Oral cancer screenings are medical checks undertaken by your general dentist to determine whether you’re showing any signs that may be indicative of oral cancer or precancerous conditions. Oral cancer screenings are an essential component of your oral health and well-being.
Are you a heavy smoker or drinker? Has a family member been diagnosed with oral or any other cancer in the past? Unident Dental Center of Walpole advises that you schedule regular oral cancer screenings. If this type of cancer is detected early, there’s a better chance for successful treatment.
During your dental visit, our dentist in East Walpole, MA will first ask you several pertinent questions which you must answer truthfully. These questions and your answers allow the dentist to determine the state of your oral and overall well-being, as well as determining your risk factors for oral cancer.
Afterward, the dentist will move on to visually inspecting your oral cavity for any worrying symptoms, which include:
With gloved hands, our dentist will feel around your jaw, neck, and chin areas to determine whether you have any lumps that should be investigated further. Our dentist will also be looking to see whether you’re experiencing any pain or tenderness in those areas.
Oral cancer screenings are not diagnostic. That is, our dentist in East Walpole, MA, will not be able to give you a conclusive answer as to whether or not you have oral cancer during your appointment. Instead, our dentist will send you to a cancer specialist or oncologist for a biopsy if any worrying signs are noted during your oral cancer screening visit. Biopsies are diagnostic, and you’ll need to wait a couple of weeks for your results to be processed.
Oral cancer is treatable through chemotherapy, surgery or radiation therapy, or a combination of these.
If you’ve led a lifestyle that exposed you to the risk factors of oral cancer—e.g., if you smoke heavily, have had a human papillomavirus (HPV) diagnosis, or love sunbathing—it’s necessary to get tested for oral cancer. Call Unident Dental Center of Walpole today to schedule your oral screening appointment.