Every hour of every day, someone dies in North America due to cancers of the mouth and throat.” — Oral Health magazine
A regular part of your oral examination at the Sacramento Dentistry Group is a check for cancer of the mouth and throat. While this disease is rare, certain behaviors and conditions can lead to increased risk. To protect patients from this life-threatening disorder, our Sacramento dentists now use the VELscope blue light imaging device for early detection of oral diseases.
The VELscope device…will play a major part in prevention of oral cancer diseases.”—European Journal of Cancer Prevention
The VELscope, produced by the Canadian firm LED Medical Diagnostics, is a handheld device that shines a harmless frequency of blue light into your mouth. Ordinary oral tissue glows green when exposed to this light, chiefly due to certain proteins in the collagen layer. Viewing the tissues through a lens and filter, much like the way a medical doctor examines your eyes and ears, allows us to see areas that are potentially infected, inflamed or abnormal. In many cases, the VELscope detects problem spots that cannot be seen under regular white light. This ability to “extend” our vision to abnormalities that are usually undetectable makes the VELscope particularly effective as one more tool protecting our patients from harmful disease.
Using the VELscope only takes about two minutes. No additional tools, injections or rinses are required. All you have to do is open wide! Typically, your dentist or hygienist examines your oral cavity with the scope after visually scanning your mouth and throat. Sometimes we actually feel a spot to determine if the tissue is different from surrounding membranes. The VELscope then confirms a suspicion of abnormality or helps identify issues we missed in a purely visual inspection. Suspicious areas might be biopsied immediately or we may arrange for a follow-up visit after approximately two weeks to determine if the problem is simply a temporary inflammation.
VELscope is considered a “Top 100” product by Dentistry Today and was one of eight technologies to receive designation as “an innovative device addressing global health concerns” from the World Health Organization. The Sacramento Dentistry Group is pleased to make this technology available to our patients to increase early detection of oral diseases, including cancer. Non-invasive, simple to use, and radiation free, VELscope is a 21st century innovation for improved oral health!
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