You may brush the recommended twice per day, you may floss once a day, but in the unfortunate case of oral cancer, these habits won’t get you very far. Oral cancer can be lethal. About 30,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer in the United States this year. Nearly a third will die within five years. A professional dental checkup every six months can ensure that the cancer will be caught in its early stage, when treatment is most effective. Early detection allows early treatment, which improves survival statistics dramatically.
Good oral homecare, including regular brushing and flossing, is vital to good oral hygiene. However, if you brush and floss diligently, don’t disregard checkups with a dentist. Checkups are for more than finding cavities.
During your routine visit to our Syosset dental office, Dr. Kobak and our team will perform an oral cancer screening. The screening procedure is fast and easy. We will inspect your gums and the inside of your mouth: tongue, cheeks, lips, and all soft tissues. On a six month schedule of screenings, cancer won’t have much time to go unnoticed.
For patients over 40 years of age, and those who use tobacco, Dr. Kobak recommends an enhanced screening with our ViziLite early detection system. ViziLite is a handheld light source that reveals suspicious lesions below the skin surface — in the earliest detectible stage. According to research, early detection and treatment significantly improve treatment success. The ViziLite test has a small fee and is completely optional.
Keeping a clean mouth and avoiding tobacco and alcohol aren’t a guarantee against developing oral cancer. Each year, people with great teeth, no gum disease, and no risk factors develop the condition. Oral cancer is not an entirely predictable illness, so even though you may already have a beautiful smile, regular checkups are important.