Part of your examination is a screening of tissue for any signs of changes. This is the most important tool to notice and react to any cancers of the head and neck as early as possible and with visual inspection of the head and neck and inside the mouth this covers more than simply “mouth cancer”. The outcome of management is directly linked to how early it is managed and as such we are ideally positioned to screen for this.
Everyone should have a mouth cancer screening every year, as recommended by the World Health Organisation. This means infrequent attendance for examination may mean missing potentially serious problems.
By seeing clients twice yearly for examinations we can notice any suspicious changes at an early stage and refer appropriately for further investigation and management.
At Integrated Dentalcare we pride ourselves on an extremely thorough examination process which is carried out with visual inspection of hard and soft tissues, feeling of these tissues, appropriate xrays if indicated, thorough verbal history and often photography to monitor. You can be certain that we are not doing “a quick check” but a thorough, in-depth examination of all appropriate tissues at every examination.
Should the practice refer you for further opinion please do not worry. If something is spotted and we cannot identify it we often take the precaution to refer for specialist investigation and opinion, this does not mean it is automatically a cancer. Once the specialist has examined you and carried out any necessary investigation they will either speak to you directly or return a report to us to advise of their findings before any further steps are taken.
Please never feel this way, it is so important that we can be there to assess and refer or reassure as appropriate. If you can take a good quality photo and forward it to us this can be one way we can pre-assess to see if we would want you to come in to the clinic for a physical examination.
Yes, if you minimise risk factors as much as possible. One of the largest recognised risk factors is smoking, and seeking assistance to quit helps reduce risk. Dentists often notice skin cancers also, and being wary of overexposure to the sun or tanning beds without adequate protection is important.
Yes, if you see anything unusual in your mouth that you have not noticed before or you notice something changing it may be appropriate to express these concerns to us and you may schedule an appointment outwith your usual examination. Self inspection of your mouth on a regular basis can help ensure you are familiar with your normal.