Get Checked with Your Dentist in Wichita, KS
An oral cancer screening is a dental exam to look for signs of cancer in your mouth. Oral cancers include mouth cancer, jaw cancer, and tongue cancer.
Why are Oral Cancer Screenings Important?
Understanding the importance of an oral cancer screening is something everyone needs to do, even if they do not smoke or abuse alcohol. The American Dental Association states that early oral cancer detection significantly impacts treatment decisions and survival rates. Routine visual and tactile examinations of the oral cavity, particularly for high-risk patients, tobacco users, or heavy consumers of alcohol, are crucial.
Oral cancer can appear as a growth or sore that does not go away.
The areas examined include:
- Roof and floor of your mouth.
How are Oral Cancer Screenings Performed?
Your dentist in Wichita can efficiently complete a thorough oral, head, and neck cancer examination in less than 5 minutes. It primarily consists of inspection and palpation. Read on to learn more about what to expect from your dentist in Wichita.
The Visual Examination
The first part of an oral cancer screening includes examining the patient’s face, lips, neck, nose, and mouth for abnormalities. Some more common signs include bumps, swelling, color patches, ulcerations, and anything else that looks out of the ordinary. If a patient wears a dental appliance, it must be removed to get an unobstructed view of the entire mouth.
The Physical Examination
After your dentist in Wichita visually examines your mouth to look for any signs of oral cancer, they will then use their hands to palpitate around the mouth. This physical examination is necessary as not all bumps are seen during the visual inspection. Your dentist in Wichita will carefully feel for any lumps or other abnormalities in the mouth, neck, and throat.
Extensive Oral Cancer Screenings
Sometimes a dental patient requires a more extensive oral cancer screening. Dr. Anderson, your dentist in Wichita, must use specific tools to collect some of the cells around any suspicious areas. Some patients may be asked to use a special mouth rinse or dental dyes that help make it easier to pinpoint any areas of the mouth that are in question.
Remember that your dentist cannot diagnose cancer during an examination. Oral cancer can be diagnosed only with a biopsy when a tissue sample in the area is removed and examined under a microscope. However, your dentist can identify suspicious-looking areas or growths that may need further evaluation.
Get Your Screening for Oral Cancer From Your Dentist in Wichita
Patients of all ages must maintain dental care appointments every six months to ensure there are no signs of oral cancer. This appointment is critical when one’s lifestyle includes risk factors that increase the chances of being diagnosed, e.g., smoking tobacco, abusing alcohol, and having an HPV diagnosis.
Reach out to Dr. Lana K. Anderson, DDS, PA, to schedule an appointment or learn more about getting started with your oral cancer screening! We care about your oral health and your future with a healthy smile.