Oral Cancer Screenings — Waco, TX

Oral Cancer Screenings Save Lives

Dental patient smiling before oral cancer screening in Waco

Oral cancer rates have risen and just over 50,000 adults in the U.S. are expected to be diagnosed this year. At Premier Family Dental, we know that oral cancer screenings save lives, which is why Dr. Cofer and Dr. McNutt perform a simple, fast, and non-invasive oral cancer screening in Waco at every dental checkup. If you’re like most people, you don’t make it a habit of inspecting the inside of your mouth, so don’t hesitate to schedule a dental checkup so we can do it for you!

Why Choose Premier Family Dental for Oral Cancer Screenings?

  • Efficient, Reliable Dental Care
  • Trusted, Patient-Focused Dentists
  • Dental Team That Doesn’t Cut Corners

Early Detection Is Key To Successful Oral Cancer Treatment

Close up of mouth during oral cancer screening

We’re glad to report that, although oral cancer rates have risen, survival rates are higher as well. This is due to a couple of reasons: First, medical treatment has greatly improved over the years. Second, more and more patients are benefiting from early detection. In fact, when oral cancer is found early, the survival rate is 85-90%.

Thankfully, early detection is as easy as coming to see us for regular checkups. Most people only think of these visits as a teeth cleaning and “cavity check,” but they can save your life!

What Are the Symptoms of Oral Cancer?

Close up of mouth with discolored and decayed teeth

In addition to getting an oral cancer screening in Waco at each six-month dental checkup, we also encourage our patients to stay self-aware and watch for the following signs and symptoms in between visits:

  • Persistently feeling like something is stuck in your throat.
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing.
  • Stiffness or pain in your jaw.
  • A chronic sore throat.
  • A lump or bump that has suddenly appeared.
  • Any sores or lesions that haven’t healed within two weeks.

Keep in mind that if you notice one of these symptoms, don’t panic. Many non-harmful oral health conditions look similar, such as lumps of fatty tissue or canker sores.

After Dr. Cofer has examined you, he’ll either rule out oral cancer, ask you to return in 1-2 weeks for another look or refer you to a specialist for further assessment. Most importantly, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from a professional evaluation.

What Is an Oral Cancer Screening Like?

Dental patient opening her mouth for oral cancer screening

One of the biggest advantages of oral cancer screenings is that they’re fast and easy. And, since two pairs of eyes are better than one, both your dentist and one of our hygienists will perform a separate screening. Here are the basic steps:

  • First, we’ll look closely at your lips, cheeks, and the roof of your mouth. We’ll also look at the back of your throat and might ask you to say, “Ahhh,” to help us see the area better.
  • Then we’ll ask you to stick out your tongue and move it from side to side. This also allows us to examine the floor of your mouth.
  • Next, we’ll gently palpate the sides of your neck and underneath your jaw, looking for any lumps, bumps, or tenderness.

These screenings are so fast that many of our patients barely notice they’re being done. It’s not very often that something so simple can be potentially lifesaving. If only all healthcare were so easy!