Written by All, Oral Cancer Screening

Why is the Adjunctive Device Important to COE?

Why do you need an adjunctive oral examination device in your practice? The answer to that is straightforward. An adjunctive device utilizing tissue fluorescence visualization picks up where the conventional clinical exam leaves off because it can help to detect far more than the unassisted eye. Adding an adjunctive device to your normal head and neck examination protocol will help to differentiate your practice, and attract and retain patients. The added benefit of seeing what your unaided eyes cannot means that your exams are more thorough and any suspicions can be quickly investigated for confirmation of disease.

The Journal of the American Dental Association has recently published relevant research which stated that “On the basis of the available literature, the authors determined that a clinical oral examination (COE) of mucosal lesions generally is not predictive of histologic diagnosis. The fact that OSCC’s (Oropharyngeal Squamous Cell Carcinomas) often are diagnosed at an advanced stage of disease indicates the need for improving the COE and for developing adjuncts to help detect and diagnose oral mucosal lesions”. (1)


According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, the high death rate associated with oral cancer (which is 52% mortality within five years) is due to the cancer being routinely discovered late in its development when it has already metastasized to other parts of the body. Based on this data alone, performing an intra and extra oral head and neck exam augmented by adjunctive examination devices like the VELscope® Vx should be a part of every dental hygiene appointment. Adjunctive devices help to support the current initiatives to impact the mortality rates associated with oral cancer and provide patients with increased confidence in their dental health care providers.

(1)   Joel Epstein, Pelin Guneri, Hayal Boyacioglu, Elliot Abt, Suzanne E Scott and Tim Newton, ‘The limitations of the clinical oral examination in detecting dysplastic oral lesions and oral squamous cell carcinoma’, (JADA December 20012, ADA Publishing Division, Chicago, IL), http://jada.ada.org/content/143/12/1332.abstract

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