Dental Coverage: How A Dental Plan Can Save Your Life
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dental coverageIf you don’t have dental coverage and you’re on the fence about whether or not to fit it into your already-limited budget, consider that there’s no aspect of your physical health that you can afford to ignore. Dental coverage can ensure that you are able to see a dentist twice a year so that you can be screened for a number of oral health problems that can have a serious impact on your overall health.

Dental Plan: What Your Dentist Looks For

At your regular dental checkup, your teeth will be cleaned by a dental hygienist and you may even have X-rays taken. After the cleaning, your dentist will check your teeth and gums for signs of decay, infections and bite problems that may need to be addressed with further treatment. Your dentist will also be checking your mouth for signs of oral cancer. If you’ve never given a second thought to the possibility of getting oral cancer, you should know that, according to the National Institutes of Health, it is the sixth most common type of cancer in the United States. It’s estimated that about 91,200 people are living with oral cancer and about 37,000 new cases are diagnosed each year. It’s also estimated that 8,000 Americans lose their lives to oral cancer each year - deaths which could have been prevented by early diagnosis and treatment.

Dental Plan Coverage: What You Should Look For

When you visit a dentist who makes oral cancer screening a part of your biannual checkup, you are greatly increasing your odds of finding cancer early. Your dentist should conduct a thorough soft-tissue exam that includes the oral cavity and tongue, along with palpation of the head and neck. Between dental checkups, be vigilant about any of the following symptoms:

▪ A sore that lasts longer than 2 weeks.

▪ A swelling, lump or growth anywhere in the mouth or neck area.

▪ Red or white patches on the lips or in the mouth.

▪ Unexplained bleeding from the mouth or throat.

▪ Chronic hoarseness or difficulty swallowing.

Though no exact cause for oral cancers is known, the American Cancer Society says that smoking or use of other tobacco products, heavy drinking and human papillomavirus infections have been shown to increase the risk of developing oral cancer. The use of alcohol and tobacco together increases the risk of oral cancer more than for people who don’t use alcohol or tobacco. Stopping the use of alcohol and tobacco products is the first step in decreasing your chances of developing oral cancer. Seeing your dentist regularly can help to detect any problems while they’re in the early stages.

Get dental coverage today that will allow you to see your dentist for twice-yearly checkups that can detect a variety of oral health problems including infections, cavities and oral cancers. Call Best Dental Direct at (817) 779-7000 to learn about dental plans that will fit any budget.


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