The late detection of oral cancer is the primary reason that mortality rates are so high. As with most other cancers age is is the primary risk factor for oral cancer. Tobacco use is a major predisposing risk factor but 25% of oral cancer victims have no lifestyle risk factors and it occurs naturally and why it’s so important to be screened.
Our practice continually strives to provide important enhancements in oral health care. We are concerned about oral cancer and look for it in all “at risk” patients. We have a screening tool that allows us to detect oral cancer earlier than ever before! This system allows the dentist or hygienist to visualize and identify oral mucosal abnormalities that may have otherwise been missed during a conventional oral cancer examination. It is the only medical device that the FDA has cleared for the identification of oral abnormalities in patients with an increased risk for oral cancer.
Approximately 84 percent of oral cancer cases may detected early by a dental professional.
Screening for oral cancer is quick and easy, with no pain or discomfort involved. It’s critical for early diagnosis and prevention. It takes less that five minutes, and can be performed at our office world drive dentistry.Dr. Nilu will be looking for any lumps or abnormalities, red, white or grey areas and/or tenderness.
What to expect
Your dental professional will:
1. Physically examine and inspect the outside and inside of your gums and cheeks, extending all the way from top to bottom and front to back.
2. Examine and inspect the floor of your mouth underneath your tongue and the roof of your mouth.
3. Touch and inspect the lymph nodes in your neck and jaw, examine the inside and outside of your lips, your major salivary glands (cheeks and floor of mouth), as well as your jaw joint (TMJ) and the area around your ears.
4. Visually inspect your face for signs of asymmetry or swelling.
5. Examine the posterior, sides, bottom and top of your tongue.
6. Have you extend your tongue in order to inspect the back of your mouth and your throat
7. Ask about your smoking and/or drinking habits, your lifestyle and any specific health conditions you have or medications you are taking which could affect the condition of your mouth or head and neck area.
8. Use a Velscope which enhances the ability of the care provider to examine the tissues for abnormalities.
The VELscope system helps dental professionals visualize abnormalities in the mucosal tissues of your lips, mouth and upper throat. In just two minutes, with no rinses, stains or discomfort, a VELscope examination lets healthcare professionals improve their assessment of your overall oral health.The test is non invasive does not use any injectables or dyes its a simple screening of oral tissue and assists in detecting any abnormalities.
As with most serious diseases, early detection is the key to successful outcomes. Unfortunately, the problem with oral cancer is that approximately 70% of the time it is not visible to us until it has reached an advanced stage. VELscope technology assists us in seeing abnormal tissue in the mouth, before it is plainly obvious. VELscope uses natural tissue fluorescence to discover abnormalities. It is an extremely effective aid for discovering and defining the extent of a wide range of abnormalities, including oral cancer.
The purpose of using VELscope is to identify tissue changes at their earliest stage; once abnormal tissue has been identified it is up to your dental professional to determine what the appropriate next steps are.