Patients of any age should consider getting an oral cancer screening. However, for the older population, some can be at an even higher risk of having oral cancer. As the number of patients with oral cancer increases, screenings become even more vital. Keep reading to learn more about this type of cancer screening.The goal of…
3 Tips to Prepare for Your Oral Cancer Screening
Oral cancer screening is done to check the entire oral cavity for cancerous or precancerous signs. The objective is to detect oral cancer at an early stage when there is a higher chance of successful treatment. The dentist will examine your oral cavity during a dental checkup and perform the oral cancer screening. Additional tests may be done to detect abnormal cells around the oral cavity.
3 Ways to prepare for an oral cancer screening
There is no need for special preparation for an oral cancer screening, as the screening is normally done at the dentist’s office during a regular dental visit. However, patients can prepare for the entire dental appointment in the following ways:
1. Floss and brush before the appointment
Before going to the dentist’s office, it is good to clean the teeth thoroughly. This cuts down on the amount of time the dentist will have to spend on dental cleaning. Tartar buildup and other anomalies are easier to detect and treat if there are less debris and food particles in the mouth. Preventive dentistry also includes maintaining good oral hygiene. Avoid eating something right before the appointment.
2. Plan to arrive on time
Dentists normally like it when patients arrive on time, so it is important to stick to the appointment schedule. Keep in mind that the dentist needs to attend to other patients. Furthermore, patients who get to the dentist’s office a few minutes early have less anxiety during the appointment.
3. Share any issue or concerns on time
Any problems that arise should be brought to the dentist’s attention during the visit. This also makes the process easier for the dentist. Following a diagnosis, the dentist will explore treatment options with you. And, when filling out the dental history questionnaire, be as truthful as possible. While certain problems can be embarrassing, it is also better to provide as many details as possible.
Most people are unaware that dental anxiety is a prevalent issue. Patients who have a habit of missing appointments due to phobias need to inform the dentist. When it comes to dealing with dental anxiety, a dentist has various resources at their disposal. They will provide ways to keep patients relaxed. Contact our dental office today to learn more about what to do in preparation for an oral cancer screening.
The bottom line
The dentist will schedule a follow-up exam in the coming weeks if they find any symptoms of oral cancer or precancerous lesions. They will verify whether the abnormality is still present and if there have been changes during this follow-up appointment.
It is also possible that a biopsy would be done. This involves taking a cell sample to be tested in the lab to see if it is cancerous. The biopsy can be done in the dental office, or the patient may be referred to another professional.
Oral cancer can be successfully treated if diagnosed in time.
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