You know that it is important to see your dentist in Palm Beach Gardens twice a year to maintain a healthy smile. In addition to brushing and flossing, a regular cleaning and checkup will help to keep your teeth and gums healthy, but did you know that there is another reason for these appointments? Semi-annual visits are the perfect time to have an oral cancer screening. Although you may not feel that it is necessary, it is estimated that more than 51,000 Americans will be diagnosed with it this year.
Your Risk for Oral Cancer
Oral cancer is composed of several different types that affect the head and neck; however, brain cancer is in a separate category. Although oral cancer screenings are widely available, few people know that they can get them from their dentist. This often leads to late detection, which significantly impacts the long-term survival rate.
It is estimated that a little over 40% of those with oral cancer will survive longer than 5 years. In fact, about one person every hour dies from it. This is due to late detection. Often, the cancer is not found until it has spread to other areas of the body.
Early detection is critical to finding cancer while it is still treatable. It is estimated that 80% of new oral cancer cases can be found early by a dentist through regular screenings. When found in the early stages, the rate of survival increases by as much as 80 to 90%.
Benefit from an Oral Cancer Screening
Now, when you visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup, you can also have an oral cancer screening performed at the same time. This is a simple examination that checks the inside of your mouth, cheeks, throat, and neck for signs of cancer. If any unusual areas are detected, a biopsy will be sent to the lab for testing.
While it is best to have a screening at each appointment, if an area of concern develops soon, such as sores in the mouth that will not heal, numbness, or lumps, you can schedule an appointment to have it checked.
Benefit from Early Detection
With oral cancer on the rise due to HPV, smoking, and other factors, do not forget to schedule your screening twice a year with your dentist. With early detection, treatment can begin quickly to help stop the spread of cancerous cells.
About Dr. Nirav Patel
Dr. Nirav Patel strives to help his patients achieve overall wellness through a healthy smile. With the health of your teeth and gums directly influencing your general health, he maintains a focus on prevention to stop dental issues early. In addition to cleanings and checkups, he also provides oral cancer screenings at each preventive appointment. He will help to detect potentially cancerous or precancerous cells early for quick intervention. If it has been more than 6 months since your last screening, do not wait. Contact Smile Solutions Dentistry today to schedule your appointment.