(404) 262-7733

Call Us Today

4405 Northside Pkwy NW Ste 110

Atlanta GA 30327

(404) 262-7733

Call Us Today

4405 Northside Pkwy NW Ste 110

Atlanta GA 30327

How Much Does Oral Cancer Screening Cost?

Many dental patients are aware that oral cancer screening is important, particularly with the rise of smoking-related cancers like mouth cancer and gum cancer. However, many of them share a common question: how much does oral cancer screening cost? The truth is, oral cancer screening is a fairly common part of dental checkups. You may not even notice it’s happening. That doesn’t mean there aren’t more advanced screening techniques available, though. Today, let’s discuss what oral cancer screening is, how it can be done, and the associated costs with different types of screening.


What is Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral cancer screening is a preventive procedure that involves the evaluation of the oral cavity by a dental hygenist or dentist to detect early signs of oral cancers. It is usually conducted during routine dental check-ups and aims to identify any abnormalities or potential risk factors that may lead to the development of oral cancer. The process typically includes a visual examination of the mouth and throat. However, it may include the use of screening devices like a velscope to enhance the detection of suspicious lesions.


Why is Oral Cancer Screening Important?

Several risk factors contribute to the development of oral cancer, including smoking, heavy alcohol consumption, and exposure to human papillomavirus (HPV). Early detection through oral cancer screening can significantly increase the chances of successful treatment and survival if you’re diagnosed with oral cancer. Detecting oral cancer at an early stage allows for early intervention and better treatment outcomes.


How Much Does Oral Cancer Screening Cost?

The cost of oral cancer screening can vary depending on various factors such as the type of screening method used, location of the dental office, and additional services included in the screening package. Different screening methods, including visual exams, tissue biopsies, and advanced imaging techniques, may have different associated costs.


Different Types of Oral Cancer Screening and Associated Costs

There are several different ways to screen for oral cancer, from a visual exam during a routine checkup to a biopsy. Let’s discuss each method in depth and the associated costs.

Visual Oral Cancer Screening

Visual oral cancer screening involves a thorough examination of the mouth, lips, and surrounding tissues for signs of abnormalities or cancerous lesions. Visual inspections are simple, non-invasive, and the first line of defense against oral cancer. However, they may not detect smaller or deeper lesions, leading to false negatives. Visual oral cancer screenings are usually done during routine dental check-ups, particularly for individuals at higher risk of oral cancer. Costs are often covered by dental insurance as part of a regular exam.

VELscope Screening

VELscope is a newer device that uses fluorescent visualization to detect abnormal growths. However, it’s not a standalone diagnostic tool and may produce false positives or false negatives. It’s appropriate for individuals with risk factors for oral cancer or when visual inspections suggest abnormalities. Costs vary between practices. It is usually covered by insurance, but you should check with your provider.


A biopsy for oral cancer screening involves removing a small sample of tissue from a suspicious lesion for examination under a microscope. Biopsies are a definitive diagnostic tool that can determine the extent of cancerous growth. They are more invasive and may cause discomfort or bleeding, and carry a small risk of infection or complications.

A biopsy should be done when visual screenings or tools like VELscope reveal suspicious lesions that require further inspection. You can expect a biopsy to cost anywhere from $100-$500 after insurance, although this can vary based on insurance provider and the lab that tests the tissue sample.


Where to Get an Oral Cancer Screening

Dentists play a crucial role in conducting oral cancer screenings as part of routine dental care. They know how to identify abnormal lesions in the mouth and throat that could be indicative of oral cancer. Scheduling your oral cancer screening at a dental office is essential for maintaining good oral health and detecting any potential issues early on. Regular screenings are recommended to monitor changes in the mouth and throat that could signal the development of oral cancer.


What to Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening

During a visual oral cancer screening, the dental professional will carefully examine the inside of your mouth, including the floor of the mouth and other areas where oral cancers commonly occur. The process may involve palpating the neck and throat to check for any enlarged lymph nodes. If any suspicious lesions are found, a biopsy may be recommended for further evaluation. The results of the screening will determine the need for follow-up care and additional tests to confirm the presence of oral cancer.


Frequently Asked Questions

Are oral cancer screenings painful?

Visual oral cancer screenings are not painful. Biopsies may cause some discomfort, but your dentist will ensure your comfort with a local anesthetic.

What are the benefits of oral cancer screenings?

Regular oral cancer screenings, especially for high risk individuals, are a low-cost way to catch oral cancer early.

What puts me at risk for oral cancer?

Excessive alcohol use, tobacco use, and exposure to human papilloma virus are some of the greatest risk factors for oral cancer.


Stay Healthy with Regular Oral Cancer Screenings at Atlanta Smiles

Regular oral cancer screenings are a vital part of early detection and prevention of oral cancer. Visual screenings, the first line of defense against oral cancer, are a low cost way to get regular screenings in conjunction with your regular dental checkups.

At Atlanta Smiles, you can count on us to take care of your oral health and catch any signs of oral cancer as early as possible. Contact us today and schedule your first appointment.

About Atlanta Smiles

Welcome To Our Atlanta Dentist Office

Dr. Dina Giesler and her team at Atlanta Smiles view comprehensive dentistry as a life-long commitment to your health, appearance and self-image. One element of our comprehensive care is cosmetic dentistry. We are passionate about enhancing your beautiful smile, and are highly skilled in every space of cosmetics, including veneers, porcelain crowns, teeth whitening, invisible orthodontic aligners, braces and tooth-colored fillings.