How Often Should You Have an Oral Cancer Screening?

Oral Cancer Screening Chicago, IL

You probably know that it is vital to have a regular oral cancer screening. But you might not know how often you should get one. There are a few factors that will play into how often you should get screened. Your dentist can help you decide how often to get one. That will reduce your chances of having undiagnosed oral cancer and having fatal results.

Frequency of oral cancer screenings

There are many opinions out there as to how often patients should be screened. The opinions vary quite a bit. However, the average recommendation is once a year or every other dental appointment. Patients will benefit from having an oral cancer screening each dental visit. That would make the frequency twice a year. It is better to catch cancer as soon as it is noticeable so that the patient can fight it.

Oral cancer risk factors

The amount of time that a person needs to have between oral cancer screenings will depend on risk factors. For instance, those who have a higher risk of having oral cancer will need to have more screenings. Some examples of risk factors include using alcohol or tobacco often. Those who are out in the sun often may also be at a higher risk.

Gender, age, diet, and family history can also play a role. Even if none of these risk factors are present, a patient should still get an oral cancer screening. With oral cancer, there may not be symptoms right away. A patient might not notice the symptoms immediately by themselves.

An easy and fast screening

The good news is that patients do not need to dread the screening each year. It is easier and faster than many people might think. A typical screening involves swishing around a fluid in the mouth. Then the dentist will use a flashlight to look in the mouth.

The dentist might feel the throat and mouth looking for lumps. If there are any suspicious areas, this will be removed and sent off to a lab. The results from the lab will come in fairly quickly. That means that an oral cancer screening is nothing to be afraid of. A patient has much to gain but nothing to lose by getting an oral cancer screening. By catching cancer early, there is a better chance of successfully treating it.

Choose to get an oral cancer screening today

You might have a risk factor for oral cancer or not. But you should get a screening at least once a year. Even if you are in good health and do not have any dental issues, you might still get oral cancer. Similarly, not having a family history does not mean you are free of being at risk. Since there is a chance of you getting it, you should get a screening once or twice a year. If you want to learn more or schedule your own screening, now is the time to contact your dentist.

Request an appointment here: or call Smiles On Michigan at (312) 509-9492 for an appointment in our Chicago office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Oral Cancer Screening in Chicago, IL.

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