People who visit the dentist for an annual checkup are usually just looking to make sure that there are no major procedures that have to be done, and that their cavity count hasn't skyrocketed because of a recent sugar binge. But dentists offer a lot more than just the regular cleaning. Take a look below at three lesser-known services that dentist offices can help you through.
Vital Pulp Therapy
Inside each tooth, there is a complex arrangement of tissues and cells called the dental pulp. If small irritants disrupt the vitality and function of the pulp, it can be bad news: increased sensitivity and inflammation are just two of the signs that your dental pulp is reacting to gradual decay, or even sudden trauma. That's why vital pulp therapy is such an important weapon in the dentist's arsenal. During pulp therapy, a dentist can help repair damage to the tooth's pulp, as well as remove any irritants and place a protective layer over the tooth so as to provide protection against future irritants.
Orofacial Pain Exams
Orofacial pain is a term that is used to describe any kind of painful sensation located in the mouth or face (below the eye sockets). The vast majority of the time, the pain can be traced to a common toothache or a related problem such as the pulpitis described above. Sometimes though, the pain isn't caused directly by a single tooth. Rather, it's a complex situation often involving headaches, neck pain, nerve damage and even sleep apnea. In order to diagnose a patient with orofacial pain, dentists can perform a series of exams, including an MRI, blood work, and even a psychological status report. So if you're experiencing vague pain in your mouth or jaw that's caused by something other than a tooth, your dentist may still be more than able to help you out.
Oral Pathology (Tissue Specimens)
Unfortunately, it's sometimes the case that a visit to the dentist reveals a more significant problem than just a cavity or two. But even if your dentist suspects you may be at risk for an oral disease, they can still take tissue specimens in order to more accurately diagnose the problem and recommend further treatment. Whether the disease is vascular, inflammatory or idiopathic in nature, you can rest assured that a specialist will be available to treat your condition.
For more information, contact Pacific Ave Dental/Allan L. Hablutzel, DDS or a similar location.