There’s a part of your dental exam that you may not have ever realized your dentist was performing: The Oral Cancer Screening. Even if you think oral cancer isn’t something that can affect you – you might be surprised to know that it impacts thousands of “healthy” people in our country each year.

Oral cancer is linked to everything from viruses to sun exposure to tobacco use. Some people develop oral cancer without ever having any risk factors. That’s why it’s essential for us to screen for oral cancer during every exam at Marconi Dental Group. Regardless of whether or not you use tobacco products, drink alcohol, or don’t.

Areas Most at Risk

Some areas inside of the mouth are more likely to have oral cancer than others. The floor of the mouth, sides of the tongue, and soft palate are a few examples. Lymph nodes are another common site that is at risk. Our dentists however, are sure to check all areas in and around your mouth. That includes the soft tissues, muscles and lymph nodes in your mouth, cheeks, face, and neck.

What We’re Looking For

What exactly are we looking for during an oral cancer screening? Simply put: tissues that do not resemble the other tissues around them, or resemble the same structures on the opposite side of the mouth. Most often, cancerous and precancerous tissues have areas with features that look like:

  • Red, white or spotted tissues
  • Lesions with irregular borders
  • Sores that do not heal in a timely manner
  • Nodules or lumps

Why Screen So Often?

Precancerous tissues are often not noticed by our patients until they are very advanced. Identifying them sooner gives you the opportunity to experience less invasive treatment. Not finding oral cancer until it is advanced is a dangerous situation to put you in. For the most effective treatment, cancer needs to be diagnosed at an early stage. By regularly monitoring your oral tissues, we can pinpoint changes that occur between your dental visits. If something abnormal is noted, we’ll usually wait a couple of weeks to reassess it.

Biopsies and Lab analysis

When a suspicious area or a location appears to be cancerous, we will conduct a biopsy. Biopsies can come in a few different forms. Some are done with a small brush, while others are more surgically oriented. The cells gathered during the biopsy are sent to a lab for microscopic analysis. Depending on the findings, we will continue to monitor the area or recommend a surgical consult.

Treatment for Oral Cancer

As previously mentioned, the treatment for oral cancer is much more effective when cancer can be diagnosed as early as possible. Waiting until it is advanced will make treatments more dramatic and life altering. Treatments for oral cancer usually involve surgical removal and/or radiation/chemotherapy.

One of the best ways to improve your prognosis is to schedule a dental exam with Marconi Dental Group every 6 months. Not only do we screen for dental diseases, we’re taking steps to protect your life.

Don’t wait until it’s too late. Schedule your dental exam today.

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Dr. Fischer

Dr. Fischer comes from Sandy City Utah, where he graduated from the University of Utah with a background in Medical Biology. Dr. Fischer then was awarded his DDS degree from Loma Linda University here in California. Prior to that, Dr. Fischer worked alongside his father for several years as a design engineer at his father’s dental company. Dr. Fischer has a strong passion for dentistry, he believes in providing his patients with the most modern and up-to-date procedures, and he truly enjoys the variations of procedures he gets to perform daily.

When not practicing dentistry, he can be found spending time with his family. Dr. Fischer and his wife Brittany have twins Kaitly and Kyle, and son Johnny. Outside of his professional activities, Dr. Fischer is also a true adventurist. He has travelled to many countries and enjoys backpacking, scuba diving, para gliding, camping, and hunting just to name a few.

Dr. Huang

Dr. Y. Vinny Huang received his Degree in Dental Surgery in his hometown of Taipei, Taiwan and then went on to receive his Masters in Science and Postgraduate Certificate in Prosthodontics from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, IA.

He has been practicing dentistry since 1992 and his area of specialty is Prosthodontics, the treatment and handling of dental and facial problems. Prosthodontics involves the restoration of missing teeth and jaw structure. Dr. Y. Vinny Huang is also a Diplomate of the (ABP) American Board of Prosthodontics and an active member of the (CDA) California Dental Association and the (AAFP) American Academy of Fixed Prosthodontics, and a fellow of the (ACP) American College of Prosthodontists. He is also fluent in Mandarin!

Dr. Y. Vinny Huang was fortunate enough to find his calling at a young age. He grew up watching his grandmother struggle with her dentures on many occasions and has been determined to help others just like her ever since. He is truly passionate about his work and finds great joy in creating beautiful smiles for his patients whether it be on their own or with the help of dental implants. Dr. Y. Vinny Huang makes it his personal mission to educate his patients and community on the importance of oral health and does so with honesty, professionalism and care.

When Dr. Y. Vinny Huang isn’t practicing dentistry or assisting the community, you will find him spending time with his wife and two daughters. He also enjoys being outdoors and staying active whether it be swimming, golfing or playing tennis.

Dr. Visagé

Dr. Visagé graduated his dental degree from University of Pretoria in South Africa (1999). He practiced general dentistry in South Africa and England until 2002. He went on and completed a residency program in Periodontics and Oral Medicine, in South Africa to attain his Masters degree in 2006. He established a successful private specialist practice in Periodontics and Dental Implants. During that time he also served as secretary of the South African Society of Periodontology and still holds specialist registration with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

 

In 2014, Dr. Visagé and his family relocated to California, and he was invited to the prestigious Program for International Dentists at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). In 2015, he received the OKU Dental Honour Society Dr Kramer S Award from the UCSF School of Dentistry. In 2016 he received the Dental Honour Society Membership Award and also the Award for Clinical Excellence & Mentoring (UCSF).  He obtained his American Doctorate of Dental Surgery (UCSF) in 2016.

 

The most enjoyable part of his work is getting to know the patients and being able to play a role in improving oral health, which contributes to quality of life. He is truly passionate about dentistry, but strikes a balance between his professional and personal lives.  He maintains his fitness through running, biking and hiking with his family. 

Dr. Visagé and his wife Karlien, have  a  daughter and a son.  When time allows, he and his family enjoys travelling and spending time together. They travel to South Africa as often as time allows, but also enjoy road trips in the USA.