Oral Cancer Screening:
Everything You Need to Know
The Oral Cancer Foundation recommends that individuals begin annual oral cancer screenings at or around the age of 18. North Meridian Dental Excellence offers these convenient screenings for individuals who live in Indianapolis, Brownsburg, or Carmel, IN. Benjamin D. Ahlbrecht, DDS recommends that patients undergo an oral cancer screening as part of their regular dental exam. Patients who have risk factors for oral cancer, such as age, tobacco use, or heavy drinking, can benefit the most from these examinations. Whether you have concerns about oral cancer or are searching for a skilled dentist, Dr. Ahlbrecht treats all types of dental needs. We always welcome new patients to our state-of-the-art office.
Who Should Undergo an Oral Cancer Screening?
We recommend that adults over the age of 18 begin periodic oral cancer screenings. If you have questions about oral cancer, Dr. Ahlbrecht will be glad to answer all of your questions. He may recommend an oral cancer screening if you have known risk factors for oral cancer. Individuals who are at a higher risk for developing oral cancer include those who:
- Use tobacco products
- Drink alcohol excessively
- Are over the age of 40
- Have a family history of oral cancer
- Are male
- Have persistent viral infections such as HPV
- Are frequently exposed to ultraviolet radiation
Oral cancer screenings help deliver peace of mind and can be completed in a few minutes at our practice.
The Symptoms of Oral Cancer
The diagnosis of oral cancer requires an examination by an experienced physician like Dr. Ahlbrecht. During your examination at our Indianapolis dental practice, Dr. Ahlbrecht will look for:
- Mouth sores that do not heal
- Persistent pain in the mouth
- Difficulty swallowing
- A lump in the soft tissues
- A white patch on the gums or tongue
Benefits of Oral Cancer Screening
The primary benefit of an oral cancer screening is to diagnose cancer in its earliest stages when it is more easily treatable. Early detection can prevent the need for future invasive surgeries. Each year, nearly 10,000 Americans die from oral cancer and roughly 53,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral or oropharyngeal cancer, according to the Oral Cancer Foundation. The main cause of death, according to the foundation, is a late diagnosis.
Your Screening: What to Expect
Oral cancer screenings can be completed in a few minutes at our dental practice. Dr. Ahlbrecht can complete your screening during a routine visit for a dental exam and professional cleaning so you do not have to schedule a separate visit. During the screening, Dr. Ahlbrecht will carefully feel the inside of your lips and cheeks while visually searching for thickened areas or white patches, which could indicate the presence of oral cancer. Digital images or x-rays may also be taken. If an abnormality is found, a biopsy and follow-up visit may be scheduled.
Schedule Your Oral Cancer Screening Today
Oral cancer screenings can deliver peace of mind. If you use tobacco products or have a family history of cancer, we highly recommend that you schedule your oral cancer screening. To schedule your next visit, contact us online or call our team at (317) 571-5000.
"North Meridian Dental Excellence is great! They've somehow cracked the code on making a trip to the dentist an enjoyable experience. Dr. Ahlbrecht and his team are all great to work with. Everyone is extremely friendly, nice and fun, while maintaining a professional, clean and private environment."Nick E.