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Thousands are diagnosed with oral cancer every year, and diagnosis statistics continue to rise. As with any form of cancer, the earliest detection is going to contribute to the best outcome. Sometimes detection can be tricky, which makes innovations to allow detection of cancer even more valuable in the medical field.
A quality dental examination will include a visual screening by the dentist for signs of oral cancer. This is at the forefront of care offered by Dr. Silvano Senn and the staff of Whole Health Dentistry. Early detection is key to the most positive outcomes, and overall patient health is of the utmost concern to us. Even with thorough visual examination, some oral cancers may not be visible to the naked eye. For enhanced detection, we offer screening with VELscope, an FDA-approved device for early oral cancer detection. In fact, our practice is one of a limited number of dental practices that offer such advanced screening for detection of oral cancer. VELscope does not provide diagnosis of oral cancer, but will assist the provider in determining where further investigation may be necessary. This process works with fluorescence to detect abnormal tissues that may be present, giving the dentist an indication that further examination is required. A blue light is used in the mouth to excite tissues, giving them a certain fluorescent green appearance. Abnormal tissues will respond, looking darker and appearing more visible against the healthy areas. This simple and painless process can put the patient’s mind at ease and catch cancer in its earliest stages to allow for effective treatment.