There are many important reasons to keep up with your regular dental exams, and oral cancer screening is one of the most important.
Everyone should have regular oral cancer screenings, but if you smoke, drink regularly, spend a lot of time in the sun, or have a history of oral cancer, you will be at a heightened risk for this disease. Fortunately, there are screening methods that can detect problems early.
Basic Oral Cancer Screening Test
Our basic oral cancer screening tests involve a thorough look at the inside of the mouth. This includes the lips, gums, tongue, and all sides of the mouth. In some cases, we may feel around the inside of the mouth to look for bumps or lumps, and we will also examine for changes in color or spots. At times, we may also utilize a mouth rinse with a blue dye, which further highlights any suspicious cells.
Advanced Oral Cancer Screening Test
Should we notice anything unusual, we will work with you to determine the best way to proceed. We may have you return to the office in a few weeks to see if anything has changed. In some cases, we will suggest a biopsy, removing a small piece of tissue from the area of concern and sending it to a lab for further testing.
Keep in mind that not all areas of concern or further testing turn out to be cancerous. In fact, few of them do, but in the event that cancer is detected, catching the problem early will give you more treatment options and the greatest chance for a successful outcome.
It is crucial that you keep up with your regular appointments with us so that we can monitor your mouth for any potential problems. Give us a call today to set up your next screening.
At The Elmwood Dental Group LLC, our office is both parking and wheel chair accessible.