Diagnosing oral cancer in its early stages can increase a patient’s chance to get an effective and successful treatment. As a result, various dental professionals recommend patients to go for regular oral cancer screenings. However, you may not know, how often should you go for an oral cancer screening?
Here’s our guide to help you how often you should go for an oral cancer screening.
Recommended Frequency of an Oral Cancer Screening
Various dental experts have diverse opinions regarding the standard frequency of an oral cancer screening. However, most dentists agree that everyone should go for oral cancer treatment at least once a year or on their appointments with the dentists. Even if you are a healthy individual and aren’t dealing with any potential dental issues, you might still develop oral cancer. Therefore, it is vital to give your health top priority and get an annual preventative oral screening.
There are several other factors that come into play and determine how often you should go for an oral cancer screening. For example, people who have a higher risk of developing oral cancer due to heavy tobacco and alcohol consumption will need more oral screenings.
Besides this, people with a family history of oral cancer should get more frequent oral cancer screenings.
What Happens During an Oral Cancer Screening?
The oral screening process is relatively easy, convenient and painless unlike what most people think.
An oral cancer screening involves an examination of a patient’s mouth and throat. Your dentist will examine your mouth using a light, mirror and tongue depressors. They carefully observe each area of your mouth to detect abnormalities like bumps, mouth ulcers and swellings. They will check your inner cheeks, tonsils, gums and the mouth palate. The dentists will also inspect your jaws and neck along with other areas to look for any unusual lumps or nodules.
If your dentist identifies any issue, they may take the next step. It involves using a particular fluid and light to further look for signs of oral cancer. Some of the common measures include:
- Check your mouth using a laser light that behaves differently when it reflects on a defective tissue.
- Use a special blue dye, called toluidine which turns blue if any abnormal tissue is detected.
- Examine suspected areas with a special light after swishing around acetic acid solution in the mouth. After you rinse your mouth, they use a special flashlight to detect any potential oral cancer signs.
In sum, whether you are at a risk of oral cancer or have good dental health, you should go for oral cancer screening at least once a year. It is one of the vital preventative and lifesaving dental care measures. The screening process helps in early detection of oral cancer and helps you get a successful treatment.
If you are looking for a smooth oral cancer screening process, get a convenient and quick screening at Rock Creek Oral Surgery. Schedule your appointment to talk to our dental professionals and get your screening done. Contact us today!