What Exams to Take For Your Oral Cancer Screening

Oral cancer screening is an examination performed by a dentist to look for signs of cancer in your mouth. The ultimate goal of this comprehensive screening is to identify signs of mouth cancer and immediately address it before it worsens. But as with any disease, prevention is always better than cure. In fact, the National Cancer Institute recommends that oral cancer screening must be a preventive activity that ought to be performed even before the symptoms begin to show. This screening typically takes less than two minutes, so it won’t require much of your time.

In this article, we will share several exams you must undergo for your oral cancer screening:

1) Visual Exam

This visual examination typically involves taking a look at your entire mouth, including your lips, face, neck, jaw, cheeks, and the inside of your nose and oral cavity. At the same time, your dentist will look for signs of swellings, bumps, colour patches, ulcerations, asymmetries, and other abnormalities. Your dental professional will then use a light and mirror to inspect your mouth and utilize a tongue depressor to hold down your tongue and look at the back of your mouth.

2) Physical Exam

Apart from the visual exam, your dental professional will also need to perform a physical exam to check for signs of oral cancer. This screening goes as simple as touching your face, mouth, and neck to feel irregular nodules or masses. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation (OCF), touch is required to check for signs of any cancer-causing abnormalities with hard lumps of tissues as the most notable signs.

3) Oral Cancer Screening

Besides the physical and oral exams, you must also get the screening itself, which involves using specialized examination tools. First, it uses an oral brush biopsy that painlessly eliminates cells in the mouth for testing. Second, the dentist will utilize an oral assessment system tool with fluorescent light to look for suspicious oral tissues. Finally, the screening involves using a mouth rinse to help with the visual inspection of your mouth’s tissues.

4) Post-Screening for Oral Screening

Keep in mind that oral cancer screening is merely preventive, not diagnostic. However, if the dentists find something abnormal, you’ll need multiple visits for further screening. If it’s confirmed that you have cancer, you’ll then be referred to a specialist, and they will provide you with the right dental treatment. Ultimately, prevention and early detection are the keys to avoid advanced stages of oral cancer!

As a family dental clinic in Edmonton, we provide personalized dental treatments for patients of all ages. Our ultimate goal is to ensure a set of healthy, strong teeth while giving you a perfect smile. But more than anything else, we want to foster your overall oral health. If you’re looking for an oral cancer screening, we’ve got you covered!


At this point, you now know that there’s more than an oral cancer screening than what you might have initially expected. Not only is it a part of your oral exam, but it’s also an opportunity to speak with your dentist about your fears and concerns revolving around mouth cancer. By undergoing this screening, you’ll reduce the risk of oral cancer and get yourself immediately treated if you get one!

Home of Smiles Dental Clinic offer a wide range of dental services, such as urgent dental care, oral checkups, cosmetic dentistry, and restorative dentistry. If you’re looking for an affordable dentist in Edmonton to get an oral consultation and oral cancer screening, connect with us today to request an appointment!