9654 Sparta Ave NW, Sparta, MI 49345, (616) 887-7389

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* GINGIVITIS: The mildest form of periodontal disease. Signs of Gingivitis are gums that are red, swollen, and bleed easily. There is usually little or no discomfort with Gingivitis. Recent studies have linked Gingivitis and *Periodontitis with heart disease and pancreatic cancer. Even though Gingivitis is reversible with professional treatment and good oral care at home and like diabetes has little or no symptoms, it is a serious disease.

* PERIODONTITIS: Periodontitis happens when the infection of Gingivitis gets into the bone that surround and support your teeth and causes the bone to silently waste away. It is the major cause of tooth loss among adults and affects three out of four adults age 35 or older. Only your dentist can treat the more advanced damage caused by periodontitis. Periodontitis is also painless. That is why a thorough examination of the gums and bone support of your teeth on an annual basis is so important.

* VIZILITE: ViziLite Plus is an oral cancer screening exam that assists dental professionals in the early detection of oral abnormalities including premalignant lesions and oral cancer. Early detection saves lives. When oral cancer is found early, treatment is 90% successful. The ViziLite Plus exam improves the examiner's ability to identify, evaluate and monitor abnormal areas that are difficult or impossible to see under conventional lighting.

* ADVANTAGES OF DIGITAL X-RAYS: The greatest advantage of digital x-rays are that the patient is exposed to approximately 90% less radiation than film-based x-rays. Also, digital x-rays are like digital pictures. They can be enlarged, cropped, and enhanced to better diagnose dental problems. They can be emailed to insurance companies and specialists, which is faster and more efficient, and can save the need for more x-rays to be taken at the specialist.

* TMJ/HEADACHE EXAM: Studies show 40% of patients clench and/or grind their teeth and most patients are unaware that they do so. A complete exam of the teeth, gums, bone that hold the teeth in, muscles of the face and jaw joints (TMJ's) can reveal whether a patient clenches and/or grinds their teeth. Many times a simple bite splint (night guard) can save the patient fractured teeth, bone loss or the tragedy of TMJ (Jaw Joint) problems later in life.

* INTRA-ORAL CAMERA: In our practice doctors, assistants, and hygienists use digital intra-oral cameras to educate patients and communicate with insurance companies and specialists. Sometimes we use it for the fun of showing patients a play by play picture of how their fillings are done. Rarely do we ever charge for photos in our practice.

* More Vizilite Information

In our continuing efforts to provide the most advanced technology and highest standard of care available to our patients, our practice is proud to use ViziLite Plus exams as an integral part of our annual comprehensive oral screening program.

One person dies every hour from oral cancer in the United States - and the mortality rate has remained unchanged for more than 40 years. On the other hand, mortality rates have drastically decreased for cervical cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer primarily due to the introduction of screening exams (Pap smear, mammogram, PSA test, and colonoscopy respectively). Since the introduction of the Pap smear in 1952, there has been an 80% reduction in deaths from cervical cancer, and since the introduction of mammography in 1972, there has been a 45% reduction in deaths from breast cancer. Oral cancer is very deadly. 40% of patients diagnosed with oral cancer from the traditional exams that we have used up until now, die within 5 years. However, that will begin changing now with screening using the ViziLite system that can detect the oral cancer in stage 1 or 2 (that has a 90% survival rate) rather than the examination alone that detects oral cancer in stage 3 and 4 with only a 60% survival rate.

In the past, patients that we considered at increased risk for oral cancer were patients over 40 and/or those patients who used tobacco. With the introduction of the human papilloma virus (HPV), that has changed. HPV is suspected to contribute to 20%-30% of oral cancer cases. Anyone sexually active is at risk for HPV and therefore is at an increased risk for oral cancer. The medical and dental community now considers anyone 18 and over at risk for oral cancer. The American Dental Association is recommending, and we are prescribing, the ViziLite screening exam for everyone 18 years and older.

ViziLite Plus is an easy and painless screening examination that gives this practice the best chance to find any oral abnormal lesions. Dental insurance might not cover this advanced oral cancer screening as an addition to the standard visual examination. We will be performing the ViziLite Plus exam annually following the standard oral cancer examination of the oral cavity for a fee of $49.