Knowing you are going to have an oral cancer screening can be nerve-racking since this screening is not part of a routine dental checkup. Many practices advise patients to simply get there early for filling out forms. But there are preparations you can make before your oral cancer screening. Here are the details.
Patients must be aware of what is happening inside their mouths. Lesions in the mouth should disappear in a couple of weeks. Growths like white patches, lumps, and ulcers must heal by themselves with some help from antibacterial mouthwash and daily vitamin supplements. A dental appointment must happen if any lesion persists for more than two weeks. The patient must not wait for pain to set in before getting an oral cancer screening.
Numbness, changes in bite, or pain can be reasons to see the dentist. The patient can experience them with difficulty speaking, chewing, or swallowing. Studies show that pain is not an indicator of cancer. A patient must not think that there is nothing wrong if there is no pain. Routine dental checks can help the patient get ahead of any oral problem. A good dentist can catch early signs of oral cancer.
Preparing for the oral cancer screening involves getting ready to share information with the dentist. Some practices conduct a video or phone consultation before the screening. The dentist will ask the patient some questions about lifestyle choices, medical history, and medication use. The questions aim to make the procedure effective.
Comprehensive visual examination
A traditional visual oral exam will be the first method of examination. The dentist will use a laryngeal mirror to check the larynx and hypopharynx. Then, the patient will need to sit straight with a protruding chin upward. After that, the patient needs to open the mouth as wide as possible with the tongue out. The dentist will then hold the tip of the patient’s tongue with a sterile gauze and pull it upward with a gentle motion. Preparing to concentrate on mouth breathing is important as the dentist does this.
Then, the dentist will warm a laryngeal mirror and insert it into the oropharynx. The dentist will use the back of the laryngeal mirror to elevate the patient’s soft palate. Spraying some anesthetic into the patient’s mouth will help control the gag reflex. The mirror will help check the base of the patient’s tongue.
Biopsy and additional testing
The patient must also prepare for additional tests. During the screening, the dentist might see a strange sore. This will prompt the need for more diagnostic exams to determine the origin of the sore. A biopsy will enable the dentist to get some samples of the sore. The dentist will use a cotton swab to collect the sample. Analysis of the sample will confirm if the cells from the sore are cancerous.
Preparing for your oral cancer screening involves anticipating the process
An oral cancer screening is a good way to check your oral health in a much deeper way. It is a more comprehensive way of looking at different structures of the mouth. Any strange growth or sore may need more tests to see if it is cancerous. A pre-oral cancer screening consultation with the dentist can help the procedure become more custom-fit and accurate.
Are you considering having an oral cancer screening in the Roswell area? Get more information at https://www.mariettaroswelldentist.com.
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