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What X-rays Show When Looking for Oral Cancer


Posted on 9/20/2018 by Dr. Simon Choyee
What X-rays Show When Looking for Oral CancerWhen it comes to cancer, early detection is often the key. It allows for the best chance at a successful course of treatment. While early detection is the key to dealing with cancer, it does not always happen.

In the case of oral cancer, there are many signs to watch for, but X-rays are a tool that can help. For people who get regular checkups that include e-rays, the chances for early detection of oral cancer are much higher.

How to Use X-Rays


There are two things that our dental offices use when it comes to x-rays. The first involves the x-rays taken during the visit. There are two types of x-rays used during a dental examination. The intraoral x-rays are the ones that most people are familiar with. They show the teeth and are typically used for checking for cavities. They also provide a general overview of the jaw.

The second type of x-ray is the extraoral x-ray. This x-ray focuses on the jaw and the skull. These x-rays lack the detail of the intraoral types and are most effective for spotting potential problems with the teeth and jaw including problems with oral cancer.

What to Look For


The x-rays can show unusual lesions or growths in the jaw and around the teeth. These lesions may or may not involve the growth of cancer cells. Seeing these areas on an x-ray prompts further investigation to determine if they are a problem that includes oral cancer or something else.

One of the keys to effectively using x-rays to detect oral cancer is using previous x-rays for comparison. The history of previous x-rays is useful for spotting changes in the oral health of an individual. When a person gets x-rays done at least annually, they are more likely to detect problems with oral cancer earlier.

Contact our office today to schedule an appointment to take care of all your oral health needs.


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