Oral Cancer Exam
Although once thought to be a risk factor that was limited to smokers, research has shown that there are several other factors that contribute to an individual’s risk of developing oral cancer, including genetic predisposition, gender, ethnicity, and alcohol consumption. Current statistics indicate that 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer every year, and of these diagnoses, almost 10,000 cases are fatal. Due to this these statistics, it is incredibly important to schedule regular oral cancer screenings, which can take place at your regularly scheduled dental exams.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, be sure to contact our office immediately, as they may potentially be indicators of oral cancer:
- Chronic cough, hoarseness, or sore throat
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sores that bleed or do not heal
- Red/white patches
- Recently developed lumps/masses on neck
CALL (937) 293-3402
800 Shroyer Rd. Dayton, OH 45419
Where Oral Cancer May Develop
There are several places in the oral cavity and maxillofacial region where oral cancers can develop, including:
- Salivary Glands
The best way to detect oral cancer symptoms early is by practicing monthly self-exams. To perform a self-examination, follow these steps:
- Remove dentures/orthodontic appliances (if applicable)
- Tilt head side to side and back to examine roof of mouth
- Massage/prod inside of gums for abnormalities/new growths
- Examine cheeks, surrounding teeth and gums for abnormalities/new growths
- Massage your neck and jaw for signs of enlarged glands/lumps
Treatment Options Available
It is incredibly important to schedule regular oral cancer screenings, which can take place at your regularly scheduled dental exams. The screening only takes a couple of minutes and is painless. Our clinic uses a small laser light that is able to determine if cell changes indicative or oral cancer have taken place. If this is the case, we will perform a biopsy to determine the nature of the cell change. Once the results of your biopsy are back, we will discuss your treatment plan moving forward; however, the most common treatment options are to remove the tumor or begin Chemotherapy and/or Radiation Therapy.
The most important thing in treating oral cancer is developing a treatment plan with your dentist or periodontist that you are both comfortable with. In developing this plan, we will use as much information as possible, including your oral health history, any current additional issues you are facing, and what approach you are most comfortable taking.
What Causes Oral Cancer?
There is still no definitive explanation for what causes oral cancer to develop, but current research suggests that there are a wide range of factors that can increase an individual’s likelihood of developing oral cancer. The most common cause is still tobacco use, followed by excessive alcohol consumption. Men are also at an increased risk of developing oral cancer, as are people who have a genetic predisposition in their family. Additionally, patients who have a weakened or compromised immune system are at an increased risk.
Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to completely prevent oral cancer from developing, but there are things you can do to help minimize your risk. Following these guidelines is especially important for people who are genetically predisposed towards these issues.
- Avoid use of tobacco and secondhand smoke
- Limit alcohol consumption
- Limit prolonged exposure to the sun
- Practice good oral hygiene
Early intervention is one of the most effective ways to treat oral cancer, so if you have experienced any of the aforementioned issues, it is essential that you call our office today to schedule an examination.
Cost of an Oral Cancer Exam
The cost of having an oral cancer exam and follow up treatments (if necessary) will be determined by a variety of factors, but most particularly by what type of dental plan you are currently enrolled in. Our office does accept cash, most major credit cards, money orders, and personal checks.
If you have concerns about the extent of care required and would like to discuss alternate financial arrangements, please feel free to contact our office to discuss CareCredit. CareCredit helps patients pay for procedures and treatments that are not covered by insurance by offering low minimum monthly payments and No Interest* financing so you can get what you want, when you want it. Applying for Care Credit only takes three simple steps and can provide instant approval.
If you have any additional questions regarding payments, dental insurance coverage, or available financial options, please contact our office and we will be happy to help.
For Beautiful, Healthy Smiles, Contact Us Today!
At Platinum Dentistry, we believe a healthy smile is a beautiful smile, which is why we provide an array of dental treatments to cater to health as well as aesthetics. Our practice utilizes world-class labs that create customized restorations to restore the structure and beauty of your teeth. We take the time to explain and educate our patients about the importance of health care and answer any questions you may have about treatment so you can make the best decision for your smile.
With our attention-to-detail for providing high aesthetic results to restoring the health of patients’ teeth and gums, at Platinum Dentistry you are in experienced hands. Take your first step towards a beautiful, healthy smile today and schedule an appointment by contacting our office by phone at 937.293.3402 or fill out our online form.