An oral cancer screening is a dental examination performed by a dentist to determine the presence of cancer or precancerous cells in the oral cavity. The objective of oral cancer screenings is to raise the alarm while there’s still plenty of time for a cure. At Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, we recommend oral cancer screenings to patients who are at high risk of oral cancer. These include heavy smokers and drinkers, patients with a personal or family history of cancer, and anybody who’s undergone significant sun exposure. This type of examination is often conducted during a routine dental exam, although you may come in solely for oral cancer screening if you deem it necessary.
An oral cancer screening is not diagnostic—that is, our dentist in Newton, MA will not give you a medical diagnosis at the end of your visit. However, based on the outcome of the screening exercise, the dentist may refer you for further checks during which you may obtain an accurate diagnosis. For instance, our dentist may recommend a biopsy, after which you’ll know with certainty whether you have oral cancer or not.
If you have any of the signs and symptoms below, book an appointment with Newton Wellesley Dental Partners immediately as these may be indicative of oral cancer:
During your appointment at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, our dentist will examine you for oral cancer by performing the following checks:
If you wear dentures, our dentist may ask you to remove them to allow for a thorough examination. If the dentist doesn’t detect any reasons for concerns, you’ll be free to go until your next appointment. If there are signs that you may be at high risk for oral cancer, the dentist may refer you to a physician for a biopsy.
At Newton Wellesley Dental Partners, we encourage our patients to take their oral health seriously, and this includes scheduling regular oral screenings. If you’re in Newton, MA and overdue for your oral screening appointment, give us a call today.