At ZenTech Dentistry, one of our top goals is to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health. Maintaining good oral health involves many components, including daily brushing and flossing as well as twice-yearly dental cleanings and exams. When issues arise, we perform exams to determine the cause of your symptoms so that we can then provide you with effective treatment. Some issues, such as growths or lesions, may not be able to be diagnosed with a visual exam, x-rays, or other types of scans. In these cases, we may perform an oral biopsy.
What is an Oral Biopsy?
The word biopsy is one that often triggers fear. This is because biopsies are often associated with cancer. An oral biopsy can be used to diagnose oral cancer, but this is not its only function. This procedure is one that involves the removal of a portion of any unidentifiable lesion or growth in your mouth for closer examination under a microscope with the goal of diagnosing what it is. An oral biopsy is frequently used to diagnose, or rule out the presence of oral cancer, but it can also be used to diagnose other oral health issues as well. These include:
Do I Need an Oral Biopsy?
An oral biopsy is commonly used to determine the cause of a growth or other abnormality that cannot be diagnosed or identified with other diagnostic tools. Symptoms that may require a biopsy include:
Types of Biopsies
There are a few different types of oral biopsies that may be performed. These include:
What to Expect During an Oral Biopsy
The process for an oral biopsy is fairly simple and is generally done under a local anesthetic unless a brush biopsy is being done. We first clean the site and remove a small section of the abnormality. Finally, a few stitches are used to close the wound. Your tissue is then examined under a microscope, enabling us to diagnose the issue affecting your mouth. It generally takes one to two days before the results are back. If the growth is benign, there is no further action needed. If we do diagnose an issue, we formulate a customized treatment plan.
An oral biopsy is an important, effective procedure that can help us to diagnose a variety of different oral health issues that we might not be able to diagnose with other, more common, methods. Call ZenTech Dentistry at (503) 765-9699 today to learn more.