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Oral Cancer Screening in Rockford, Michigan

Screening for Oral CancerEarly detection of oral cancer allows for treatment to begin at the first signs which will promote better health outcomes. The question to ask is “Am I at risk to develop mouth cancer?” Based on research the traditional risk factors of drinking, smoking, and using chewing tobacco do not seem to be causing the increase in incidence of this cancer. Oral cancer diagnosis is being identified in a younger population due to their exposure to the human papillomavirus (HPV). This virus may be spread by intimate contact, including kissing. The CDC recommends that patients 17 and older be screened every year for oral cancer. At Dater Dentistry, we are focused on providing this oral cancer screening with the most technologically advanced equipment called the Identafi.

What are the early signs and symptoms of oral cancer?

The earliest stages of oral cancer are virtually unable to be seen just by looking in the mouth.  When there is an early cancerous lesion in the mouth it is possible there may not be any pain or discomfort. So this means it is possible to have oral cancer or pre-cancer and be unaware of it. This is why yearly screening is so important. However, if you notice a sore or red or white spot in your mouth or throat that lasts longer than 2 weeks, please call Dr. Dater for an appointment to evaluate the area of concern.

How is oral cancer detected?

Early mouth cancer symptoms may be missed during an oral exam with the naked eye. Dr. Dater is using new light-wave technology to help detect abnormalities that may lead to oral cancer. This early detection leads to early treatment and a cure rate of almost 90% as stated by the Oral Cancer Foundation.  Dr. Dater and his Rockford office team members are using the new device called Identafi which will detect changes in the cells of your mouth, throat, tongue, and tonsils. Since these changes are occurring at a cellular level they are difficult to see with the naked eye. This new technology illuminates potential areas of cellular change which may signify the initial stages of oral cancer.

What is the screening process?

  • The test is simple, painless and takes approximately 3 minutes. There are three different colored lights used, white, fluorescent violet and green-amber reflectance light.

  • In the “white light” mode, Dr. Dater will examine your entire oral cavity. The exam will begin with the upper portion of the mouth and inner aspects of your teeth and gums, followed by the lower mouth. Then the tongue, hard and soft palate, and the pharynx are examined.

  • Next is the “fluorescent violet light” which helps identify any abnormal tissue growth present throughout the mouth and throat, which may be benign or cancerous.

  • Lastly, the “green-amber reflectance light” is used to examine blood vessels surrounding any lesions because areas with an increased area of blood vessels have a greater chance of being precancerous or cancer.

Everyone at Dater Dentistry wants to provide you with the care that will help ensure your mouth is healthy. Our use of the oral cancer screening technology, Identifi, along with the expertise of Dr. Dater will help do this.


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Meet The Team

Jessica, RDH
Registered Dental Hygienist
Jill, RDA
Registered Dental Assistant
Staci, RDH
Registered Dental Hygeinist
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170 Marcell Dr NE, Rockford, MI 49341

location 170 Marcell Drive NE
Rockford, MI 49341

Phone Number+1 (616) 884-5767

Office HoursMon & Wed 8:00 - 5:00
Tues 12:00 - 7:00
Thurs 7:00 - 2:00
Fri closed

As a new patient and resident to the Rockford area, I found Dr. Dater and his staff very warm and inviting. I received a brief tour of the office and was given an explanation of each step in the proc...

– Chris Waleskowski