Oral cancer screenings are now a part of routine dental examinations. That is why dentists are often the first healthcare professionals to diagnose oral cancer. A dentist will check the patient’s mouth thoroughly for any suspicious lesions. Dentists can also use special lights in order to check for suspicious lesions.

Furthermore, patients are encouraged to report any suspicious symptoms to their dentist. This includes things such as difficulty swallowing or chewing, mouth sores that will not heal and pain or tenderness in the mouth. Those symptoms may suggest oral cancer. The patient will be referred to another healthcare provider if the dentist suspects oral cancer.