Oral Cancer Screenings – Deerfield, IL.
Serving Bannockburn, Riverwoods, Northbrook & The North Shore
When you hear “Oral Cancer Screening,” your first thought is a scary medical procedure. This is, however, not the case with oral cancer screenings offered by your dentist. With all cancer, early detection is the best chance for successful treatment, which is why it is so important to have regular oral cancer screenings during your dental check-ups.
The oral cancer screening is an examination your dentist will conduct that is searching for signs of cancerous or precancerous cells in the mouth. Your dentist will explain the process to you and their findings as the screening progresses.
Is it Common to Have an Oral Cancer Screening?
No – Most people never have an oral cancer screening, and this is why the cancer is not detected at an early stage. At Burns Family Dentistry, we suggest that you visit us for a screening if you have never received one.
What Does Oral Cancer Screening Mean?
At Burns Family Dentistry, we will look for signs of abnormal tissue. Typically, we will see visible symptoms like red and white bumps, hard lumps, rough patches, or changes in the position of your teeth. Much of the screening is done visually. However, we will also feel your cheeks and the inside of your mouth while wearing gloves. This is to identify whether or not you have any strange or hard lumps within this tissue. Remember, oral cancer can impact all areas of the mouth, so the examination must be thorough. Since technology is constantly improving, we may use other testing resources when you come in and will be happy to discuss the process with you when you visit our dental office. We guarantee that the test is gentle and that you should feel comfortable during it.
How Frequently Should I Have an Oral Cancer Screening?
We recommend that you schedule your visit with Burns Family Dentistry dentist for your 1st exam. Based on your risk factors and what we see, we will let you know how frequently you need an examination. If you are a high-risk patient, we may suggest annual screenings.
Who is Susceptible to Getting Oral Cancer?
The common misconception is that only older men get oral cancer. It used to be that men got oral cancer at a 11:1 ratio to women. Recently, the statistics have changed, because the habits of men and women are now more aligned. With more women drinking alcohol & smoking, the published ratios are now 2:1. Recently, medical research has proven that some strains of the HPV virus also cause oral cancer. This has changed the way we look at this cancer and who we need to screen for it. The HPV virus can be contracted as early as the teenage years, meaning that both men and women, seniors and teens, could come down with this terrible disease. We recommend that all adults be screened for oral cancer. However, if you smoke, drink alcohol, or know you have the HPV virus, you should be particularly diligent about doing so.
Why Are Oral Cancer Screenings Performed?
As mentioned above, the primary reason that oral cancer screenings are performed is to catch cancerous cells before they have a chance to grow. By catching oral cancer early, treatment can be more effective and have a better chance to have positive treatment results.