BETTENDORF, IA – According to 2012 estimates from the American Cancer Society, about 35,000 people will get oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer annually, and an estimated 6,800 people will die of these cancers. The professionals at Byrum Family Dentistry believe that even one death from oral cancer is one too many.
That’s why Byrum Family Dentistry is offering free oral cancer screenings throughout 2013 to all patients who schedule dental cleanings. “If detected early, oral cancer is highly treatable,” said Dr. Mindy Hochgesang of Byrum Family Dentistry. “The exam consists of shining a special light into the patient’s mouth. It’s quick, easy and pain-free.” No stains or rinses are required during the procedure.
“When patients diagnosed with oral and oropharyngeal cancers are examined, a small number may have another cancer in a nearby area,” Dr. Hochgesang added. “It may be in the larynx, the esophagus, or even the lung. That fact helps to illustrate the importance of early detection.”
Byrum Family Dentistry, the dental practice of Robert L. Byrum, D.D.S., P.C., and Melinda Hochgesang, D.M.D., is located at 3878 Middle Road, Bettendorf, IA.
The VELscope Difference
According to Hochgesang, the screening procedure uses a hand-held device called the VELscope. This device provides dentists and hygienists with an easy-to-use method for the early detection of a wide variety of oral diseases, including pre-cancerous conditions and cancer.
The VELscope handpiece emits a safe green light into the oral cavity which enhances the contrast between normal and abnormal tissue. This aids in the discovery of oral abnormalities before they become visible under ordinary light. “The VELscope is the only non-invasive device of its kind clinically proven to help discover oral disease,” Hochgesang said.
In addition to cancer detection, the VELscope system can also help in finding other oral abnormalities, such as viral, fungal and bacterial infections; inflammation from a variety of causes; squamous papillomas; and salivary gland tumors.
Committed to the Community
The professionals at Byrum Family Dentistry believe in actively promoting dental health in the community. Since 1990, Dr. Byrum has made monthly donations to area charities such as the Make a Wish Foundation and the American Cancer Society. Routinely, toothbrushes, floss, and toothpaste have been donated to area causes, including shelters, schools, and overseas military personnel.
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