Most people think they’re not at risk for developing oral cancer unless they’ve smoked or chewed tobacco. Unfortunately, the disease can develop regardless of your lifestyle habits, which is why it’s so critical to have screenings performed regularly. When dentists find early warning signs, they can alert patients to seek prompt treatment, when full recovery odds are highest. Here’s what to expect during your first screening.

A Guide to Oral Cancer Screenings at the Dentist’s Office

1. Visual Exam

The dental professionals will perform a thorough visual inspection of the soft tissue of your mouth, including the gums, cheeks, lips, and tongue. They may also look for any unusual symptoms in your face and neck. Some types of abnormalities could include swelling, bumps, or discoloration. To ensure your dentist has an unobstructed view of your oral cavity, any removable appliances you wear will need to be taken out.

2. Physical Exam

dentistNext, your dentist will feel along your jaw, cheeks, chin, and head to inspect for any masses. Alert them of any discomfort you experience so they can perform a more thorough assessment in that region. Any unexplained bumps will be investigated further if they are deemed to be a matter of concern.

3. Cutting-Edge Technology

Because some signs of oral abnormalities aren’t always visible to the naked eye, some practices may use imaging technology to help professionals detect issues. Now, there are hand-held screening devices that employ the use of fluorescence to detect abnormal lesions, pre-cancer, and oral cancer. These simple, yet effective, solutions can help save lives by detecting signs of cancer that may have otherwise gone unnoticed.


If you’re seeking a practice to help you maintain a lifetime of oral wellness, look no further than C.R. Sfeir D.D.S., General Dentistry in Lorain, OH. With more than 20 years of experience, Dr. Sfeir helps patients stay healthy and disease-free with a broad range of preventive and general dentistry services, including oral cancer screenings. To schedule an appointment, call (440) 960-5200 or contact the dentist’s office online.