Many patients do not realize why oral cancer screening is important. Often, people focus on teeth whitening and cosmetic procedures. In reality, your dental visit is also a chance to make sure that you are not at risk for oral cancer, gum disease, and other dental problems.
What Is Oral Cancer Screening?
One of the main reasons why oral cancer screening is important is because it can detect cancer while it is still early enough to treat easily. This type of screening happens during normal dental services and exams. The dentist starts by looking for signs of precancerous conditions or cancer.
If the dentist notices abnormalities during the dental exam, they may run extra tests to see if there are abnormal cells. The dentist looks over the inside of the mouth to see if there are white patches, mouth sores or red patches. Then, they feel the tissues around the mouth for any lumps.
Sometimes, the dentist will want to run extra oral cancer screening tests. One way to test for cancer is by rinsing the mouth with a blue dye. Abnormal cells absorb the dye, so it is easy to see where they are within the mouth. A simple light may also show if there are signs of cancer. When a light shines on abnormal tissue, the tissue looks white.
Depending on the exam’s results, the dentist may ask for a follow-up visit in several weeks. Then, they will look to see if the abnormal cells are still there and if there are any changes. They may also want to do a biopsy to see if the cells are cancerous.
Learn Why Oral Cancer Screening Is Important
Dental education helps patients learn more about how to care for their oral health and prevent problems. By learning why oral cancer screening is important, individuals can take the first step toward preventing this type of cancer. Like most types of cancer, oral cancer is easier to treat and cure when the patient finds it early. By going through a simple exam, patients can make sure that they are free of cancerous cells.
Finding the Right Dental Options
Families in Texas can enjoy having state-of-the-art technology and old-fashioned care at the right dentistry. Depending on the dental office, patients can discover options such as:
You can take the next step in protecting your oral health by visiting your local dentist for an oral cancer screening. At Dentistry By Design, you can enjoy having dental exams and services for the entire family. To discover a more beautiful smile, call us today at 972.752.2901.