You may have experienced something new the last time you were in the office for an appointment. Your hygienist probably asked if they could gently feel your neck to check for any abnormalities. Sometimes this exam can raise questions, so we wanted to tell you exactly why we do it.
Is there something wrong?
This may be one of the first questions that comes to mind when a hygienist tells you they would like to check your head and neck for abnormalities. The simple answer is no. The hygienist performs this exam on all patients as a first line of defense to make sure there is nothing present that could be a sign of more serious problems.
What are they looking for?
During this exam, Hygienists look for hard spots, lumps, or swelling. Depending on what they discover, this could alert them that the patient has a cold, ear infection, or it could let the hygienist know that there could be cancer present. Although this is a scary concept for many patients, this exam actually dramatically increases the likelihood of rapid treatment and recovery for cancer.
Why did Greentree start doing head and neck exams?
A few months ago, Dr. Ferguson brought to our attention the well-researched reasoning behind why these exams are critical for the early detection and prevention of cancers in our patients. This article discusses the rise of oral cancers and the necessity for the exams that we provide at every hygiene appointment for our patients. According to this article, only 25% of dental hygienists provide this service.
We prioritize the value of early detection and prevention and are committed to the best care for every patient. Call us today to schedule an appointment at (614) 459-5511.