Seeing the Whole Picture of Your Oral Health
When you visit Nest for a dental exam, Dr. Sonia Sahi doesn’t just look at your teeth and gums, she also examines the surrounding structures like your jaw, face and neck. This is why dental exams can be crucial for detecting certain oral and systemic diseases. If Dr. Sahi spots a concern, such as a suspicious lesion, she can perform diagnostic testing, including a biopsy, to help you get an accurate diagnosis. Early detection is key when it comes to diseases like oral cancer, so don’t put off an evaluation if you have any concerns.
Oral Diagnosis and Biopsy: The Basics
After performing a thorough exam, Dr. Sahi will ask you about any changes you’ve noticed in and around your mouth and any symptoms you’re experiencing. If she detects a potential issue, she may perform additional testing or diagnostic imaging.
If an abnormality like a lesion, which can show up as a white or red spot or bump, is discovered, further evaluation is usually needed. While most lesions are benign, it’s always best to err on the side of caution.
If we decide to do a biopsy, Dr. Sahi will numb the area with local anesthetic and carefully remove part of the suspicious lesion. She’ll send the tissue sample to a pathologist to examine under a microscope. We’ll call you with your results as soon as the pathology report is done, which usually only takes a few days.
Benefits of Oral Diagnosis & Biopsies
Oral cancer is deadly and that’s mostly because it’s commonly detected in a late stage. Early detection will greatly improve the odds that treatment will be successful.
If we find a problem or abnormality, we’ll create a personalized treatment plan for you. Dr. Sahi will walk you through the next steps and she’ll be by your side every step of the way.
Peace of Mind
If a lesion, sore or lump is benign, getting an accurate diagnosis will give you peace of mind. Dr. Sahi will also provide you with homecare instructions to reduce discomfort and help you heal.
When patients visit our Fraser Street dental studio, we screen for a variety of conditions, including:
We always screen for oral cancer during our dental exams. Oral cancer can be life threatening and, unfortunately, it has a fairly high mortality rate. This isn’t because it’s inherently more dangerous than other types of cancer, but because it’s often detected in a late stage. Early detection is a proven way to significantly increase the survival rate. The good news is that the majority of lesions and unusual growths are benign.
This condition is characterized by white patches inside of the mouth. Leukoplakia is usually benign, but, occasionally, the lesions can be precancerous, which is why we might recommend a biopsy.
This tumor-like mass is benign. It can feel like a bump or lump in the lining of the mouth.
Oral lichen planus is a chronic inflammatory condition. It can show up as white, lacy patches; open sores; or swollen, red tissues. The lesions can cause pain and burning for some patients.
Pregnant women sometimes experience benign, red swelling on the gum tissue due to hormonal changes.
Mucous Membrane Pemphigoid
This group of rare autoimmune disorders affect the mucous membranes. While not life threatening, it can cause oral lesions.
If a suspicious lesion, sore or bump is detected, a biopsy can be performed. In most cases, a biopsy is a simple, in-office procedure that only requires local anesthesia. Dr. Sahi will remove a small portion of the suspicious area. If she makes an incision, she’ll close it with dissolvable stitches that won’t need to be removed.
She’ll send your tissue sample to a pathologist. The pathologist will examine the tissue under a microscope. We’ll call you with the results as soon as we get the pathology report, which usually only takes a few days.
If the lesion is benign, Dr. Sahi will give you homecare instructions to help with discomfort and healing. If a disease like oral cancer is diagnosed, she’ll sit down with you to decide on the ideal treatment plan and walk you through any next steps as you start on the road to recovery.
A biopsy doesn’t hurt. Dr. Sahi numbs the area with local anesthetic first, so you won’t feel anything. Because oral tissues are rich in blood vessels, bleeding is normal after a biopsy. The Nest team will give you after-care instructions that cover how to manage any discomfort, what to eat and drink, and how to keep the area clean.
A Modern Take on Oral Health
Get expert dental care for the whole family in one convenient Vancouver location. With a gorgeous space, thoughtful service and a range of tech, Nest is creating a new kind of dental experience.