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Oral Biopsy


At ZenTech Dentistry, one of our top goals is to help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health. Maintaining good oral health involves many components, including daily brushing and flossing as well as twice-yearly dental cleanings and exams. When issues arise, we perform exams to determine the cause of your symptoms so that we can then provide you with effective treatment. Some issues, such as growths or lesions, may not be able to be diagnosed with a visual exam, x-rays, or other types of scans. In these cases, we may perform an oral biopsy.

What is an Oral Biopsy?


The word biopsy is one that often triggers fear. This is because biopsies are often associated with cancer. An oral biopsy can be used to diagnose oral cancer, but this is not its only function. This procedure is one that involves the removal of a portion of any unidentifiable lesion or growth in your mouth for closer examination under a microscope with the goal of diagnosing what it is. An oral biopsy is frequently used to diagnose, or rule out the presence of oral cancer, but it can also be used to diagnose other oral health issues as well. These include:
•  Systemic amyloidosis. This is a condition in which abnormal proteins, called amyloids, build up in your organs and spread to other parts of the body.
•  Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura. This is a rare blood disorder that can be fatal.
•  Benign lesions or growths. Sometimes, the growths are nothing at all, and are not harmful in any way.

Do I Need an Oral Biopsy?


An oral biopsy is commonly used to determine the cause of a growth or other abnormality that cannot be diagnosed or identified with other diagnostic tools. Symptoms that may require a biopsy include:
•  A sore that refuses to heal.
•  Patches of red or white on your intraoral tissues.
•  Changes in your bite.
•  Ulcers in your mouth.

Types of Biopsies


There are a few different types of oral biopsies that may be performed. These include:
•  Incisional. This is also called a diagnostic biopsy and is used to diagnose larger lesions.
•  Excisional. This is a biopsy used for smaller lesions, both to diagnose them or to remove them completely.
•  Frozen section. The tissue sample we remove is frozen, sliced into sections, and stained before being examined.
•  Punch. A specialized tool is used to remove several layers of tissue.
•  Brush. A brush biopsy involves using a small brush to remove cells from a lesion, rather than removing a section of tissue.

What to Expect During an Oral Biopsy


The process for an oral biopsy is fairly simple and is generally done under a local anesthetic unless a brush biopsy is being done. We first clean the site and remove a small section of the abnormality. Finally, a few stitches are used to close the wound. Your tissue is then examined under a microscope, enabling us to diagnose the issue affecting your mouth. It generally takes one to two days before the results are back. If the growth is benign, there is no further action needed. If we do diagnose an issue, we formulate a customized treatment plan.

An oral biopsy is an important, effective procedure that can help us to diagnose a variety of different oral health issues that we might not be able to diagnose with other, more common, methods. Call ZenTech Dentistry at (503) 765-9699 today to learn more.
Talk to one of our caring patient coordinators today to schedule an appointment.
 
Dr. Frank Sioda
18676 Williamette Dr. Suite 202
West Linn, OR 97068-1718

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