukoplakia is a hardened white or gray, slightly raised lesion that can appear inside the mouth, and may be cancerous. Signs of these will be examined as well. Finally, soreness, lumps or the general thickening of tissue anywhere in the throat or mouth can signal pathologic signs, and will be examined.
If abnormalities, lesions, lumps, or leukoplakia are apparent, Dr. Orth will implement a treatment plan that is right for you. Treatment options vary according to the precise diagnosis, but may include: excision, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
It is also important to note that over 75% of oral cancers are linked with avoidable behaviors such as smoking, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. Dr. Orth can provide you with literature and options about quitting dangerous behaviors such as tobacco use.