Oral Cancer Screening

On a patient’s first visit and on annual visits, Dr. Suzman will perform a comprehensive oral cancer screening. Most people will have tiny white or red spots in their mouth at one time or another. These tiny spots do not usually contain any unhealthy cells, but only laboratory testing, like the OralCDx Brush Test, can tell.

How OralCDx works:

OralCDXUsing a special, hand-held brush, dentists take a small sample of tissue from the suspicious lesion. The sample is put on a slide and sent to the OralScan Laboratory. At the lab, computers use advanced robotics, scanning and imaging techniques – technology originally developed for the defense industry –to accurately examine the thousands of cells on the sample. The computer is able to look at every cell, compare them to libraries of normal and abnormal cells and determine which cells are potentially problematic. A summary report is returned to the dentist for his/her files or for further discussion with the patient. If the OralCDx test is positive or atypical, the dentist will then confirm it with a standard incisional biopsy. If the OralCDx test turns out to be negative, but the lesion persists, it should receive a follow-up evaluation.

About OralCDx:

OralCDx is the first computerized brush biopsy system. It allows dentists to quickly, painlessly and reliably detect oral cancer in its earliest, most easily treatable stage. Originally developed as part of the “Star Wars” missile defense program, the OralCDx computer system includes a neural network-based image processing system specifically adapted to detect abnormalities unique to oral brush biopsy samples. In October 2000, OralCDx received the American Dental Association’s “Seal of Acceptance.” The Seal was granted based on data derived from its pivotal clinical trial which was conducted at 35 academic centers. This demonstrated that OralCDx is highly accurate, and reveals precancerous and cancerous oral lesions that would otherwise have gone undetected.

Regular check-ups are important:
Regular dental check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. Remember – You may not be able to see a small spot or sore yourself. If you do notice any of the above signs, you should call your dentist without delay. Your dentist has the skills and tools to ensure that early signs of cancer and pre-cancerous conditions are identified. You and your dentist can fight and win the battle against oral cancer

When to ask:

If you see something that doesn’t look right or has not been there before, it’s time to ask. Maybe it’s not just a common canker sore or a sore from biting your tongue or cheek. And maybe it isn’t from biting into a hot slice of pizza. If it doesn’t go away in a week or so, call your dentist and have it checked quickly. Early detection saves lives.


SpotCheck: Examples of Harmless-Appearing Spots that Proved to be Dysplasia.

Studies show that with careful examination, spots like these are found in about 10% of your patients.*

Testing routine spots with the BrushTest can detect unhealthy cells- years before they can cause any harm.


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