One person every hour of every day dies of oral cancer in America. It has become the sixth leading cancer among men and is one of the few cancers in which the rate of detection is increasing among young adults. Most people are not aware of the potential risks; however, when detected early enough, the survival rate for oral cancer is very high.
At one time oral cancer was predominately seen among smokers, however, increasingly, oral cancer is being seen in patients of all ages. Although smoking is still a leading factor, many other criteria such as age, family history, ethnicity and alcoholic consumption also play a role. Many experts have surmised that an increasing cause is the HPV virus, which is the primary precursor of cervical cancer. These various factors all point towards the need for better technology to assist in the early detection of this curable disease.
We, at High Point Dentistry, have always conducted an oral cancer screening for all of our patients, but we have recently incorporated a breakthrough technology that will allow us to see things we've been unable to see previously. By detecting potential problems earlier, we'll be providing our patients with the best oral health care currently available.
This new technology, called VELscope, utilizes a narrow band of safe, high-energy blue light and specialized filtering technology to help thoroughly evaluate the oral tissue for abnormal areas of concern, such as potentially cancerous lesions that may not be evident under white light.
As we care about your total oral health as well as your teeth, we are now offering this to all patients during their exam. We believe this new technology will assist us in detecting disease at earlier stages and therefore catch abnormalities before they turn into cancer.
Your dental insurance may or may not cover the fee for this care. Coverage for this procedure (like most dental procedures) usually varies among insurance companies; however, this modest annual fee is well worth the benefit that this new device provides.