Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening refers to a series of tests and examinations used to detect oral cancer at an early stage when it can be treated immediately. Oral cancer progresses rapidly and may soon become hard to control or treat — that’s why it’s crucial to identify precancerous lesions and other signs of oral cancer at the earliest stage possible.
At Yorktown Dental, we provide oral cancer screening along with our regular dental exam and cleaning appointments. We also use the latest screening methods and tests to look for precancerous lesions and other concerning signs. Please continue reading to find out more about oral cancer screening at Yorktown Dental Spa.
Who Needs Oral Cancer Screening?
Generally speaking, oral cancer can happen to anyone at all, even if they maintain a perfectly healthy lifestyle. That’s why everyone should go for oral cancer screening at least once a year.
However, certain habits and lifestyles increase your risk of oral cancer, thus necessitating frequent oral cancer screening tests. The following conditions increase your risk of oral cancer:
- Consumption of tobacco in any form — chewable tobacco, smoking, pipes, edible tobacco, etc.
- Regular consumption of alcoholic drinks.
- Constant exposure to direct sunlight.
- Previous oral cancer diagnosis or signs.
Signs of Oral Cancer
Oral cancer can affect any part of your mouth and oral cavity, including your gums, tongue, lips, cheeks, etc. The following are signs and symptoms to look out for:
- Non-healing sores and wounds in your mouth.
- White or red patches in your mouth.
- Loose teeth.
- The sensation of lumps in your mouth or throat.
- Earaches and jaw pains.
- Pain while swallowing.
The dentist inspects your mouth and oral cavities for the presence of ulcers, bumps, swellings, and red or white patches. They’ll inspect your neck, lips, throat, face, and mouth carefully. They may even use a tongue depressor to hold your tongue down and inspect the insides of your mouth using a small mirror.
Once the visual examination is done, the dentist will proceed to physically touch different parts of your mouth — lips, cheeks, head, etc — for bumps, swellings, and other signs that may not be visible to the naked eye. The dentist will also ask you to swallow and make certain movements and report how you feel.
Finally, if the dentist finds any concerning signs, the dentist will shine a special light in your oral cavity. This light will make abnormal tissues appear white and regular tissues appear dark. The dentist will also ask you to rinse your mouth with a special blue dye that will cling to the abnormal tissues only and stain them blue.
Oral Cancer Prevention
As mentioned previously, anyone can get oral cancer, even if you maintain a healthy lifestyle. However, the following lifestyle changes and tips can help you drastically minimize the risk of oral cancer:
One of the best dentists in town! Highly recommend place for any dental treatments. Dr.Chung takes care of the patient very well and addresses the patient’s concerns. Very friendly staff and environment!
Doctor Chung is very good at what she does. She is very gentle and careful when working on her patients. Dr. Chung is very caring and she will always make sure you are comfortable in her practice.
Dr. Chung and her staff are excellent and make the entire process feel easy and comfortable. The office is also very clean and well maintained. Highly recommend!
Dr. Chung is incredible! I have gotten my wisdom teeth removed from her and she made the entire process go so smoothly! I highly recommend paying a visit to her!
Highly recommended! This was one of the best dental experiences I have had! Dr. Chung was so nice and professional. The office was super cute and clean as well.
Had my son’s teeth cleaned this Friday and cannot be more impressed by the results. Dr. Chung was so kind to him, explained everything happening and perfect results. I would highly recommend her!
Definitely Recommend!!! Dr. Chung is the best dentist i have met in Houston. She is really careful and makes sure you’re comfortable. Fantastic results , great staff and great location. You can’t go wrong here.
Oral Cancer Screening Q&A
Can an orthodontist test for oral cancer?
Yes, orthodontists can test for oral cancer — and so can all other types of dentists. All dentists and dental hygienists are trained to look for signs of oral cancer as a part of their regular dental checkups.
Is oral cancer screening covered by insurance?
Most dental insurance plans include at least one oral cancer screening per year.
How long does oral cancer screening take?
If done by a professional, a typical oral cancer screening test concludes within 5 minutes.
How much is a dental exam with x rays?
A typical dental exam and professional cleaning appointment costs between $140 and $300.
What are digital dental X rays?
Digital dental x-rays use an electronic sensor instead of a traditional x-ray for a visual examination of your oral cavity. The digital images are rendered on a computer so the dentist can examine them immediately.
Are digital dental x rays safe?
Digital dental x-rays use 90% less radiation than traditional x-rays so they’re a lot safer than regular x-rays.
How often should you get dental xrays?
The frequency with which you should get dental x-rays depends on your dental history. Some people may need to get dental x-rays once every six months whereas others can get it once every year.
What happens if the oral cancer screening is abnormal?
The presence of an abnormality in the oral cancer screening isn’t concerning. In most cases, it’s nothing — it only turns out to be oral cancer in a few cases. Once the abnormality is found, however, the dentist will recommend further investigation in the form of other oral cancer tests and a biopsy.
Schedule your Oral Exams and Dental X-Rays Today
At Yorktown Dental Spa, we have some highly-qualified and experienced dentists who examine your oral cavities and mouth for signs of oral cancer as a part of our regular dental cleaning appointments. Located just three blocks away from The Galleria, our clinic is highly accessible so please schedule your oral exams and dental x-rays appointment today.