Regular screenings can show a change in oral tissues resulting in early detection of oral cancer.
What is oral cancer screening?
Oral cancer screening is performed by a dentist which involves an examination of the mouth to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions.
With any form of cancer, if it is identified earlier then there is a greater chance the treatment will be successful.
Oral Cancer screening method:
The screening can take place during a regular check-up and extra tests can be carried out if necessary.
The method we use within our practise is the VELscope® Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System. This centres on a wireless, handheld scope that uses natural tissue fluorescence to enhance the way clinicians visualise oral mucosal abnormalities that might not be apparent or even visible to the naked eye. A VELscope® Vx exam can be performed in the dentist’s office during a routine hygiene exam in about two minutes.
The VELscope® Vx adjunctive device is effective for the enhanced visualisation of changes in the tissues.
Who is most at risk of getting oral cancer?
People who are more at risk of oral cancer may benefit from regular oral cancer screens, although this is not proven, it is highly suggested. Factors which could increase the risk of oral cancer include:
- Heavy alcohol consumption
- Heavy tobacco use
- History of sun exposure or lip cancer
- Previous oral cancer diagnosis
There are a number of factors that could increase the risk of developing oral cancer. These include heavy alcohol consumption, heavy tobacco use, a history of sun exposure or lip cancer, and a previous cancer diagnosis. If you are more at risk of oral cancer, we recommend that you come in for regular oral cancer screenings. The screening can take place during your regular dental check-ups, and then if necessary, additional tests can be carried out. As with any form of cancer, an early diagnosis means that there is a greater chance of successful treatment.
An oral cancer screening can take place as part of your regular dental check-up. We use a method known as the VELscope Vx Enhanced Oral Assessment System, which involves the use of a wireless, handheld scope. The scope is used to enhance the way that your clinician is able to visualise oral mucosal abnormalities, which means that they can see detail that is not apparent or even visible to the naked eye. The examination can be performed at your dentist’s office, and only takes around 2 minutes to complete.
Yes, absolutely! We offer sedation dentistry for our anxious patients. If you are nervous, you have the option of using nitrous oxide, also known as ‘happy gas’ as a relaxing treatment. The gas is inhaled through a small mask that fits to your nose. You’ll begin to feel the effects of the treatment within a few minutes. You can expect to feel calm and relaxed, and it is quite normal to feel some tingling in your hands, arms and legs. Some patients experience some light headedness.
There are a range of symptoms accompanying oral cancer, including:
- Chewing or swallowing difficulties
- Sore or ulcer that bleeds or does not heal
- Lump or sore area
- Red or white patches
- Tongue or jaw movement difficulties
- Pain, tenderness or lumps
- Unexpected loss of weight
Generally oral cancer will be first discovered by your dentist during a dental appointment (which is another reason why they are important).
You will be referred on to see a specialist who will do tests to confirm diagnosis and treatment.
Oral Cancer Screening West End
At My Dental Care @ West End, we provide a wide range of general dental services including oral cancer screening. Get checked and minimise your risk of oral cancer with the help from our dedicated team.
Contact us today and take that step towards improving your smile and overall oral health.