What Should I Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening?

What Should I Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening?

September 1, 2023

Regular dental check-ups are essential for maintaining optimal oral health. As part of a comprehensive dental examination, an oral cancer screening in Courtice & Oshawa is performed to spot signs of oral cancer or precancerous conditions. You’ve come to the right place if you’re curious about what to expect during an oral cancer screening. Let’s explore how an Oshawa dentist performs an oral cancer test to ensure your dental health and overall well-being.

The Importance of Oral Cancer Screenings:

Oral cancer screenings are essential for the timely detection of oral cancer, increasing the chances of successful treatment and improved outcomes. Detecting oral cancer in its early stages allows for prompt intervention and can potentially save lives. During an oral cancer screening, your dentist examines your oral tissues, including the lips, gums, tongue, inner cheeks, and the top and floor of your mouth, to identify any abnormalities or suspicious lesions.

What to Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening:

Patient History and Discussion:

Your medical history, including any risk factors for oral cancer, will be discussed with your dentist prior to the test. Inquiries about your smoking and drinking habits, family history of mouth cancer or other precancerous disorders, and any worrisome symptoms you may have had may be made. Your dentist can analyze your personal risk using the information you provide and choose the best course of action.

Visual Examination:

The visual examination is one of the most crucial elements in the oral cancer screening procedure. Your dentist will carefully assess your oral cavity using specialized instruments and lighting to look for any visible signs of oral cancer or precancerous lesions. They’ll search for abnormalities like red or white patches, non-healing wounds, lumps, or unusual growths. This examination is often painless and non-invasive.

Manual Examination:

Your dentist will feel your oral tissues during the manual examination to check for any anomalies. Your lips and neck will be softly touched and pressed in various places while they search for lumps, soreness, or swelling. This tactile inspection aids in finding any hidden problems that might not be apparent at first glance.

Additional Diagnostic Tools:

In some cases, your dentist may employ additional diagnostic tools to enhance the accuracy of the oral cancer screening. These tools may include a specialized dye, such as toluidine blue, which can help identify abnormal areas that require further investigation. Additionally, your dentist may use a VELscope or similar device to provide a visual fluorescence examination, highlighting any potential areas of concern.

Referral for Biopsy:

Your dentist might advise a biopsy if they find any suspicious lesions or anomalies during the oral cancer screening. During a biopsy, a small sample of the tissue is removed for additional laboratory examination. It aids in making a definite diagnosis and directing the subsequent treatment strategy by confirming or disproving the existence of malignant or precancerous cells.

Educating Patients:

At Brightway Dental, patient education is a priority. Your dentist will spend the necessary time informing you about oral cancer, its associated risk factors, and lifestyle decisions that can lower your risk. Additionally, they will go over the value of routine dental exams and the role that oral cancer screening plays in preserving your oral health and general well-being.

Oral cancer screening at Brightway Dental is a comprehensive and essential aspect of routine dental check-ups. Through a combination of visual examination, physical palpation, advanced technology, and patient education, your dentist in Oshawa ensures a thorough and reliable oral cancer screening experience. Remember, timely detection is crucial for successful treatment, and oral cancer screening plays a vital role in safeguarding your dental health.

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