Oral cancer screenings are a very important part of the dental visit for the patient. With the advances in modern technology, we are now able to pinpoint the start of a potential problem much earlier in its evolution. The ability to do so is extremely important in being able to treat any issues prior to them becoming a major irreversible problem.
The oral cancer screening is often completed with an ultraviolet light or similar device that allows us to view issues that can't always be detected by the human eye under normal conditions.
Certain lifestyle choices can have a great impact on the health of tissues and your overall health in the mouth. If you are a smoker or heavy drinker, make sure to get regular screenings when you visit the dentist.
VELscope uses Fluorescence Visualization (FV) to detect oral cancer. This system utilizes a bright blue light that is used to detect precancerous and cancerous cell changes. Receiving a screening for oral cancer is quick and painless. The procedure is non-invasive and only takes a couple of minutes. Dr. Utterback will begin with a visual examination where he will inspect your glands, tongue, cheeks and teeth. Next, Dr. Utterback will apply a pre-rinse solution that is swilled around your mouth for about 30 seconds. Dr. Utterback will then place the VELscope blue light inside your mouth. Lesions and other indicators of oral cancer are easily noticeable because they will be much darker under the specialized light. If the patient shows oral cancer symptoms, Dr. Utterback will take a biopsy to determine whether or not it is oral cancer.