Dr. Kaleka is a ViziLite Certified Office (certified practices have incorporated annual ViziLite Plus exams into the practice's standard of care and have met certification criteria). Oral cancer is 90 percent curable if found early. And now there's a pain-free way to find it earlier than ever before.
The ViziLite exam - a mouth rinse and a light stick.
As with most serious diseases, early detection is the key to successful outcomes. Unfortunately, the problem with oral cancer is that approximately 70% of the time it is not visible to the dental professional until it has reached an advanced stage. ViziLite Plus technology assists our dental professionals in seeing abnormal tissue in the mouth, before it is plainly obvious.
As ViziLite Plus passes over oral tissue that has been treated with the rinse solution, normal healthy tissue will absorb the light and appear dark, abnormal tissue will appear white. The purpose of using ViziLite Plus is to identify tissue changes at their earliest stage; once abnormal tissue has been identified it is up to your dental professional to determine what the appropriate next steps are.
ViziLite Plus is part of a thorough soft tissue evaluation. Oral cancer is one of the most curable diseases when it's caught early. That's why the ViziLite Plus exam has been developed. ViziLite Plus uses technology that has proven successful in identifying soft tissue abnormalities in other areas of the body. A ViziLite Plus exam is particularly important if you are at increased risk for developing oral cancer.
The ViziLite Plus exam can help your dentist or hygienist identify abnormal tissue that might develop into oral cancer. An annual ViziLite Plus exam, in combination with a regular visual examination, provides a comprehensive oral screening procedure for patients at increased risk for oral cancer. The ViziLite Plus exam is painless and fast, and could help save your life and the ViziLite Plus is performed immediately following a regular visual examination.
The procedure is as follows:
First, you will be instructed to rinse with a cleansing solution for one minute, this breaks down the mucal protein barriers of the tissue.
Next, the overhead lighting will be dimmed so your dentist or hygienist can examine the oral cavity with the light stick. Normal tissue shows up dark, while abnormal tissue shows up white. Conventional light enhances only the surface of oral tissue. With the ViziLite system, dentists and hygienists can spot potential problems hidden "beneath" the surface.
About 30,000 Americans will be diagnosed with oral or pharyngeal cancer this year, and more than 8,000 people will die from it. The death rate—about 50 percent over five years—hasn't changed much in the past few decades, in part because the cancer often isn't detected until it's visible to the naked eye. "Probably about two thirds of the cases at the time of diagnosis and treatment are already at an advanced stage," says Sol Silverman, a professor of oral medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and an oral-cancer spokesman for the American Dental Association. "So what can we do today? Early detection."
Over the past few years, the American Dental Association has made detecting oral cancer earlier a priority, launching an awareness campaign in 1999. But it's taken a little while for the new screening tools to catch on. ViziLite, manufactured by Phoenix-based Zila Pharmaceuticals, was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in November 2001, but not widely marketed until this year.
We now know that oral cancer claims one life every hour in the U.S.—more than the number of lives lost to skin cancer, cervical cancer or Hodgkin's disease, and it is of great concern to the doctors at KB Dental. Because early detection is the key to successful outcomes, our office has incorporated ViziLite, a new, FDA-cleared medical technology for screening of oral cancer. ViziLite is a simple, painless and non-invasive technology that improves the doctor's ability to visualize, evaluate and monitor suspicious areas at their earliest stages, before they can progress to something far more serious, and potentially life-threatening. ViziLite helps the doctor see what he/she can't see with the unaided eye. The ViziLite oral cancer screening is offered at the initial exam and at annual exams after that.