Regular dental checkups are not just beneficial to your smile. They are also essential for oral cancer screening.
Oral cancer screening is an exam where your dentist looks for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in the mouth. During the exam, your dentist will check all areas of your mouth and your throat. If you wear dentures, your dentist will take them out to check the tissue beneath them. The dentist will also check for abnormalities of the face and the lymph nodes in the neck.
Everyone can benefit from oral cancer screening, but people at a high risk of oral cancer have more to gain.
Oral cancer risk factors include:
Your dentist will not be able to diagnose oral cancer during a dental exam. They can only look for abnormalities that may indicate the need for testing.
If your dentist notices lumps, lesions, or anything else out of the ordinary, they will likely recommend a biopsy. A biopsy is a procedure in which a small piece of tissue is taken from the troublesome area then sent to a lab to test for cancerous cells. Your dentist may perform the biopsy or refer you to a doctor who can.
If the biopsy reveals cancerous or precancerous conditions, your dentist may refer you to an oral oncologist who will develop a treatment plan that is right for you.
If you have questions about oral cancer or would like to schedule an appointment for oral cancer screening in North Vancouver, contact us at Peak Dental Arts.
At Peak Dental Arts, we offer comprehensive and quality dental care to help you maintain optimal oral health.