Educating Patients about Oral Cancer

Eva: Do you get an oral cancer screening? Friend: I don’t know. What is it exactly? Eva: They pull your tongue out with a gauze until it’s uncomfortable so they can see the back borders of your tongue. Does your dentist or hygienist do that? Friend: Um, I’m not sure. Eva: Do they palpate your neck for lymph nodes? Friend: …

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A Physician Receives an Oral Cancer Diagnosis – He Had No Idea Until It Was Stage IV

Dear Eva, Nine months ago I asked my dentist about the lesion on the floor of my mouth. He said it’s ‘tori’, a bony growth condition caused by grinding and stress. “Don’t worry about it.”Four months later I developed a horse voice. I am Vice-Chief of Anesthesiology at a cancer center so I asked a colleague to scope me. He …

Tattoos 4 Teeth!

I just read an article about a dental technician who makes permanent art on teeth. Call it a tattoo! Usually it’s a crown on a molar. You would pull your lip aside to show someone the team you admire, the country flag, or a flower. He doesn’t just paint it on. He engraves the design into the crown. Each color …

A New Career: Dental Therapists (DT) and Advanced Dental Therapists (ADT)

Dental therapists can fill cavities, extract primary teeth and put in crowns and spacers. DT’s get a 2½-year degree (compared with four years for dentists) and earn roughly half what a dentist does. University of Minnesota School of Dentistry’s Dental Therapy program is the first in the country to graduate 9 students in 2011. The school’s second graduating class of …

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Dental School Standards in Oral Cancer Knowledge

After my oral cancer diagnosis, my Mom went for her dental check up and you can bet she wanted to be sure she was getting a proper oral cancer screening. When it never happened, she said something to her dentist. “My daughter had oral cancer and I want an oral cancer screening.” He replied that he always takes a good …