Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer often does not show symptoms until its later stages. This puts patients at risk of invasive treatments and many side effects. At SmileCOS Dentistry, we offer a thorough oral cancer screening at your dental checkups to help us find any early signs of oral cancer that may go unnoticed by you. If we catch oral cancer early enough, we can get you the proper treatment right away, sidestepping the issues that a serious cancer diagnosis can cause.
What is an Oral Cancer Screening?
Our oral cancer screening has a few steps. First, we talk to you. We ask about any changes you may have noticed in your oral health. For example, do you have any new spots or lumps in your mouth? Do you notice any new pain or have any issues that you did not have at your last appointment? Answering these questions honestly can help us determine the next steps we should take.
Using the answers to our questions, we will conduct a thorough physical screening of your mouth, face, neck, and throat. Our dentists look for obvious signs, such as spots, color changes, or bumps in your mouth. Our dentists also feel with their hands because we can find suspicious areas that we may not see with the naked eye. The thorough exam only takes a few minutes, but it could save your life.
Does Everyone Need an Oral Cancer Screening?
Even if you think you are not at risk for oral cancer, you can still be at risk. We recommend that each patient gets an oral cancer screening at least once a year. This gives us a chance to look for any changes in your mouth since the previous year and catching any signs of oral cancer early.
If you are a smoker, have a family history of oral cancer, drink excessively, or are exposed to the sun often, we may conduct oral cancer screenings more often. These factors put you at higher risk of getting oral cancer, and we want to make sure we stay on top of it to catch it early.
If you have any of the above risk factors or you notice any changes since your last appointment, our dentists can do an oral cancer screening earlier than once a year to ensure that we catch the signs of cancer early enough to get you the proper treatment.
What Happens After the Oral Cancer Screening?
If we do not find any suspicious areas during your oral cancer screening, you are good to go until your next appointment. If we do find suspicious areas, though, we may recommend a biopsy of the area to determine if it contains cancerous cells.
If you have not had an oral cancer screening recently, call SmileCOS Dentistry at (719) 394-3304 today. Our staff will be happy to set you up with an appointment for our dentists to conduct a thorough oral cancer screening to ensure that you do not have any signs of symptoms of the disease.