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Cancer Screening Specialist

Goodman Dental Center

General Dentistry & Cosmetic Dentistry located in Queen Creek, AZ

In the last several years, there has been an increase in people diagnosed with mouth and throat cancers. Though some are associated with the sexually transmitted infection, human papillomavirus (HPV), the exact cause of the increase is unknown. At Goodman Dental Center in Queen Creek, Arizona, Brian Goodman, DDS, and Tanner Goodman, DMD, provide cancer screenings to patients during their dental exams. Call the office, or schedule an appointment online.

Cancer Screening Q & A

What is cancer screening?

Cancer screening is an exam performed by Dr. Goodman and the team at Goodman Dental Center to look for any potential signs of cancer in your mouth. Early detection of mouth cancers significantly improves your chances of curing it. Your dentist completes the cancer screening during your regular dental checkups and may recommend additional tests if he discovers any abnormal cells in your mouth.

What increases my risk for oral cancer?

Several lifestyle choices and factors increase your risk of oral cancer, including:

  • Tobacco use
  • Significant sun exposure
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Previous oral cancer diagnosis

Although Goodman Dental Center dentists recommend oral cancer screenings for all patients, it is especially important if you are at an increased for oral cancer.

What happens during cancer screenings?

Your dentist looks inside your mouth for the presence of white or red patches or mouth sores. Your dentist feels the tissues in your mouth with a gloved hand, looking for lumps or any abnormalities. Your dentist may also look and feel your throat and neck for abnormalities or lumps. If cancer is suspected, your dentist may recommend additional tests, including:

Oral cancer screening dye

Before your dental exam, you rinse your mouth with a special blue dye. If there are abnormal cells in your mouth, they should appear blue.

Oral cancer screening light

Your dentist shines a special light into your mouth. Healthy tissues look dark while abnormal tissues appear white.

Cancer screenings are not foolproof, and sometimes additional testing is necessary if it is suspected you have mouth cancer.

What if my cancer screening shows I have cancer?

If your cancer screening results show mouth cancer or precancerous lesions, your dentist makes recommendations for treatment. If you’ve had regular oral cancer screenings at your dental exams, you may just schedule a follow-up visit in a few months to determine if the abnormalities are still present or if there are changes, or your dentist may recommend a biopsy procedure to remove abnormal cells for laboratory testing.

To get mouth cancer screenings, schedule an appointment for a cleaning and dental exam at Goodman Dental Center by calling the practice or booking online.