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Why do I Need an Oral Cancer Screening?

Dental Health

No one is immune to the possibility of getting Oral Cancer, which is why Modern Dental makes it a policy in our Richardson office to perform an Oral Cancer Screening on every new and existing patient, during their six-month or annual checkup, to catch the disease, if present, at an early stage.

As oral health experts, the dentists at Modern Dental have extensive training and experience in managing the soft tissues around the mouth and identifying areas throughout the head and neck that are abnormal. However, few people outside the field of dentistry know what to look for when performing a self-examination of their mouths or are aware that they should be screened regularly for Oral Cancer. With that in mind, here are some things you should know about this deadly disease:

FACT: Oral Cancer is not solely caused by the use of tobacco or alcohol.

You do not have to smoke cigarettes, use smokeless tobacco, or drink the occasional glass of wine to develop Oral Cancer. While these risk factors can increase your chance of developing the disease, they are not the only risk factors that can put your oral health, and ultimately your life, in jeopardy. Exposure to things such as the sun or the Human Papillomavirus Virus (HPV) can be just as likely to cause cancer of the mouth or throat, putting you at risk for getting Oral Cancer without even knowing it.

FACT: Early detection results in better treatment.

The Oral Cancer Screening practices at our Richardson office make it possible to identify the disease in its early stages, which allows for faster, more effective, less invasive treatment. Without an annual screening, dental patients run the risk of not having a case of Oral Cancer diagnosed until it has reached an advanced or possibly deadly stage, at which point it becomes a question of whether or not treatment can be effective and result in the quality of life that we, as dentists, hope to provide our patients.

FACT: Advanced screening tools aid in early diagnosis.

At Modern Dental, we utilize the Sapphire Plus Lesion Detection System, combined with thorough visual and palpation techniques. Sapphire Plus Lesion Detection makes it possible to identify precancerous and potentially pathological tissues before they are visible to the naked eye. As a result, we can conduct biopsies earlier and schedule appropriate oncology referrals sooner, thus saving your smile and perhaps your life.

FACT: Most patients are unaware of the signs and symptoms of Oral Cancer.

The signs and symptoms of many diseases can be subtle and sometimes go unnoticed if a patient does not know what to be looking for. The same is true of Oral Cancer. Signs and symptoms of Oral Cancer can disguise themselves as every day annoyances, so be aware of the following:

  • Sores within the mouth that do not heal after a couple of weeks
  • Lumps, bumps, or shallow areas that are different than the anatomy on the opposite side of the mouth, head, or neck
  • Red or white lesions that do not blend-in with the tissue around them

FACT: Delaying your Oral Cancer Screening today can cause the diagnosis of Oral Cancer more difficult to treat tomorrow. 

CONTACT MODERN DENTAL TODAY to schedule your next exam complete with an Oral Cancer Screening. No insurance? Join our Simplicity Plan to receive all of the necessary, preventive care included with the annual fee, plus an additional 15% off of other treatments.