Whenever you have a routine dental examination, our dentist isn’t only looking for dental issues; she is also checking for other oral diseases like oral cancer.
The screenings for early indications of oral cancer are very important because, after five years, only about half of those with an oral cancer diagnosis is still alive. When dentists do oral cancer screenings, they can help spot this disease in time for a cure.
Before our dentist at Marshfield Dental Group conducts an oral cancer screening, she will ask you to remove any dental appliances that may be in your mouth, including dentures or dental plates. Then, with you sitting up or laying back, the dentist will look for abnormalities, swelling, lumps, sores, or ulcerations in the mouth, lips, neck, and nose.
The dentist will use a light, mirror, and tongue depressor to search your mouth and nose thoroughly. The examination is brief, and there is no pain associated with it, but the screenings can help save lives. If our dentist spots a mouth sore, swelling, or lump in the nose, then she will have you visit a physician to get a diagnosis of the area they found.
Once the visual exam is complete, our dentist in Marshfield, MA, will also conduct a physical examination to try to find any lumps, swellings, or abnormalities that they couldn’t see. She will run her fingers over your throat, lymph nodes, and neck to check for these problems as well as tissue that is usually mobile that isn’t moving.
Unfortunately, a swelling or lump that could be cancer may be painful, but a physical exam is sometimes the only way to find it. Our dentist at Marshfield Dental Group receives training in what to look and feel for when conducting an exam. It is imperative to find oral cancer early to increase the patient’s chances of surviving it.
Oral cancer is a serious disease that costs at least one life every hour. Fortunately, dentists can screen their patients for it and hopefully catch it in the early stages when it is curable. If you smoke, use smokeless tobacco, or never had an HPV vaccination, make sure you’re getting oral cancer screenings from your dentist.