Oral Cancer (oral, throat, and pharyngeal cancer) is one of the few cancers still on the rise. This is due to several factors including lack of public awareness and understanding as well as late detection. Once you have a lump, bump, or lesion visible in your mouth, the cancer is at a later stage and the morbidity and mortality of the situation drastically increases. As with all cancers, early detection is the key. Dr. Estep does a visual oral cancer screening at every check-up — and she has for every patient she’s ever seen in her career. Still, a visual screening will only detect oral cancer once it has grown too big.
At Intown Smile Studio, our Oral Cancer Screening Technology requires no unpleasant swishing or rinsing. New technology has emerged that allows us to screen comfortably. Oral cancer technology has greatly improved in the last several years, and now early detection devices are available to dentists. These devices allow the dental team to see early changes at the cellular level, increasing the chance for detection in the early cancer stages. Of course, this allows for early treatment and a drastic reduction in morbidity and mortality. Dr. Estep recommends this special screening at least once per year for every patient.
Why every patient?
Most people still think that oral cancer is a cancer for smokers and tobacco users. While this is one high-risk population, we now better understand the risks and causes of oral cancer. One major cause for oral cancer is HPV (human papilloma virus — the same one that causes cervical cancer). Most adults have been exposed to HPV, and scientists are trying to find out how HPV infection invades the mouth and throat. In the meantime, it is important for all adults (even non-smokers) to have oral cancer screenings at least once per year.
Are you ready to get started? If you’ve never seen Dr. Estep and you’re due for a checkup and cleaning, we encourage you to start with scheduling a “New Patient Checkup Exam and Cleaning.” As part of your checkup exam, Dr. Estep will do a thorough evaluation of your teeth and mouth and discuss with you the health of your teeth and any need for potential bridge or restorative treatment. This appointment will take about 2 hours and will include a cleaning.
Another option is to start with a Limited Evaluation appointment with Dr. Estep using our interactive calendar. Just follow the steps to get your appointment scheduled. Please allow 1 hour for the appointment.