What Is the Procedure for Detecting Oral Cancer?

What Is the Procedure for Detecting Oral Cancer?

Aug 01, 2022

Oral cancer, like all other forms of cancer, can drastically devastate your life and negatively impact the quality of life you live. It can destroy your life in incomprehensible ways.

That being said, there is a way to give you and your loved ones a fighting chance against this disease: opt for early detection.

Oral cancer detection is conducted through screening. As complex as it may sound, oral cancer screening is a brief procedure designed to detect any anomalies within or around the oral cavity that might point toward oral cancer.

Believe it or not, an oral cancer screening session can be as brief as 2 to 3 minutes. Still, it can mean the difference between the disease being caught in its initial stages or after it has progressed uncontrollably.

Oral cancer screening and detection are usually performed by our dentist near you. Our dentist in 33702, Dr. Cecilia Sorelle, believes that every regular dental checkup our patients undergo should include oral cancer screening.

That means that every regular checkup will allow you to stay ahead of this disease and seek early oral cancer treatment in St. Petersburg, FL, if it is detected.

So what should you expect during an oral cancer screening procedure? Let’s take a look at the oral cancer detection procedure.

Oral Cancer Detection

Oral cancer screening and detection is ideally a preventive dental procedure that is performed during routine dental checkups. These procedures may involve thoroughly examining your oral cavity and surrounding tissues within the throat, neck, face, and sinuses.

Here are some of the things you should anticipate during oral cancer detection:

  • A Visual Exam

During this examination, our dentist will look for any ulcers, patches of coloration that stand out, swellings, protrusions, bumps, and any other abnormalities that may indicate oral cancer.

During this exam, you may be asked to take off any removable dental appliance such as dentures to ensure that our dentist can have a good and unhindered view of your entire oral cavity. The visual exam will focus on examining your face, lips, nose, neck, jaw, and tongue, roof and floor of your mouth, throat, gums, and cheeks.

Our dentist will use light, a tongue depressor, and mirrors to get a good look at all these surfaces. This exam is more or less what you always undergo during a typical physical.

  • A Physical Exam

This may be a bit more detailed than the visual exam. Our dentist may proceed to touch or feel any bumps, lumps, patches, or swellings that stand out. Our dentist may also use some detection tools and dyes to inspect and collect samples for further diagnosis during this examination stage.

Some of the detection tests that may be conducted may include;

  • Exfoliative Cytology

This involves collecting cell samples for microscopic observation. Cell samples are collected using a specialized brush that painlessly removes cells for observation.

  • Toluidine Blue Staining

This detection test involves staining lesions with a specialized blue dye that can be used to identify any areas within the oral cavity that can be cancerous. This test is also referred to as an oral lesion screening test.

  • Fluorescent Light Examination

This detection test involves using fluorescent light to bring out any issues that may be cancerous. During this examination, our dentist will rinse out your mouth using a fluorescent rinse and then use a specialized light to identify any issues that may appear abnormal or cancerous.

Most oral cancer symptoms may not be painful; however, if you notice any lesions or swellings that recur and do not clear out in two weeks, notify our emergency dentist in St. Petersburg for further investigation.

What’s Next?

You should never forget that oral cancer screening and detection is not a diagnosis. These tests are performed during screening to identify the possibility of oral cancer, but a diagnosis has to be performed.

If detection shows the possibility of oral cancer, our dentist may recommend you undergo a biopsy to ascertain the findings. This is because sometimes, the swellings or lesions identified during the examination may not be cancerous.

The cells collected during the examination from the lesions or tissues are examined for concrete evidence of oral cancer.

If you do discover that you do have cancer, then early detection gives you a chance to have more treatment options and increases your chances of recovery. This is why regular screening is fundamental in fighting against oral cancer.

Contact us today at Dental Arts Ninth St. If you are looking for a pediatric dentist in St. Petersburg or for oral cancer screening services.

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