Twice a year cleanings are more important now than ever because not only do we check the health of you gums and conditions of your teeth, we also screen for oral cancer by looking at your entire oral cavity for any signs of abnormal tissues. Cancer, when found at an early stage, is easier to treat, and here at CDA, we care about the overall health of our patients by providing visual exams at every cleaning. The areas we routinely screen are lips, tongue, hard and soft palate, floor of the mouth, tonsils, and the inside of the cheek. We also check the head and neck areas for any irregularities.
For high risk patients, such as smokers and alcohol drinkers, we offer a fluorescence exam using a handheld device called Velscope. Velscope emits a safe blue light that stimulates all the way to the basement membrane of the oral cavity tissue, where the first sign of tissue changes occur. The fluorescence light turns healthy tissues bright green while suspicious tissue appear dark due to their inability to absorb the light.
Combined with visual exams, Velscope is a safe and effective instrument that can detect pre-cancerous tissues before they show signs and symptoms of cancer and can make a difference between one that’s easily treated and one that requires extensive treatment.