General dentists refer many of our patients to our practice for oral pathology services and the collection of biopsies. Oral pathology involves evaluating lesions and tissues throughout the oral cavity for abnormalities. Commonly used to detect oral cancer, biopsies and regular oral examinations could literally save a patient’s life. When detected early, like other chronic health conditions, oral cancer is curable and manageable with medical treatment.
Oral Biopsy in Dental Practice
Providing oral cancer screenings in dentistry has long been a standard practice during examinations. During annual exams, dental professionals look for abnormalities in tissues that line the cheeks, the lips, the tongue, and other soft tissues found in the oral cavity. Discoloration of tissues, lumps, and patches of red or white may be indicators of oral cancer. Patients with certain risk factors such as a family history of oral cancer, tobacco use, and exposure to sunlight possess an increased risk for developing oral cancers. These patients should conduct self-examinations, schedule routine visits to a dentist, and make their dentist or oral surgeon aware of any symptoms such as difficulty swallowing, persistent sores in the mouth that are slow to heal, or voice hoarseness.
An Overview of the Oral Biopsy Procedure
When an abnormality is detected, our oral surgeons will remove a sample of the suspicious tissue for further review and evaluation. The procedure itself is normally not too invasive and our team will provide local anesthetics to ensure patient comfort and relaxation. The procedure and oral biopsy recovery process will vary depending on the area where the sample was taken. Patients will be provided with information regarding healing and recovery along with an estimate of when their results should be available.
Oral biopsy cost also varies from patient to patient because the biopsy can be taken from anywhere in the oral cavity; however, many insurers cover some if not all of the costs incurred with oral pathology.
To schedule a thorough oral examination with our team, contact our practice today.