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How Oral Cancer Screenings Work

123 Dentist strongly supports oral cancer research and urges all their patients to have regular oral cancer screenings to ensure they remain healthy. The goal of oral cancer screenings is to identify early signs of oral cancer so they can be treated before the cancer cells are allowed to grow and spread.

Oral cancer screenings can occur during your regular check-up appointment with your dentist. During your screening, your dentist will examine the inside of your mouth for any signs of cancer. These signs can include red or white patches or unusual lumps. If your dentist finds anything unusual, a sample of the abnormal cells will be taken and sent to be tested to determine if it is cancerous. This process is called a biopsy.

Member clinics of 123 Dentist use VELscope exams to test for oral cancer. A VELscope is a light that makes healthy cells look dark and abnormal cells appear white. Taking only one to two minutes, this latest form of technology proves to be a quick and painless way to help dentists detect abnormal tissue in your mouth.

Regular oral cancer screenings are important in early cancer detection for every patient. If abnormal tissue is found in the early stages, it is easier to treat. Oral cancer screenings are especially important if you are someone that may be at increased risk. Although no one knows for sure, some factors seem to be found in a high amount of people that are diagnosed.

Factors that increase the likelihood of oral cancer are:

  • Tobacco use
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight (for lip cancer)
  • Poor diet lacking in vegetables and fruits
  • Gender (Men seem more likely to develop oral cancer)
  • Age (the risk increases with age)
  • Genetics (a history of cancer in your family)

We strongly recommend regular oral cancer screenings for all of our patients. Come in today for an oral cancer screening and check-up at any 123 Dentist location.

For more information about the importance of oral cancer screenings, visit our oral cancer awareness page!