Each patient receives a complete oral examination on every new patient examination and twice a year by Dr. Eifler during their post hygiene checks. The inspection of your mouth for pathology or any changes is a vital part of your complete dental examination. This exam is comprehensive in nature and complete in photographing or imaging many of these abnormalities that are noted.
There are several important items that are inspected at Dr. Eifler’s examination. Perhaps, one of the most important tests is the oral cancer exam. This is a visual inspection of the oral tissues and lateral border of the tongue. If abnormalities are identified or palpated during Dr. Eifler or his staff’s examination, a referral to an Oral Maxillofacial Surgeon or an ENT specialist will be requested. Identification and early treatment of these lesions are paramount to limiting the disease process and possible disfiguring surgeries.
Several commercial gadgets, lights or rinses are marketed today in the detection of oral disease. However, there is no substitute to an experienced dentist and a thorough visual inspection in diagnosing oral diseases. A disruption on the normal tissue lining of the soft tissue of the mouth is a key in detecting disease. Changes in color, shape, or size are just a few of the items that are brought to Dr. Eifler’s attention quickly. Oral cancer is not one of the changes to be monitored, but rather treated immediately.
Just like the rest of the body, there are several common abnormalities of the mouth that are frequently viewed but without changes, are not immediate concerns. Boney tori, cysts, tissue tags, blood blisters, geographic tongue, and amalgam tattoos are just a few of the items we commonly see. Visual inspection, recording and documentation are important in monitoring these common pathologies.
The seriousness of many pathologic changes or disease are not critical or life threatening. With a proper health history and questioning on lifestyle or habits, we can eliminate many of these minor changes.
However, oral cancer is not a disease process to take lightly. In early diagnosis, a survival rate of 80% has been recorded. This disease frequently involves the lateral border of the tongue, the floor of the mouth, mandibular bone and cheek soft tissue. A very aggressive and destructive process, it is best treated with a referral to a specialist: dental, medical or combination. Definitive diagnosis of oral cancer can only be made with a biopsy of questionable tissues. We frequently monitor oral cancer survivors in our practice for reoccurrence and don’t hesitate to request an immediate referral in matters of concern.
Contact Dr. George Eifler and AZ Valley Dental today: (602) 956-2260.