Sapphire® Lesion Detection
Sapphire Lesion Detection permits our office to potentially uncover oral lesions early. Without assistance from Sapphire Plus Lesion Detection (Velscope), cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions might go undetected and possibly spread causing pain, disfiguration or death.
The sooner cancerous and pre-cancerous lesions are detected, the better the probabilities of successful prevention, therapy and recovery.
When we examine your teeth, we also examine your mouth for any sign of cancer or other lesions. The use of a Velscope helps us find and identify problems early (and with cancer, the earlier the better!). We shine the Velscope light throughout your mouth. Normal, healthy tissue will fluorescence (or glow) naturally when viewed under the right lighting conditions. Unhealthy tissue will lose the ability to fluorescence. This enhances our ability to examine the oral mucosa and screen for tissue abnormalities, potentially leading to the earlier discovery of pre-cancer, cancer and other disease processes.
This is particularly important, considering the overall five-year survival rate for oral cancer is only 50-60%, but it can be as high as 80-90% when the disease is discovered and treated in its early stages. This early detection is one of the best mechanisms for enabling treatment success, increasing survival rates and maintaining a high quality of life.
In addition, Human papillomavirus (HPV), the sexually transmitted infection commonly associated with 95% of cervical cancer, has been liked to oral cancer. HPV has caused an increase of cases in young, non-smokers who previously had a low incidence of oral cancer. It is also true that about 25% of oral cancer has no known risk factors.
I do this Velscope exam every two years. Oral cancer screening is now the standard of care….it is so important! Every adult patient in my office gets this done.