A Guiding Light

With the VELscope Vx, HDC Dentists Shed Light on Oral Disease

ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES faced by dental practices is keeping up with technological developments. In evaluating new technologies, it can be helpful to ask the following questions - will it help improve patient care? Is it easy to incorporate it into the examination process? Will it be well accepted by patients? Can patients afford it?

It's not often that a new technology clearly meets all of these criteria, but the VELscope Vx oral cancer screening system does. In fact, it meets the ultimate standard of care - it saves lives.

Combined with standard oral, head and neck exams, the VELscope Vx hand-held device helps dentists and hygienists discover abnormalities otherwise undetectable in ordinary light. Using a safe, non-invasive blue light to scan patient's mouths, the VELscope Vx illuminates oral tissue. The device's filter blocks out reflecting blue light, showing dentists and hygienists the contrasts between normal and abnormal tissue. The VELscope Vx doesn't just highlight abnormal areas; it reveals unhealthy cells at the beginning stages.

This device definitely has a positive impact on assessing patients' overall oral health. The VELscope Vx is not a stand-alone diagnostic tool, but used with other routine exams, it can identify possible oral issues early that otherwise may go unnoticed.

"Oral cancer is a growing health concern. For the benefit of patients, dentists need the proper technology to pinpoint and prevent this problem. The VELscope Vx provides that."

Chad Thompson
Vice President of Administration
Corporate Compliance Officer

When it comes to identifying and treating oral cancer, the instrument is extremely powerful. Oral cancer is the sixth deadliest cancer in the world, mainly because it's usually not discovered until it's too late to treat. However, with early detection and treatment, those with oral cancer have an 80 - 90 percent survival rate. Incorporating the VELscope Vx in the examination process will help detect the concealed signs of oral cancer early, in turn, saving lives. The VELscope Vx can also find other oral problems, such as inflammation, viral, fungal and bacterial infections, traumatic lesions and tumors.

An optional digital camera system was recently introduced, consisting of a 12 mega pixel Canon digital camera and bracket with a simple twist-on connection to the VELscope Vx hand-piece. This allows easy photo- documentation of suspicious lesions to ensure that surgical biopsies target the correct location.

"Oral cancer is a growing health concern. For the benefit of patients, dentists need the proper technology to pinpoint this problem. The VELscope Vx provides that," said Chad Thompson, Vice President of Administration and Corporate Compliance Officer. "This technology is a clinical tool, much like the Biolase ezlase 940 and digital radiography, that helps us better the lives of our patients."

The VELscope Vx has received plenty of attention from doctors in the media. On TV's "The Doctor Oz Show," the device's ground-breaking capabilities in detecting unseen abnormalities and signs of oral cancer received praise. "The VELscope Vx is very helpful in aiding the eye in identifying abnormal areas," said Dr. Oz. It was also featured on "The Doctors," when a panel of physicians discussed the importance of oral cancer screenings. They emphasized that every patient should receive a screening at every dental visit since 25 percent of diagnoses are not in the high-risk group (alcohol and tobacco users). The doctors agreed that the VELscope Vx is "the best system on the market today for oral cancer screening."

Over the years, a number of clinical studies have documented the efficiency of VELscope technology. A study conducted by the University of Washington examined 620 patients via a visual inspection. 28 lesions were missed, including five cases of dysplasia. When examined with the VELscope device, not a single lesion was overlooked.

"The attention the VELscope Vx has received in the dental industry is for good reason, it's one of the most accurate, convenient devices dentists can use to examine patients," said Cari Rodman, Procurement Manager. "It's really a win-win for patients; they receive the most advanced oral screening possible in a quick, painless, non-invasive manner."

Discovering problems early is critical in keeping patients healthy, especially when dealing with oral cancer. With its valuable advantages and convenience, the VELscope Vx is lighting the way in diagnosing oral health at Heartland Dental Care.

*VELscope and the VELscope Vx logo are registered trademarks of LED Dental. All logos and references are used with permission.