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This 6-Step Oral Cancer Screening Process Could Save Lives

Posted November 11, 2014

Tonya Lanthier, RDH

OCC-Logo-TM1Being a dental professional is about so much more than just ensuring day-to-day oral health. As we all know, the mouth acts as a window to the rest of the body and can tell us a LOT about a person’s overall health.

The amount of time we spend with our patients grants us the opportunity to spare them the trauma of devastating diseases like oral cancer. Oral Cancer Cause reports that early oral cancer detection increases survival rates by 80 – 90%. Since almost all cases of oral cancer are discovered in the dentist’s chair, this makes the simple act of oral screening an important, and sometimes lifesaving, part of every appointment.

Comprehensive care doesn’t stop there, though. I like to perform head and neck exams along with recording a patient’s blood pressure and pulse. Building and monitoring this health history provides me with data to refer back to should I notice a change in the future.

My friend Rachel Wall, RDH, Founder of Inspired Hygiene, shares a heartening story in the video below. I hope her message encourages you to include oral cancer screenings as a permanent addition to your workflow.


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