Oral Cancer Screenings
While many patients who develop oral cancer have a history of tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption, a quarter of all cases occur in patients who have never engaged in these risky behaviors. What’s more, many cases aren’t diagnosed until the disease has already reached a well-developed stage. All of this explains our emphasis on preventive oral cancer screenings. By closely monitoring your oral tissues, we want to help you identify any problems as early as possible so we can begin your treatment immediately. Treating oral cancer early will increase the odds of making a full recovery.
Thanks to an amazing new technology, ViziLite, dentists and hygienists can quickly and painlessly screen for oral cancer. ViziLite is an identification and marking system that detects tissue abnormalities and is used in combination with traditional visual exams.
All adults should have an annual ViziLite exam because a quarter of oral cancer victims are non-smokers, don't drink, and have no lifestyle factors to heighten their oral cancer risk. Men over 40 and women between the ages of 20 and 40 are the most prone to the disease. Patients with lifestyle risks, including any tobacco use, daily alcohol consumption, viral infections, autoimmune deficiencies like HIV, and diabetes, may need more frequent evaluations.
What to Expect During Your Oral Cancer Screening?
The screening involves a few simple steps. First, you rinse thoroughly with a cleansing solution. Then, your dentist dims the overhead lights and examines your mouth using the ViziLite wand. If ViziLite finds a problem area, the spot will become illuminated and appear distinctly different from the surrounding normal tissue.