We partner with patients to reduce their risk of developing oral cancer and support life-saving early detection
Dentists like our own Dr. Alonzo Bell of The Bell Dental Group are on the “front lines” of detecting problems with big consequences for the health of your “system” or the rest of you. So, dentistry at our office in Alexandria, Virginia, is about so much more than protecting or restoring pretty smiles (as important as that responsibility is!).
Oral cancer is among those conditions that may be first pinpointed by dental professionals. During screenings, we may identify potential trouble signs or subtle symptoms that may require further evaluation by specialists. Dr. Bell partners with some of the D.C. area’s top specialty providers. His considerable capabilities are further complemented by talented physicians in other medical disciplines.
Furthermore, you benefit from our team’s approach to partnering with patients for life. We are in it for the long haul. Since we get to know each patient, we can identify risk factors for conditions like pre-cancers and cancers of the mouth and throat. From there, we work with individuals to minimize or eliminate those risks. This is just one of many examples of preventive dentistry in action.
Additionally, we will likely schedule more frequent appointments if you have any of the following risk factors. That way, we can stay on top of any changes and intervene before they become life-altering problems. The risks include:
- Use of products that contain tobacco
- E-cigarette use/vaping
- Heavy consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Unprotected exposure to the sun’s rays or tanning (for lip cancers)
- Comorbidities; for instance, diseases that adversely affect immune function
- Test positive for HPV (human papillomavirus)
During your screening, Dr. Bell visually inspects for troublesome signs. He will also feel for abnormalities by gently touching your mouth, face, head, and neck. He is looking for symptoms such as unusual facial drooping, lumps, bumps, swelling, patches, and discoloration. Dr. Bell further assesses “function”; for instance, he will check how you move your tongue. It is also important to tell us about any changes and to contact us right away if you notice potential problems like pain when swallowing and frequent sore throats, and hoarseness. We also use advanced technologies to isolate tissue changes. These changes may be benign or malignant in nature. As necessary, specialty care and further testing may be required to rule out mouth cancers.
Oral cancers are largely preventable and have a high rate of successful treatment when they are detected early through means such as screening at The Bell Dental Group. Do not delay to reach out to our team in Alexandria, VA, today at (571) 349-8027.