Oral Cancer Screening

An Important Part of Dental Care

Although oral cancer may not get as much attention as some more widely-known types of cancer, that doesn’t mean it’s any less deadly. In fact, it is estimated that in the United States, oral cancer is responsible for killing one person every hour, every day. While it accounts for a relatively small percentage of all cancers, oral cancer is dangerous because it isn’t usually detected until it has reached an advanced stage. At that point, the odds aren’t great: only about 6 in 10 people will survive after five years of treatment.

At Art & Science 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, our team of Dental Hygienists and Dr. Dautel will also do a physical exam to check for signs of oral cancer. They will gently 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 at your regular checkups.

Should I Get An Oral Cancer Screening?

All of our patients benefit from oral cancel screenings and they are an important part of your regular dental checkups. Patients at a high risk of oral cancer may be more likely to benefit from oral cancer screening.

Factors That Increase The Risk of Oral Cancer

  • Tobacco use of any kind, including cigarettes, cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco and snuff
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Previous oral cancer diagnosis