Identify Oral Cancer Screening

By: Dr. Junée F. Gardy


Our practice continually looks for advances to ensure that we are providing the optimum level of oral health care to our patients. We are concerned about oral cancer and look for it in every patient.

One American dies every hour from oral cancer. Late detection of oral cancer is the primary cause that both the incidence and mortality rates of oral cancer continue to increase. As with most cancers, age is the primary risk factor for oral cancer. Tobacco and alcohol use are other major predisposing risk factors but, more than 25% of oral cancer victims have no such lifestyle risk factors. Studies also suggest that human papillomavirus (HPV 16/18) plays a role in more than 20% of oral cancer cases. Oral cancer risk by patient profile is as follows:

  • Increased Risk: Patients ages 18-39
  • Sexually active patients (HPV 16/18)
  • High Risk: Patients age 40 and older; tobacco users (ages 18-39, any type within 10 years)
  • Highest Risk: Patients age 40 and older with lifestyle risk factors (tobacco and/or alcohol use): Previous history of oral cancer

We have incorporated Identafi into our oral screening standard of care. We find that using Identafi along with a standard oral cancer examination improves the ability to identify suspicious areas at their earliest stages. Identiafi is similar to proven early detection procedures for other cancers such as mammography, Pap smear, and PSA. Identafi is a simple and painless examination that gives the best chance to find any oral abnormalities at the earliest possible stage. Early detection of pre-cancerous tissue can minimize or eliminate the potentially disfiguring effects of oral cancer and possibly save your life. The Identafi exam will be offered to you at every hygiene exam.

This enhanced exam is recognized by the American Dental Association code revision committee as CDT procedcure code D0421. Because some insurance plans do not cover this procedure we offer it FREE OF CHARGE TO ALL PATIENTS to ensure that all patients are able to have the examination done!

In our practice we emphasize oral hygiene education as well as general dental care. This blog allows us to discuss current and state-of-the-art topics that may be pertinent to your dental care. We hope you enjoy this blog and find it interesting. Please feel free to offer your feedback or questions.

* All information subject to change. Images may contain models. Individual results are not guaranteed and may vary.