Like all things in life, preventing an illness is better than curing it. Nowhere is this truer than in dentistry.
If you are one of the many people who may feel ambivalent about seeing your dental practitioner, you may, therefore, be somewhat irregular with your attendance at dental check-ups. Even if you are an avid flosser and brusher of your teeth, you may unknowingly be putting yourself in a higher risk group for something much worse than a cavity.
At Healthy Smile Centre, we take our patients’ oral health very seriously. While we are able to offer cosmetic options, we also offer a wide array of preventive treatments.
When you come to our dentist in Zetland for a check-up, our team will also throw in oral cancer screening, as part of our preventive care package!
Don’t be alarmed! This procedure is not painful and is fairly straightforward.
Oral cancer screening
It is recommended by our dentist in Zetland that all patients have oral cancer screening at least once a year.
If you are a smoker, then our team will advise that you have two oral cancer screening examinations every 12 months, to ensure there are no abnormalities in your mouth.
What does it involve?
At Healthy Smile Centre, our oral cancer screening is a simple yet thorough procedure.
The first step involves our dentist in Zetland taking a detailed oral health history, that will identify any risk factors you may have. This will involve asking about lifestyle choices and family history of oral and other forms of cancer.
As odd as it may sound, our team will start the physical examination on the outside of your mouth.
Examining your neck, head and the outside of your mouth will allow our team to be able to see any abnormal lumps and to feel for any areas that are sensitive to touch.
Next, our team will want to examine the inside of your mouth for any unusual lumps or bumps. Don’t worry! This is just like a regular check-up but may involve some rather annoying prodding of the gum line, but it is diagnostically relevant for our team to examine the density and structure of any swellings.
If a member of our team needs to conduct a scan of a lump they have found in your mouth, please do not panic!
Like all other aspects of this screening, it is better to be safe than sorry and a scan simply means they need to get a closer look at what they have found. It is part of the diagnostic process and is nothing to worry about. Most lumps and lesions found in the mouth are benign and require no further treatment.
It can feel terrifying to be told you need a referral to a specialist consultant.
Remember though, that oral cancer has one of the highest survival rates of any cancer and early detection of oral cancer leads to a much better prognosis and simpler treatment plan.
All dental treatments carry potential risks. This article is not a substitute for a check-up with your dental practitioner.