Oral cancer screenings and routine examinations are essential aspects of the preventive dentistry we practice at our Tampa dental office. Dental exams allow Dr. Roberto Bellegarrigue, also known as Dr. Belle, to monitor your oral health and identify any potential issues before they progress.
Why Screen for Oral Cancer?
Many factors increase the risk of developing oral cancer, especially tobacco use. For those who use tobacco products, like cigarettes or chewing tobacco, it’s crucial you see a dentist regularly to make sure your mouth is cancer-free.
What to Expect During an Oral Cancer Screening
During every examination, Dr. Belle screens all of his patients for oral cancer to ensure their mouths are healthy and disease-free. Dr. Belle looks for cell abnormalities, cancer, or precancerous conditions that affect the mouth’s soft tissues. These soft tissues include the lips, cheeks, gums, tongue, palate, and throat.
Dr. Belle also checks for lesions, lumps, sores, and white or red patches in the mouth. However, having one of these conditions doesn’t necessarily mean you have oral cancer. Only a dentist or medical professional can accurately diagnose and treat oral cancer.
If your dentist locates any abnormalities or areas of concern, he will refer you to a medical doctor who takes a biopsy and sends it to a medical laboratory for diagnosis. Your dentist will also want to see you for a follow-up visit to see if any changes have occurred and review the biopsy results when ready.
Contact us today to schedule your routine dental examination.