Oral Cancer Screening
Here at Irvine Dentistry, we are dedicated to providing you with oral cancer screening as part of your ongoing dental care service. Oral cancer screening is when our team of experts examines you for signs of precancerous cells or other symptoms in your mouth.
The cancer screening process is performed to ensure early detection of cancer, while the chance of curing it is still great. The screening can be performed during your routine dental visit or during a designated visit for additional tests that aid in the identification of cell abnormalities in your mouth.
Importance of Oral Cancer Screening
Our goal for conducting an oral cancer screening is to identify cancer signs as well as precancerous lesions, which can lead to mouth cancer, before it is too late. Lesions detected at an early stage are easier to remove, with a higher chance of complete recovery. Oral cancer screening is especially beneficial if you are at a high risk of oral cancer.
Your risk for oral cancer can be increased by various factors. Tobacco use is one of these factors and includes cigarettes, pipes, snuffing, chewing tobacco, and cigars. Heavy use of alcohol also predisposes you to oral cancer. A previous diagnosis with oral cancer is an indication of high risk, while a history of overexposure to significant sun increases the risk of developing lip cancer.
The need for a conclusive oral cancer screening session is attributed to the limitations of oral exams in detecting signs of oral cancer. Since you may be having sores in your mouth with a majority of these sores being non-cancerous, separating cancerous from noncancerous sores can be difficult through a normal dental exam. Further testing may be necessary when an unusual sore is found in your mouth. Small precancerous or cancer lesions can also go undetected during normal screening hence the need for extensive tests.
How The Screening Is Done
When you visit our office, our team of professionals will not need you to undergo any special preparation for screening. The screening process can be done in a routine dental appointment. Our experts look in the inside section of your mouth to check for white or red patches, as well as mouth sores. Gloved hands are used to check for lumps and other abnormalities by feeling the tissues. You will be asked to remove any removable partial or complete dentures if you wear them to allow examination of your gum tissues.
Our team of professionals may also use additional special tests to support the oral exam while screening for cancer. These tests include using a special blue dye to rinse your mouth and using a light to shine in your mouth. Abnormal cells can be identified as they take up the color of the dye. The light makes the abnormal tissues appear white and the healthy ones appear dark. A combination of these tests is likely to identify any cancerous cells at an early stage to make treatment more effective.
Schedule Your Appointment
To take advantage of our oral cancer screening services, do make an appointment at our office. Call us, Irvine Dentistry at (949) 656-2933 today to book your appointment.