Oral cancer is a serious threat, responsible for killing one person every hour, 24 hours per day. Nearly 50,000 people are diagnosed each year with oral cancer in the United States, and the statistics are grim—within five years, a little over half of those people will be alive. One of the reasons that oral cancer is so deadly is because it often goes undiagnosed for longer than other types of cancers, which is why Dental Excellence uses the Velscope.
Over 120 serious medical conditions show symptoms in the mouth, which is why a thorough oral exam is such a crucial component of your overall healthcare regimen. Oral cancer is no different. During your routine exam, we have always made it our policy to carefully examine your cheeks, lips, tongue, and palate for abnormal tissue. However, older methods of examining the oral tissues were often invasive or uncomfortable.
The Velscope offers our dentists near Blue Springs and Lee's Summit the opportunity to closely inspect tissues without causing discomfort. It uses fluorescence and high-powered cameras to expose oral tissue abnormalities and lesions that aren’t visible to the naked eye. The Velscope emits a blue light at a special frequency that is absorbed by the healthy soft tissues of the mouth. When tissue is healthy, the tissue reflects a green color, and if it is unhealthy, it will be dark and extremely visible.
If our dentists spot trouble areas, further testing can be ordered of those specific areas. This simple technique is fast, effective, and much more comfortable for the patient.
Since the Velscope can be used in conjunction with digital photography, it becomes incredibly easy for dentists to document warning signs, disease progression, and treatment. Dentists can even use Velscope to see whether or not the diseased tissue has been completely removed, so that further action can be taken if necessary.
The Velscope is incredibly effective at detecting lesions, white patches, red patches, and precancerous and cancerous tissues.
The Velscope is FDA-approved as a safe device to use in modern dentistry.
The Velscope has been shown to detect oral cancer in its earliest stages, which significantly improves survival rates. In fact, when detected early, oral cancer patients enjoy an 80%-85% five-year survival rate.
You shouldn’t worry about your upcoming Velscope exam. The entire process only takes a few minutes and is completely pain-free. After the dentist conducts a visual examination of your teeth, gums, neck, lips, and cheeks in natural light, we will give you a special pair of glasses to protect your eyes from the blue light of the Velscope.
After the lights are dimmed to magnify the results of the Velscope exam, the Velscope will be moved around your mouth to highlight different areas of the oral cavity. If the dentist spots lesions or other problems, the areas will be photographed for future reference, and then the dentist will take note of where the problems are. A small biopsy of the tissue may be collected and sent to pathology. From there, your dentist and family doctor will decide how to proceed. The entire exam only takes about two or three minutes, but it could save your life.
If you want to enjoy the benefits of this incredible technology, make an appointment with Dental Excellence today.