Oral Cancer Screening
Your health is a major component of your day to day functioning, and enjoyment of activities. Oral health is an area that should not be overlooked, as it contributes to all facets of your healthcare and wellbeing. Our approachable and educated practitioners at Singing River Dentistry encourage you to participate in a screening for oral cancers. The earlier these conditions are diagnosed, the sooner they can be treated, increasing the chances of remission. The oral cancer screening exam is an assessment completed by our knowledgeable staff. The exam looks for signs of cancer, and pre-cancerous conditions and we include you in this care every step of the way.
There are several risk factors we take into consideration when completing an oral cancer screen. These will be discussed during your health history interview. While this process can be emotionally charged, we encourage you to be honest with us. Genetics plays a large role, in the development of oral cancer. Age, gender and race will also play a role. The Oral Cancer Foundation reports finding oral cancers developing at younger ages, a higher instance of oral cancer in men, and in a larger percentage of African American clients*. Use of tobacco and alcohol products can also increase your risk of oral cancer.
Physical Exam and Follow Up
Our practitioners will complete a physical assessment, following a medical history interview. The interview will cover topics such as lifestyle, nutritional habits, family history, prior diagnosis of dental concerns, risk factors and current medications and allergies. We will also be discussing current medical diagnoses. Upon completion of the interview, we will begin the physical assessment. This exam will explore the lips, tongue, oral cavity and nose. During this time, we will be noticing and assessing any asymmetry, discoloration and sores. We will also be examining the cheeks, jaw, chin and neck. Any immobility, unusual or new nodules and ulcerations will be completely and thoroughly examined to ensure your best health.
If, during any part of the physical exam we feel that an area is that of concern, we will communicate this with you. We pride ourselves on being thorough, and keeping our patients at the center of our care. If any biopsies or blood tests are required to be completed, you may be asked to sign a consent to complete the procedure. When we have acquired the results of the tests we will work with you to formulate a treatment plan. If no further testing is required, we will recommend any necessary lifestyle changes and provide you with relevant and pertinent education.
The thought of an oral cancer screening can be overwhelming. During your time with us at Singing River Dentistry, we want you to feel supported and educated, and thank you for trusting us with your oral health. Our goal is to make a diagnosis early, and start treatment as quickly as possible. If you have questions or concerns relating to oral health and oral cancer screening, we are here to help. Our office can be reached at 256-712-3549. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our team.