Specific to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) we have added in additional precautionary and cleaning measures including:
As state and national health and safety regulations change and evolve during these times, Surprise Smiles is dedicated to monitoring and evaluating our dental practice and office space for any potential risks as we serve our patients and community. We strive to maintain an approach to our dentistry services that is both safe and beneficial to everyone we serve.
We strive to provide a safe, healthy, comfortable, and relaxed environment for everyone that comes into our dental office. We follow the American Dental Association’s Update to Office Procedures During COVID-19 in regard to safe office procedures, workplace hazards, and making decisions for best office practices. We stay informed on recent information given to dentists in this regard, as well as keeping up to date with any changes recommended by the CDC.
Please let us know if you have any questions in regard to our health and safety protocols here at Surprise Smiles. We recognize that it can be challenging during these unprecedented times of COVID-19. We all want to get back to our normal lives, and we will be able to do so, in a safe, wise, and healthy manner. We will be happy to answer any questions that you may have in regard to our dental practice health and safety protocols, cleaning, and disinfecting procedures we follow.
Thank you for continuing to be a valued patient here at Bradshaw Family Dental. We look forward to continuing to serve you and your dental needs through the various services we provide for you, from preventive dentistry, restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, pediatric dentistry, sedation dentistry, dental implants and more!
Oral Cancer ScreeningProper dental health requires regular dental exams, cleaning, and oral cancer screening. Whether you are a high-risk or lower risk individual, you need routine oral screening; this can be once or twice a year, depending on the need. The screening entails looking for cancerous or precancerous conditions in your mouth early enough while there is still a chance for a cure. At Bradshaw Family Dental, our doctors, Dr. David Frauso and Dr. Cheryl Ligon, wants you to understand the importance of oral cancer screening for your overall health. Our team is ready to help with any oral cancer screening concerns you may have.
Why Do You Need an Oral Cancer Screening?
Oral cancer screening is vital in detecting precancerous lesions early before they advance to mouth cancer. The examination areas during screening include the cheek lining, gums, lips, tonsils, tongue, floor and roof of your mouth. Oral cancer is not as hard to diagnose, yet the fatality rates are high. The fatality is attributed to late detection when the cancer is at an advanced stage. At an early stage, cancer is easier to remove and likely to be cured. Most specialists agree on the benefits of oral cancer screening for early diagnosis and treatment.
Who Should Have an Oral Cancer Screening?
Generally, everyone should consider an oral cancer screening. However, high-risk individuals should take advantage of the screening. Factors that increase an individual’s risk of oral cancer include heavy alcohol use, tobacco use, history of significant exposure to the sun, and previous oral cancer diagnosis.
Research shows an increased number of individuals diagnosed with oral cancer in recent years, but the cause is unclear. Most of these cancers link to STIs like the human papillomavirus (HPV). If you are worried about your cancer risks, talk to our professionals about the remedies to reduce your risks and screening tests to consider for early detection.
What Should I Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening?
We may recommend a self-observation through the mirror monthly for any changes to your oral cavity. However, during your regular visits, we will do a dental exam to check for abnormalities. An oral cancer screening from our offices comprises a visual exam, palpation, screening dyes, and lights. The process only takes a few minutes, and our team may take photos to monitor them. During the visual exam, we will examine your mouth for sores and red and white patches. Our team will feel your mouth tissues to check for lumps and other abnormalities. Our team will use a mirror and light to examine the inside of your mouth. A tongue depressor will also come in handy in holding your tongue down while examining the back of your mouth. We will also ask you to stick your tongue out during this examination to expose parts of your throat that are challenging to see.
We will palpate your mouth for bumps and lumps around your neck, jaw, and face. This is so since cancer is usually painless in its early stages. If you have tender or sore areas, you should inform us for further examination.
In addition to the physical exam, Drs. David Frauso and Cheryl Ligon will also conduct additional tests using special dye and light. We will ask you to rinse your mouth with toluidine blue. If you have abnormal cells, they will retain the dye and appear blue. Another method we will use is fluorescent light. We will reflect the light off the abnormal tissues in the mouth, and the abnormal tissues will look different from the light reflected off normal tissue.
How Often Should You Have an Oral Cancer Screening?
Early detection of oral cancer increases a patient’s chance of successful treatment. It is no wonder we recommend regular screenings examining your entire mouth. An adult above age 20 should consider screening every three years, while those over 40 should have annual screenings.
Some individuals are at high risk of oral cancer and should undertake annual screening. These include people who smoke or consume a lot of alcohol, and patients with human papillomavirus (HPV).
What to Do After an Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening is a precautionary measure against oral cancer. This is especially if you are at high risk of developing cancer. On the other hand, if we find cancer symptoms, we will refer you for a cancer diagnosis.
An oral screening will give signs of cancer, but more testing is necessary for an official diagnosis. Our specialists will share their findings with you and recommend further consultation to confirm the presence of cancer. Some of the tests you will undertake include cytology and biopsy. The cytology test collects cells from your mouth with a brush or swab. A pathologist then observes these cells under a microscope for any abnormalities. During a biopsy, our team will remove a portion of the abnormal tissue for analysis by the pathologist. We will follow up on your appointment by recommending a follow-up visit in a week to check the healing of the lesions.
If the above cancer tests confirm oral cancer, you will require more tests to check their stage for proper treatment planning. These tests include scans to check if cancer has spread to the tissues such as the skin, jaw, and lymph nodes. Fortunately, it is rare for oral cancer to spread beyond this, but a precautionary scan is necessary for the rest of your body. Precautionary scans include an MRI scan, CT scan, ultrasound scan, and PET scan.
Schedule an Appointment with Us Today
Most symptoms of oral cancer can occur due to noncancerous health conditions. Hence, consider regular tests and dental care if you are a high-risk individual. A routine evaluation will detect cancer for early treatment, saving your life. An oral cancer screening is also an opportunity to discuss your fears and concerns about mouth cancer. Reach out to Bradshaw Family Dental today by calling (928) 277-0076 and schedule your oral cancer screening appointment.
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