When you think of things your dentist can do for you, you might immediately think of treating and preventing cavities or making your smile look more attractive. But did you know that our dentists can be your first line of detection for oral cancer? This year alone, 53,000 people are predicted to be newly diagnosed with this potentially deadly disease, and only about 57 percent of them will likely still be alive five years from now. However, if oral cancer can be discovered and treated early on, chances of survival shoot up to 90 percent. That’s why we include an oral cancer screening in your routine dental checkup and cleaning appointment every six months. We want to make sure that you as our patient get the necessary care to live a long, healthy life.
To the untrained eye, the symptoms of oral cancer can be challenging to spot, but our seasoned professionals at Boyd & Walther Dental Associates can identify potentially cancerous cells as early as possible. During an oral cancer screening, they look for the following:
If you notice these signs on your own, please contact our Tallahassee dental office right away for an evaluation.
Chances are that you’ve had an oral cancer screening before and didn’t even know it. That’s because it only takes a couple of minutes and is completely painless. One of our dentists will visually examine the inside of your mouth, paying particularly close attention to your gums, tongue, and the soft and hard tissues. Because oral cancer can often show up in the back of the mouth first, they may need to move your tongue out of the way so that they have a clearer view of that area. Then, they will gently feel your throat, neck, and jaw. That’s it! If they happen to find something that could indicate oral cancer, they will refer you to a doctor for additional diagnostic testing.
We genuinely care about our patients and do our part to help them maintain their well-being for the long haul. If it’s been a while since you’ve seen the dentist for a checkup, contact us to schedule an appointment today! You never know—it could end up saving your life!