Oral cancer in the United States has been on the rise. The assumed demographics are changing and increased cases of oral cnacer have been linked to the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), the same viruses that are associated with cervical cancer.
At every 6 month cleaning appointment, we use VELscope technology, in addition to clinical screenings, to aid us in early detection of oral cancers. The VELscope allows us to see tissue changes that we cannot clinically see. Early detection of oral cancer is imperative. If oral cancer is caught in the early stages, patients have a 80-90% 5-year survival rate. When it is caught in late stages, the survival rate decreases dramatically to 20% and often patients require disfiguring surgeries to the head and neck, in addition to heavy doses of radiation.
The light is safe, using no radiation - only blue light technology and natural tissue fluorescence. We do not charge you for using this technology at your visits. We feel this screening light is a critical part of patient care and do not want patients to elect not to be screened due to financial reasons.
Pear Tree Dentistry works in conjunction with the Oral Cancer Foundation and opens our office for one day in April (Oral Cancer Awareness Month) for free oral cancer VELscope screenings for anyone interested in the Greater Portland Area.
If you would like more information about oral cancer or the VELscope please check out the links below.