According to Cancer.net, more than 53,000 Americans will be diagnosed with some form of oral cancer this year. An oral cancer screening can catch this condition early, allowing you the best possible odds of beating it. Accordingly, we make it a part of every examination we perform here at Signature Smiles Dentistry. An oral cancer screening is non-invasive and takes only a few minutes during your appointment. Accordingly, we can perform it whether you have cosmetic dentistry in Parker, CO, or just a routine cleaning.
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?
A dentist will check you for oral cancer by looking inside your mouth for unusual mouth sores or red/white patches. The dentist will shine a small light inside your mouth. Then, they will check under your tongue and the back of your throat for any abnormalities. Furthermore, the dentist will inspect the inside of your mouth and your neck to check for lumps or other growths.
If unusual growths are discovered, a biopsy could be needed. Typically, your oral surgeon will lightly scrape the area to collect cells, which are then sent to the laboratory for analysis. In many cases, this does not require any anesthesia whatsoever. When anesthesia is necessary, only a light, a local numbing agent will typically suffice.
Benefits of Screening for Oral Cancer
Malignant growths inside the mouth and throat are hard to detect. As such, many people do not notice them until they begin causing pain or discomfort. By that time, they may be more difficult to remove or treat than if they were discovered early. Therefore, the most crucial benefit of oral cancer screening is early detection.
With oral screenings, it isn’t necessary to schedule an additional appointment. You can have them performed during any routine visit without investing a great deal of extra time or effort.
Certain people have a higher risk of developing oral cancer than others. For example, cancer.net also reports that those with poor oral hygiene, as well as individuals over the age of 45, have an increased risk. These folks, in particular, can benefit from regular oral cancer screenings.
Oral Cancer Signs
Knowing the signs of oral cancer can help you identify it sooner. Some of the most common symptoms of oral cancer include:
• Sores inside your mouth that do not heal
• Pain or difficulty when swallowing
• Mouth, jaw, or ear pain
• White or red patches inside your mouth
• Growth or lumps inside your mouth or throat
• Loose teeth that are not attributed to another dental issue
If you experience any of these signs, do not wait until your next scheduled appointment to give us a call. Contact us right away so that we can perform an oral cancer exam sooner. Remember that oral cancer will not go away on its own, but it is relatively easy to treat if you catch it early enough. Give yourself the best possible odds of beating this cancer by acting as soon as you suspect you may have it.
Our Other Services
In addition to providing oral cancer screenings, we also offer a wide array of dental services such as:
Here at Signature Smiles, we want to help you take great care of your mouth and teeth. Your smile is essential, so if you are interested in cosmetic procedures that will ensure you look your best, feel free to contact us as well.
Experienced, Professional Oral Cancer Checks
Here at Signature Smiles, oral cancer exams are a part of every treatment we perform. If you need dental services, please contact us at 720.513.2157 today.