The idea of an oral cancer diagnosis can be a scary thing. Because of this fear, patients can be lead to postpone getting screenings or even treatment when they notice weird symptoms. However, deciding on an oral screening shouldn’t be unsettling.
At Larson Dental, our skilled dentists and staff will do their best to ensure that your experience is pleasant and comfortable every time you come in for a screening.
Ideally, oral cancer screenings should be conducted every time a patient comes in for a routine dental visit. Screenings are a critical precautionary step taken to identify any progressive signs or symptoms of oral cancer, achieve an early diagnosis, and a better survival rate.
Patients may often neglect oral screenings due to fear, lack of awareness, or simply missing routine appointments. If patients consistently skip out on routine check ups and fail to get treated, they run the risk of harboring undetected oral cancer. This will then give the cancer time to develop and spread, reducing a patient’s chances of remission.
What to Expect: Visual and Physical Exam
If you’ve never had an oral cancer screening, there’s nothing to fear. The screening is usually both visual and physical. This visual exam includes checking the face, neck, lips, oral cavity, and inside the nose. Some of the things Dr. Larson will look for when examining a patient include:
- Patches of color
In contrast, the physical exam consists of Dr. Larson checking for abnormalities around the jaw, cheeks, and head by touching and feeling. Dr. Larson may also check under the chin and the oral cavity for signs of oral cancer.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should you have an oral cancer screening?
It’s strongly recommended that you have an oral cancer screening at least once a year. However, at Larson Dental, we conduct screenings every time you visit for a routine check-up and professional cleaning. Your health is our utmost priority, which is why we take this precautionary step to look for signs or symptoms of oral cancer.
Why is an oral cancer screening important?
Getting an oral cancer screening at least once a year is important because it increases your survival rate if caught early on. Screenings allow us to achieve an early detection before the cancer has time to develop and spread, reducing a patient’s chance of remission. That’s why our practice conducts oral cancer screenings each time you come in for a regular check-up.
Does oral cancer spread quickly?
Unfortunately, most oral cancers tend to spread quickly once progressed. There are several factors that increase your risk of developing oral cancer. This includes heavy alcohol consumption, smoking, and tobacco use. That’s why it’s important to undergo an oral cancer screening every time you visit Larson Dental for a dental check-up.
Where is oral cancer most commonly found?
In most cases, oral cancer is commonly found in the tongue. However, during your oral cancer screening, Dr. Larson will conduct a visual and physical exam. This includes checking the face, neck, lips, oral cavity, and inside the nose for signs and symptoms of oral cancer. We’ll look for signs of swelling, patches of color, bumps, abnormalities, ulcerations, and asymmetries.
Visit Larson Dental in Prescott Valley
Avoid a late oral cancer diagnosis and come visit Dr. Larson in Prescott Valley, AZ. At Larson Dental, our caring dentists and staff will go above and beyond to help you maintain a healthy mouth and body for many years to come.