The idea of an oral cancer diagnosis can be frightening. However, neglecting your oral health due to fear can be a risky move. When diagnosed early, oral cancer can be treated more efficiently and can improve your chances of remission. As a precautionary step, Dr. Dang offers oral cancer screenings as part of routine dental exams at her dental practice in Falls Church, VA.
If our Falls Church dentist detects any abnormalities in your screening, she may recommend further testing, known as diagnostic tests, in order to determine the cause.
What is an Oral Cancer Screening?
An oral cancer screening consists of your dentist looking for any signs of oral cancer before symptoms even begin to show. As mentioned, a screening is a precautionary step taken toward detecting oral cancer in its earliest stage.
Getting a screening every time you come in for a routine dental cleaning will help ensure that your mouth is healthy and normal. The reason it’s recommended to get oral cancer screenings frequently is due to the nature of the disease. Often times when symptoms of oral cancer appear, the cancer may have already spread and therefore, may have caused more damage that could have been avoided with an early diagnosis.
Don’t be alarmed if Dr. Dang suggests an oral cancer screening. This precautionary assessment is recommended to every patient and shouldn’t be a major concern. However, if the results of your screening come back abnormal, Dr. Dang may suggest further tests to detect the cause.
What to Expect: Visual and Physical Exam
Screenings for oral cancer consist of two exams, visual and physical.
The visual exam is generally made up of checking the oral cavity, lips, face, neck, and even inside the nose. Some specific things Dr. Dang may look for include:
- Patches of color
When conducting the physical exam, Dr. Dang will also touch and feel around the jaw, cheeks, and head for any abnormalities that could indicate oral cancer. Much like the visual exam, Dr. Dang may also check the oral cavity and under the chin. Additionally, the patient will be checked for masses and nodules as well as pain and discomfort.
At Rejuvenation Dental Studio, we are committed to the health and well-being of our patients. Our dedicated dentist and staff will make sure that you are comfortable and have a positive experience every time you come in for an appointment.