How Long Does an Oral Cancer Screening Take in Little Rock?
Oral cancer screening identifies precancerous lesions and mouth cancer at the early stage. Adults above the age of 20 must get oral cancer screening every three years. However, those above 40 years need it yearly. Early detection of mouth cancer means you have more chances of recovering and less treatment.
That’s why most dental professionals advise regular oral cancer screenings Little Rock to evaluate the whole mouth. During this, the healthcare provider near you will use palpation, visual exams, and mouth screening lights and dyes. The dental expert may even click pictures of strange areas in your mouth to study them.
Types of Oral Cancer
Mouth cancer is a dangerous condition. It has different types, including:
- Cancer of the throat.
- Tongue cancer.
- Cancer of lips (typically due to ultraviolet light exposure).
- Gum cancer.
How Much Time Does Oral Cancer Screening Near Me Take?
As per the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than one-third of cancer patients experience complications that significantly affect the mouth. These include dry mouth, sensitive gums, sores in the mouth, infection, etc. Mouth cancer screenings are as fast as brushing teeth. According to the Mouth Cancer Foundation, the in-depth screening will usually take less than two years.
How do I Prepare for the Screening?
Oral cancer screening requires minimal preparation. The examination will occur during your physical or regular dental checkup.
What Should I Expect During My Oral Cancer Screening?
You can expect the following things during your screening appointment:
- Visual Examination
A visual exam allows the dentist to detect abnormalities in the mouth. During this, he/she will find lesions or other abnormal tissue in the throat and mouth.
During palpation, the dentist will use a finger to palpate the bumps or lumps near the jaw, face, and neck.
- Screening Dye
The healthcare provider will use toluidine blue dye to detect mouth cancer signs. The expert will coat the lesions with the dye to find the regions highly prone to cancer.
- Screening Light
The healthcare provider will also use special lights to detect the abnormal tissues in the mouth. To use the oral cancer screening light, the expert will use a fluorescent mouthwash to wash your mouth. Then, he/she will shine the light to find abnormal and healthy tissues. Abnormal tissue in the mouth will usually appear white when the screening light shines.
What Are the Benefits of Dental Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer screenings are vital for the following reasons:
- Help to Determine the Risk Factors
Few people did not even know they have mouth cancer till they visit the dental clinic. Regular dental cancer screenings allow the dentist to find the risk factors associated with mouth cancer before it gets worse.
- Detect Oral Cancer at the Earliest
Screenings allow dentists to detect cancer at the early stages. It increases the chance of getting successful treatment. However, waiting till the advanced stage is riskier. It can be threatening in a few cases.
- Prevent Mouth Cancer
A five-minute oral cancer screening during your regular dental appointment allows the dental professional to detect the best ways to prevent cancer. It’s mainly beneficial if you are a risk-prone patient.
How is Mouth Cancer Treated?
The healthcare provider will consider numerous factors before advising oral cancer treatment. These include:
- The type of mouth cancer.
- Your age.
- Your overall health.
- If the mouth cancer has spread to the other areas of your mouth or other body parts.
The treatment typically includes radiation therapy or surgery in the early stages of mouth cancer. But in advanced levels, the dental professional will use a blend of radiation and surgery. In the final stages, he/she uses a combination of chemotherapy and radiation with or without surgery.
Call Oral Cancer Screening Experts at Knight Dental Care Today
A mouth cancer screening session helps the dental expert determine the malignant lesions before it spreads to other areas of the body. It also detects the premalignant lesion before it converts into a malignant lesion. As you know, your oral health is a window to your general health. Therefore, schedule mouth cancer screenings at the dental office near you or our dental clinic today.