Skip directly to content

Identafi Oral Cancer Screening

Identafi Oral Cancer Screening

The key to combating oral cancer is early detection. When found early, oral cancer patients have an 80-90% survival rate. Unfortunately, most oral cancers are discovered late and 40% of those diagnosed will die within five years.

At Oak Hills Dental Care, we use Identafi technology to test for oral cancer. The Identafi device is small and compact, allowing us to reach hard-to-get areas for a more thorough examination. It also provides real time results!

Unlike other fluorescence technologies, Identafi is “multi-spectral” with three distinct color wavelengths, providing the dental professional with more visual information to determine next steps. White, violet and amber wavelengths are used during the examination process. Each wavelength of light excites oral tissue in a distinct and unique ways.

A traditional examination of tissue is performed using a highly concentrated white light. Wearing Identafi filtered eyewear to enhance visual effects and allow transmission of reflected light, the dental professional will switch to violet light for a second observation. Violet light enhances normal tissue’s natural fluorescence, but suspicious tissue will appear dark. When suspect abnormalities are present, an amber light is used to enhance reflectance properties so the clinician can directly observe the vasculature, or arrangement of blood vessels of the abnormal tissue. This is important because abnormal tissues have a different vasculature than normal tissue.

The combination of all three multi-spectral wavelengths allows the clinician to provide patients with a more comprehensive exam and increased confidence for recommending biopsies.

There are often no symptoms of oral cancer, which is why it’s important to receive an oral cancer screening. When symptoms do occur, the most common are:

  • A sore, lump or ulcer on the lip that doesn’t heal
  • A lump on the lip, mouth or neck
  • A white or red patch on the gums, tongue or lining of the mouth
  • Unusual bleeding, pain or numbness in the mouth
  • Persistent oral pain
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Swelling of the jaw
  • Loose teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Sensory loss of the face
  • Abnormal taste in the mouth

For more information about oral cancer or oral cancer screenings, please call 225-766-7379. Be sure to ask your dental professional about Identafi oral screenings at your next appointment.