New Patients Welcome!
What Will Happen On My First Visit?
Please assist us at the time of your initial visit to the office by providing the following information:
- Your referral slip.
- X-rays from your referring dentist.
- A list of medications you are currently taking.
- If you have dental insurance, please bring any forms or insurance cards with you to the appointment.
Please Note: All patients under 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at the consultation appointment.
Please notify the office if you have a medical condition or concern prior to surgery (e.g. artificial heart valves or joints, heart murmurs requiring pre-medication, severe diabetes, or hypertension).
We will complete an in-depth medical and dental health history, a thorough examination (measuring for bone loss, loose teeth, bite problems, and other signs of periodontal disease), an oral cancer screening, and TMJ screening.
Oral Cancer Exam
According to the American Cancer Society, over 30,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed each year, with over 7000 of these cases resulting in the death of the patient. Fortunately, oral cancer can be diagnosed with an annual cancer exam provided by Dr. Benedon. If caught early, oral cancer can be effectively treated.
Oral cancer is a pathologic process, which begins by producing no symptoms making it hard to recognize without an exam. There are many types of oral cancer, including teratoma, adenocarcinoma and melanoma. The most common form of oral cancer is malignant squamous cell carcinoma, which typically originates in the lip and mouth tissue. There are many other places in which oral cancers occur, including: the tongue, salivary glands, throat, gums, and face.
What to Expect
The oral cancer examination is completely painless. Dr. Benedon will look for abnormalities and feel the face, glands, and neck for unusual bumps. Some of the signs that will be investigated are red patches and sores. Red patches on the floor of the mouth, or the front of the tongue, and bleeding sores which fail to heal easily can be indicative of cancerous changes. Leukoplakia is a hardened white or gray, slightly raised lesion that can appear inside the mouth, and may be cancerous. Signs of these will be examined as well. Finally, soreness, lumps or the general thickening of tissue anywhere in the throat or mouth can signal pathologic signs, and will be examined.
If abnormalities, lesions, lumps, or leukoplakia are apparent, Dr. Benedon will implement a treatment plan that is right for you. Typically this will include a reevaluation of the area and a biopsy if needed.
It is also important to note that over 75% of oral cancers are linked with avoidable behaviors such as smoking, tobacco use, and excessive alcohol consumption. Dr. Benedon can provide you with literature and options about quitting dangerous behaviors such as tobacco use.