Never Do Just an “Oral Cancer” Exam!

June 22, 2011

By Dr. Scott Benjamin

The most important function of dental care is a thorough assessment and evaluation of the patient’s oral and related systemic health. An exam should never be focused on just one condition, and that includes cancer. One of the biggest mistakes that clinicians make is understating the true value of an oral screening for a multitude of conditions and over-hyping a single disease. The improper communication of these procedures has greatly reduced the perception of the significance and importance of the examination process.

The DentLight Oral Exam Kit (DentLight, Inc., Richardson, Texas) uses a battery handheld light source to stimulate a fluorescence response that is emitted from the tissue. The clinician views the tissue that is being stimulated with this specialized light through specific filters that are attached to the magnification optics of their loupes. If an area of concern is detected, the area can be photographed with a standard handheld digital camera with the supplied filter that can be attached to a lens filter adapter. benjamin