What Can You Expect during Oral Cancer Screenings?

What Can You Expect during Oral Cancer Screenings?

Dec 01, 2021

Do you find it surprising when your dentist holds out your tongue and feels around the base of your mouth during your routine exam for cleanings? This is because the dentist near you performs a preventive exam time to identify whether you have precancerous or cancerous lesions in your mouth. If you’re not aware of why your dentist performs oral cancer screenings, you help yourself by understanding the dentist is one professional you visit every six months for dental cleanings.

The dentist performing oral cancer screening in Jamaica Plain is merely following the advice of The National Cancer Institute, which states cancer screenings are best performed before any symptoms begin displaying themselves. Oral cancer screening is a preventive measure performed by all dentists during routine dental appointments. If you want to prepare yourself for the screening, we suggest you read this article providing sufficient information on these tests.

How Much Time Do Dentists Need to Perform Oral Cancer Screening?

Are you aware oral cancer screening near you is completed by the dentist merely in a few minutes? In reality, the screening requires fewer minutes than brushing your teeth. Oral cancer is defined as mouth cancer in different areas where you think the dentist has no business to inspect. Oral cancer screening covers various parts of your mouth and connected tissues looking for cancerous lesions in your throat, sinuses, pharynx, and larynx. The screening puts your mind at peace and assures you no problems exist in your mouth needing prompt treatment from cancer specialists. However, if the dentist notices any abnormal growths that indicate cancer, they refer you to an oncologist for further evaluation.

The outcomes for treatments for oral cancer are best when the condition is detected early and treated promptly. The screening test by the dentist doesn’t indicate you have oral cancer but is just a preventive measure to make sure you don’t.

What to Expect During the Screening?

Before commencing the screening, the dentist requests you remove any dental appliances you are wearing. The removal helps the dentist examine your mouth comprehensively by looking for asymmetries, bumps, colored patches, ulcerations, swelling, and other abnormalities. In addition, the dentist observes your face, neck, lips, jaw, cheeks, the inside of your nose, and oral cavity, besides any other significant parts looking for signs of oral cancer.

When looking inside your mouth, the dentist makes use of light and a mirror. Next, the dentist holds your tongue down using a tongue depressor, helping them get a better view of the back of your mouth. The professional also requests you to make sounds to expose your throat areas that are challenging to view.

After the visual exam, the dentist touches your face, mouth, and neck, feeling unusual nodules or growths. Dentists are trained to detect cancer-causing abnormalities by touching various areas of your mouth, as suggested by the oral Cancer foundation. The examination helps your dentist to detect hard lumps of tissue. Oral cancer symptoms are painless in the early stages, although the symptoms are painful if detected late. It is why dentists perform oral cancer screenings during routine dental visits.

What Happens After Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer screenings are preventive procedures and not diagnostic. If your dentist doesn’t find any abnormalities during the screening, you can rest assured everything is fine with your mouth. However, you must schedule six monthly appointments with your dentist, especially if you have risk factors for developing oral cancer.

The American cancer society mentions that the top risk factors for oral cancer include smoking, alcohol use, sun exposure, HPV diagnosis, gender, and age. In addition, the pervasiveness of oral cancer is higher among men than women.

If your dentist detects any symptoms, they refer you to further testing to detect what the symptom indicates. Bear in mind results needing additional investigation does not necessarily imply a cancer diagnosis. However, early detection of cancer reduces treatment-related health problems later. It is why early detection and prevention are the keys to oral cancer.

Oral cancer screenings are not merely physical exams. The screening also enables you to discuss any apprehensions and concerns in your mind surrounding oral cancer with your dentist. You should prepare yourself to ask questions and seek advice for lifestyle changes without expressing fear about the screening exams. Participating in oral cancer screenings during routine dental exams helps put your mind at ease.

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