Skip to main content
oral cancer exam

Oral Cancer Screenings

We feel that routine dental hygiene is vital to your overall health and wellness. One of the most important parts of your hygiene visit is your oral cancer screening.  Did you know that we always screen you for oral cancer at Altman Dental, each time you are seen by the doctor? We do! How we do that is by looking at the mucousal linings in your mouth.  We will wrap a piece of gauze around your tongue to be able to better view the side areas around the tongue.  What does this do? If there are any abnormal lesions seen in the mouth, we will refer you to an oncologist for a more detailed screening. They will possibly take a biopsy of the area(s) in question and report the results to our office.

What are the causes of oral cancer? There are two distinct pathways by which most people come to oral cancer. One is through the use of tobacco and alcohol, a long term historic problem and cause, and the other is through exposure to the HPV-16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16), a newly identified etiology, and the same one which is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women.  When found at early stages of development, oral cancers have an 80 to 90 % survival rate. Unfortunately at this time, the majority are found as late stage cancers, and this accounts for the very high death rate of about 43% at five years from diagnosis (for all stages and etiologies combined at time of diagnosis), and high treatment related morbidity in survivors. – See See more. For these reasons, having an oral cancer screening at your dental office twice a month, helps with early detection and vastly improves a positive outcome of your diagnosis.

If you have a loved one that smokes, has tested positive for HPV, or has a history of heavy alcohol use, you should strongly recommend they come in for a dental cleaning. We also hope you encourage them to stop smoking.  We are accepting new patients at Altman Dental. Our dental office is located in Williamsville, NY, very close to Amherst, Tonawanda, and Clarence NY.

oral cancer exam