(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 Often Should Oral Cancer Screening Be Done?

Cancer screenings are a common part of a good health routine. While oral cancer screenings may not be as talked about as breast, prostate or colon cancer screenings, they aren’t any less necessary. Oral cancer screening is a vital component of preventive healthcare that aims to detect any abnormal growth or suspicious changes in the mouth, gums, or throat. Regular screenings can significantly increase the chances of early detection, leading to timely treatment and improved outcomes for individuals at risk. Let’s discuss how often you need an oral cancer screening and what puts you at risk for oral cancer.


Understanding Oral Cancer: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Screening

Risk Factors

Risk factors for oral cancer include tobacco use, heavy alcohol consumption, HPV infection, and prolonged sun exposure. Individuals with a family history of oral cancers or a history of head and neck cancer may have an increased risk and should undergo regular screenings.

Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer

Signs of oral cancer may include long-term mouth sores, trouble chewing, a sore throat that won’t go away, or excessive bleeding in the mouth and throat. Any of these symptoms are cause for scheduling an appointment with your primary care provider or dentist right away.

Role of Dentists in Oral Cancer Screening

Dentists play a crucial role in catching oral cancer early by screening for oral it during routine dental checkups. They examine the oral cavity, gums, and throat for any abnormalities or lesions that may indicate the presence of cancer.


How Frequently Should Oral Cancer Screenings Be Conducted?

Experts recommend that individuals receive an oral cancer screening at least twice a year, especially those with known risk factors. Regular screenings can help monitor any changes in the oral cavity and detect potential issues early. Routine dental examinations are usually performed twice a year, so your dentist can screen for oral cancer when you come in to get your teeth cleaned and checked for cavities and other abnormalities.

During an oral cancer screening, the dentist may use various techniques to examine the mouth and throat, such as visual inspection, gently feeling around the mouth and throat, and more advanced diagnostic techniques if necessary.

Screening is quick and painless, but the payoff is high — it can save your life.

Early detection of oral cancer significantly increases the chances of successful treatment and recovery. When abnormal growth or lesions are identified early, patients have more treatment options available, leading to improved outcomes and a higher survival rate.


How to Prepare for an Oral Cancer Screening

First, let’s keep in mind that most oral cancer screenings take place during your routine dental checkup – so there’s not much you need to do aside from how you normally prepare to see the dentist.

Like you do at your dental checkups, you should inform your dentist about any symptoms or concerns you have. Between oral cancer screenings, try to maintain good oral hygiene and avoid tobacco and excessive alcohol consumption. Being proactive throughout your life about oral health can reduce the risk of developing oral cancers and other dental problems.


What Happens If My Dentist Finds Something Abnormal?

If any unusual growths are detected during an oral cancer screening, further diagnostic tests such as biopsies or imaging scans may be performed to assess the extent of the issue and determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Once a definitive diagnosis is made, the dentist will discuss the findings with the patient and develop a treatment plan accordingly. Depending on the diagnosis, treatment may involve surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments to effectively manage the condition.


Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the outlook for oral cancer?

The outlook for oral cancer, like many types of cancer, largely depends on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed and how quickly and effectively treatment begins.

Early-stage oral cancer has a much better prognosis than advanced-stage oral cancer. Oral cancer screenings can help catch oral cancer early. The five-year survival rate for those with localized oral cancer (meaning it has not spread beyond the primary location) is significantly higher than for those whose cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

Does insurance cover oral cancer screenings?

Many insurance plans cover oral cancer screenings during dental exams; however, always confirm with your provider.

How early should I start having oral cancer screenings?

Most dentists recommend oral cancer screenings for all adults, especially those with health risks for oral cancer.


Practice Preventive Care with Oral Cancer Screenings

Oral cancer screenings are a painless, easy way to watch out for any signs of oral cancer and ensure high chances of survival if you do have abnormal growths. Opt in to oral cancer screenings with a dentist like Atlanta Smiles today.

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.