Oral Pathology and Biopsy IN LAS VEGAS & HENDERSON, NV
ANTHEM PERIO, LAS VEGAS' CHOICE FOR ADVANCED PERIODONTICS
Oral pathology is a specialized field of dentistry dedicated to diagnosing and treating issues that affect or alter oral structures (cheeks, jaws, lips, teeth) and parts of the neck and face. Some of the more common conditions diagnosed and treated through oral pathology include halitosis, fungal infections, canker sores, salivary issues, herpes of the mouth, and oral cancer. Every year, up to 50,000 cases of oral cancer are diagnosed, and of these diagnoses, approximately 10,000 cases will be fatal. There are a variety of oral cancer types, including adenocarcinoma, teratoma, melanoma, and the most common type, malignant squamous cell carcinoma. Although oral cancer has long been believed to be an issue unique to smokers, research indicates that, while tobacco use and excessive alcohol consumption can increase an individual’s risk of developing oral cancer, other factors that may play a significant role include genetic predisposition, ethnicity, and gender. One of the most effective ways to correct and/or prevent oral pathology diseases is to schedule regular periodontal examinations, which include oral cancer screenings, and if necessary, a biopsy.
How is Oral Pathological Disease Diagnosed?
Prior to beginning the examination, we will evaluate and discuss your medical history and any concerns or questions you may have. Next, we will examine your mouth, jaw, cheeks, and head for signs of masses, unusual nodules, and/or abnormal tissue. If it is determined that there are indications of an oral pathological disease, it may be necessary to perform a biopsy.
Biopsies involve the surgical removal of tissue, which is then sent to a laboratory to be examined. The most common tissues types that are examined are soft tissue, skin, lymph nodes, sinus mucosa, oral mucosa, and bone.
When looking for indications of oral cancer, one of the following types of diagnostic measures will be performed:
- Incisional biopsy: Incisional biopsies are typically performed when the lesion is large and involves removing only a portion of the tissue. Depending on the location of the lesion, this biopsy type will either happen in office or an operating room.
- Excisional biopsy: If the lesion is smaller than 1cm in diameter and is easily accessible, an excisional biopsy may be performed, which will remove the entire lesion.
- Exfoliative cytology: Exfoliative cytology involves scraping a sample of cells from the area, which are then examined in a laboratory. If abnormalities are discovered, a biopsy will be necessary.
How to Limit Your Risk of Develop Oral Pathology Diseases
Unfortunately, everyone is at some risk of developing oral pathology diseases, either due to genetic predisposition or lifestyle habits. Fortunately, there are measures you can take to significantly reduce your risk, one of the most important being to follow good oral hygiene habits at home. Avoiding tobacco products (especially chewing tobacco) is the best way to reduce your risk of developing oral cancer or other oral health issues. It is also important to limit your intake of alcohol. Research suggests that moderate drinking does not pose a large threat to increase in oral cancer risk rates, however binge drinking or drinking on a regular basis can be a contributing factor. Avoiding excessive sun exposure can also reduce your risk of developing oral cancer.
While these steps will reduce your risk, it is important to be aware that there is no way to eliminate the possibility of oral pathology diseases from developing. As such, it is important to perform regular self-examinations and schedule regular visits to your periodontist. If you currently have a concern that oral cancer or other oral pathological diseases have developed, contact your periodontist today. Treating the issue as soon as possible is the best way to increase your likelihood of enjoying a full recovery.
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Treating Oral Pathological Diseases
Oral pathologic disease can be treated through a variety of methods. Antibiotics are typically prescribed for patients who have developed a bacterial infection or who are experiencing soreness. Over time, these antibiotics will restore the mucosa to its original state and alleviate the soreness. Patients who have developed issues due to improper or insufficient oral hygiene may be prescribed diluted hydrogen peroxide mouthwash, which is specially formulated to kill bacteria and reverse halitosis. Oral surgery may be necessary for patients who have cysts or non-cancerous growths that need to be removed. Removal of these growths can correct breathing issues and difficulty speaking, and will also reduce discomfort and improve your aesthetic appearance.
If it is determined that oral cancer is present, the first step will be developing a treatment plan tailored to your unique needs and medical history and informed by the severity of your case. The most common treatment option for oral cancer is removing the tumor. If the tumor is in an area with a lot of tissue, radiation therapy and chemotherapy may be recommended to attack the cancerous cells while protecting the healthy tissue.
Cost of Oral Pathology Treatment and Biopsy
The cost of having a biopsy and oral pathological evaluation performed will depend on a variety of factors, including what procedures (if any) are necessary and your dental insurance plan. At Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants, we are committed to helping you maximize your insurance coverage so you can receive optimal care. Most dental insurances do not cover dental biopsies. In the event you want to attempt to submit your biopsy to your medical insurance plan, we can provide you with the required information. Though not required, we do offer a discount for patients who pay their bill in full (cash, check, or credit) prior to treatment.
Before scheduling your appointment, we will provide an estimated total cost and answer any questions you have concerning payment plan options, such as Care Credit which offer interest-free payment plans for six-to-twelve-month periods and/or a payment arrangement made in advance with our office.
For your convenience, we accept MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express.
Schedule Your Appointment
At Anthem Periodontics and Dental Implants, your oral health is our number one goal. We are committed to providing you with the comprehensive periodontal support you need to continue enjoying a bright, healthy smile. To learn more or schedule an appointment, contact our office at (702) 270-4600. We look forward to providing you with quality care tailored to your unique needs!