Detection Tools

CURE, Summer 2008, Volume 7, Issue 2

Several tools exist that may help dentists and other healthcare professionals determine whether a suspicious area might be acancerous or benign.

Several tools exist that may help dentists and other healthcare professionals determine whether a suspicious area might be cancerous or benign. (These tools need further research and do not eliminate the need for a biopsy.) The tools include:

>Vital staining: The dye toluidine blue, topically applied in the patient’s mouth, can help identify oral cancer and precancerous changes.

>Visualization adjuncts: These are based on shining different spectra of light inside the mouth under the premise that oral cancer and precancerous lesions may absorb or reflect the light differently than normal cells.

>Oral brush cytology: The dentist may collect cells from a lesion on a brush and send it to a lab for analysis.