Oral Cancer Screening

Oral Cancer Screening

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.

If there was a simple test that could give you an early warning about whether you’re likely to have this disease, would you take it? The good news is — there is! Since early detection has been shown to increase the survival rate of oral cancer to 80% or better, this test can truly save lives. And best of all, having an oral cancer screening is part of something you should be doing anyway: getting regular dental checkups.

An oral cancer examination is fast and painless. Its objective is to identify small changes in the lining tissues of the mouth, lips, and tongue that may signify the early stages of this type of cancer. The screening is primarily a visual and tactile (touch) examination. If any abnormalities are noted, a small tissue sample can be retrieved for further testing in a laboratory.

Who’s At Risk for Developing Oral Cancer?

The answer might surprise you. Oral cancer used to be thought of as an older person’s disease, and it still mostly affects those over 40. But today, younger people form the fastest-growing segment among oral cancer patients. This is primarily due to the spread of the sexually-transmitted Human Papilloma Virus (HPV16).

Of course, the other major risk factors still apply: If you’re middle-aged or older, a moderate to heavy drinker, or a long-time tobacco user, you have a greater chance of developing oral cancer. Chronic exposure to the sun, long known to cause skin cancer, is also associated with cancers of the lips. Genetic factors are thought to have a major impact on who gets the disease as well.

Detecting Oral Cancer

A thorough screening for oral cancer is part of your routine dental checkup — another reason why you should be examined regularly. The screening includes a visual assessment of your lips, tongue, and the inside of your mouth, including a check for red or white patches or unusual sores. You may be palpated (pressed with fingers) to detect the presence of lumps and swellings, and your tongue may be gently pulled aside for an even better view. A special light, dye, or other procedure may also be used to help check any suspect areas. If anything appears to be out of the ordinary, a biopsy can be easily performed.

If you notice abnormal sores or color changes in the tissue of your mouth, lips, and tongue, they may be a symptom of oral cancer — most, however, are completely benign. But sores or other unusual changes that haven’t gone away by themselves after 2-3 weeks should be examined. Remember, the only way to accurately diagnose oral cancer is through a laboratory report. Early diagnosis, aided by thorough screenings at your regular dental checkups, is one of the best defenses against oral cancer.

Related Services:

Botox and Dermal Fillers

Botox and Dermal Fillings, can also be used to treat some TMJ/TMD issues.

Facial Trauma

Whether the facial injuries are to the teeth, bone structures, or the facial soft tissues; you can trust that the care you'll receive at Davis Dental Center will be understanding, compassionate, and expertly qualified to restore your smile to its healthy and natural state.

Sedation Dentistry

Davis Dental Center has the credentials necessary to perform conscious sedation dentistry.

TMD

If you experience ongoing pain in the area near your ear, your jaw, or the muscles on the side of your face, possibly accompanied by a clicking or popping sound or restricted jaw movement, you may be suffering from TMD — an abbreviation for Temporomandibular disorders.

Periodontal Therapy

It is not a given that we must lose teeth as we age. If we maintain good oral hygiene and have regular professional cleanings and oral examinations, chances are we can keep our natural teeth for life.

Oral Cancer Screening

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.

Crowns & Bridgework

Dentistry is an art as well as a science; dental crowns offer a perfect example of this. A dental crown or “cap” is a covering that fits over a damaged, decayed, or unattractive tooth. It can even replace a tooth entirely as part of dental bridgework.

Cosmetic Tooth Bonding

We are proud of the ways in which dentistry can restore broken or decayed teeth to full beauty and function. One of the easiest and least expensive ways of doing this is with dental bonding.

Clear Aligners

Straighten your teeth with a clear alternative to metal braces. (For Example: Invisalign®)

Clear aligners are a removable, discreet orthodontic treatment. They consist of a series of trays that you wear for several weeks at a time. As your teeth gently move into position, you start using the next set of trays.

Dental Implants

Implants are made of titanium and have special coatings that encourage the fusing of human bone. The top of each implant has an internal screw channel so that crowns, bridges, and or dentures can be screwed in place.

Dental Sealants

Sealants are a thin, protective coating that bonds to the surface of your teeth. When properly applied, sealants can help prevent cavities.

Dentures

Tooth loss is challenging on many levels. Not only can it affect what you eat and how you chew leading to more serious health concerns, it can also make you feel embarrassed and uncomfortable.

Extractions

While many of us do our best to keep our teeth healthy, sometimes a tooth needs to be taken out to keep you healthy. In these cases, an extraction is necessary.

Fillings

Dental fillings are the most conservative way to restore smaller areas of tooth decay. In a dental expert's hands, these types of restorations can be made to conserve as much of your natural tooth as possible while providing a restoration that is almost indistinguishable from the natural tooth. Both resin and porcelain fillings can be adhesively bonded to your natural tooth to add strength.

Root Canal Treatment

A root canal is a minimally invasive, nonsurgical endodontic treatment. The procedure is performed under local anesthesia and involves opening the crown of the tooth, exposing the roots and pulp of the tooth. When the pulp and root is exposed the infected areas of the tooth are removed.

A root canal is one of the most common dental procedures performed, well over 14 million every year. This simple treatment can save your natural teeth and prevent the need for dental implants or bridges.

Teeth Cleaning

At Davis Dental Center, we believe that getting your teeth cleaned every 6 months keep your teeth and gums as healthy as possible.

Teeth Whitening

Let our team help you determine what whitening process is right for you, based on the current color and condition of your teeth.

Veneers

A wafer-thin glass shell that can be bonded to the front of your teeth to mask their shape, color, or size. The highest quality veneers are made individually by hand and are hard to distinguish from natural teeth. veneers can be used to remarkably transform the smile of patients who have worn, chipped, or discolored teeth. Slightly crooked teeth can be straightened as well. Hand-made porcelain veneers are typically very translucent and when bonded to your teeth they are very lifelike.