04 Feb What is a VELscope?
You probably expect to see and hear certain tools when you come in for your checkup at the Yuba City Dentistry Group — things like the dental chair, a little handheld mirror, a set of picks and scrapers, perhaps a dental drill, definitely a bright overhead light. As time goes on, further research and development bring innovations to the dental industry, which also brings benefits to you and your oral health. One of these innovations is a simple tool called a VELscope.
Details on the VELscope
This relatively new device in the dental industry offers a unique “view” into a patient’s oral health. It was recognized by the World Health Organization in 2009 as a medical device that addresses global health concerns such as oral cancer or pre-malignant dysplasia. The VELscope allows dentists to detect problem cells in the mouth before they reach later stages. Unlike other detection methods, VELscope does not require special mouth rinses and radiation is not used.
The wireless, handheld device emits a fluorescent light that stimulates epithelial cells and stroma, allowing for detection of changes in the cells. In other words, the light emitted from the VELscope shines in your mouth and reveals things normally invisible to the naked eye, making potentially diseased cells detectable. Healthy cells illuminate in the light one way. If an area in your mouth does not light up properly, your dentist knows to take a closer look for diseased cells in that area.
VELscope is not designed to make a diagnosis, but to help detect areas with potentially diseased cells. Further tests and examinations are necessary. Without the VELscope, such areas might continue to develop and reach more dangerous stages. The earlier such issues are caught, the higher the likelihood for healthy recovery. A VELscope examination only takes a few minutes, and can also help in finding other types of bacterial or fungal infections.
VELscope for your Dental Checkup
At the Yuba City Dentistry Group, we offer use of a VELscope during your routine checkup. Keep in mind, however, that while VELscope is a non-invasive screening device, if there are any detected lesions or other indications, further examination is necessary, possibly via biopsy. While the issue illuminated by the VELscope may turn out to be nothing to worry about, we firmly believe that it’s better to have your health and safety verified. VELscope screening is especially important if you use tobacco products or drink significant amounts of alcohol (more than two drinks per day on average).
If you have further questions about VELscope, feel free to ask them over the phone or bring them up using our online form. Also, you can ask for a demonstration when you come in to the Yuba City Dentistry Groupp for your next routine checkup.