Dentists have an important role to play in detecting oral health problems early. At Arden House we take this role very seriously. Research shows that mouth cancer is one of the greatest concerns when it comes to dental health and is rapidly increasing amongst the population, yet it is still an issue that is rarely talked about.
Most people who come to see us rightly assume that we will check the health of their teeth and gums at their consultation. What many people don’t realise is that we also check for the early signs and symptoms of mouth cancer. Often our patients are concerned about white patches, mouth ulcers that don’t seem to heal or lumps and bumps in and around their mouths. As part of each consultation process, our dentists carry out visual checks for any issues that might be causing concern and sometimes spot something you may not have noticed.
To help us in this process we have invested in the Velscope, a screening system that uses a harmless fluorescent light to detect tissue changes that might not be visible to the naked eye. Using the Velscope we can pick up subtle, possibly pre-malignant changes sooner. This is a valuable test as the earlier we spot initial signs of mouth cancer, the easier it is to treat. For the vast majority of people we are pleased to say that there is never anything sinister to report.
If we feel you would benefit from a more specialist examination then we are able to refer you to Cheltenham General Hospital or Gloucester Royal Hospital. We also have the unique ability to refer you to our on-site specialist, Mr Jerry Farrier, a local Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial surgeon. He will give you his professional opinion, carry out a small biopsy if appropriate or simply monitor and review any concerns.
Having a specialist on site to offer fast assessment, provide care and advice and, where appropriate, organise treatment can provide valuable peace of mind at a time when it is most needed.