31,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year and, because it has an exceptionally high mortality rate, more than half of them will die over the next five years.
If detected early, 90 percent of oral cancer cases are curable. Unfortunately, traditional detection processes which rely only on the naked eye, often fail to detect the presence of oral cancer until it is too late for effective treatment.
During every hygiene visit, our dental hygienists conduct screenings for visual signs of oral cancer, as well as for abnormalities that a visual examination cannot detect.
For suspicious lesions or spots that are detected visually, a simple and reliable test can be used. It is non-invasive and painless. Using a small brush, our dentists just wipe off some of the cells from the spot and have them evaluated to determine whether any of them are abnormal and could become cancerous if left alone for several years. But since we cannot rely solely on visual detection, we go much further.
We use the world’s leading oral cancer screening equipment, the VELscope. This revolutionary hand-held FDA-approved device helps detect abnormalities even before they become visually apparent. The exam takes only 2-to-3 minutes and there is no discomfort. If the area is sufficiently suspicious, a surgical biopsy is conducted.