Oral Cancer Awareness Month

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April is Oral Cancer Awareness month. Oral cancer includes cancer of the lips, mouth, throat, tongue, and tonsils. We don’t hear much about oral cancer and yet it accounts for close to 8,000 deaths per year. Nearly 42,000 people this month alone will be diagnosed with some type of oral cancer. Some of the risk factors are obvious: tobacco use, heavy sun exposure, and excessive alcohol use. Other risk factors are not as obvious or avoidable: a weakened immune system, your age, and gender.

Like many other cancers, early detection is the key. At Charmoy Dental we offer early detection oral cancer screenings called ViziLite. ViziLite screenings are quick, easy, convenient, and non-invasive. They’re done right in our office following your regularly scheduled dental examination so there’s no need to make one more appointment in an already busy schedule and life. During your ViziLite exam, our dentists will give you the solution to swish around in your mouth for about 60 seconds with the lights off or dimmed. They will then pass the ViziLite specialized light over your mouth to look for any signs of abnormal tissue. ViziLite will detect both malignant and benign abnormalities, so don’t panic if your screening comes back positive. Our dentists will then tell you their professional opinions based on the results, such as going to see a specialist if your exam came back positive.

Some dental insurances will cover this oral cancer screening while others will not. We can call your insurance prior to your exam to verify your benefits and what your responsibility, if any, would be. If your insurance is one that won’t cover the exam, you can still submit it to your medical insurance company and see if they will reimburse you for this screening. If it’s not covered by your insurance, the screening costs $65.00 out of pocket.

When you think about it, most of us are right on top of our screenings for other cancers: yearly mammograms, prostate exams, pap smears, colonoscopy screenings, etc. And all of those exams come with the added step of additional appointments. Do yourself a favor and add the oral cancer screening to your list too, especially with how convenient it is to get one. Most cancers, especially oral cancer, can be treated and cured when caught early enough.

Sadly, I’m sure every person in this world has been affected by cancer one way or another; either personally or through a family member or friend. You read the statistics. Don’t add to the statistics. Instead, give us a call at {973} 584-0008 and schedule your next dental appointment and oral cancer screening. Remember, early detection and prevention are key!