What Is Oral Pathology?
If you are diagnosed with oral cancer, it's vital that you receive treatment as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and intervention of this condition can have a huge effect on your long-term prognosis, oral health, and overall quality of life. This serious condition impacts roughly 50,000 Americans every year. To catch this disease in its earliest stages, our skilled team of specialists advises patients to receive oral cancer screenings from their general dentist once a year and to perform self-evaluations every month. If anything uncommon is noticed, such as lumps, sores, red or white patches, or raised lesions, you should immediately contact a dental health care provider. Our Colorado doctors have years of experience in diagnosing and treating various oral pathologies, including the most complex. We regularly see patients who require biopsies and oral pathology treatment for their unique situation. If you've noticed something wrong with your mouth, including any sores or bumps that won't heal, we encourage you to contact our office as soon as possible to receive an oral cancer assessment.
"The staff was very friendly and welcoming. The procedure was very fast they went through every detail make sure I was OK during the process and Dr. Ringer even checked up on me after I was gone."- C.L. / Google / Apr 30, 2021
"Dr. Bailey and the dental assistant that took my blood were amazing. I was very scared and apprehensive and in severe pain and they made me feel so at ease. I thank them all so much for taking away my pain. They are amazing!!!"- G.C. / Google / Apr 30, 2021
"I recently had my wisdom teeth extracted. Dr. Steuer and the staff were very professional, attentive and friendly. The consultation was thorough and efficient. The surgery was very quick and recovery was easy and nearly pain free."- T.-. / Google / Apr 20, 2021
"My son had his wisdom teeth extracted and Dr. Ringer did a fantastic job. A few months later I had a billing issue and contacted them. Lisa, Cindy, and Maria bent over backwards to help resolve the issue. They have exceeded all my expectations and I highly recommend them."- R.F. / Yelp / Apr 20, 2021
"Had all 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed. Dr. Bailey and staff did a great job! Super professional, friendly and did a great job explaining everything and making me feel comfortable! 10/10 would reccomend for wisdom teeth removal!"- M.B. / Google / Apr 08, 2021
Oral Cancer Risk Factors
To guarantee that you receive the most efficient and accurate diagnosis, any abnormalities within your oral structures should be noted and reported to a professional dental care provider as soon as possible. If you notice lesions, lumps, cysts, or other irregularities, it's important to seek evaluation and treatment immediately. Any area of the mouth can develop cancerous or precancerous lesions, including the gums, cheeks, the floor of the mouth, tongue, lips, throat, and the hard and soft palates. Oral cancer can be caused by a number of factors, ranging from lifestyle habits to genetic predispositions. Some of these include:
- Sun exposure
- Alcohol consumption
- Poor oral hygiene or reduced oral health
- Human papillomavirus (HPV)
- Tobacco use
Who Should Receive Oral CAncer Screenings?
While it's true that not every abnormality results in an oral cancer diagnosis, it's still vital to receive treatment and care for any irregular development you notice within your mouth. We urge every patient, regardless of their age, to receive an oral cancer screening once a year. If you experience unexplained bleeding, sores that won't heal, bumps, raised areas, lesions, red or white patches, or nodules in the throat area, you should contact our office or your general dentist to receive a thorough evaluation. Oral pain can also be a sign of something negative so any discomfort in the head, neck, and face should be reported to a dental care professional, as well as hoarseness and if you have trouble swallowing or chewing.
How Is Oral Pathology Diagnosed and Treated?
At our Colorado oral surgery facilities, we employ an experienced team of specialists who have the skills required to treat and manage oral cancer at various stages. If an abnormality is detected in your annual oral cancer screening, you may be referred to one of our offices to receive a biopsy, diagnosis, and treatment plan. At our Colorado Springs or Pueblo, CO offices, we often use advanced equipment (such as a 3D imagining cone beam device) to gain a comprehensive view of your oral and facial structures. Before performing a biopsy, we will numb the area with local anesthesia and wait until you are comfortable. A small tissue sample from the lesion in question will be taken and sent to a pathology lab so the cells can be examined closely. If precancer or cancer cells are identified, one of our doctors will go over your results and discuss your options with you. Precancerous areas, cancerous areas, and some irregularities are typically removed with surgical procedures or other treatments.
After an Oral Biopsy or Lesion Removal
After your biopsy or oral pathology treatment, a member of our team will give you detailed instructions to help you care for the area as you heal. Follow-up visits at our Colorado Springs or Pueblo, CO offices will be scheduled so our doctors can monitor your progress and manage any post-treatment symptoms. You should continue to see your general dentist twice a year and conduct monthly self-evaluations for oral cancer to guarantee that your health is kept in check. Depending on your unique situation, we may advise you to receive professional oral cancer screenings more often for the first few years following your biopsy and treatment.
Does insurance cover Oral Pathology Treatment?
Your coverage for oral pathology treatment will depend on the certain procedures included in your customized treatment program. To understand your policy's benefits, a member of our financial team will contact your provider. From there, we will be able to calculate your out-of-pocket costs. Our offices are proud to partner with CareCredit® medical financing so we can provide you with any information you need if you are considering financing some of the costs for your oral pathology care.
Early Detection Is Key
If you notice something wrong with any area of your mouth, don't just look the other way. To maintain your oral and overall wellness, it's important to seek out care when abnormalities are noticed. If you're experiencing any irregular developments within your oral structures, contact our office and schedule an evaluation with one of our skilled specialists. Whether your issue leads to an oral cancer diagnosis or not, our team will work with you to restore the health of your mouth. Contact one of our Colorado offices today.