Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer does not discriminate. Anyone is at risk for it, which is why at McDonald DDS, we do a complete oral cancer screening at your regular checkups to check for signs of oral cancer. Catching oral cancer in its earliest stages gives you the best chance at fully recovering from it. Our dentists are experts in finding the earliest symptoms of oral cancer and providing treatment plans that help you overcome it with ease.
The Signs of Oral Cancer
Unfortunately, oral cancer does not show symptoms until its later stages. With regular oral cancer screenings, though, we can catch the disease long before it shows symptoms. If you notice any changes in your mouth, such as lumps, lesions, white/red patches, sores that will not heal, or you have issues chewing or swallowing, let us know right away. Our dentists will perform an oral cancer screening to determine if you need further testing.
Typically, we perform an oral cancer screening annually. This gives us plenty of time to look over the health of your mouth and determine if you have any risk factors. If you notice any of the above symptoms before you are due for a screening, though, inform our dentists as soon as possible and we will conduct a screening and determine any necessary steps you must take to help get your oral health back in optimal condition.
The Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
Like we said above, oral cancer does not discriminate. However, there are certain people that may be at higher risk. Typically, heavy smokers and drinkers have the highest risk, but people with a family history of oral cancer as well as those with high levels of sun exposure also have elevated risks of oral cancer.
During our oral cancer screening, we will discuss your risk factors with you by asking a series of questions. If we determine you have a high risk of being at risk for oral cancer, we may suggest more frequent screenings to ensure that we catch it in its earliest stages if necessary.
The Oral Cancer Screening Process
The screening itself is non-invasive. Our dentists thoroughly inspect your mouth, teeth, tongue, cheeks, face, and neck. If we notice any suspicious areas, we may offer x-rays or send you for a biopsy of the area, if it is an area of grave concern.
You do not have to be nervous about the screening – there is not any pain or pressure involved. Think of it as a proactive way to catch any potential issues you may have before they become a problem. Our dentists talk you through the entire process, ensuring your comfort the entire time, as well as keeping you informed of what we find or the next steps we think you should take.
Are you interested in learning more about the oral cancer screening process? Give us a call at (469) 649-0699. We are happy to help you learn more about your smile!
Or book an appointment with us online today!