We conduct an oral health examination during every patient’s annual hygiene check-up to screen for various oral diseases, including oral cancer.
- Now we can do an even better job of this, because our practice has recently invested in a wonderful new screening device called the VELscope.
- This device helps us to screen for a wide variety of things, including inflammation, infections, and even cancerous and precancerous tissue.
- There is a slight charge for the VELscope screening—but it’s possible that your insurance company will cover the cost. Even if it isn’t covered by your insurance, however, we strongly recommend that you have this screening.
If we do discover something, you should know that it very likely is not oral cancer. It could simply be some trauma that results from some other irritation, such as if you chew the inside of your cheek or if you recently ate some really hot food.
However, if what we see does cause us some concern, we will generally ask you to come back in a few weeks so we can re-evaluate the tissue. If it hasn’t improved, we’ll probably arrange for a biopsy and have it evaluated by an oral pathologist. If the evaluation indicates that what you have is cancerous or precancerous, we would then refer you to specialists who will be able to provide the necessary management and care.
VELscope, similar to other early detection procedures like colonoscopy, mammography, PAP smear and PSA exam.
The VELscope exam is a painless, non invasive procedure that simply consists of shining a blue light into your mouth. The images are viewed through the back of the VELscope handpiece and one of our hygienists or periodontists may find tissue abnormalities at an earlier stage. Before the exam, the room is darkened and much like “desert storm night vision technology” the clinicians here can see changes in tissue that may not be visible to the eye. These detected changes can range from something minor to something of greater concern that may require further examination and follow up.
- only takes about 5 minutes.
- completely free of pain or discomfort