Getting an Oral Cancer Screening From a Family Dentist

Family Dentist Bellevue, WA

A family dentist performs treatments like oral cancer screening for the entire family. These examinations can help detect oral cancer early on, significantly increasing the odds of a positive outcome.

Oral cancer screens are typically performed during routine dental visits. Additional tests are ordered if the family dentist notices abnormal cells in or around the patient’s mouth.

How a family dentist screens for oral cancer

Oral cancer screens are performed to detect precancerous lesions or cancer in the mouth. Early detection is vital because cancerous tissues are easiest to remove in their early stages. Factors that increase a person’s risk of developing cancer include:

  • Tobacco use
  • A prior cancer diagnosis
  • Heavy alcohol consumption
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Certain types of human papillomavirus

An oral cancer screen can lead to additional testing based on the dentist’s findings. Not all abnormal growths in the mouth are cancerous, so testing is required to determine if they are. Samples of abnormal growths are typically taken when detected so they can be sent to a lab for further analysis.

Oral cancer screens do not detect all mouth cancers because visually detecting abnormal cells in the mouth can be quite the challenge. A family dentist typically uses a mouth dye to make it easier to notice odd cells in a patient's mouth. The dye turns abnormal growths in the mouth blue.

The process

Getting an oral cancer screen does not require any preparation on the patient’s part. The dentist might have the patient rinse their mouth with a dental dye before visually examining the insides of the mouth in search of mouth sores or red/white patches. The dentist carefully examines the patient’s tongue, the insides of the cheeks, their gum tissues, the roof of the mouth, the back of their throat, and underneath the tongue.

The dentist then uses their fingers to feel for lumps and other abnormalities in the patient’s mouth. The family dentist also examines the patient’s throat and neck when looking for lumps.

Additional tests are recommended based on the results of the examination. These include:

  • Using a special dye that makes abnormal cells in the mouth turn blue to pinpoint problematic areas
  • Using a screening light that makes abnormal tissues appear white
  • Taking a sample of abnormal tissues and sending it to a lab for further testing, a procedure called a biopsy
  • Scheduling a follow-up screening to monitor the progression of abnormal cells in the mouth

Protect your health

Oral cancer screens are performed to detect abnormal spots and lumps in your mouth that might be signs of cancer developing. It can be performed during routine checkups, and the process only takes about five minutes. Early detection of oral cancer can dramatically increase the odds of successful treatment.

When was the last time that you were screened for oral cancer? Give us a call or stop by our Bellevue clinic to set up an appointment with our family dentist.

Request an appointment here: https://artisandentalbellevue.com or call Artisan Dental at (425) 454-2005 for an appointment in our Bellevue office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Family Dentist in Bellevue, WA.

Recent Posts

A Family Dentist Discusses Ways To Reverse Tooth Decay

Filling cavities is one of many services that a family dentist provides. Cavities are holes in teeth that occur due to tooth decay. However, if the decay is caught early, it may be possible to reverse it before a cavity forms. Understanding how and why tooth decay happens may make it easier to learn how…

When To See A Family Dentist

Through regular visits with a family dentist, patients can reduce the risk of severe oral health concerns from developing. Also, when issues do arise, it is important to visit a family dentist for prompt care to minimize discomfort and ensure that the oral health concern does not worsen. Family dentists also treat cosmetic concerns, as…

What To Expect At Your Family Dentist Visit

A visit to the family dentist does not have to be something to worry about. Dentists and hygienists always want to help and can make your visit as easy as possible. It is beneficial to find a family dentist with whom you feel comfortable. Once you have found the right dentist, you should schedule a…

What You Can Expect From Our Family Dentistry Office

In our family dentistry office, our goal is to keep you, our patient, in the best possible oral health. We do this by examining and cleaning your teeth on a regular basis. We would prefer to do so twice a year but at a minimum, once a year. This way we can identify small health…

Recent Posts

Oral Appliance Therapy From A Sleep Medicine Dentist

Oral Appliance Therapy From A Sleep Medicine Dentist

Your sleep medicine dentist can recommend oral appliance therapy for your obstructive sleep apnea or OSA. Snoring may indicate this sleep disorder. Seeing a board-certified sleep medicine dentist can help relieve you and your loved ones of this disorder. If you want to know more about oral appliance therapy from your sleep medicine dentist, here…

Aspects Of A Dental Checkup

Aspects Of A Dental Checkup

Dental checkups are a common way of preventing gum disease and cavities. Not every visit is the same, but knowing what to expect can help you better understand the process. Your dentist will go over your medical history during the appointment. That way, the dentist can think about family conditions that might affect your oral…