Oral cancer is a serious and often deadly disease that affects thousands of people each year. However, with regular oral cancer screenings in Coral Springs, dentists can detect the disease early and improve outcomes. Learning about the different techniques and tools used in oral cancer screenings can help you understand what to expect during your next appointment.
What Techniques and Tools Do Dentists Use During Oral Cancer Screenings?
Visual and Physical Exam
During an oral cancer screening, your dentist or healthcare provider will perform a visual and physical exam of your mouth. They’ll use a bright light and a small mirror to examine the inside of your mouth, including your lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, and throat. They'll be looking for any abnormalities, such as white or red patches, sores that don't heal, or lumps or bumps.
Tissue Fluorescence and Other Imaging Techniques
In addition to the visual and physical exam, your dentist may use other techniques to help detect oral cancer. One of these techniques is tissue fluorescence, which involves using a special light to highlight abnormal tissue in the mouth. They may also use other imaging techniques, such as CT scans and MRIs, to get a better view of the inside of your mouth.
Brush Biopsy and Oral Cytology
If your dentist detects an abnormality during your oral cancer screening, they may recommend a brush biopsy or oral cytology test. Brush biopsy involves using a small brush to collect cells from the area of concern, which are then analyzed in a lab to determine if they are cancerous. Oral cytology is similar, but it involves collecting cells from the surface of the mouth using a special brush or swab.
Salivary diagnostics is a newer technique used in some oral cancer screenings. This technique involves analyzing biomarkers in saliva to help detect oral cancer. Although researchers are still studying its effectiveness, it shows promise as a non-invasive and relatively inexpensive way to detect oral cancer.
Do You Need Oral Cancer Screening in Coral Springs?
Remember, early detection is key to improving outcomes for oral cancer, so don't hesitate to schedule a screening if you have concerns. At Oral Facial Reconstruction, we’re committed to helping you get the treatment you need. Contact us today.