Oral Cancer Screening
Its main goal is to identify oral cancer early when there is a higher chance for a cure.
Most dentists perform examinations of your mouth during your dental visit, including oral cancer screening.
Some dentists may add tests to aid in identifying areas of abnormal cells in your mouth.
Purpose of Oral Cancer Screening
The main goal of oral cancer screening is to detect cancer in the mouth, or precancerous lesions that may result in mouth cancer, at an early stage — when cancer or lesions are easiest to eliminate and most likely to be healed.
The factors that increase the risk of oral cancer are:
- Smoking tobacco, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff.
- Heavy alcohol drinking.
- History of oral cancer diagnosis.
- History of significant sun exposure, increasing lip cancer risk.
- Ask your Yeronga dentist if oral cancer screening is appropriate for you. Also, ask about the things you can do to reduce your risk of oral cancer.
Oral exams for oral cancer screening have some limitations, such as:
Oral cancer screening could lead to more tests. Many people have sores in their mouths, mostly noncancerous. An oral exam can’t determine which lesions are cancerous and which are not.
If your Yeronga dentist notices an unusual sore, you may go through further testing to determine its cause.
The only way to definitively decide whether or not you have cancer in the mouth is to remove some abnormal cells and inspect them in a procedure called a biopsy.
Oral cancer screening can’t spot all mouth cancers. It can be hard to detect areas of abnormal cells just by looking at your mouth, so it’s possible that small cancer or precancerous lesion could go undiscovered.
Preparation for Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening doesn’t require any special preparation. Oral cancer screening is usually performed during your dental appointment with your Yeronga dentist.
What you can expect
During the oral cancer screening, your Yeronga dentist looks inside your mouth to check for red or white patches. Using gloved hands, your dentist checks for lumps or other abnormalities.
If you wear removable complete or partial dentures, your dentist or doctor will ask you to remove them so that the tissue underneath can be checked.
Additional Tests for Oral Cancer Screening
Special oral cancer screening tests may involve:
- Washing your mouth with a special blue dye before an exam. Abnormal cells in your mouth may stain and appear blue.
- Shining a light in your mouth. The light makes healthy tissues appear dark and makes lesions appear white.
If your dentist detects early signs of mouth cancer or precancerous lesions, recommendations may include:
- A follow-up visit in a few weeks to check if the abnormal area is still present and note whether it has gotten bigger or changed over time.
- Undergoing a biopsy procedure to determine whether cancer cells are present. Your Yeronga dentist may perform the biopsy, or you may be referred to a doctor who specialises in oral cancer diagnosis and treatment.
Join the Ria Family Dental!
Ria Family Dental in Yeronga offers comprehensive care for your short and long-term dental care needs.
We provide an honest, judgment-free environment in which we practice convenient, comfortable, and conservative care designed to maximise your oral health and smile!
Our dental clinic is at 451 Fairfield Rd. Yeronga Station. Bus stops are nearby and we offer convenient storefront parking. For your convenience, we offer early evening hours on most weeknights.
Same Day Dental Emergency Appointment Available!