Screening for Signs of Oral Cancer

Your Dental Checkup at Meadows Gate Dental

At Meadows Gate Dental clinic, your dental checkup includes screening for signs of oral cancer. Each patient receives an oral cancer screening because dentists are often the first health care practitioner to be in the position to identify potential problems.  We use the Velscope® oral cancer screening process for our patients during your regular dental visit.

What is the VELscope® Oral Cancer Screening?

The best way to survive oral cancer (or any cancer) is early diagnosis.  Our dental practice provides an oral cancer exam during your regular annual dental checkup.  The VELscope® is a blue excitation lamp which highlights pre-cancerous and cancerous cell changes.  The blue light is shone into the mouth to expose changes and lesions that would be difficult to see by the naked eye.  This system allows us to see what is happening below the surface: the healthy soft tissue of the mouth naturally absorbs the frequency of blue light. The healthy areas beneath the surface of the soft tissue show up green, and the problem areas become much darker and therefore are more easily identified.

The Advantages of Using the VELscope® System:

  • It can be combined with digital photography.
  • We can use the Velscope® to detect lesions, white and red patches.
  • We can detect problem areas that cannot be seen under normal light.
  • Oral cancer symptoms are difficult to diagnose; this system exposes pre-cancerous and cancerous tissue.
  • It helps us check that diseased soft tissue is completely removed.
  • It helps us identify the signs of oral cancer in the early stages and increases the chance of survival.
  • It allows us to do a quick and painless examination.

The Process:  the VELscope® examination

  • We perform a regular visual examination of the whole lower face.  This includes the glands, tongue, cheeks and palate, as well as the teeth.
  • Then, a pre-rinse solution is swilled around the mouth for slightly less than a minute.
  • We provide you with special protective eyewear to protect the retinas.
  • The lights in the room are dimmed to allow a clear view of the oral cavity.
  • The small VELscope® is bent to project blue light inside the mouth.  Lesions and other indicators of oral cancer are easily noticeable because they appear much darker under the specialized light.
  • If symptoms are noted, we may take a biopsy at the time to determine whether or not this is oral cancer.  The results of the biopsy dictate the best course of action from there.
  • Otherwise, another oral cancer screening is performed in one year’s time.

If you have any questions or concerns about oral cancer screening or the VELscope® system, please contact our office.

Find out more:

Meadows Gate Dental clinic is located close to the Tri-Cities area and provides dental services to patients in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Maple Ridge, Haney and Pitt Meadows

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