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  • 1.  There are over 38,000 new cases of oral cancer diagnosed each year. Oral cancer kills approx. 9,000 people each year in the U.S. It has a low survival rate. Lives can and must be saved by performing this simple exam.
  • 2.  5-15% of all dental patients have oral abnormalities. The vast majority of these are truly benign. Detecting those that are precancerous is the key to improving survival of oral cancer patients.
  • 3.  Screen each patient at every appointment to detect lesions that may be pathologic. Identify suspect lesions that require additional testing and referral. Prevent advanced or irreversible disease by recognition.
  • 4.  The complete examination should include both inspection and digital palpation of extra and intra oral structures. Oral tissues are an indicator of your patients overall health Abnormal conditions can be recognized if the appearance of normal oral structures is known. The color and size of structures may vary with genetic patterns and age.
  • 5.  Lips Lateral surface of tongue Retromolar pads Buccal mucosa Floor of mouth Hard & soft palate Gingiva
  • 6.  White areas: Vary from filmy, barely visible change in the mucosa to a heavy, thick, heaped up area of dry white keratinized tissue. Leukoplakia: White patch that can not be scraped off. Found on lips, tongue, and lining of the mouth. Red areas: Lesions of red, velvety consistency, sometimes with small ulcers.
  • 7.  Erthtoplakia: Used to designate lesions that appear as red patches that can’t be characterized as any specific disease. Ulcers: They may have flat or raised margins. Palpation may reveal induration. Masses: elevations above the surrounding tissues, or below mucosa found by palpation. Pigmentation: black or brown pigmented areas maybe located on mucosa where pigmentation doesn’t normally occur.
  • 8.  Localized: lesion is limited to a small focal area. Generalized: involves most of an area of section of the mouth. Single: one lesion of a particular type with a distinct margin. Multiple lesions: more than one lesion of a particular type. › Separate- discrete, not running together. › Coalescing- close to each other with margins that merge.
  • 9.  A- anatomic location (i.e. left buccal mucosa adjacent to #14) B- boarder (i.e. well demarcated) C- color & configuration (i.e. red, linear) D- diameter & dimensions (i.e. 4mm x 2mm x 1mm in height) T- type (i.e. macule)
  • 10.  Explain procedure to patient( what youre doing and why) Remove all removable prostheses. Use visual inspection and palpation technique with optimal lighting Use mirror and retractors when necessary.
  • 11.  Visually inspect the entire oral cavity and oropharynx. Use the dental light and mirror to look for any conditions (i.e. herpetic lesion)
  • 12.  Examine the patient at each appointment. Ensure a thorough health history. Educate on behaviors that increase risk of oral cancer. Identify and document suspicious lesions. Refer to obtain a definitive diagnosis. Follow up to make sure diagnosis was made.
  • 13.  Bifid uvula Fordyce granules Ankyloglossia Fissured tongue Geographic tongue Mandibular torus Buccal exostoses Palatinus torus Linea alba