Oral Cancer Screening is a way to detect oral cancer in early stages. Langley Family Dental believes strongly that detecting oral abnormalities early leads to more treatment options, potentially less invasive or radical treatments and better patient outcomes.

Our dental hygienists play a crucial role in early detection of oral cancer and will scan you at each routine check-up.

During your routine hygiene appointment your dental hygienist will perform an examination of your mouth, neck and head for any abnormalities in these areas. Your hygienist will look for swelling, enlarged glands, ulcers and changes in texture inside of your mouth.

Your dental hygienist will also do an external examination of your head, face and the back of your neck for any issues. To help support your oral and overall health, ensure to book a dental hygiene appointment once every six months.

One of the most frequent and deadly types of cancer is oral cancer. LED Dental has developed a device that has proven extremely effective in detecting oral cancer at its beginning stages. This device is known as the VELscope. It uses a hand piece that shines a blue light into a patient’s oral cavity. Abnormal tissue growth appears as a dark spot, with the surrounding healthy tissue appearing fluorescent.

Previously, diagnosis of oral abnormalities was done by the unassisted eye of a dental professional. While this was the most effective way of diagnosing a patient’s condition, it was grossly ineffective in detecting oral cancer at its earliest stages. Without giving every patient who came into an office a biopsy, most patients with oral cancer were not diagnosed until the later stages of the disease when treatment options were limited and the rate of survival was significantly lower. However, now with the advent of VELscope, that inadequate detection process is a thing of the past.

The significance of the VELscope can not be underestimated. For the first time, dental professionals have a tool that is able to aid in a diagnosis in a way that has never been done before and in a non-invasive and painless manner. And furthermore, the whole process is done within two minutes.

Cleared by the FDA, and approved by Health Canada, and the World Health Organization, the VELscope is the world’s most widely used adjunctive device for the discovery of:

  • Viral, fungal and bacterial infections
  • Inflammation from a variety of causes (lichen planus and lichenoid reactions, allergy to amalgam fillings, etc.)
  • Squamous papillomas
  • Salivary gland tumors
  • Cancer and pre-cancer
  • Other oral mucosal conditions

An abnormal screening does not always mean the patient has cancer. If an abnormal screening occurs, we may choose to send a patient to a specialist to have a biopsy performed to be sure. Please tell your hygienist if you are interested in learning more about oral cancer screening.