At Desert Lake Dental, we understand the importance of early detection in the battle against oral cancer. Screening test for oral cancer is a quick, painless procedure that can save your life. With our dedicated, friendly and professional team, you can forget about oral cancer screening at home. Keep reading to learn everything you need to learn how to check mouth cancer and how we can help you stay healthy.

Oral Cancer Screening Meaning

Oral cancer screening is a preventive measure where our dentists look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions, such as persistent sores, lumps, white or red patches, and difficulty swallowing. The goal is to identify oral cancer early when there is a higher chance of curability. The oral cancer screening ADA code is D0431.

Oral Cancer Screening in Avondale, Arizona

Who Cannot Carry out an Oral Cancer Screening?

Everybody can benefit from an oral cancer screening. However, it is more important for certain groups:

Who Can Benefit from Oral Cancer Screening?

  • Individuals over 40 years old
  • Tobacco users (smoking or chewing)
  • Alcohol consumers
  • People with a history of oral cancer
  • Those with a family history of cancer

Who Might Not Need Regular Screenings?

  • Children with no risk factors
  • Young adults with no risk factors

When to Go for a Screening?

If you fall into any of the high-risk categories, it’s recommended to get screened annually.

Even if you are not in a high-risk group, regular dental check-ups are essential to maintain overall oral health and catch any potential issues early.

How is an Oral Cancer Screening Done?

Our oral cancer screening guidelines and tests are designed to detect any early signs of cancer or precancerous conditions. Here are the steps of oral cancer screening:

  1. Our dentist inspects your lips and face for any abnormalities, such as asymmetries, swellings, or discolorations. We also use light and mirrors to examine the inside of your mouth and look for sores, red or white patches, and other irregularities.
  2. Our dentist will check your neck, jaw, and under your chin to detect any lumps or masses. Also, the dentist will feel the tissues inside your mouth while using gloves to check for lumps or thickened areas.
  3. In some cases, our dentist may use special lights, such as a VELscope or similar device, to find abnormalities that might not be visible under regular lighting.
  4. If necessary, our dentists may use advanced diagnostic oral cancer screening devices, such as biopsies or imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, MRI, or PET scans, to get a more detailed look.

What is the Best Scan to Detect Mouth Cancer?

The best oral screening for mouth cancer is typically a combination of visual and physical exams by your dentist, supplemented by imaging tests like an MRI, CT scan, or PET scan if any suspicious areas are found. These advanced scans provide detailed images that can help in diagnosing oral cancer accurately.

What is the 3 Finger Test for Oral Cancer?

The Three-Finger Test is a simple technique for self-screening for oral cancer. Using three fingers, you can feel different parts of your mouth, including under your tongue and inside your cheeks. This method can be used to check for lumps, thickened areas, or other irregularities that may need a professional’s attention.

Customer Testimonials

Voices of Satisfaction from Happy Patients

Gabby Vega
Gabby Vega
Love DesertLake and all of their employees!!
Angela Leal
Angela Leal
So pleased with the remarkable staff and their professionalism. I felt so comfortable and that is so important 🫶.
So like many (or maybe it’s just me) the dentist is always hard to go to because I don’t like needles. But I will say my experience from being greeted walking through the door to meeting my doctor and my service was one that has changed my perspective and I might have found a new home dental care. I went in through a suggestion from a friend and I am SO SO THANKFUL Dr. Ermias Mehretab. Everything thing he did he greeted me, explained what we were going to do next, and honestly I HATE needles but he truly had a soft touch and it felt effortless but allowed me to relax a lot more. Also his dental assistant for my time, Maria kept checking on me and brought me water and explained all to me before I left payment wise. Just great Overall great experince, love it and will be going back!
Ricardo Uriarte
Ricardo Uriarte
Love the new hygentist Karina love the fact she’s very knowledge and cares for our teeth and gums !!
Maria Sousa
Maria Sousa
Nice and clean office , staff was great, recommended 100%
Rigo Garibaldi
Rigo Garibaldi
Really good place to go if you need any type of dental work. The front and back office people are really friendly and nice. You will be in good hand with them. Definitely will be coming back every year.

How Long Does an Oral Cancer Screening Take?

Our oral cancer screening session at Desert Lake Dental is a quick and painless process. It typically takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Our thorough examination can seamlessly fit into your regular dental check-up without disrupting your schedule. Here’s how the time is spent:

  • Visual Examination: 2-3 minutes
  • Physical Examination: 1-2 minutes
  • Special Lighting and Advanced Tools (if needed): 2-5 minutes

How Long Does It Take to Get Results from a Mouth Cancer Test?

The initial results are immediate. If further tests, such as biopsies or scans, are needed, it can take additional time to receive the results. Typical time frames are:

  • Visual and physical exams have immediate results.
  • Biopsies take 3-7 days for laboratory analysis.
  • Imaging tests (e.g., MRI, CT scan) might need 1-2 weeks for detailed results.

Oral Cancer Screening Cost

The cost of an oral cancer screening session can vary. Factors like the complexity of the examination and the need for additional tests affect the cost. At Desert Lake Dental, we aim to make this essential service affordable and offer various payment options to suit your needs. Call us at (623) 400-2227 or contact us online to get the most updated pricing options.

Is Oral Cancer Screening Covered by Insurance?

Many plans cover oral cancer screenings, especially if they are part of a routine dental check-up. Some plans cover up to 100% of the screening cost. You best check with your insurance provider to understand your specific coverage details.

Does Medicare Cover Oral Cancer Screening?

Medicare does not typically cover routine dental services, including oral cancer screenings. However, if it is considered a necessity, some coverage may be available under Medicare Part B. This coverage is usually limited and may not cover the full cost of additional tests. It’s important to look at your options with your healthcare provider.

Is Oral Cancer Screening Worth It?

Absolutely. The benefits of oral cancer screening include:

  • Early detection
  • Increasing the chances of success.
  • Taking only a few minutes.
  • Being non-invasive.
  • Life-saving since early intervention can save lives.
  • Providing reassurance and helping maintain oral health.

What Can Be Mistaken for Mouth Cancer?

Several conditions can mimic the symptoms of mouth cancer. These include:

  • Painful ulcers that heal on their own.
  • Bacterial, viral, or fungal infections.
  • Non-cancerous growths or cysts.
  • Chronic inflammation causes white patches.
  • Thickened white patches due to irritation.
  • Red patches, often non-cancerous.
  • Injuries from sharp teeth or dental appliances.

Oral Cancer Screening Near Me in Avondale, Arizona

If you’re in Avondale, Arizona, and looking for oral cancer screening, Desert Lake Dental is here to help. Forget about ineffective free oral cancer screening. Our experienced dental experts are committed to providing comprehensive care and peace of mind. If you are ready to nip oral cancer in the bud, contact us today to schedule your screening.


Can a dentist spot mouth cancer?

Yes, dentists are trained to identify signs of oral cancer during routine examinations.

Can you have mouth cancer for years without knowing?

Yes, early stages of oral cancer can be asymptomatic, making regular screenings crucial.

Can oral cancer be detected by a blood test?

Oral cancer is typically diagnosed through physical exams, biopsies, and imaging tests rather than blood tests.

Can a mouth swab detect oral cancer?

A mouth swab can detect certain viral infections that may lead to oral cancer, but it is not the best diagnostic tool for cancer itself.