Oral Cancer Screening

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An oral examination performed by a dentist or doctor to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions is called oral cancer screening. This procedure aims at identifying oral cancer at an early stage. An oral pathologist or an oral cancer dentist is the person who screens for oral cancer. Early oral cancer detection is paramount for any healthcare provider to provide suitable treatment options. Oral cancer screening tests aid in identifying abnormal cells in oral tissues. Risk factors like tobacco usage might increase the chances of oral cancer. Such individuals should undergo oral screening without fail. Chances of quick recovery increase with early detection of oral cancer. According to reports from the American Cancer Society, out of 30,000 cases diagnosed annually, 7000 deaths result from oral cancer. This can be prevented by suggesting a biopsy and microscopic analysis by qualified professionals. At Finesse Dental Care, we provide this service. At first, all the soft and hard tissues are thoroughly examined during oral prophylaxis, and suspicious or high-risk cases are sent for screening for oral cancer. An oral lesion assessment is done and confirmed with a biopsy by a pathologist. Other non-cancerous lesions like warts and autoimmune lesions are checked and evaluated for the best treatment outcome.

Oral cancer screening protocols

Dental and medical professionals have developed this examination protocol for use. At Finesse Dental Care, we follow all such protocols. Suggested tools for the oral, head, and neck cancer exam include an adequate light source, mirrors (laryngeal and nasopharyngeal), gloves, tongue blades, 2×2 gauze pads, anesthetic nasal spray, flexible nasopharynx laryngoscope, otoscope, and nasal speculum.

Special tests

Dye test: Rinsing the mouth with a special dye will color and stain the abnormal cells. These cells will appear blue under a microscope.

Screening test: Shining light on the oral tissues will reveal normal and abnormal tissues. Healthy tissues appear dark and strange tissues appear white in this light.

Biopsy procedure: 2-5mm of suspicious tissue is cut, stored in formulated liquid, and sent to a lab to identify abnormalities. Any white or red patches are usually shipped in this procedure.

Using “optical biopsy systems” like VELscope is a new approach to conventional examination.

Limitations of this procedure include additional tests and the inability to detect all types of cancers. Chewing tobacco has 3000 chemicals, the same compounds used in pesticides and embalming fluid. Cellular changes below the surface aren't always detectable.

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