VELScope - ADVANCED ORAL CANCER SCREENING TECHNOLOGY
At Anthem Dentistry, it has always been our priority to keep our team and patients as informed as possible. We believe that having the most current and accurate information is vital to making the most informed choices regarding both your dental and overall health. We pride ourselves on being able to offer the latest technology available to our valued patients and VELscope™ makes it easier than ever to provide this service.
Although a frightening statistic, one person in North America dies every hour from oral cancer and the five-year survival rate of 50% has not changed in the past 35 years. Alarmingly, 25 % of the new oral cancer cases are people that do not have any of the traditional life style risk factors, such as age and tobacco and alcohol use. Exposure to HPV (Human Papilloma Virus) is a newly discovered risk factor.
Traditionally, dentists and hygienists have done oral cancer screening with the naked eye, but VELscope™ (Visually Enhanced Lesion scope) can pinpoint and identify suspicious tissue at earlier stages before they may become life threatening concerns.
VELscope™ similar to other early detection procedures like colonoscopy, mammography, PAP smear and PSA exam, is a painless, non-invasive blue light that is shined into the patient’s mouth. The scan takes about two minutes as part of a regular hygiene visit, and absolutely no radiation is emitted during this process. The device is FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE FIND SOMETHING?
Detected changes in tissue can range from something minor to something of greater concern that may require further examination and follow up. Sometimes suspicious-looking areas can be caused by chewing the inside of your cheek or by irritation from dentures or braces. If a suspicious area is discovered we will ask you to return to our office in two weeks for a follow up appointment so that we can see if the area has disappeared, progressed, or remained stable.
If the area has not improved, Dr. Williams may suggest that the images be sent to our oral pathologist for evaluation and/or refer you to a specialist.
WANT TO FEEL SECURE?
During your regular hygiene visits, we always clinically examine your mouth for any lesions that might be visible to the naked eye. We will perform a thorough examination of your neck for any suspicious bumps or lumps. Now, with the aid of VELscope™, Dr. Williams can go one step further and literally see beneath the surface to detect potentially dangerous growths, which might have otherwise been missed.
At Anthem Dentistry, we are very proud to be among the first in the area to offer this amazing advanced technology and early detection. So much so, that it has become a crucial part of our ‘standard of care’. We offer this service as yet another way to assist our patients in maintaining their overall health. Should you have any questions or concerns about any oral abnormalities, we urge you to contact our office and request a VELscope™ scan today!