According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, on average, around 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. This disease can be devastating. The early symptoms can be very similar to other oral health issues, so it’s all too easy for this cancer to go undetected. Call our office at 281-681-3300 for an appointment with our dentist. Dr. John Rodriquez can give you an oral cancer screening in The Woodlands, Texas, using the VELscope® system. This system makes use of fluorescent light to detect any potential health issues that may be missed with the unaided eye.
The Visual Exam
The screening includes a visual and physical examination of the oral cavity and of the oropharyngeal areas located behind the oral cavity, like the soft palate, the tonsils and the walls of the throat. The face, neck and the inside of the nose are also examined during the screening.
The patient must take out all removable dental appliances to expose all areas for this examination. The dentist will look for asymmetries, swellings, bumps, ulcerations and varying patches of color.
The tools include a light, a mirror and a tongue depressor, and this part of the visual exam is much like a typical physical. Your dentist will also use other tools to aid in the visual examination of the gums, the inner cheeks and underneath the tongue.
The Physical Exam
The dentist will touch the cheeks, head, the jawline, under the chin and inside the oral cavity to detect unusual masses. Pressure applied to these nodules can be uncomfortable, and sometimes painful. However, painless swellings could be a sign of abnormalities elsewhere.
After the Screening
A screening for oral cancer is not diagnostic; it is precautionary. Patients who smoke, use other tobacco products or ingest alcohol heavily may be asked to return for screenings at shorter intervals than regular dental checkups. These additional screenings may be recommended even without any visible symptoms from a prior exam.
Sometimes, results that require further testing may not be cancer related, but they are abnormal and may need treatment. Early detection and treatment will reduce future health-related conditions.
Oral Cancer Screening Done Here at Timeless Dental – Get Details
If you would like a consultation regarding oral cancer screenings, please contact the oral healthcare professionals at Timeless Dental, where new patients are always welcome.
Timeless Dental is trusted and highly recommended for oral cancer screenings as well as other treatments and procedures in general, restorative and cosmetic dentistry. Please call us at 281-681-3300 to discuss your options.