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Oral Cancer Exam in Houston, TX

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what is an Oral Cancer Exam?

Thanks to advanced technology and more thorough screenings, oral cancer can be detected more accurately and earlier than ever before. At Cosmetic Dental Associates in Houston, TX, the highly experienced dentists conduct oral cancer screenings during yearly dental exams. Utilizing advanced dental technology like the VELscope, the dentists can use the handheld device to view any abnormal cells that have developed. The device is great for early detection since the dentists can see the troublesome cells before they even develop into cancer. With early detection, patients have a much better prognosis and can lead a longer, healthier life.

what are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

While the symptoms of oral cancer can vary from patient to patient, the most common symptoms include:

  • Lumps or bumps, swollen areas, crusty areas, rough spots, or eroded areas inside of the mouth, on the gums, or on the lips
  • Red or white patches in the mouth
  • Numbness, pain, tenderness, and/or loss of feeling without explanation anywhere in the mouth, on the face, or the neck
  • Bleeding in the mouth without explanation
  • Sores that develop in the mouth, on the face, or neck that easily bleed and don’t heal within a 2-week period
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, moving the jaw or tongue, or speaking

This is not an exhaustive list and a patient should seek medical attention as soon as possible if he or she or exhibiting any of these symptoms or any other unexplained symptoms.

how is an oral cancer exam performed?

During a comprehensive annual dental exam, the dentist will assess the health of the entire mouth, including the gums, teeth, jaw, and bones. If there are any sores, lumps, or bumps in the mouth, on the lips, face, neck, or head, the doctor can visually look at and touch them to see if they are irregular, in addition to taking X-rays. With the handheld VELscope, the dentist will use the special scope to check for abnormal tissue. The fluorescent light is sensitive to abnormal cells and will fluoresce in a unique pattern when abnormal cells are detected. The procedure is simple and doesn’t require special dye and can be performed in around 2 minutes or less.

how much does an oral cancer exam cost?

An oral cancer exam is typically included in the cost of the dental exam, and on its own, it can cost between $15 and $35. Since the dental exam and the oral cancer screening are considered preventative care, insurance normally covers the cost. To confirm coverage, contact your insurance carrier prior to the exam.

Detect and treat oral cancer early

While many patients worry about the cosmetic appearance of their mouth, they might overlook the fact that oral cancer is prevalent and can be deadly without proper detection and treatment. At our dental practice, we take oral cancer very seriously and include a screening during the yearly dental exam. If you are worried about unexplained oral symptoms at any time, please do not hesitate to contact our office for an oral cancer screening.

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*Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary from person to person. Images may contain models.