What is Oral Cancer Screening?
When it comes to prevention, getting an oral cancer screening in Waterloo is a very good idea. An oral cancer screening is a basic examination that is done by a dentist in which they search for signs of cancer in your mouth. Here at Waterloo Smiles Dentistry, we can perform oral cancer screenings during routine checkups using the VELscope, a blue light that uses natural tissue fluorescence to discover abnormalities in your mouth.
Why Get an Oral Cancer Screening in Waterloo?
By getting an oral cancer screening in Waterloo, you could potentially identify mouth cancer in its early stages, which means that there will be a greater chance of successfully treating it. Generally speaking, if you have a high risk of oral cancer, getting a regular oral cancer screening is a good idea. Some of the factors that contribute to a high risk include:
- If you were previously diagnosed with oral cancer.
- If you use tobacco, whether its smoking tobacco or chewing tobacco.
- If you are a heavy alcohol user.
- If you’re over the age of 55. Almost 66 percent of oral cancer patients are over 55, while the average age of a patient diagnosed with oral cancer is 62.
- If you have a history of being exposed to the sun.
What to Expect?
During an oral cancer screening, the dentist will inspect the inside of your mouth for abnormalities in the tissue including mouth sores. Additionally, they will feel the tissue inside your mouth for lumps and other abnormalities. They may use a light like we do called a VELscope, or have you rinse your mouth with a special blue dye to make abnormalities more visually apparent.
If the dentist finds an unusual sore in your mouth, they may require further testing. This will be done by performing a biopsy to identify if the sore is cancerous. If a dentist finds sores in your mouth, it’s not usually something to be worried about as noncancerous mouth sores are common.
As far as preparing for the screening goes, you don’t have to do anything. In fact, the dentist will typically perform an oral cancer screening during routine dental appointments.
Schedule an Appointment Today
If it’s been a while since you’ve had an oral checkup, then be sure to contact us at Waterloo Smiles Dentistry to schedule an appointment today. We can perform an oral cancer screening during your appointment to check for possible signs of oral cancer.