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VELscope® Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer is often deemed the “forgotten disease,” because it kills more people than testicular cancer, cervical cancer and cancer of the brain each year and receives little publicity in return.  Each year, over 30,000 Americans contract oral cancer, and only 57% of these people will live for more than five years without treatment.

Many people believe that if they abstain from tobacco and alcohol use, oral cancer will not affect them.  Tobacco and alcohol use does contribute to oral cancer; however, 25% of those diagnosed abstain from both substances.

The best way to stay protected from oral cancer is to get annual oral cancer screenings.  Most dentists perform an oral cancer exam during a regular dental checkup.  The FDA-approved VELscope® offers dentists another examination tool to help detect oral cancer in its earliest stages.  The VELscope® is a blue excitation lamp, which highlights precancerous and cancerous cell changes.

How does the VELscope® work?

The VELscope® uses Fluorescence Visualization (FV) in an exciting new way.  Essentially, bright blue light is shone into the mouth to expose changes and lesions that would otherwise be invisible to the naked eye.  One of the biggest difficulties in diagnosing oral cancer is that its symptoms look similar to symptoms of less serious problems.  The VELscope® System affords the dentist important insight as to what is happening beneath the surface.

The healthy soft tissue of the mouth naturally absorbs the VELscope® frequency of blue light. Healthy areas beneath the surface of the soft tissue show up green, and the problem areas become much darker.

Here are some of the advantages of using the VELscope® System:

  • Can be combined with digital photography.
  • Detects lesions, white and red patches.
  • Detects problem areas that cannot be seen under white light.
  • Exposes precancerous and cancerous tissue.
  • FDA-approved.
  • Helps dentists check that diseased soft tissue is completely removed.
  • Helps diagnose oral cancer in its earliest stages, exponentially increasing the chance of survival.
  • Quick, painless examinations.

How is the VELscope® examination performed?

The VELscope® examination literally takes only two or three minutes.  It is a painless and noninvasive procedure that saves many lives every single year.

Here is a brief overview of what a VELscope® examination is like:

Initially, the dentist will perform a regular visual examination of the whole lower face.  This includes the glands, tongue, cheeks and palate as well as the teeth.  The dentist provides special eyewear to protect the integrity of the retinas.  The lights in the room are dimmed to allow a clear view of the oral cavity.

Lesions and other indicators of oral cancer are easily noticeable because they appear much darker under the specialized light.

If symptoms are noted, the dentist might take a biopsy 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.

Testimonials.

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Testimonials

I just wanted to send an update.
We got Sidney's tongue tie and lip tie revised 2 weeks ago today. Her top lip is looking great, she has great mobility and the stretches have really helped her lip muscles loosen up. I'm so pleased with the results.
Her tongue has gotten hard to stretch as she has figured out how to wiggle her tongue around to avoid the fingers, which I'm taking as a great sign. She's really learning how to move it around. When I eventually get under her tongue, there seems to be a bit of reattachment/regrowth, but since the mobility is there I'm not concerned. Just more motivation to keep up on the stretches, which she only mildly complains about these days.
I'm so happy to have a skilled dentist here in town to help her little mouth out. Keep up the good work.

Callie S.

Dear Dr. Boldt,
We've just made it to the two week mark since our tongue tie and upper lip revision with you. I just wanted to thank you for doing such a thorough revision and going deep enough to really make a difference. Since the night of the revision my son Denzel (5.5 months) began sleeping 9 hours continuously out of 12 through the night (as opposed to his usual 3-4 before needing to nurse) he also began pooping daily as opposed to every few days. Nursing is now pain free and his upper lip is no longer STIFF. I am so grateful to have someone in Edmonton skilled enough to understand and rectify his tt with Laser.

Denzel's Mom

Great experience! The staff are wonderful and it was easy to get an appointment at a time that suited us. My kids (5&7) loved the video games in the waiting area and the TV on the ceiling in the exam room.

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