What Is Oral Pathology?
Each year, roughly around 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer. Detecting this disease and getting treatment early on is crucial in achieving the best prognosis possible. Our skilled oral surgery team recommends that all patients maintain annual dental appointment which often includes an oral cancer screening and/or schedule a visit with one of our oral specialists. When you visit Oral Surgery Specialists of Pueblo, we will not only perform a thorough screening but educate you on how to perform self-examinations at home. Sings and symptoms to look out for include abnormal bumps or sores and persistent red or white patches. Our surgeons are highly trained and experienced in the diagnosis and treatment of oral cancer and have helped countless men and women regain their oral health. If you have noticed anything unusual or are concerned about a bump or sore that has not healed, we invite you to call our office in Pueblo, CO to schedule a biopsy to see if any oral pathology treatment is necessary.
"The staff was very friendly and welcoming. The procedure was very fast they went through every detail make sure I was OK during the process and Dr. Ringer even checked up on me after I was gone."- C.L. / Google / Apr 30, 2021
"Dr. Bailey and the dental assistant that took my blood were amazing. I was very scared and apprehensive and in severe pain and they made me feel so at ease. I thank them all so much for taking away my pain. They are amazing!!!"- G.C. / Google / Apr 30, 2021
"Had all 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed. Dr. Bailey and staff did a great job! Super professional, friendly and did a great job explaining everything and making me feel comfortable! 10/10 would reccomend for wisdom teeth removal!"- M.B. / Google / Apr 08, 2021
"Amazing experience since first step in the door my son was terrified and left smiling thank you to the staff and dr handsome :)"- S.C. / Google / Apr 07, 2021
"Dr. Eric Ringer is a very gentle and friendly person who makes you feel welcomed to be in his care. The overall atmosphere is very professional and clean and the staff is lovely."- M.W. / Google / Apr 07, 2021
What are Signs and Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
Detecting and treating oral cancer as soon as possible is critical in ensuring the best outcome and long-term health of our patients. Benign and malignant tumors or lesions can develop in the gums, the bottom of the mouth, tongue, soft/hard palates, and on the cheeks. Oral cancer most commonly arises as a lesion, cyst, sore, or bump inside or around the mouth. Other signs and symptoms may include unexplained bleeding, swelling, difficulty chewing, sore throat or feeling like something is in the back of the throat. Certain lifestyle habits and other factors may increase one's risk of acquiring oral cancer such as genetics, HPV (human papillomavirus), tobacco or substance abuse, and overall poor oral hygiene.
How Is Oral Pathology Diagnosed?
Prior to any treatment, a thorough oral cancer screening should be conducted by one of our seasoned oral specialists or your general dentist. Once this has been conducted, our team will perform a biopsy to determine your prognosis and from there begin developing a custom treatment plan. During a biopsy, local anesthesia is used and a small amount of tissue is shaved or removed from the suspicious lesion and sent to a pathology lab to be tested.
Not all abnormal lesions result in oral cancer but any suspicious sores or bumps should be assessed right away for optimal oral health and comfort. This also includes other signs and symptoms such as chronic bleeding, swelling, difficulty chewing, or soreness. During your consultation, we will examine your mouth and identify areas of pain or concern to determine the best treatment plan possible.
What Is the Treatment Process?
If the results of your biopsy are abnormal or anything suspicious was found during your oral cancer screening, our team will take digital x-rays and/or a scan (MRI) of the area to better understand your condition. After all your tests are complete, we will review your results with you and discuss all of your treatment options. If oral cancer has been confirmed, we typically recommend surgical excision. The stage and location of the cancerous cells will also determine your treatment. Typically, noncancerous tumors or lesions that are causing great pain or discomfort are also removed with surgical excision. Our oral and maxillofacial surgeons are well versed in the latest tools and advanced techniques to safely and effectively treat oral cancer and benign tumors.
What Should I Do After an Oral Biopsy or Lesion Removal?
After your surgery, our team will review all post-operative instructions and at-home care routines with you before you are released to go home. It's important to adhere to all the instructions provided by our office to ensure optimal healing and results. Follow-up visits will also be scheduled so we can monitor and review your progress. Maintaining annual dental exams and bi-annual dental cleanings are essential in preserving the long-term health of your smile. Building healthy habits like routine brushing and flossing with also assist in optimal oral health. We may also recommend that you receive oral cancer screenings several times a year to ensure the best results possible.
Is Oral Pathology Treatment Covered by Insurance?
Some insurance companies may offer full or partial coverage depending on the provider and your specific plan. Our office will call your insurer to confirm your benefits and if there is any coverage available for oral pathology treatment. Once this is complete, we can calculate your out-of-pocket costs and discuss all your payment options. We want you to get the quality oral care you deserve, which is why our Pueblo practice offers flexible payment plans and accepts financing through CareCredit®.
Specialty Care for Oral Concerns
If you have noticed a suspicious lesion or lingering pain, we invite you to contact Oral Surgery Specialists of Pueblo to schedule a consultation right away. Our skilled specialists are exceptionally trained and experienced in identifying and treating oral cancer and other noncancerous concerns such as painful cysts or sores. Undergoing an oral cancer screening and biopsy can save your life and help improve your overall oral health for positive long-term results. Call our office in Pueblo, CO to schedule your oral cancer screening today.