Are Oral Cancer Screenings Necessary?

Oral Cancer Screening Santa Rosa, CA

Oral cancer screenings are recommended to patients who are at a higher risk of the disease. While it is not always necessary, most dentists recommend regular oral cancer screenings to ensure any concerning signs are detected as early as possible for the most effective treatment possible. 

A complete review of the importance of oral cancer screenings

Although many people have heard about oral cancer, all too many do not notice there is an issue until moderate to severe symptoms develop. The following is a review of why it is important to visit the general dentist for oral cancer screenings, what to expect during your visit and how to properly prepare. 

The purpose of an oral cancer screening

An oral cancer screening is designed to detect oral cancer. The goal is to detect oral cancer as early as possible. This gives the patient more time to find an effective treatment plan and physically and mentally prepare for any cancer treatment that is necessary to treat the disease. During the visit, the dentist can also educate the patient on ways to reduce the risk of oral cancer. While prevention is the best way to deal with oral cancer, not all cases are preventable. Therefore, most people are encouraged to receive regular oral cancer screenings, regardless of how at-risk they are. 

What to expect during an oral cancer screening

Most oral cancer screenings take place inside the dentist’s office. It is a non-invasive process that typically involves a detailed review of the patient’s relevant medical and dental history, an examination of the patient’s mouth and dental X-rays (although not always required). Additional testing procedures such as the use of an oral cancer screening dye or screening light may also be used. Most general dentists check for signs of oral cancer during a routine check-up visit, but an oral cancer screening typically involves a more thorough examination for any signs of oral cancer. 

How to prepare for your oral cancer screening

There is no special preparation necessary before an oral cancer screening. Patients can make the process easier, however, by learning more about what to expect. This helps ease any anxieties and understand what the dentist means when giving an explanation of what they discover during the oral cancer screening (if anything). It is also helpful to schedule the visit at a convenient time and get a good night of rest. 

When to visit the dentist for a screening

Patients under the age of 40 only need an oral cancer screening every couple of years, unless they are at an increased risk for reasons besides age. Patients over the age of 40 should have an annual oral cancer screening, regardless of other risk factors. 

Schedule an oral cancer screening today

If it has been more than a year since your last oral cancer screening, then get in touch to schedule one with us today. During the visit, we can check for signs of oral cancer and answer any questions you have about the disease.

Are you considering an oral cancer screening in the Santa Rosa area? Get more information at

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