Your dental team here at Bel Canto is passionate about preventative dental care, particularly as good dental health is so closely connected to general health. It is our aim to ensure you are healthy enough to enjoy every minute to the full and we encourage everyone to visit us regularly for check-ups. Your oral cancer screenings are a critical part of this appointment, especially as oral cancer rates are increasing.
Oral cancer can affect the soft tissues inside your mouth including your tongue, cheeks, lips and the roof and floor of your mouth. One of the major problems with this disease is late diagnosis, by which time treatment is more invasive and may be less successful. When oral cancer is detected in its early stages, the prognosis is far more favourable and the 5-year survival rates are approximately 80%.
Your oral cancer screenings are a critical part of your regular appointments, especially as oral cancer rates are increasing.
What to Expect During Your VELscope Screening
Your screening will only take a few minutes and you need not worry as it is completely painless and non-invasive. Our dentist will still visually examine your oral tissues and will gently feel your neck. Our VELscope oral screening technology is simply another string in our bow.
It is a hand-held device that is designed to supplement and enhance the efficacy of a traditional oral exam. With VELscope, there is no need for us to use any messy dyes as it emits a bright blue-spectrum light that causes the tissues inside the mouth to naturally fluoresce. When shone inside the mouth this light is sensitive to any tissue changes, as healthy tissues fluoresce in a very distinct way. This allows us to see any abnormal changes to these tissues more easily. These tissue changes sometimes cannot be seen by the naked eye.
This light is sensitive to any tissue changes, allowing us to see any abnormal changes to these tissues more easily.
What Could Indicate Tissue Abnormalities?
Oral tissues that are changing may become rougher or will be lumpy and they can change colour, turning from a healthy pink to red or white. Other changes include sore spots that fail to heal after a couple of weeks. If we do see anything that causes concern, we can take a small sample of cells for analysis by a specialist, or we might suggest a biopsy.
How Frequently Will I Need an Oral Cancer Screening?
The frequency of your oral cancer screenings is determined by age and by your level of risk. Factors such as increasing age, a family history of cancer and using tobacco products will increase your risk.
If you are ever concerned about any changes to the soft tissues in your mouth, please contact Bel Canto Dental straightaway so we take a closer look.