Oral Cancer Screening

It’s sad but true, over 40,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year alone. That’s over 100 new cases EVERY DAY in the US, and the rate is increasing. Oral cancers include mouth, tongue, throat, and tonsil cancer.

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Oral cancer used to be associated mainly with tobacco use. Now, HPV is believed to be an even more prevalent causative agent. Because of those two wide-spread causes, nearly every adult in the US is at risk for developing oral cancer.

Did you know? There are approximately 6 million new cases of HPV each year in the United States alone.

The good news is, when oral cancer is detected early, survival rates are very good – 80-90%. The bad news is most oral cancers aren’t caught until late stages, which is why death rates from oral cancer are so high. In the US, oral cancer kills one person every hour of the day. THIS is why we take such a serious approach to screening for oral cancer at every visit to Smile Blue Ridge.

Every time you come in for a cleaning and check-up, we will offer to do an oral cancer screening for you. We can perform a simple and painless visual examination. We also recommend an annual Velscope exam once per year. This is the easiest medical screening you can possibly have – the Velscope is a handheld scope that emits a blue light, allowing us to see abnormalities that aren’t visible to the naked eye.

Many insurance companies cover the cost of these oral cancer screenings. Additionally, FSA’s and HSA’s also reimburse for the procedure. 

Some dental and medical insurance companies DO cover oral cancer screenings. And flex-spending accounts and health savings accounts (FSA and HSA) will reimburse for this procedure.