According to the American Cancer Society, it’s estimated over 48,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer and 9,500 people will die from it this year. That’s why it’s important to undergo oral cancer screenings as part of your routine dental checkups with Dr. Kovacevic.
The Importance of Early Detection
The key to beating oral cancer is identifying it at its early stage. The sooner you begin treatment, the more likely you are to overcome the effects of the disease. To protect your oral health, we include oral cancer screening as part of your routine dental checkups here at Del Kovacevic Cosmetic, Family, & Implant Dentistry every six months. You’ll be protecting yourself and ensuring your smile will remain healthy.
What Is Oral Cancer?
Oral cancer is found within your oral cavity, including the lips, tongue, throat, cheeks, and sinuses. This usually begins with an asymptomatic stage where the usual signs of cancer may not be noticeable. This makes oral cancer screenings important for your dentist to perform. Some common symptoms of oral cancer include:
- Persistent sore throat
- Unexplained bleeding in the mouth cavity
- Sores on the face, neck, or mouth that don’t heal
- Loss of sensation or pain in the face or mouth
- Lumps on the gums, lips, or mouth
How Is Oral Cancer Detected?
Dr. Kovacevic will start by feeling around your neck and jawbone to see if there are any unusual lumps. He’ll also inspect your mouth for any white spots, red lesions, and other signs of oral cancer. If there are any red flags, Dr. Kovacevic will take a sample and provide a more definitive diagnosis within six weeks. If it’s confirmed that you do have oral cancer, your dentist will discuss potential treatment options and recommend a specialist.
Treatment for oral cancer will depend on the diagnosis, spread, and severity of the issue. This can include excision, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. During your bi-annual check-ups, your dentist will look for any changes in your mouth.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need an oral cancer examination?
Dr. Kovacevic recommends getting an oral cancer exam once a year. Since every case is different, some patients may be more at risk. Early detection often leads to effective treatment, which is why you should get one done during one of your bi-annual visits. If any potentially dangerous symptoms are found, we can refer you to a specialist for treatment.
How much does an oral cancer screening cost?
The exact cost of your oral cancer screening depends on many factors, such as what tests your dentist deems necessary or your insurance policy. Dr. Kovacevic recommends you call your provider beforehand to get a greater understanding of your coverage. Contact our Greensburg, PA office at (724) 836-2433 so that one of our helpful staff members can help determine what benefits you’re entitled to.
How often should I undergo an oral cancer exam?
Our dental team recommends you get screened for oral cancer at least once a year. Depending on your habits and medical history, you may need to undergo an exam more often to ensure the health of your smile. Dr. Kovacevic will give you his own professional opinion on how often you should have an oral cancer screening.
What factors increase my risk of oral cancer?
Factors that can increase your risk of developing oral cancer include:
- Tobacco use of any kind such as cigarettes
- Excessive sun exposure around your lips
- Heavy and consistent alcohol use
During your biannual visit with Dr. Kovacevic, he’ll go over what risk factors can increase the likelihood of you developing oral cancer. With the guidance of our expert dentist, you can protect your teeth and keep your smile feeling healthy for years.
Visit Dr. Kovacevic for Oral Cancer Screenings
Protect your smile with oral cancer screenings. Undergoing an exam once every year can dramatically reduce the fatality of the disease. Let Dr. Kovacevic give you peace of mind when it comes to your smile. Schedule a consultation today by calling us at (724) 836-2433 or filling out an online contact form.