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Your Vanguard Against Dental Disease: Dental Diagnosis

A visit to your dentist will often include a full diagnosis of your dental health to determine both known and hidden issues that may be going on in your mouth.  The examination is comprehensive to ensure that your overall health is seen to, especially as dental conditions have been shown to have a systemic effect, meaning that things going on in your mouth can lead to effects elsewhere in the body.  This dental diagnosis is often done as a normal part of your routine visit.


What Methods Are Used In Dental Diagnosis?

While most of us are familiar with the x-ray procedure done during most visits to our dentists, there are a number of other diagnostic tools and procedures that your dentist may use.  Modern medical and dental technology have created powerful and innovative techniques that aid in diagnosing concerns and detecting them sooner than ever.  The following techniques are in common use in dental offices these days:


  • Digital Radiography – A new twist on an old favorite, digital radiography is the latest generation of x-ray technology, using far less radiation than previous x-ray techniques while producing higher quality images that can be zoomed in on and rotated in ways previously impossible.
  • Laser Dentistry – This diagnostic tool is known as DIAGNOdent, and involves using a laser to determine abnormalities on the surface of your teeth such as cavities.  These imperfections are reported back as an audio signal that is interpreted by the unit controlling the laser.  This allows invisible dental issues to become apparent and treated before they advance.
  • Periodontal Disease Screening – While we are all familiar with gingivitis, there are a number of other periodontal diseases (meaning diseases of the gum and bone) that can be affecting your oral health.  Multiple pieces of data are collected during this diagnosis, including gum recession, inflammation indicators, bleeding points, and more.  


Do I Really Need All These Levels Of Diagnosis? My Teeth Are Healthy!

Even the most thorough dental hygiene routine has room for error, and many of the conditions revealed by the aforementioned diagnostic techniques begin invisibly, or in areas not visible with a traditional diagnostic routine.  These forms of diagnosis ensure that these conditions are caught during their initial stages before they can cause lasting and visible damage.

Additionally, these techniques screen for oral cancer.  Oral cancer is treatable if caught early enough, but can first start to appear in ways that aren’t visible to the naked eye.  These forms of diagnosis catch it early enough to begin treatment before it becomes life-threatening.  


Will My Insurance Cover Dental Diagnosis?

While insurance coverage varies from patient to patient, all forms of dental diagnosis are typically covered by insurance.  These forms of preventative care ensure that the quality of life of the patient is improved and that the costs for treatment remain low as compared to dealing with conditions that have already advanced.  If you have any questions about your coverage you can speak to your dentist’s office or your insurance agency to get answers.


Dr. Shadi Heidarian Heritage Park Dental has diligently served the Palo Alto, Atherton, and San Francisco areas with friendly and effective dental care for more than 12 years under the guidance of Dr. Shadi Heidarian. Every year Dr. Heidarian continues to advance her dentistry expertise to guarantee her patients the latest and most effective treatments.
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