Dr. Megan Coffroth demonstrates a two-minute oral cancer scan for one of her patients. Photo by Sue Reames

Dentist provides oral cancer check ups

By Sue Reames

Do you know what to look for when checking for oral cancer?  A healthy mouth is stable, without pain or red and white spots. While you may be aware of painful areas and small sores, only a trained dentist or oral health specialist can identify possible areas of cancerous or pre-cancerous tissues.

Madison Dental Group, 13541 Madison Ave., is one of the few dental offices that offers a means of detecting oral cancer.  With the VELscope® VX technology, the dentists and technicians at there can quickly identify oral abnormalities and pre-malignant cells.

Jeffrey D. Anderson, DDS, the proprietor of Madison Dental Group explained that the screening for oral cancer takes less than two minutes.  The VELscope VX emits a blue light causing affected tissues to appear green or black. If black spots appear, the patient can be quickly referred to an oncologist for a biopsy and subsequent treatment. The sooner such tissue is identified, the better the patient’s chances are of beating cancer.

Dr. Anderson, Dr. Coffroth and the staff of
Madison Dental Group welcome patients of all ages to their office for care.

Megan Coffroth, Associate Dentist at Madison, says, “We encourage all dental patients to have a head and neck exam as well as a VELscope VX exam of the mouth and tongue every six months.”  

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month. Here are a few facts about oral cancer:  

  • Age, gender, social habits, genetics, family history, and several viruses can make one more prone to oral cancer.
  • People who regularly work out in direct sunlight or use tanning beds are at higher risk.
  • Poor diet (lacking in fruits and vegetables) as well as excessive alcohol intake and tobacco use of any type, including smokeless tobacco, increases your risk.
  • The surge in HPV also puts young people at risk.
  • Anyone who is immune-compromised due to illness or medications is at risk.
  • Those with dentures are not exempt from developing forms of oral cancer.
  • Early detection of oral cancer can have excellent results for the patient.

To introduce their patients to the VELscope VX, Madison Dental Group is offering a free scan during the month of April. For more information, call at 816-942-0033. The office is located at 135th & State Line Rd.

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