Oral cancer strikes three times as many victims as cervical cancer. It is one of the few types of cancer that has not seen a significant reduction in incidence over the past thirty years, and recent research has shown a strong association with Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), which can be sexually transmitted. For this reason, many oral health care professionals now believe that all individuals over the age of 18 should have at least an annual comprehensive oral examination, and ideally at every dental hygiene visit.
“We conduct bi-annual comprehensive oral cancer screening for all of our patients, and with the VELscope® System we are able to detect potential problems earlier, thus providing our patients with the best health care currently available,” says Dr. Mladen Kralj, one of the first dentists in Chicago to purchase the VELscope® System and implement the examination at every 6 month dental check up.
The VELscope System is a revolutionary hand-held device that provides dentists and hygienists with a new tool to aid in the early detection of cancerous or precancerous growths below the oral tissue surface that may not be apparent to the naked eye during conventional ‘white light’ examinations. The The VELscope examination is a non-invasive procedure that takes only a few minutes, and is completely free of any pain or discomfort.
“Early detection plays an important role in the success of treating many cancers," said Dr. Goran Kralj. "It isn't any different with oral cancer. Our goal is to increase awareness of oral cancer and encourage people not only to become more aware of the abnormal spots in their mouths, but also to discuss oral cancer with their dentists.”
When oral cancer screenings are part of a complete dental examination, it is also about potentially saving a life. This effort reflects the highest standards of ORA Dental Studio and a commitment to providing the optimum in quality care to patients. “Hygienists, dentists, and oral surgeons are not thought of by the public as people who engage in the saving of lives. But when any of these dental professionals discovers oral cancer in the course of their examinations, especially if at an early stage one or two, we have undoubtedly saved a life,” states Dr. Steven Koos, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon.
Oral Cancer Facts
• Every hour of every day in America someone dies of Oral Cancer.
• Oral Cancer is the sixth most common diagnosed form of cancer in the United States.
• Presently 34,000 patients are diagnosed annually with oral cancer,
• The 5-year survival rate is only 50%, accounting for over 8,000 deaths each year, a number which has not significantly improved in decades.
• Oral Cancer risk factors include tobacco use, frequent and/or excessive alcohol consumption, a compromised immune system, past history of cancer, and the presence of the HPV virus.
• Recently however 25% of all newly diagnosed cases have been in patients under the age of forty with none of the known risk factors.
• Oral Cancer is one of the few cancers whose survival rate has not improved in the past 50 years. This is due primarily to the fact that during this time we have not changed the way we screen for this disease (a visual and manual examination of the oral cavity, head, and neck).
• The high mortality rate is directly related to the lack of early detection of potentially malignant lesions. When diagnosis and treatment are performed at or before a Stage 1 carcinoma level, the survival rate is more than 90%.
• The cancers which have seen a major decline in the mortality rate have included colon, cervical, and prostate cancer and the primary reason is early detection and screening.
About ORA Dental Studio
ORA Dental Studio is the nation’s first ‘green’ group dental practice promoting ‘eco-friendly dentistry.’ ORA delivers the perfect synthesis of a chic, ultra-modern environment, state-of-the-
Founded by general and cosmetic dentists Dr. Mladen Kralj and Dr. Goran Kralj, and oral and maxillofacial surgeon Dr. Steven Koos, ORA Dental Studio offers comprehensive services such as teeth whitening, Invisalign clear braces, smile makeovers with porcelain veneers, and dental implants.
ORA Dental Studio currently has 2 practice locations in downtown Chicago’s West Loop and South Loop, and plans to open its third practice in Wicker Park in the fall of 2009, and fourth practice in Lakeshore East in the summer of 2010. More information can be found at http://www.oradentalstudio.com.