Oral Cancer Screening (velscope)
Our local, Bakersfield dental office is one of the only practices in Bakersfield that offers VELscope Screenings. Why is this important? In America, 30,000 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year. This results in 8,000 deaths, roughly breaking down to one death every hour of every day. We have hundreds of cases in Bakersfield every year and that number would be a fraction if Bakersfield dental practices were diagnosing at an earlier stage.
What makes this figure so terrifying is that early detection of oral cancer symptoms can result in an 80 to 90 percent recovery rate. Diagnosing symptoms of oral cancer too late is what keeps mortality rates so high.
About VELscope Vx
The VELscope Vx is a new instrument that’s used in combination with traditional head and neck exams to detect abnormal mucosal areas that may not be visible to the naked eye, including oral cancer and premalignant dysplasia. It’s a transformative technology that puts life-saving power in the palm of our hands.
VELscope allows us to see abnormalities in the tissues in your mouth that aren’t visible to the human eye and those below the surface that your we can’t see yet.
At our local Bakersfield dental office, we begin an oral cancer screening by performing an examination of your neck, lymph glands, cheeks, tongue and lips. We then use the hand-held VELscope device to check inside your mouth for suspicious-looking tissue. VELscope emits a safe blue light into the oral cavity, which excites the tissue, causing it to fluoresce. Abnormal tissue typically appears as an irregular, dark area that stands out against the otherwise normal, green fluorescence pattern of surrounding healthy tissue.
The VELscope screening takes one or two minutes and does not require any special rinses or stains. In addition to the detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions, the VELscope Vx also aids in the discovery of mucosal abnormalities such as viral, fungal and bacterial infections, inflammation and salivary gland tumors.