Oral Cancer Screenings
Though we can’t prevent oral cancer, your dentist can detect it at an early stage. As you probably know, cancer becomes more and more dangerous the longer it grows. Oral cancer is no different in this aspect. Therefore, the earlier we can detect oral cancer, the more likely you’ll get successful treatment.
During your oral cancer screening, Dr. Crosby will inspect your gums, lips, and throat for abnormalities. In your mouth, we look for red or white patches, lumps, and sores. Surrounding your mouth, we look for lumps and bumps on your lips, neck, and throat.
Vizilite Technology to Detect Oral Cancer
During our oral screenings, we use LED lights to help us detect abnormal sores and lesions. Vizilite uses powerful blue light technology to help us recognize disrupted tissue in your mouth. When we use this LED light treatment, we can quickly and easily screen for oral cancer without any discomfort.
The Vizilite helps us by highlighting healthy tissue and applying a filter to unhealthy or abnormal tissue. While using the handheld device, dentists can easily identify lesions and sores that show abnormalities.
We Found a Sore — What’s Next?
If during your dental exam, your dentist finds a concerning lesion or sore, you may wonder what happens next. Generally, your dentist will prescribe more testing to identify whether your lesion is cancerous or not.
If you live in the Anchorage area, we may ask you to come back for a follow-up visit. When you come back in just a few weeks, we’ll note if your lesion grew, went away, or changed over time.
On the other hand, if you live out of town or your lesion grew over time, we’ll recommend a biopsy. During your biopsy procedure, we’ll remove cells from the area. Then, we’ll perform laboratory testing to take a closer look at the cells. Hopefully, we’ll find noncancerous cells. However, if we find that your cells are cancerous, we’ll refer you to an oncology specialist right away for proper treatment.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
We ask all of our new patients to have open communication with our dental team. With a clear understanding of your health and history, we can determine whether or not you’re at a higher risk for oral cancer or other oral health conditions.
If you have any of the following risk factors, we will examine your mouth more closely for oral cancer.
- Excessive sun exposure, especially on your face and lips.
- A history of oral or throat cancer, including a past diagnosis.
- Tobacco use of any kind.
- Heavy alcohol use in the past or present.
- A diagnosis of the sexually transmitted infection, HPV (Human Papillomavirus).
When you share your medical background, our dental staff will consider all oral conditions that might be present. Then, we’ll spend extra time examining your teeth and gums for specific problem areas.
Your Dentist for Oral Cancer Screenings in Anchorage
Oral cancer detection, though scary, is necessary for optimal health. When you visit your premier dentist in Anchorage, we can help detect oral cancer in its early stages. All in all, this means that you’ll have a better chance of beating oral cancer.
For regular oral cancer screenings, schedule an appointment with Dr. Crosby by calling us at (907) 917-3871.