Ask Dr. Hill


Hello everyone,

Each month I will have a question submitted to me by one of my patients as my blog entry.  I hope that you find these questions and answers useful.

This month we had this question submitted:

Good morning, Dr. Hill, I have a quick question. I recently completed a dental form at your office and the form asked when was the date of my last Oral Cancer screening.  Is this a standard screening done in your office as part of my routine checkup or is this something I would request out of concern?  I didn’t think that a dental office would be in the practice of checking for Cancer.  I should have asked you there but it slipped my mind! Thanks!

-Charlotte Jennings


Thanks for your question!  April is actually Oral Cancer Awareness Month so your question is especially befitting. 

Oral cancer screening is a routine part of a dental examination. Regular check-ups, including an examination of the entire mouth, are essential in the early detection of cancerous and pre-cancerous conditions. You may have a very small, but dangerous, oral spot or sore and not be aware of it.  Here at Contemporary Smiles Family and Cosmetic Dentistry, I will carefully examine the inside of your mouth and tongue and in some patients may notice a flat, painless, white or red spot or a small sore. Although most of these are harmless, some are not. Harmful oral spots or sores often look identical to those that are harmless, but testing can tell them apart. If you have a sore with a likely cause, we may treat it and ask you to return for re-examination.                      -Dr. Hill