Oral cancer is most easily treatable in its earliest stages, which is why it’s so important to have regular screenings for it. At River Oak Dental Spa in Oakdale, California, Christina Tourtlotte, DDS, and the team of dental experts provide thorough oral cancer screenings to ensure that their patients maintain optimal oral health. To schedule your oral cancer screening, simply call the office or book a visit with the online tool.
Oral cancer receives very little public attention, despite the fact that it kills more people in the United States each year than brain cancer, cervical cancer, and testicular cancer. It’s frequently called the “forgotten disease,” and it affects more than 30,000 Americans every year. Without treatment, only 57% of those who contract oral cancer live longer than five years.
It’s much easier to treat oral cancer in its earlier stages, so it’s incredibly important to receive regular screenings. The earlier your dentist detects oral cancer, the sooner you can begin treatment, and the more likely your provider can successfully eradicate it.
Tobacco and alcohol use can and do frequently lead to oral cancer, but just because you don’t smoke or drink doesn’t mean that you’re not susceptible to oral cancer. In fact, roughly 25% of those who have been diagnosed with oral cancer did not consume tobacco or drink alcohol.
Dr. Tourtlotte and the team at River Oak Dental Spa perform oral cancer screenings during your routine dental exam and cleaning. They use a state-of-the-art, FDA-approved diagnostic tool called the VELscope®, which is a blue excitation lamp that helps them easily detect any signs of oral cancer in your mouth.
VELscope uses fluorescence visualization (FV) to help Dr. Tourtlotte and the dental team easily identify suspicious lesions that might otherwise be difficult to detect with the naked eye. The healthy soft tissues in your mouth absorb the VELscope’s blue light, which makes them appear green. Meanwhile, any problem areas in your mouth appear much darker.
The process of getting your oral cancer screening with VELscope takes only a few minutes, and it’s entirely painless and noninvasive.
First, your dentist performs a regular visual exam of your entire lower face, checking your gums, tongue, cheeks, glands, palate, and teeth for any indication of oral cancer. Then, they give you a solution to rinse around in your mouth before shining the VELscope on your oral tissues and take note of any suspicious areas.
If your dentist observes any signs of oral cancer, they might take a biopsy for further inspection. The results of your biopsy determine the next steps, if any, in your treatment plan.
Schedule your oral cancer screening today and call the office at River Oak Dental Spa or book an appointment online.