Oral Cancer Screening
You may not think 'dentist' when you hear the words `cancer screening,' but part of every dental check up involves looking for early signs of oral cancer. During your dental hygiene exam, our doctors and hygienists perform routine oral cancer screenings by inspecting a patient's tongue, floor and roof of the mouth. If these preliminary screenings warrant additional investigation, our doctors or hygienists may suggest a brush biopsy or chemiluminescence.
Brush biopsy. The dentist uses a small brush to take a tissue specimen, which is then sent to a laboratory for analysis to determine the presence of pre-cancerous or cancerous cells. Results may help determine the need for a surgical biopsy or other follow-up.
Chemiluminescence. A liquid similar to diluted vinegar is applied to the area to be screened. Under a special light source, pre-cancerous or cancerous cells may glow, indicating the need for other follow up. Chemiluminescence is not widely available due to significant equipment costs, but the McCarl Dental Group is proud to be able to provide this technology to our patients.