Regular dental visits are a crucial part of anyone’s life. However, there are scores of people who don’t echo this sentiment. They believe that there is no need to visit the dentist regularly if they are not in any dental emergency or pressing dental issue.
Regardless, everyone needs to visit our dentist at least twice a year. Dental checkups can do so much for your smile, but it doesn’t end there. Our dentist also offers oral cancer screening services that can be done during your normal dental checkups.
It is best if you take advantage of these oral cancer screening offers since it is difficult for you to know if you have the disease or not.
Let not the name of the procedure give you jitters. It is a simple examination that our dentist performs to single out precancerous swellings or oral cancer in your mouth and surrounding tissues.
It is a visual and physical exam of your oral cavity and can help put you at ease if there are no issues. At the same time, if our dentist finds something, treatment can begin as soon as possible.
The primary objective is to catch oral cancer early when you have a better chance of beating it. At times, our dentist may recommend that you go for extra tests to ascertain whether there are any abnormal cells in your oral cavity.
You need to bear in mind that oral cancer screening services are available to everyone. However, some people may fall in the high-risk category that may need to come in as soon as possible for screening.
Some of those risk factors:
If you are worried that you may get oral cancer, see our dentist. You will be advised on what to do and which tests to take. Also, you will be advised on how to reduce the risk where possible.
You can also come in for screening if you have the following symptoms:
There’s no special preparation before you come in for screening. The examination will be carried out during your regular visit. However, there are different levels of screening, including:
The screening will begin with the most basic examination, which will involve a thorough visual examination of your mouth, which will include:
If you have any removable dental appliances or prosthetics such as dentures, our dentist will remove them to ensure that the whole area is exposed for the examination.
Our dentist will be looking for abnormalities like bumps, swellings, ulcerations, color variations, and patches in your oral cavity.
Our dentist will also be looking for something unusual about your saliva.
Our dentist will also proceed to perform a physical examination by touching your cheeks and head, around the jaw, under the chin, under the tongue, and in the mouth. Physical exams are done to seek for unusual masses. This is usually a five-minute affair.
If the exams that have been performed aren’t conclusive, further tests must be carried out. These tests may involve the use of:
If you are above 20 years, you can come for screening once every three years. However, if you are in the risk category or above 40 years, you need to come annually or as instructed by our dentist.
You can contact our dentist at Steven F. Hinchey, DMD, if you need oral cancer screening.