Oral Cancer Screening
Columbus, OH


Oral Cancer Screenings at Raptou Family Dental in Columbus, OHThe American Dental Association strongly recommends a person should visit the dentist at least twice a year. These routine dental visits are a good opportunity to check for signs of oral cancer in high-risk people.

At Raptou Family Dental, oral cancer screening involves checking for signs of cancerous or pre-cancerous conditions in your mouth. The objective is to identify the presence of oral cancer in its early stages so that treatment can be more effective. We may recommend you an oral cancer screening or some additional tests if we consider your risk factors warrant it.

What to Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening


You do not need to make any special preparation to get an oral cancer screening performed. Dr. Raptou can easily perform an oral cancer screening during your routine dental appointment.

The test is simple and does not take more than 5 minutes, typically. We will first look for visual signs of cancer and then move on to the physical exam.

Visual Exam


During the visual exam, we will ask you to take out any removable restoration device like retainers and dentures from your mouth. We will then shine a light into your mouth to look for unusual signs like lesions, sores, red or white patches, or bleeding sites.

Physical Exam


During the physical exam, we will use gloved hands to feel the tissues of your mouth, including the gums, inside of the cheeks, tongue, the palate, floor of the mouth, the back of the throat and your tonsils. We will also examine your throat, beneath the chin, the back of the jaw and the sides of the face for any unusual lumps.

Additional Tests


If needed, we may also use special tests to screen you for oral cancer. These include:
•  Using a screening dye: This involves rinsing your mouth with a special blue dye that makes the abnormal cells in your mouth appear blue.
•  Using a special light: This oral cancer screening light can make the unusual tissues in your mouth appear white and healthy tissues in your mouth appear dark.

If we discover some suspicious or unusual signs in your mouth, we may also recommend:
•  A follow-up visit: You may be called a few weeks later to check whether the abnormal area in your mouth is still present and whether it has changed or spread over time.
•  A biopsy: We will remove a small sample of cells from the abnormal area and send it to the dental lab to check for the presence of cancer cells.

Risk Factors for Oral Cancer


There is no exact cause of why oral cancer occurs in some people; however, there are numerous factors that play a contributing role in increasing the risk of developing oral cancer.

•  Men are twice as likely as women to get oral cancer, according to research.
•  People who are 50 years old and more and smoke and drink excessively are more at risk of developing oral cancer.
•  The STD human papillomavirus has also been associated with cancers at the back of the throat or the folds of the tonsils in non-smoking adults.

People who have HPV-related oral cancer have a low risk of recurrence or mortality rate. For the best treatment options and outcomes, early detection is important. Regular dental examinations, including a checkup of the entire head and neck region can be vital for detecting signs of cancer in high-risk people.

If you have been recommended an oral cancer screening, do not be alarmed. Just because we are scheduling an oral cancer screening, doesn’t mean you necessarily have oral cancer. This is more a preventive measure.

If you are at high-risk for oral cancer and would like to get an oral cancer screening done, call us today at (614) 427-0449 and schedule an appointment with us.

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