According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, more than 48,000 people in the United States are told they have oral or pharyngeal cancer each year. Of those, just over half will survive more than five years beyond their diagnosis. Sadly, oral cancer causes over 9,500 deaths every year—that’s about one death every hour of every day. At Connolly Family Dentistry, we take those numbers very seriously. That’s why your dentist in Sewell, NJ, makes an oral cancer screening an important part of each and every dental exam. Read on to find out how we conduct those screenings.
Oral Cancer Screening in Sewell, NJ
Having an oral cancer screening is quick, simple and completely pain-free. And considering that your dentist can find approximately 84 percent of oral cancers early, the five minutes we spend on a screening is well worthwhile.
During an oral cancer screening, we are looking for lumps or tissue abnormalities; red, white or gray patches that may be smooth or scaly; and areas of tenderness and numbness.
What You can Expect from a Screening
At Connolly Family Dentistry, your dentist and hygienist will take the following steps to thoroughly examine your oral cavity, throat and neck for signs of oral cancer.
- Visually and physically examine the inside of your cheeks and gums
- Visually inspect the roof of your mouth (palate) and the floor of your mouth under your tongue
- Palpate the lymph nodes in your neck and jaw
- Visually examine and feel the inside and outside of your lips, your jaw joints (TMJ) and around your ears
- Visually check your face for any asymmetries or swelling
- Pull out your tongue with a piece of gauze in order to clearly see the back, sides, bottom and top
- Have you stick out your tongue and say, “ahhh,” in order to visually examine your throat
- Discuss your smoking or drinking habits, as well as any regular medications you take that may affect the condition of your mouth and throat
Oral Cancer Screening with Vizilite®
In addition to a visual and physical examination for oral cancer, the dentists at Connolly Aesthetic Dentistry also use Vizilite. This detection system uses a special light to detect abnormal tissue. With Vizilite, healthy oral tissue appears dark while possibly cancerous or pre-cancerous areas are white.
Call Your Dentist in Sewell, NJ, Today
To schedule a dental exam and oral cancer screening, please contact our conveniently located Sewell, NJ, dental practice.