Oral Cancer Screenings
At Tulsa Dental Center, regular oral cancer screenings are provided to all patients. These helpful screenings are designed to identify mouth cancer in the earliest stages possible, giving patients the best chance for survival.
What does oral cancer screening involve?
Your dentist visually inspects your mouth, checking for any lumps or lesions. Then, your dentist will check for small lumps in your cheeks or along your gums, using their fingers, as these are not always noticeable during a visual check.
Our oral cancer screenings assist in identifying any abnormalities in the mucosal tissues of your mouth, lips, and throat. These screenings are also helpful in identifying and assessing your overall levels of oral health.
At your next appointment, you can request an oral cancer examination. If you’d like to find out more or have questions or concerns, contact us today.
More About the Visual Oral Cancer Examination
If you have any removables, you will need to take them out prior to your oral cancer screening to ensure your dentist is able to examine your mouth entirely. During the visual examination, your dentist will inspect your neck, face, lips, cheeks, jaw, and possibly the inside of your nose. Your dentist is looking for patches of color, swellings, asymmetries, ulcerations, or other abnormalities.
A visual oral cancer examination is typically performed with a mirror and a light. A tongue depressor may be used to assist in holding your tongue down.
More About the Physical Oral Cancer Examination
Following the visual examination, your dentist will perform a physical exam. They will touch your neck, face, and mouth to check for any masses, unusual nodules, or other abnormalities. This part of the examination allows them to find concerns undetectable by sight. Oral cancer is typically painless in the earliest stages, though on occasion some early symptoms may include pain.
Your dentist may use a range of specialist devices to assist in your oral screening. These devices could include:
- An oral brush biopsy, involving the removal of cells for further testing.
- A mouth rinse to assist in visual inspection of the mouth tissues.
- An advanced oral assessment tool to help further inspect any suspect oral tissues through the use of a fluorescent light.
Oral cancer screenings are another reason routine hygiene appointments are so important. These precautionary exams can help to identify oral cancer in its earliest stages- and early detection is critical.
Can I check for oral cancer at home?
To check for oral cancer at home, place your index finger against your inner cheek and your thumb on the outside of your cheek. Then, roll your cheek between your finger and thumb, checking for any lumps or areas that feel tender. If you feel any tender spots or lumps, immediately contact your dentist to make an appointment to see them.
How often should I get oral cancer screening?
As a minimum, oral cancer screening should be done once a year by a dental professional.
If you would like to book an oral cancer screening appointment at Tulsa Dental Center, please contact our team today.
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