If you are putting off that overdue visit to the dentist, take a moment and think it through carefully, as this decision could impact your very life.
Take for example, the story of this four-year-old girl from Washington. During a routine dental exam, her dentist discovered a tumour in her jaw which turned out to be neuroblastoma – an aggressive and deadly cancer. Thankfully, due to early detection, treatment was successful and this lucky young girl is now cancer-free.
Many unfortunately don’t recognize that a dental examination goes beyond just teeth. In fact, when I provide a patient examination, I am always looking for irregularities not only within a patient’s dentition, but also on his lips, tongue, mouth floor, gingiva (gums), hard and soft palate, neck and throat as well. I palpate the neck’s lymph notes, recording any abnormalities or potential abnormalities I may detect, noting number, size, consistency, tenderness, mobility and location of any irregularities in the patient’s chart and determining whether immediate follow-up by an appropriate specialist may be required.
The importance of this exam can and should never be underestimated. This lucky little girl is living proof!