What You Need to Know About an Oral Cancer Exam From Your General Dentist

Oral Cancer Screening Miami, FL

An oral cancer exam from a general dentist is non-invasive and can be crucial for the early detection of oral cancer, which allows for treatment before the cancer progresses. This review discusses the basics of an oral cancer exam from a general dentist.

What to know about an oral cancer exam

Important things to know about an oral cancer exam include that the exam is non-invasive, is affordable (often covered by insurance providers), and only requires a short visit. It can also help ensure that successful treatment can be administered early. Due to these benefits, general dentists recommend annual oral cancer exams for individuals who are at a higher risk.

An oral cancer exam is non-invasive

An oral cancer exam involves thoroughly examining the soft tissues in a patient’s mouth, checking the throat, neck, and jaw for lumps, and assessing any symptoms that the patient may experience. There are no discomforting parts of the exam.

Most oral cancer exams are covered by insurance

Dental insurance providers cover and often even encourage oral cancer exams because early detection can reduce the cost of oral cancer treatment in many cases. For those who do not have insurance, the cost of an oral cancer exam is relatively low compared to other dental services, and most dentists are willing to work with patients to ensure that they can afford oral cancer exams, given how important they can be.

Certain people are at a higher risk of oral cancer

It is vital to be familiar with the risk factors of oral cancer. The most notable ones include:

  • Being genetically male and over the age of 55
  • Excessive sun exposure
  • Tobacco products and alcohol
  • Human papillomavirus
  • A family history of oral cancer

Those who are at an increased risk of oral cancer should receive regular oral cancer screenings (either annually or bi-annually) to ensure that any issues are detected as early as possible.

An oral cancer exam does not take much time to complete

Most oral cancer exams take less than an hour to complete and are non-invasive, so patients can get in and out of the office without spending too much time away from other priorities that they may have.

An oral cancer exam can help ensure successful treatment

The earlier that oral cancer can be detected, the better. This enables early treatment, reducing the risk of severe complications caused by spreading cancer in the mouth. Most patients will not have any signs of oral cancer, and knowing this can provide peace of mind.

Questions to ask your general dentist during your oral cancer exam

It can help a patient to prepare a list of questions before their oral cancer exam from a general dentist. Here are three common questions to ask.

What can I do to minimize my risk of oral cancer?

The general dentist can explain a few of the things that patients can do to reduce their risk of oral cancer. This answer may vary for each person, depending on hereditary information, lifestyle habits, etc. In general, patients can lower their risk of oral cancer by not smoking (or using tobacco in any form), maintaining good oral hygiene, and visiting the general dentist for frequent cleaning and check-up visits.

How often do you recommend an oral cancer exam?

This answer varies based on the patient’s overall risk of developing oral cancer. Oral cancer exams are generally recommended once every three years for adults over the age of 20. An annual exam is usually recommended for individuals over the age of 45. Certain risk factors may increase the frequency that oral cancer exams are needed.

Is an oral cancer exam covered by insurance?

Most dental insurance plans include preventive services at little to no charge to the patient. An oral cancer exam is almost always included as a preventative treatment, and the patient typically does not have many, if any, out-of-pocket costs. However, it is still helpful to check on your coverage before the visit to ensure that you can avoid any ambiguous financial situations.

Visit our general dentistry practice for an oral cancer exam

Contact us by phone or message if you would like to schedule an oral cancer exam with our general dentistry team. We can arrange a convenient time for you to come in for a screening, and the visit is short and non-invasive. Contact us today if you have questions or to schedule a visit.

Request an appointment here: https://www.mariavaldesgarcia.com or call South Florida Dentistry at (305) 203-4097 for an appointment in our Miami office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Oral Cancer Screening in Miami, FL.

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