Cases of oral cancer have increased over the years. In the U.S. alone, oral cancer affects over 30,000 Americans annually, based on statistics by the American Cancer Society. Fatalities resulting from oral cancer nationwide are more than those caused by skin cancer and twice as many as cervical cancer. Only half of those patients that test for this disease survive five years after diagnosis. However, when detected on time, the condition is treatable.
With this in mind, it’s essential to detect oral cancer at early stages, and this is where dental professionals play a crucial role. Researchers in dentistry have developed advanced diagnostic tools for routine screening. One of the most extensive oral cancer research ever conducted has been with Oralcdx. The technique helps in the early detection and diagnosis of oral cancer.
At Encino Dentist, we use Oralcdx advanced technology during routine oral examinations to detect precancerous cells. We understand that if oral malignancy is seen on time, the precancerous cells can be removed long before they develop into cancer, thus saving many lives. Our medical professionals in dental offices use Oralcdx brush technology to test the white and red spots in your mouth to determine if the lesions have abnormal or precancerous cells.
What is Oralcdx?
Oralcdx is a brush test used to test small white and red precancerous spots spotted in your mouth during careful oral screening. Although most of these oral spots result from hot drinks or sharp teeth, three percent of them contain abnormal or dysplastic cells, which are usually unharmful today but can cause oral cancer if left untreated. If your dentist fails to detect these unhealthy cells, they can develop into oral cancer.
Oralcdx is a computer-aided special brush. It contains tiny bristles that collect cells from oral lesions to establish if they have dysplastic cells. When going for routine dental checkups, you should consider the Encino Dentist. Our dental specialists make use of these unique brushes to collect cell samples from oral spots. These samples are sent to CDX for diagnosis to help the dentist determine if the oral lesion is cancerous. The process takes minutes, virtually painless, and doesn’t require anesthesia.
The Oralcdx brush test was invented in 1999 to investigate suspicious lesions. Until the brush test was developed, dental offices relied on cervical smears. After introducing the painless and routine oral examination using brush tests, routine dentistry for oral cancer analysis has significantly improved.
The advanced technology has made it possible for dentists to detect precancerous and cancerous cells in oral spots on time. As a result, many lives have been saved, and thousands of oral surgeries avoided. The tests have ruled out that oral spots contain abnormal cells, thus assuring patients that a thorough oral evaluation has been conducted.
What is an Oral Spot?
Oral spots are typically small white or red spots resulting from tissue changes in the mouth. The lesions can appear on the tongue, inner cheek, or any other place in the mouth. The white spots are known as leukoplakia, while the red ones are referred to as erythroplakia if the cause is unknown. However, the majority of oral lesions are due to prolonged irritation.
Detecting oral spots on time can save your life. In case the detected oral lesions contain unhealthy cells, they can be treated before developing into cancer. If the cells were already cancerous but were detected at an early stage, the cancer is curable. Therefore, knowing how to diagnose oral spots in your mouth is critical.
You need to pay attention while brushing your teeth and looking out for small white or red spots in the mouth. When you notice the lesions for the first them, don’t visit the dentist right away. Instead, monitor them for around ten to fourteen days. If they don’t disappear, it is a red flag, and you should visit your dentist for an oral examination.
Make sure your dentist utilizes the brush biopsy test to quickly determine if the spots dysplastic cells, which, when left alone, will develop into oral cancer. The dentist might say the oral spots are not risky, but they persist, you should notify them or seek a second opinion from another dentist.
Keep in mind that not all oral spots are an indication of oral cancer. The majority of the oral lesions in your mouth contain normal or healthy cells. However, it’s still critical to go for oral screening if you notice these spots because it enables the dentist to identify unhealthy cells at early stages before causing harm or developing into oral cancer.
At Encino Dentist, we perform annual visual screening in your mouth to look for changes in color or texture different from the surrounding areas. However, because eyes alone cannot help our dentists identify these spots unless the lesion’s cause is exact, we recommend Oralcdx brush tests to identify these spots for further evaluation. The results from the tests guide other procedures.
The Limitation of Early Detection
Before the introduction of Oralcdx, the only way of diagnosing oral dysplasia or cancer was through biopsy. Although scalpel biopsy tests are still in use today, they have their limitations. In most cases, an oral cancer diagnosis is only made to suspicious oral spots or lesions. A suspicious lesion is a large one, has ulceration, and causes pain. Unfortunately, when an oral spot displays these signs, it’s an indication of oral cancer that has already progressed.
When oral cancer or dysplasia is in its early stages, it appears harmless, so many dentists don’t consider it suspicious. They do not cause any pain, and most of the time, you might not be aware of their presence. And because these lesions are widespread, dentists have the challenge of biopsying them even when necessary. Referring many patients for surgical biopsy every week is impractical. However, when a precancerous cell is not diagnosed early, it progresses to cancer.
Oralcdx empowers dentists by enabling them to painlessly and accurately analyze common unsuspicious lesions they encounter daily. Dentists no longer have to speculate about the nature of these oral spots. Oralcdx ensures early diagnosis of oral cancer, significantly increasing the survival rate.
How Does the Oralcdx Brush Test Work
Many people are afraid of dental offices because most procedures are painful. The good news is that an Oralcdx process is painless. You don’t need to panic when going for this procedure.
When you visit us at Encino Dentist, our dentists will use a special handheld brush to collect epithelial cells from a suspicious spot for a pathologist’s examination. The unique brush is rolled over the suspicious lesion until bleeding is observed. Bleeding is an indication that the epithelial tissue has been penetrated.
The brush collects sample tissues from the spot, and then it’s smeared on a glass slide and fixed with an alcohol-based fixative. The brush is also placed on the vial, and both are sent to CDx laboratories for diagnosis.
Computers using advanced robotics, scanning, and imaging at the lab analyze the specimen cell by cell and compare them with previous records of normal and dysplastic cells to determine which cells are precancerous or cancerous.
Although the diagnosis is not definitive, the lab report gives your dentist a definitive account of further abnormalities diagnosed in the lab. The results in the report are categorized as inadequate, negative, positive, or atypical.
Once you receive the test results, the dentist will review the findings with you. If the results come back positive, the dentist will refer you to an oral surgeon for a standard surgical biopsy. The surgeon can opt to remove the precancerous cells or conduct a biopsy surgically. Note that although Oralcdx brush tests do not require anesthesia, local anesthesia is necessary for scalpel biopsy.
If the results return negative and the lesion doesn’t go away, you should go back for reevaluation.
How is Oralcdx Brush Test Different From Visual Screening for Cancer Using Light?
Some dental offices choose to use light to examine patients for oral cancer visually. Doing so is essential because they can’t begin treatment without a diagnosis. Although they might be doing this because of lack of proper equipment, the lights are not very useful. Using light for oral cancer screening cannot tell why the oral spots are in your mouth, which lesions are healthy, and whether there are unhealthy cells in the spots. Only a lab evaluation by a pathologist can do.
Encino Dentist recommends Oralcdx because this advanced technology establishes the cause of the oral spots and helps determine whether it is healthy or contains precancerous cells.
Is Oralcdx Brush Test Accurate?
Yes, brush tests’ accuracy was demonstrated in one of the most extensive oral studies ever published. The studies include thirty-five clinical trials conducted in dental academic centers nationwide, involving almost one thousand patients. Since the development of these brushes in 1999, dentists have diagnosed over 40,000 precancers long before they progress to cancer.
Despite the tests being less invasive and painless, when it comes to diagnosing precancerous and cancerous cells, they are as sensitive as a surgical biopsy.
Why Should You Consider Oralcdx?
As stated earlier, oral cancer is a disease that kills many Americans, and now the number is rising among women, non-smokers, and young people. Twenty-five percent of those diagnosed with the disease don’t abuse alcohol or smoke tobacco. Everybody is at risk of developing oral cancer. Recent studies have linked HPV and other factors to the rising number of oral cancer cases.
Any lesion in your mouth that isn’t caused by trauma, hot drink, or infection is suspicious, so it requires evaluation to rule out precancerous and cancerous cells. Instead of making a poor diagnosis by assuming all lesions that look harmless are caused by trauma, Oralcdx allows your dentist to carry out the test in the dental office and send the sample to the CDX labs. Using the tests’ findings, the dentist can provide treatment or refer you to an oral surgeon if clinically necessary.
Due to its accuracy, Oralcdx can be reliably used to rule out if an oral spot or lesion has precancerous or cancerous cells.
What to Expect From a Dentist?
With the latest studies showing that nowadays, cancer is prevalent among people 40 years or younger and women, plus the fact that 25 percent of those who develop the disease have no risk factors, your dentist frequently screens you for oral cancer. The chances of displaying an oral lesion while visiting the dentist are high, and all the lesions might look harmless.
Before your dentist conducts a brush biopsy test to determine if the lesions are benign, they should inform you of the reason for the test. They run the tests because oral spots that are commonly detected are mild, and there is a need to ensure the oral lesion is harmless. The best way to determine whether the test is innocuous or not is through Oralcdx.
If the brush test returns atypical, the dentist should assure you there is nothing to worry about. Most tests whose findings are atypical might cause fear among patients. Still, when you undergo a scalpel or surgical biopsy, the oral lesions prove to be just inflammations or non-cancerous.
Benefits of Oralcdx
Undergoing an evaluation using Oralcdx has a lot of advantages. Some of these benefits include:
- Performing an Oralcdx is easy
- The process is less invasive
- The procedure is highly-accepted among dental patients because it’s painless.
- Your dentist doesn’t need to reschedule because the procedure is performed in a dental office.
- When compared to surgical or scalpel biopsy, there is less or no bleeding
- The procedure is reliable because it has detected 40,000 dysplastic cases after the introduction in dentistry.
- It helps save lives because of early detection of curable oral cancers
How You Can Prevent Oral Cancer
Before it progresses, oral cancer appears as a harmless oral spot with abnormal cells. And because they resemble the small red or white lesions known as benign that dentists encounter every day, precancerous or dysplastic cells are not easy to detect. Oralcdx is therefore designed to diagnose precancerous cells in oral spots of lesions to prevent oral cancer.
The progression from precancerous cells to cancerous cells is a slow process that can take up to seven years. Oralcdx will ensure the dysplastic cells are detected early and treated before they progress, thus preventing oral cancer.
Find the Right Encino Dentist Near Me
With the increasing cases of oral cancer, early detection is key to prevention and survival. An Oralcdx will ensure accurate and reliable oral cancer diagnosis. If you have oral lesions or want a thorough oral examination, we invite you to contact Encino Dentist. We make use of this advanced technology for routine oral screening for early oral cancer detection. Call us today at 818-650-0429 to schedule a meeting.