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The Latest Innovations and Technology for Early Detection of Disease
The Surgeon General Report, Oral Health in America: A Report of the Surgeon General, notes that “a person is not healthy without good oral health” Absolutely. That is why we ensure that our patients have healthy mouths. We also take advantage of the latest innovations and technological advancements to detect and enable early treatment of a variety of health threats. Prior to 2001 dentistry had no early detection devices. We now do. In-office microbiological testing for decay bacteria identifies periodontal disease pathogens. In-office DNA testing is available for identification of periodontal disease risks and HPV. In-office saliva testing to check the ph, flow and buffering capabilities of the saliva.
An important technological development in the oral health field is the VELscope and Vizilite which use a fluorescent illumination to detect precancerous lesions. Oral cancer is more common than leukemia, skin melanoma, Hodgkins disease, cancers of the brain, liver, bone, thyroid gland, stomach, ovaries and cervix, and has the worst 5 year survival rate among common cancers Cancer survival is dependent on early detection, and part of the reason for oral cancer low survival rates has been late detection: 70% of oral cancer lesions found during a visual exam ALONE are detected in stage III or IV, and one out of four with oral cancer do not have any of the risk factors for cancer. The VELscope technology is safe, inexpensive, and painless.
The next time you visit the dentist, ask about diagnostic testing for early detection of threats to your health. If you have any questions about how technology can help you with early detection, please contact us.