Oral Cancer Screening
Competent, experienced screenings for oral cancer
We conduct a thorough oral cancer screening for new patients and regularly repeat this screening at subsequent hygiene appointments. Our staff are highly trained and experienced in oral cancer detection procedures and will take rapid and effective action on anything detected to ensure your overall oral health is preserved.
Signs of oral cancer
The main symptoms of possible oral cancer are as follows:
- your teeth have recently and rapidly changed position
- you have unusual growths or lumps in your oral tissues
- you have a bleeding ulcer or sore in your mouth that has not healed for weeks
- you have pain or difficulty chewing, swallowing or speaking
- you have pain in your tongue
- you have numbness in or around your mouth
- you have a sore throat that will not heal
- you have blue-gray, red or white lesions in your mouth that cannot be rubbed away
- you have hoarseness which lasts an extended period of time
Your first oral cancer screening takes place as part of your full new patient exam. Our hygienist will visually inspect and “palpate” (diagnostically inspect using her hands and touch) your neck, head, face and mouth. She will check thoroughly for any irregular growths, sores or other abnormalities in your tissues. She will also check with you to find out where you may be having pain or discomfort in the area.
If she finds something even slightly suspicious, she will conference with your doctor and the doctor will immediately conduct a second exam. During this exam, the doctor will double-check and confirm any observations so far made. From this, he or she will determine what actions to take if any further actions are needed.
After your initial screening during your new patient exam, you will receive a complete oral cancer screening at every subsequent hygiene appointment. In this way we can ensure that anything that might have developed since our last inspection is detected early and treated effectively.
Treatment for non-threatening discoveries
Many times, after the doctor checks some abnormality, it turns out to be a non-threatening infection, injury or sore that can be immediately treated. In the case of certain infections, they will recommend the appropriate prescription, such as an antibiotic.
In the case of a cold sore or other ulcer, they can many times gently eradicate it using a laser or other minimally invasive treatment. If it is something needing to be treated outside our office, they will recommend a competent physician if you are in need of a referral.
Expert handling for suspected tissues
If the doctor determines that the inspected tissues show evidence of possible oral cancer, they will ensure it is properly diagnosed through a biopsy analysis. They may gently take a sample themselves and send it to a biopsy lab for analysis, or they may find it best to refer you to another competent specialist to have a sample taken.
Dr. Hoos is on the Cancer Advisory Board for the SMILOW Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven. Our office has direct access to their facilities for needed biopsies or referral for other services if needed.
Biopsy results and follow-up
If one of our doctors took a sample and had it sent directly to a biopsy lab, we will contact you directly once the results come back and will inform you of what was found. In the event you are referred to another physician for the biopsy sample, we will ensure that we are informed along with your physician when the results come back.
Referral to a specialist if needed
If the biopsy results show something non-cancerous and of no grave concern, we will either give you our recommendations for in-house treatment or refer you to a competent physician as indicated. Results showing cancerous or precancerous tissues will be referred out to a competent specialist for full follow-up treatment.
To make an appointment, call 203.378.9500 or click here to request an appointment online.