Dr. Stephen A. Price


Call today for your free no obligation consultation: (703)-935-2879


Let’s Talk Dental Check-ups!

Let’s Talk Dental Check-ups!

Dental Check-upContrary to the common impression, dentistry is not intended as an “after-the-fact” method of health care. In our practice, we encourage routine visits at six-month intervals. It may seem as though the dental check-up does very little, but that is not accurate. A lot goes on behind the scenes of these visits!

Cancer Screening

Oral cancer is still something that we don’t talk much about. Fortunately, this is because other dental conditions like decay and gum disease are much more prevalent. However, each dental check-up includes a thorough screening conducted by your dentist. Sometimes these screenings employ state-of-the-art technologies, though research suggests that these methods are not necessarily superior to a standard manual and visual oral cancer screening. What research does suggest is that the early detection of oral cancer leads to the most advantageous outcome.

New Toothbrush! Thanks!

Have you ever wondered about the new toothbrush you get after routine dental exams? There is good reason for this small gift. Brushing and flossing are the cornerstone activities of healthy teeth and gums, but many people forget to replace their toothbrush as often as they should. Your toothbrush really should be replaced every couple of months. Receiving one from your dentist can prompt renewed effectiveness in oral care.

What Happens in the Mouth, Stays in the Mouth – Not!

While many people know they want to avoid issues in their mouth, there remains a large misconception that conditions like cavities and gum disease are mere “dental problems.” This is not so. Research continues to provide us with valuable evidence as to why we want to minimize tooth decay and gum disease – and it’s not only about teeth.

Inflammation in oral tissues is the result of bacteria. The microorganisms that live in plaque are not stuck, by any means. They can pack up and move to a welcoming new location in your body by travelling along the digestive tract, the respiratory tract, or the blood; and research tells us they are up to no good. An unhealthy mouth reflects a risk for unhealthy conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and more.

Dental exams aren’t just about your teeth, although it may seem that way. To guard your smile – and your health, schedule your visit for routine dental care.



Why Get Your Teeth Professionally Cleaned?

If you’re a diligent brusher and flosser of your teeth at home, you may be tempted to skip regular twice-yearly professional cleanings with Dr. Price or another dentist. After all, what can a professional do that you’re not already doing at home? Truth is, lots.

dental cleaningBeyond the removal of plaque and tartar (which you cannot remove at home once it has developed on your teeth), there are more serious reasons to see us twice yearly.

  1. Head off gum disease early.

When plaque starts to accumulate in certain corners of your mouth, the gums surrounding your teeth can become inflamed and this can lead eventually lead to gum disease. If left untreated, this disease can cause tooth and bone loss. During your routine exams and cleanings, we check for the early signs of gum disease because catching and addressing it early is the key.

  1. Oral cancer can be right under your nose, literally.

Like gum disease, part of our regular exam protocol is looking for the early signs of oral cancer. You know when we pull your tongue and check your glands and other tests? Those are checks for oral cancer, and, obviously, you want to catch that early and you won’t see the signs at home.

  1. Your oral health can go way out of track.

Early diagnosis is early treatment. For dental issues, this not only can save you thousands of dollars, but it can save your teeth. You may think you’re doing a bang-up job at home, but we may see evidence that says otherwise. We keep a running record of your dental health. Have your gums receded since the last visit? Has that crack in a tooth become worse? We check for everything and keep an eye on any issues.

Professional dental cleanings and dental exams with Dr. Price can seem like an optional task on your to-do list, but in the long run, your teeth will thank you for making those visits mandatory.

Is it time for your next exam? Call us at 703-750-9404 to schedule your appointment.

What Should You Know About Oral Cancer?

Dental AppointmentOral cancer, like other forms of cancer can be devastating. However, if it is caught early, chances of survival and recovery significantly increase. This is why it is important to be informed about this deadly disease. Keep reading to learn more.

Oral Cancer Basics

Oral cancer includes a group cancers that occur around the mouth and throat. These cancers can lead to serious discomfort, permanent disfigurement, and death. In fact, oral cancer causes over 8,000 deaths a year. One of the main reasons that oral cancer is so deadly is that it is often diagnosed in the later stages where treatment is less effective.

Who is at risk for oral cancer?

Anyone can get oral cancer, but some people are more at risk than others. People with a high risk of developing oral cancer include:

  • People who consume significant amounts of alcohol
  • Anyone who uses tobacco products including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, pipes, and cigars.
  • People who’ve contracted HPV (the human papilloma virus)
  • People who’ve sustained excessive sun damage
  • People with a family history or personal history of oral cancer
  • People who are over 40 years old.


Healthy habits can help you avoid oral cancer, but they can’t completely eliminate your risk. This is why it is important for everyone to get checked.

Oral Cancer Screenings

Although oral cancer is incredibly deadly when caught in the late stages, if it is caught early (in stage one or stage two) the survival rate is 80%. This means that oral cancer screenings are essential and can be life saving.

Oral cancer is difficult to self-diagnose and in many cases the symptoms don’t appear until the cancer has spread and become more serious. Dr. Price offers oral cancer screening using Fluorescence Technology. These screenings can detect abnormalities and find problems before someone notices symptoms. Fluorescence technology uses a special blue light that can identify abnormalities that aren’t otherwise visible. The examination only takes a few minutes and is very safe. These screenings can provide peace of mind if you don’t have problems and life saving information if there is an issue. Take charge of your health—contact Dr. Price to learn more about oral cancer screenings.

Information about Oral Cancer Screenings

Models - 54If you have a history of cancer in your family, it is very important that you are screened for it throughout your life. Screening does not mean that you will never get cancer. But, as with most diseases, the earlier you catch it, the more likely treatments will succeed. Tests and screenings are recommended for people who have a family history of cancer, and for those with certain lifestyle choices such as smoking.

These tests are important, obviously, for the patient, but also for scientists and researchers. Without screenings, there would be no statistics to show who is more likely to contract cancer and why they contract it compared with others. By taking the screening tests, patients help themselves because they find out what the chances are that they have or will contract oral cancer, and the dental industry is aided by the research and statistics provided by these screenings.

Typically, a screening is done at the same time as a routine check-up. The doctor or dentist will look for any lesions, patches of abnormal white cells (known as leukoplakia), and red patches (known as erythroplakia). If these lesions are left on the mucus membranes in the mouth, there is a chance they will become cancerous.

If there are lesions in the mouth, the dentist or doctor will use one of the following to predict the chances of developing oral cancer.

  • Brush biopsy – The removal of cells with a special dental brush developed to collect cells from each layer in the lesion. A microscope will show if the cells are abnormal.
  • Toluidine blue stain – The lesions are coated with a blue dye. Darker areas are or are likely to become cancer.
  • Exfoliative cytology – A tool is used to gently scrape cells from the throat, tongue, lips, or mouth. These cells are scrutinized under a microscope.
  • Fluorescence staining – The lesions are viewed under a special light. Normal tissue will look different than abnormal tissue.

Your chances of discovering oral cancer early are increased dramatically when you ask your doctor to do a screening during a routine checkup. If you believe you have a chance of contracting a type of oral cancer, do some extra research before you see your dentist so that if you have any questions, you will know what to ask.



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