Oral Cancer Screening

Santa Clarita Advanced Dentistry

General, Cosmetic and Family Dentists located in Santa Clarita Valley, Valencia, CA

The American Cancer Society estimates that nearly 50,000 people are diagnosed with oral cancer each year, making oral cancer screening critically important for maintaining your health and wellness. Santa Clarita Advanced Dentistry is dedicated to helping patients in Valencia, California, and throughout the Santa Clarita Valley stay as healthy as possible. Santa Clarita Advanced Dentistry offers oral cancer screenings using state-of-the-art, award-winning VELscope® Vx technology for more accurate detection, even in early-stage cancers, so you can have greater peace of mind. To schedule your screening, call the office or book an appointment online.

Oral Cancer Screening

What is an oral cancer screening?

Oral cancer screening is an examination of the tissues in your mouth, your lips, and your head and neck to look for signs of swelling, abnormal areas of tissue, changes in your jaw function, or other issues that could be an indication of cancer. Santa Clarita Advanced Dentistry offers oral cancer screenings during your routine dental visits to make it convenient to stay as healthy as possible. The screening takes just a few minutes using traditional techniques combined with the state-of-the-art VELscope Vx blue light system.

What happens if my dentist finds abnormal tissue in my mouth?

If an area of tissue looks suspicious, in most cases your dentist takes a small sample of cells for further evaluation under a microscope. Depending on the location of the tissue and other factors, the dentist may remove the sample using a small brush to scrape away surface cells or may carefully excise a small area of tissue using a local anesthetic to numb the area first.

What is the VELscope Vx?

The VELscope Vx is an award-winning oral cancer detection device. Recognized by the World Health Organization, the VELscope Vx uses special light technology to highlight abnormal areas of tissue inside your mouth, making it easier for your dentist to evaluate them. Your dentist uses the handheld device in addition to traditional intraoral and head and neck exams, especially in areas that are otherwise difficult to assess or visualize.

What are oral cancer signs or symptoms?

Oral cancer causes different symptoms, many of which are difficult to detect on your own. The most common symptoms include:

  • Blotchy, discolored patches on the soft tissues of your mouth
  • Rough-textured spots or lumps inside your mouth or on your lips
  • Mouth sores that resist healing
  • Chronic sore throat or hoarse voice
  • Unexplained numbness or bleeding inside your mouth or on your face or neck
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Changes in how your teeth meet when you close your mouth
  • Changes in the way your dentures fit

How often should I be screened for oral cancer?

In most cases, you should have an oral cancer screening with each dental cleaning and checkup. Regular oral cancer screenings help ensure cancer is caught in its earliest stages when it’s most treatable. Santa Clarita Advanced Dentistry offers free oral cancer screenings to make it easy and affordable to stay healthy.