When it comes to your health, it is vital to be proactive with any dental problems you may have by getting them diagnosed and treated before they can become larger issues. This is why it's important to schedule an annual dental exam for you and your family. While teeth are superficially examined during a cleaning, an exam provides a much more in-depth analysis. Dental exams at Smiles of Chevy Chase evaluate your general and oral health by checking for tooth decay, signs of oral cancer, and other diseases. Experienced dentist Dr. Despina Markogiannakis will determine your need for treatments during your exam, as well as check your bite and jaw for problems. A series of x-rays will also be taken to gain a better insight into the health of your teeth, gums, and jawbone. If you live in or near Chevy Chase, MD, schedule an annual dental examination for yourself and your family at our office.
Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer is classified by any abnormal growth of cells in the mouth, including the gums, jawbone, lips, tongue, throat, and salivary glands. Every dental exam at Smiles of Chevy Chase includes an oral cancer screening to look for the early signs of oral cancer, including sores, inflammation, lumps, and lesions. Dr. Marko will also palpate the throat and jaw for any potential abnormalities. If any areas of concern are found, a biopsy can be performed, or you will be referred to a specialist for further care.
Chevy Chase, MD patients of all ages should receive an annual dental exam. Many common problems, like gum disease (the biggest cause of tooth loss), don’t have symptoms you can easily notice on your own. When problems are caught early, the better your chances will be for a successful treatment with less invasive options.
The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends that all children go to the dentist before their first birthday. Dr. Markogiannakis can help with issues, like teething, baby bottle tooth decay, and the use of pacifiers. Our team at Smiles of Chevy Chase can help you understand how to care for and clean your baby's mouth. This way, they can start practicing healthy habits early, which will help them all throughout their life. Dental exams are also important for children as they get older and their mouth starts to develop.
What To Expect
Your appointment will start with an overall evaluation of your teeth, gums, tongue, the roof of your mouth, inside your cheeks, your throat, and other oral checkpoints. This includes looking for signs of oral cancer throughout your mouth. Dr. Marko or a member of her team will take x-rays and screen for any abnormal tissue in the gums. Dr. Marko will then evaluate your head, neck, and jaw, including your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) and bite alignment. She will then discuss anything found with you and how to best treat it. Dr. Markogiannakis will go over any health problems you have, medications you may be taking, and how they could be unknowingly impacting your oral health by causing dry mouth and tooth decay. Finally, she will examine any prosthetics you have, like dentures or bridges, to check the fit and wear.
The follow-up period following your annual dental exam will depend on the condition of your oral health. If Dr. Marko does not identify any issues, then the only follow-up would be to continue a regimen of dental health, including brushing and flossing twice a day, along with attending annual dental exams and bi-annual cleanings at Smiles of Chevy Chase. If Dr. Marko does see something that needs to be addressed, options will be discussed and scheduled.
Since a dental exam is so important to your oral health, it is typically covered by dental insurance. Our office will work with your dental insurance company to determine your coverage and any out-of-pocket costs. If you do not have dental insurance, Smiles of Chevy Chase accepts many payment options, including medical financing. Dr. Marko is happy to work with you to make sure you can afford good oral health.
Annual Dental Exams
Having a healthy mouth involves going to the dentist regularly rather than just waiting for something to go wrong before taking action. Preventive care is vital. It can save your teeth, as well as a significant amount of money in the long-run. We recommend seeing Dr. Despina Markogiannakis at Smiles of Chevy Chase every year for a dental examination. Doing so will enable you to stay on top of issues by catching and treating them early. We do our best to make dental exams a positive experience for you and your family so that staying healthy is easier. Contact our office in Chevy Chase, MD to schedule your appointment with our exceptional dental team.