About Oral Pathology
When you skip out on routine annual dental exams, you are actually cheating yourself out of an important screening for oral pathologies. Oral cancer screenings are generally performed for patients of all ages during a dental exam. New and former patients come to see our team at Colorado Springs Oral and Facial Surgery South when the occasion calls for a cancer screening. Our oral surgeons will evaluate the inside and outside of your mouth (lips, cheeks, palate, gums, tongue, face, and/or neck) to look for:
- An abnormal appearance
- Bumps, lumps, cysts, or thickened spots on the inside of your mouth
- Changes in texture
- Chronically irritated throat
- Discoloration (red or white patches)
- Hoarse voice
- Problematic swallowing
- Sores or lesions that will not heal (even with medical intervention)
We will take a comprehensive look at your symptoms and recommend testing based on what the pathology is presenting. You can do this with one of our board-certified or board-eligible oral surgeons in an oral pathology consultation at our Colorado Springs, CO office. Why the rush? You want to know as early as possible when you are dealing with oral cancer at any stage. The sooner you know you have precancer or cancer, the better your prognosis. We want you to have a long, healthy life!
"Amazing office. Amazing staff, Amazing doctor, amazing care! Super attentive, efficient and they explain everything thoroughly and open to answer all questions."- K.I. / Google / Jan 09, 2021
"Great experience! Easy going, comfortable. Dr ringer and his assistant and front desk staff were great! Very nice and helpful. Dr Eric Ringer sent me a text after I got home from getting a wisdom tooth removed to see how I was doing which was nice."- C.S. / Google / Jan 08, 2021
"Staff was extremely professional and friendly. Made us feel comfortable and checked on us later after the procedure. Would definitely recommend them for any oral surgery."- M.J. / Google / Jan 08, 2021
"Dr. Ringer and his staff were friendly and professional from the moment I set foot in their office. They were able to see me quickly and prices were very reasonable. Dr. Ringer explained the procedure in great detail. He also went over what to expect for aftercare and personally texted to check on my recovery! Great practice!!"- J.H. / Google / Jan 08, 2021
"I am pleased with the service I have received from this dental company. They are polite and the facility is clean. Definitely recommend them."- C.O. / Google / Jan 08, 2021
No one wants to be a candidate for oral pathology, but many people have multiple indications to be at risk for developing oral cancer. Do you have any of these risk factors?
- A family history of a specific pathology (a genetic link)
- Overexposure to the sun
- The use of smokeless tobacco or cigarettes
- Continuous lack of oral hygiene
- A low immune system
- The contraction of a virus, such as HPV (human papillomavirus)
- Overall poor health
- Excessive alcohol consumption or alcoholism
If you are at high risk for oral precancer or cancer, then you may also have some sort of lesion, bump, discoloration, change in texture, a sore that will not heal, or a rash of newly formed lesions in your mouth. The best thing you can do for yourself in this situation is to have our oral surgeons take a look to rule out possible pathologies and get treatment started as soon as possible.
Your oral surgeon will perform a visual examination of the area in question before recommending surgery. Your Colorado Springs Oral and Facial Surgery South surgeon may take a small cell sample from the inside of your mouth or directly from the concerning area to send to the laboratory to determine if a biopsy is needed. If abnormal cells are found, then you will most likely be scheduled for a biopsy or exploratory surgery to go in search of the root cause.
We will discuss where your surgery will take place, your surgical technique options, sedation and anesthesia methods, and more to make sure you are a part of your treatment planning process.
On the day of your surgery or biopsy, we will start with numbing the area with localized injections of anesthesia. If your oral surgeon is removing a large mass from your mouth, then you will probably have a sedation technique started before the first incision is made. All incisions will be made inside of your mouth if possible. After the mass has been removed and sent off for testing, then your oral surgeon will close up the opening of your incision. You will then recover until your oral surgeon releases you to a responsible adult to drive you home.
When your test results come back from the laboratory, we will set up a meeting to discuss the findings and the next steps in your treatment. After your discharge from surgery, we will send you home to rest and with instructions on how to tend to your surgical site. Once you are home, you will begin to feel the numbing wear off. As time passes, you may have pain, swelling, sensitivity, and some bleeding in the post-op area in your mouth. If you think that you are experiencing a severe reaction, losing excessive amounts of blood, developing a fever, or feeling an infection, call us right away.
Also, please attend all of your routine dental exams, cleanings, oral cancer screenings, and follow-ups to stay on top of your health.
Diagnosing oral pathologies can be a varied process when it comes to what tests to give, what imaging or machine to use, and much more. Once we have a detailed list of what diagnostics need to be performed, our billing coordinator will send in an insurance claim for each one. There is no guessing involved when it comes to how much a test or biopsy will cost you at our practice. If a service is not covered in part or whole and the fees will be out-of-pocket, then we will offer you several options for payment. If you qualify for financing, you can take advantage of our CareCredit® lending partner for a low-interest loan. We also take most major credit cards.
Assess for the best prognosis
Rest assured that you are in very capable, well-educated hands at Colorado Springs Oral and Facial Surgery South. We have the experience working with many oral pathologies, diagnostic imaging, the latest surgical techniques, and an atmosphere of care available for all our patients. Once we know the issue at hand, we will do everything possible to reduce your risk for oral cancer or assist you in finding the best doctor for treatment. We would be happy to work with any specialist needed to get you back on track to optimal health. Meet with one of our oral surgeons who is dedicated to getting you well in our Colorado Springs, CO office in private consultation.