One person every hour of every day dies of oral cancer in America. It has become the sixth leading cancer among men and is one of the few cancers in which the incidence rate is increasing among young adults. Most people are not aware of the potential risks; however, when detected early enough, the survival rate for oral cancer is very high.
At one time oral cancer was predominantly seen among smokers however, increasingly, oral cancer is being seen in patients of all ages. Although smoking is still a leading factor, many other criteria such as age, family history, ethnicity and alcoholic consumption also play a role. Many experts have surmised that an increasing cause is exposure to the HPV virus, which is the primary precursor of cervical cancer. These various factors all point towards the need for better technology to assist in the early detection of this curable disease.
The doctors at Chapman Mills Dental perform regular visual oral cancer screening for all of their patients, but have recently incorporated a breakthrough technology that allows them to see things they’ve been unable to see previously. By detecting potential problems earlier, they’ll be providing their patients with the most current oral health care currently available.
This new and exciting technology, called VELscope™, utilizes a narrow band of safe, high-energy blue light and specialized filtering technology to help thoroughly evaluate the oral tissue for abnormal areas of concern, such as potentially cancerous lesions that may not be evident under normal white light.
As we care about your health as well as your teeth, we are now offering this to all patients during their annual oral examination. We believe that this new technology will assist us in detecting disease at earlier stages and therefore catch abnormalities before they turn into cancer.
Your dental insurance may or may not cover the fee for this service. Coverage for this procedure (like most dental procedures) usually varies among insurance companies; however, the modest annual fee is well worth the benefit that this new technology provides.