In the U.S., there are nearly 30,000 new diagnoses of oral cancer annually, and more than 7,000 deaths are attributed to it each year. Five percent of all tumors that occur are neck and head cancers, and half of those tumors are in the oral cavity. Early detection of oral cancer is crucial, survival rates dramatically improve when cancerous lesions are detected in the earliest stages while this disease is highly curable.
Unfortunately, oral cancer often goes unnoticed in its early stages. Although many dental professionals visually screen for oral cancer during annual checkups, some of the signs may not be visible to the naked eye. We care about the overall health and wellbeing of our patients and have invested in the technologically advanced Velscope system to help us discover potentially concerning conditions that we could not see with our visual exam.
In the early stages, oral cancer can look just like the other changes and minor injuries in the mouth. The Velscope helps us identify abnormalities in the mouth, lips, and upper throat, improving the efficiency of the oral cancer screening we offer to all of our patients during their annual exam. We want to ensure that our patients’ mouths are as healthy as they can possibly be.
The non-invasive exam only takes a couple of minutes, and does not involve dyes, rinses, inconvenience, or any discomfort. The handheld Velscope device emits a safe blue light that excites fluorophores (molecules) deep in the mucosal tissues, causing it to fluoresce. This allows us to see the varied fluorescence to differentiate between the tissues that are normal and those that are abnormal. It gives us the ability to detect potentially pre-malignant and malignant cells.
Peace of Mind
In most cases, our exam will find that there is no cause for concern. Even if something suspicious is detected, there is a good chance that it is of little to no concern. It may simply be where you bit your cheek in your sleep, or something poked your gum tissue. We will examine any suspicious areas and provide the proper follow up. If a concern is detected, you have the reassurance that it was caught early, and if the Velscope doesn’t detect anything, you can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing your dentist is staying at the forefront of technology to keep you at the peak of oral health.
Protect your teeth and your health, call (602) 954-8200, and schedule a check-up and oral cancer screening today.