August 15, 2011 by Wong
I hope summer has been great for each of you and that you’ve had time to enjoy the wonderful weather with family and friends. I’m very excited to let you know that we have a new device at the Tooth Doctor’s that is a benefit to your oral health. We recently invested in a VELscope unit, which is an oral cancer screening tool!
While an oral health examination, including cancer screening, is conducted on every patient at their new patient exams, hygiene checks, and continuing care exams, the truth is that mortality rates of oral cancer has not changed in the last thirty years. Early detection of oral cancer is paramount to an increased survival rate, where there is an 80% survival rate at 5 years compared to only 20% with late detection of oral cancer. Risk factors for oral cancer include smoking, drinking alcohol, gender, human papilloma virus (HPV) and some immune-compromising conditions.
VELscope allows us at the Tooth Doctor’s, to identify areas of concern much sooner than the traditional white light exam. VELscope works by emitting a blue light into the oral cavity, which is safe and non-invasive. With VELscope, normal tissues, which appear green, can be distinguished from abnormal tissues, which show up black. VELscope can help identify cancerous and pre-cancerous areas in the mouth that are not visible by the naked eye.
While the odds are that you are free of cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions, the use of the VELscope during an examination is a smart precaution for your oral and overall health, much in the same manner that mammogram, pap smears, or prostate exams are used for early detection and preventative care. We at the Tooth Doctor’s believe that VELscope is a great diagnostic tool that can identify oral cancer at an earlier stage than traditional examination methods. The quick, pain-free VELscope exam has the potential to save your life.