How Often Are Oral Cancer Screenings Necessary?

How Often Are Oral Cancer Screenings Necessary?

February 1, 2022

Oral cancer early detection enhances your odds of receiving successful treatment. You may think oral cancer screenings are a hassle because you must schedule separate appointments with oncologists specialists in cancer treatment. However, are you aware you receive oral cancer screenings from your dentist in Aurora, ON if you are diligent with your dentist appointments for cleanings and exams? Screening for oral cancer doesn’t require much time, and the dentist completes the screening within five minutes. Therefore if you don’t avoid dental visits, rest assured you receive oral cancer screenings every six months.

The recommendation for oral cancer screenings for adults over 20 is one screening every three years. People over 40 must have annual screenings. However, people with risk factors like adults using tobacco, consuming excessive alcohol, have a family history of cancer or the human papillomavirus must request annual oral cancer screenings or at least maintain visits to their dental professional who performs the screening.

What Does Oral Cancer Screening Involve?

Oral cancer screening in Aurora, ON, begins with a clinical exam of your mouth and throat. First, the dentist uses a light and tongue depressor to look for abnormalities like bumps, patches of colour, ulcerations, and swelling. Next, all areas of your mouth are examined by the dentist near you, including the mouth roof, tonsils, inner cheeks, gums, and tongue. In addition, the professional palpates the jaw, neck, under the chin, and your cheeks feeling for any uncommon masses or tense nodules.

You don’t have to fear oral cancer screening tests as they are part of your routine dental visit and performed by the dentist as a preventive measure to detect signs of abnormalities that might indicate the presence of oral cancer in your mouth. Most dentists screen for oral cancer during your routine visits confirming that you don’t have to schedule separate appointments with cancer specialists to undergo oral cancer screening tests.

The tests aim to identify mouth cancer early when the chances of achieving successful outcomes for treatments are higher. Unfortunately, medical organizations do not agree that healthy people without risk factors of mouth cancer benefit from oral cancer screening. In addition, the screening tests and exams haven’t proven to reduce the risk of fatalities from oral cancer. However, you have the discretion to discuss these tests with your dentist to determine whether an oral exam is sufficient or you need a particular test based on your risk factors.

What Happens If the Dentist Observes Abnormalities in Your Mouth?

If the dentist notices in your mouth, they will use a special dye or light to evaluate the area for oral cancer further. The most standard tests include using lasers reflecting abnormal tissues differently than normal tissue. Dentists spread toluidine blue dye over the suspicious abnormal area, turning blue if the abnormal tissue is detected. The dentist may ask you to ensure mouth with acetic acid solution and after that use a special light to examine the suspicious area.

The Aurora dentist recommends adults perform monthly self-exams for oral cancer and report changes if any white patches, lumps, or sores to them. Unfortunately, studies haven’t proven that oral cancer screenings can save lives making many organizations disagree about the benefits of these tests claiming sufficient evidence isn’t available to make these recommendations. Unfortunately, over the last several years, an increasing number of people have been diagnosed with mouth and throat cancers making it essential for you not to ignore the commendations of experts and receive these screenings once every year or three years, depending on your age.

Besides the risk factors mentioned earlier, you may also be at risk of oral cancer if you have a history of significant exposure to sunlight that can increase your chances of developing lip cancer.

Should You or Shouldn’t You Undergo Oral Cancer Screening?

If you receive the oral cancer screening as an additional exam during your routine visits to your dentist near you, there is no reason why you should concern yourself on whether you should or shouldn’t undergo the screening. The tests require no preparation and are completed within the time provided for your dental appointment. In reality, if you are diligent with your dental appointments, you never have to worry about how often you should have these screenings because your dentist in Aurora, ON ensures everything is fine with your mouth and oral cavity by completing the screening during your routine visit.

Do not worry about getting oral cancer screenings separately. Instead, schedule an appointment with Aurora Dentistry for routine exams and cleanings and get the concern of oral cancer away from your mind after you visit the dental facility.