As part of your regular dental check-up, our New Braunfels, Texas dentist not only checks your teeth, but also looks for signs of oral cancer. Your lips, gum tissue, tongue, cheeks, the roof, and floor of your mouth will all be examined. Suspicious areas include any red or white patches, a sore that bleeds easily or won’t heal, a thick or hard lump, or a rough or crusted area.
If our dentist suspects that you have oral cancer, you can expect the following to take place:
A biopsy is a small sample of tissue that’s taken from a suspicious lesion. A biopsy can be performed quickly and painlessly by your dentist. First, we administer some local anesthesia to the area and once it’s numb we remove a small sample for further study.
In some cases, a small brush biopsy can be completed without any anesthetic at all.
We send your biopsy to a laboratory, where a pathologist will examine it under a microscope to determine if it’s cancerous.
What If It’s Cancer?
If the results come back saying that the lesion is cancerous, then we’ll likely refer you to an oral surgeon for more in-depth care. The oral surgeon may enlist the help of an oncologist (cancer doctor) to determine the best course of treatment for you. It’s possible that the lesion can be removed leaving you cancer-free, but sometimes further cancer treatments like radiation and chemotherapy will be needed.
Visiting The Dentist Regularly Helps With Early Diagnosis of Oral Cancer
Acquiring oral cancer can happen to anyone. Your best line of defense is to find and get it treated early. By visiting our New Braunfels dentist every six months, we can do just that.
If it’s been a while since you’ve visited the dentist, call Sapphire Creek Dental in New Braunfels, TX today to schedule an appointment.