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What Happens During an Oral Biopsy
Posted on 6/8/2020 by Tessa Smith-Greisch
What Happens During an Oral BiopsyEvery year, thousands of people discover that they have oral cancer. Ideally, the symptoms of the condition can be identified through normal dental checkups. A dentist can identify symptoms like lingering mouth sores and white and red patches all over the lips, tongue, or gums, among other signs. However, the occurrence of these symptoms isn't a telltale sign that you have oral cancer. To determine whether the presence of such anomalies is precancerous, benign or cancerous, an oral biopsy will have to be done.

The Process of Oral Biopsy

During an oral biopsy, the suspect tissues are removed from your oropharynx or mouth, before being sent out to a pathologist. The pathologist then examines the tissues for the presence of cancer cells. In case the tissue contains the cells, the pathologist's report will point out the best treatment options.
The biopsy process is typically pain-free. However, you might experience a pinching sensation as the needle is used to inject an anesthetic into the suspect area. You may also experience some pressure from the instruments the dentist uses to collect samples. Some people have reported discomfort in the areas the sample was removed once the anesthetic wears off. This area might also be sore for a couple of days, making it difficult to take solid food.

Types Of Biopsy

Exfoliate cytology is the first type of biopsy. Other than being quick, it is painless and non-invasive. The doctor will only need to scrape cells from the suspicious area. However, since the findings of this method cannot detect all types of oral cancer, doctors might need to use other invasive procedures.
Next is the incisional biopsy, which is a little bit invasive. Doctors need to cut out samples from the suspect areas for testing. In some cases, an excisional biopsy might need to be done, which involves also cutting part of the healthy tissue. The test area will be stitched, and the stitches dissolve on their own in days' time.
Last is the Fine Needle Aspiration (FNA), which is used when patients have lumps on their necks. The doctor draws fluid from the lump for testing.
Oral cancer can be quite dangerous. The earlier it is diagnosed, the more efficient and effective the treatment will be. Consult us if you suspect that you have oral cancer to schedule an appointment for a screening.

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Madison Oral Surgery & Dental Implants | | (608) 960-7650
2921 Landmark Place, Suite 100 Madison, WI 53713