The only way most people are routinely monitored for signs of oral cancer is during their regular dental check-up. When the dentist or dental hygienist gives your tongue a tug, it’s to look around for any suspicious spots on the inside of your mouth.
While a visual examination is worthwhile, many potentially cancerous cells cannot be seen when they are in their early stages—particularly those beneath the surface of the skin. Since early detection and treatment are vital to survival, Metropolitan Dental has added a new tool called the VELscope to its screening routine.
This hand-held device emits a beam of blue light that makes the tissue in your mouth appear fluorescent. Because of the different way they absorb and re-emit this light, normal cells appear bright green, while abnormal ones look dark green or maroon.
A VELscope exam takes only a couple of minutes, is completely painless, and has proven effective in clinical trials at detecting potentially cancerous cells before they can be seen by the naked eye.
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