How a Great Dental Office Screens for Oral Cancer


Sometimes, you just know you’re sitting in a great organization. Every team member knows his or her role. There’s a plan behind every service. The teamwork is obvious.

And when the goal is preventing oral diseases—especially oral cancer—it’s vital that your dental team has a thoughtful plan and excellent teamwork. You need them to catch oral cancer in its early stages in order to improve your chances.

There are more than 50,000 oral cancer diagnoses every year in the U.S. and more than 10,000 deaths. It’s a top priority to protect you from it. 

So, what can you expect from your dental team when they screen you for oral cancer? What does a great team do? Here are some things to look for in selecting your dental team:

1. They Follow a Plan

First, you can tell that the dental team has a strategy in place. It’s been thoroughly fleshed out, and they follow it regularly. 

What does that look like? This means they perform cancer screening on a schedule—and it’s usually part of your regular checkup. They’ll tell you what schedule their individual office follows, and they’ll keep it with discipline. Plus, every team member knows his or her part in the process and performs it well.

2. They Offer Education

Your dental team will tell you what you need to know to prevent oral cancer, plus any other facts about it that can help. For example, they can tell you lifestyle changes that are known to reduce the risk of getting cancer. They might also tell you how to check yourself for cancer every month.

At the best dental practices, you can talk to anyone about oral cancer, even the reception staff. They will answer honestly and kindly. Plus, your dentist will explain what he or she is doing during cancer screenings.

3. They Perform Thorough Screenings

A complete oral cancer screening should check both within and outside your mouth. Why is that? Your dentist can often visually find the tip of a cancerous area in the mouth. But sometimes, a cancerous lesion isn’t visible. 

That’s why your dentist should also feel the lymph nodes on your neck for signs of cancer. This whole process only takes about two minutes. That’s two minutes that can save you from painful cancer treatments in the future!

Ask Your Dentist About Oral Cancer Screenings Today

If you don’t remember your last oral cancer screening, call your dental practice and ask about it! A great team will be happy to teach you how to also screen yourself, as well as keeping you up to date on the screenings they perform in the office. 

Let’s all stand up to cancer together!