Early detection of oral cancer is key to improving your chances of successful treatment. At Family Dentistry of Windsor, PC, we provide oral cancer screening as part of our preventive dentistry services. Dr. Stephen Lipman uses advanced ViziLite® Plus technology to perform screenings. In addition, if Dr. Lipman identifies a potential concern, he can use our Waterlase iPlus to collect a tissue sample for a biopsy. Our team in Windsor, CT, is dedicated to protecting your oral and overall health and we believe that screening for oral cancer is a crucial part of that goal.
Risk Factors for Oral Cancer
A number of factors can increase your chance of developing oral cancer. Some common risks for this condition include:
- Regular tobacco use
- Excessive alcohol consumption
- Exposure to human papillomavirus (HPV)
- A history of sun exposure on your lips
- Previous oral cancer diagnoses
Men over the age of 40 are also more likely to develop oral cancer. Dr. Lipman can review your medical history during an appointment at our office and determine if you are at a high risk for oral cancer. If you have certain risk factors, we may recommend more frequent screenings.
Potential Warning Signs
Without proper training, the early symptoms of oral cancer are difficult to detect. The first sign of oral cancer is often a white or red patch on the gums, lips, tongue, or in another area of soft tissue. More advanced signs may include:
- Chronic hoarseness
- A constant sore throat
- Numbness of the tongue or other areas
- Chronic sores or ulcers
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swelling of certain soft tissues
Some of these symptoms are harmless or indicative of a different condition. During the screening, Dr. Lipman can investigate any areas of concern you have and determine the cause of your symptoms.
What to Expect during Your Screening
The first step of your oral cancer screening is a visual examination. Dr. Lipman will inspect the inside of your cheeks and lips, as well as your gums and tongue, for sores, lesions, or other potential warning signs. He will also feel the tissues to check for lumps or abnormalities.
The ViziLite Plus is an advanced screening device and Dr. Lipman can also conduct an oral DNA salivary test. These exams are quick, simple, and inexpensive.
In addition to the visual exam, we use two state-of-the-art tests during the screening. The ViziLite Plus is an advanced device which allows Dr. Lipman to detect signs of cancer which are invisible to the naked eye. We can also conduct an oral DNA salivary test to determine if you are at an increased risk for certain types of cancer. These exams are quick, simple, and inexpensive.
The ViziLite Plus is a non-invasive screening device which can catch even the earliest signs of abnormalities.
If Dr. Lipman identifies a potential concern, we may recommend scheduling a follow-up visit in a few weeks or perform a biopsy to test for cancer cells. Our biopsies are performed using the Waterlase iPlus, a device which uses concentrated light pulses to remove tissue quickly and painlessly.
Protect Your Oral Health
At Family Dentistry of Windsor, we place a strong emphasis on preventive dentistry treatments, which is why we offer oral cancer screenings. Identifying concerns early on can improve your prognosis and protect both your oral and overall health. For more information about oral cancer screenings or the other preventive services we offer, contact our team online or call (860) 688-4634 today.