At a routine check-up, dentists can spot a lot more than just cavities. In fact, your dentist can detect the symptoms of more than 120 diseases, including oral cancer. That’s why it’s important to visit your dentist regularly.
You may not realize it, but your dentist is looking for signs of oral cancer during your regular exams. If you have symptoms or if you’re at risk for getting oral cancer, your dentist may request additional screenings. Depending on your dental benefits plan, these preventive services are often covered at 100 percent, so you incur little or no out-of-pocket costs.
If oral cancer is diagnosed, the stage of the disease will determine the level of treatment needed. Whether discovered by a dentist or a physician, the treatment for oral cancer is typically a multi-disciplinary approach. Oral cancer patients may see a number of dental and medical specialists, including surgeons, oral surgeons, radiation oncologists, chemotherapy oncologists, and restorative specialists. Some of these specialist services may be covered by a dental plan, while others are likely covered by a medical plan.
Members should check their dental benefits plan to find out what oral cancer services and treatments are covered. You can log in to your account for more information. Remember, along with a healthy lifestyle and maintaining good oral health habits, regularly visiting your dentist is an important part of the fight against oral cancer.