You’ve probably heard a million times that it’s important to visit your dentist in Coeur d’Alene for a routine check-up. However, it may seem like an unnecessary formality. The reality is you stand to gain far more than just a cleaning when you make it a priority to visit your dentist for preventive care, which includes an oral cancer screening. Read on to find out how this can save your life!
Oral Cancer – A Growing Problem
According to some data sets, as many as 50,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year, and nearly 20% of these cases will be fatal. The goal of dentists around the country is to reduce these numbers.
Thus, April has been designated as National Oral Cancer Awareness Month. During this period, patients are especially encouraged to visit their dentists for preventive care, which typically includes an oral cancer screening.
What Does an Oral Cancer Screening Entail?
The screening usually includes a visual and physical examination. Here’s how each part is carried out.
Your dentist will start the examination by visually assessing your face, neck, lips, the inside of your nose and your oral cavity. He or she will be on the lookout for the typical warning signs of asymmetries, swellings, bumps, white or red patches and ulcerations.
Following the visual examination, you’ll then undergo a hands-on assessment. It involves your dentist probing your head and cheeks, around the jaw, under the chin and the inside of the mouth to feel for any unusual growths.
If there are any positive indicators, then a blood sample may be collected so further studies can be conducted.
How Early Detection Could Save Your Life
Recent data shows that with early detection and treatment, the average five-year survival rate is 75%. However, if the disease is allowed to more aggressively develop, the fatality rate increases substantially. This is why it’s of the utmost importance to visit your local dentist for six-month check-ups, examinations and oral cancer screenings.
The Other Advantages of Visiting Your Dentist
When you visit for preventive care, the oral cancer screening won’t be the only protective measure taken. The combination of having your teeth professionally cleaned and examined and a consultation with your dentist for oral health pointers, translates into less bacteria growth and greater protection from the development of oral cancer.
It all starts, though, with reaching out to your dentist to schedule a visit today!
About the Author
Dr. Filip Orban is a graduate of Loma Linda University. Although he is a seasoned professional, he still remains just as passionate about helping his patients enjoy excellent oral health as he was when he first entered the dental field. Dr. Orban provides comprehensive care, which includes oral cancer screenings, at Orban Family Dental, and he can be reached for more information through his website.