Did you know that oral cancer is one of the hardest cancers to detect in early stages? This is why Dr. Gupta and her staff offer the Oral ID oral cancer screening for all her patients 18 and older. Your insurance might not cover this screening, but for a mere $40 per year, you can rest assured that you don’t have any suspicious areas in your mouth. How does it work? Oral ID is a device that uses a blue light to detect any abnormal areas in your mouth that can appear darker when using the blue fluorescent light. In the past, some oral cancer screening tests would require the patient to swish with a horrible tasting liquid for thirty seconds and then use a light to detect any abnormal areas. The Oral ID has simplified the oral cancer screening process by only needing to use the light, so it is very comfortable for patients and the clinician.
It is very important if you are a smoker, smokeless tobacco user, frequent alcohol user, or have a family history of oral cancer to get screened at least once a year in order to detect oral cancer at an early stage. If we detect any suspicious areas or precancerous cells, we will refer you to an oral surgeon for a biopsy. There are times when we detect dark areas, but this can also be from trauma such as cheek biting or ill-fitting dentures or partials. The dentist will inform you if she detects any abnormal areas and what could be causing them.
At your regular dental checkup every six months, we always do a visual oral cancer screening. This does not always detect any abnormal areas, because of the limitations in what we can see with our eyes only. This is why we highly recommend doing a Oral ID oral cancer screening at least once per year.