Oral Cancer Screenings

Protect Your Smile & Overall Health

Oral cancer is a serious condition that can be life-threatening if not detected and treated early. That’s why, at DiBartola Dental, our Bridgeville, PA, dentists provide comprehensive oral cancer screenings to identify any signs or symptoms of oral cancer at its earliest stages. In this helpful guide, our dentists explain the importance of oral cancer screenings, and how they allow for prompt intervention and improved treatment outcomes.

Understanding Oral Cancer and Its Risks

Oral cancer refers to the abnormal growth of cells in the oral cavity, including the lips, tongue, cheeks, floor of the mouth, and throat. Several factors can increase the risk of developing oral cancer, such as:

  • Tobacco use
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • A history of oral cancer
  • Prolonged sun exposure
  • Certain viral infections, including human papillomavirus (HPV)

The Benefits of Early Detection Through Oral Cancer Screenings

Dentists play a crucial role in the early detection of oral cancer. During routine dental examinations, they’re trained to identify any suspicious lesions or abnormalities that may indicate the presence of oral cancer.

Education and Training

The dentists at DiBartola Dental receive extensive education and training in oral health, including the identification and diagnosis of oral diseases such as oral cancer. They’re equipped with the knowledge and skills to recognize the early signs of oral cancer and differentiate them from benign conditions.

Visual and Physical Examination

During a routine dental check-up, our Bridgeville dentists perform a visual and physical examination of the oral cavity. They carefully inspect the lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, floor of the mouth, and throat for any abnormalities, such as sores, red or white patches, or lumps. By closely examining these areas, they can detect potential signs of oral cancer.

Oral Cancer Screening Tools

Our Bridgeville dentists utilize specialized tools and technologies to aid in oral cancer detection. That includes enhanced oral examination techniques and oral cancer screening devices that help visualize abnormalities that may not be visible to the naked eye. By incorporating these tools, our dentists can enhance their ability to detect oral cancer at its earliest stages.

Referrals and Collaboration

If your Bridgeville dentist identifies any suspicious areas or lesions during the screening process, they’ll take prompt action by referring the patient to a specialist for further evaluation and testing. Our dentists work closely with oral and maxillofacial surgeons, oncologists, and other healthcare professionals to ensure a coordinated approach to the diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer.

Patient Education

Our dentists provide information on the importance of regular oral cancer screenings and encourage patients to report any unusual changes or symptoms they may experience. By raising awareness and promoting early detection, they can empower their patients to take proactive steps toward maintaining their oral health.

The Oral Cancer Screening Process

At DiBartola Dental, our oral cancer screenings are performed by experienced dental professionals. Here’s a breakdown of what you can expect during the screening process:

Initial Consultation

During your initial consultation, your Bridgeville dentist will discuss your medical history, lifestyle habits, and any concerns you may have regarding oral cancer. This information helps your dentist assess your risk factors and tailor the screening process to your specific needs.

Visual Examination

The oral cancer screening begins with a visual examination of your oral cavity. Your dentist will carefully inspect your lips, tongue, cheeks, gums, and throat for any abnormalities, such as sores, red or white patches, or lumps. They’ll also examine your neck and lymph nodes for any signs of swelling or tenderness.

Physical Examination

In addition to the visual examination, your dentist may perform a physical examination using specialized instruments. This allows for a more detailed assessment of your oral tissues. Your dentist will gently palpate the inside of your mouth and check for any irregularities or changes in texture.

Further Testing

If any suspicious areas or lesions are identified during the screening, your dentist may recommend further testing. This may involve taking a biopsy, where a small sample of tissue is removed for laboratory analysis. Biopsies help determine if the abnormality is cancerous or precancerous.

How to Prepare for an Oral Cancer Screening

  • Provide Accurate Medical History: Be prepared to share your complete medical history, including any previous diagnoses, surgeries, medications, or lifestyle habits that may increase your risk of oral cancer.
  • Avoid Eating or Drinking: It’s best to avoid eating or drinking anything for at least one hour before your screening appointment to ensure a clear view of your oral tissues.
  • Remove Oral Appliances: If you wear dentures, removable retainers, or other oral appliances, your dentist may ask you to remove them before the examination.
  • Inform Your Dentist of Any Symptoms: If you’re experiencing any symptoms, such as persistent mouth sores, difficulty swallowing, or changes in speech, be sure to inform your dentist during the consultation.
  • Ask Questions: Take the opportunity to ask any questions or express concerns you may have about the screening process. Your dentist is there to provide guidance and support.

Frequently Asked Questions

It’s generally recommended to have an oral cancer screening once a year. However, the frequency may vary based on individual risk factors. Your dentist can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific needs.

Oral cancer screenings are generally painless. The process involves a visual and physical examination of your oral cavity, and any discomfort is minimal.

If an abnormality is detected during the screening, further testing, such as a biopsy, may be recommended. This will help determine if the abnormality is cancerous or precancerous, and appropriate treatment options can be discussed.

Yes, oral cancer screenings are often incorporated into routine dental check-ups. It’s a proactive measure to ensure comprehensive oral health.

Call DiBartola Dental for Comprehensive Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer screenings are a vital component of maintaining optimal oral and overall health. At DiBartola Dental, our comprehensive screenings help detect oral cancer at its earliest stages, allowing for timely intervention and improved treatment outcomes. 

If you’re due for an oral cancer screening, don’t hesitate to reach out to our experienced dental team by dialing (412) 221-9440. You can also request an appointment online, and one of our friendly team members will get back to you shortly. DiBartola Dental offers oral cancer screenings to patients near our Bridgeville office and patients from surrounding areas such as Heidelberg, Carnegie, & Upper Saint Clair, PA. 


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