Oral CAncer Screenings

All About Oral Cancer Screenings

If you have a family history of oral cancer or are over the age of 40, it is best to have an oral cancer screening once a year. By being proactive with your oral health, you’ll be able to catch any signs of oral cancer, such as precancerous lesions, early.

Even routine oral cancer screenings are handled with care at our clinic. Flagship Dental has been a go-to dental provider for the communities of Surrey and Langley for several years. Dental care is individualized and looks different for everyone. We strive to make sure that every patient that walks through our doors feels safe and comfortable during their time with us.

What Causes Oral Cancer?

Oral cancer forms as a result of abnormal cell growth in your mouth, lips, or throat. It is rare in children and young adults, but the risk of oral cancer increases once you are over the age of 45. According to the Canadian Cancer Society, it is estimated that 7500 Canadians will be diagnosed with head or neck cancer in 2022.

Risk factors for oral cancer

It is important to be vigilant about your oral health. Here are some ways you can reduce the risk of getting oral cancer.

  • Quit tobacco products. Smoking and all other forms of tobacco use are proven to increase the risk of oral cancer. The risk increases the longer you use tobacco products.
  • Watch your alcohol intake. Drinking large amounts of alcohol could also increase your risk of developing oral cancer.
  • Limit your sun exposure. Oral cancer often develops on your bottom lip, as it is what is exposed to the sun the most.
  • Family history of oral cancer. Squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) is the most common form of oral cancer. Your risk of developing SCC is greater if a family member has been diagnosed with it in the past.

FAQs About Oral Cancer Screenings at the Dentist

Oral cancer screenings are a routine procedure at Flagship Dental, and we’re here to ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible. Here are some questions you may have about the procedure.

What should I do to prepare?

Aside from your regular oral hygiene routine, no preparation is required. The purpose of an oral cancer screening is to detect any signs of oral cancer before a person shows symptoms. The good news is that you won’t have to book a separate appointment for a screening – your dentist will usually perform one during a routine dental cleaning or checkup.

What happens during an oral cancer screening?

The entire screening typically takes around five minutes. Your dentist will search for any abnormal lesions that may have developed inside your mouth. We will also shine an oral cancer screening light that can help us identify any abnormal tissue that is not easily visible.

When will I know the results?

We will typically let you know what to do next immediately after the screening. Oral cancer screenings can’t determine if a particular sore or abnormality is cancerous or not, so additional tests may be required if one is discovered. If additional testing, such as a biopsy, is required, results should be available after 3 to 5 business days.

Other Family dentistry Services

If you’re looking for other family dentistry services, we’ve got you covered. Whether you come in for routine dental work or have to book an emergency visit, we’re here to help your teeth look their best.

Why Choose Flagship Dental?

We love serving our community and helping their oral health be the best it can be. Our patients have shared many kind words with us over the years. Here’s what they had to say.

“I have been coming here for years! They are better than ever after their reno. I highly recommend Dr. Turton and his staff.”


“Friendly and knowledgeable staff. Efficient and thorough. Dr. T is very friendly and takes the time to discuss things. Highly recommend.”


“Always more than satisfied with the work done by Dr. Turton and Trisha does a great job cleaning my teeth!!!”


Book an Appointment

Ready to stop by our Surrey dental office? We’re looking forward to meeting you. You’re welcome to give us a call or send us an email with any questions you may have before an appointment.