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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.  Next a pre-rinse solution is swilled around the mouth for slightly less than a minute.  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.

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, 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

Dr. Beaty is an awesome Dentist! She also has a terrific Team of assistants who go above and beyond to make all patients feel comfortable. I would probably be the youngest person in history to have dentures if it wasn’t for Dr. Beaty. My family and I have been going to Dr. Beaty for over 20 years. I was looking for a pediatric dentist and when I called the office to make an appointment for another dentist, I was informed that Dr. Beaty had taken over the practice. I was assured she was great with children and she definitely did not disappoint! Dr. Beaty and her staff are excellent with children. My son was 3 and my daughter was 8 when we became patients of Dr. Beaty’s and since that union, my children have always looked forward to going to the dentist. Dr. Beaty – as well as her entire staff – have awesome personalities, terrific bedside manner and just overall kindness and concern for their patients. I have never been to a more dedicated, compassionate dentist who deeply cares about preserving your teeth. Dr. Beaty has always explained all treatment options, procedures, and the costs involved for those procedures. DB Dentistry follows-up with their patients to make sure there are no complications from procedures and that the patient is doing well. Even when she referred my children to the Orthodontist for braces, she made sure to check on their progress and to make sure we (especially the children) were comfortable with her referral. Dr. Beaty made sure that the excellent care her office provided was also being provided by her referral. To add to the excellent patient care, the amenities offered are above and beyond – from the chair massage, to the paraffin hand wax, to the warm neck wrap, to the mellow music. Feels more like going to a spa instead of seeing the dentist. Over the years, I have referred many family members and co-workers to Dr. Beaty and they remain patients. While Dr. Beaty is not an in-network dentist through my insurance, it is WELL worth the few dollars more to have peace of mind, comfort, and awesome care. I often think, I called looking for a dentist and gained a well-trusted and most respected friend. My family loves Dr. Beaty and DB Dentistry. They are THE BEST!!

Sandra

Naturally I spent the weekend on FACEBOOK sharing your artistry! The results are still unbelievable! The transformation is literally life-changing and I can't begin to thank you and your team of professionals enough for making it happen.

Michael

Dear Dr. Beaty,

What I appreciate most about your dental practice is your focus on the future. Rather than scold a patient for poor past dental care, you work with the patient to build better habits going forward.

I also appreciate your efforts to relieve patients’ anxiety about visiting the dentist. Some days the hot neck wrap, paraffin hand dip, or just the pleasant view turn a stressful experience into a relaxing one.

Matthew

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