Coast Dental detects oral cancer

July 22, 2010
Coast Dental has Identafi 3000 in its 119 practices throughout the Southeast.

TAMPA, Florida--Coast Dental is now armed with a multispectral imaging device for detecting oral cancer at its earliest and most curable stages.

Oral cancer kills 21 people a day because it is usually diagnosed too late. Coast Dental, a dental practice in the Southeast, now uses Identafi 3000 ultra--an advanced screening tool--in all 119 of its practices--to help dentists see more than is possible during a conventional exam.

Oral cancer is a growing threat, especially among people who have no traditional risk factors. More than 35,000 people are diagnosed with it each year.

Oral cancer is the sixth deadliest form of cancer. Its death rate is higher than that of many other common cancers, including cervical, testicular, Hodgkin's lymphoma, laryngeal, thyroid, and skin (malignant melanoma). The American Cancer Society recommends a complete oral soft-tissue examination at least once a year.

“Early detection is key,” said Dr. Cindy Roark, Coast Dental's clinical director. “Although oral cancer has a high mortality rate, the good news is that it is one of the most curable cancers, with an 80 to 90% survival rate if diagnosed and treated early. Unfortunately, not everyone sees a dentist regularly, and for those who do, fewer than 50% get screened.”

Roark stressed that dentists should use technologies like oral cancer detection devices together with the American Dental Association's recommended conventional examination of the head, neck and mouth. She said the standard practice for detecting oral cancer continues to be the biopsy, which is impractical to do on all dental patients.

Oral cancer can first appear as a tiny sore or spot anywhere in the mouth. Because the signs and symptoms are often missed by the naked eye during a conventional exam, the disease is usually detected late when the mortality rate is 50%.

“We are impressed with Coast Dental’s visionary approach and dedication to the early detection of oral cancer by incorporating advanced screening options into patients’ comprehensive exams,” said Jerry Trzeciak, vice president of sales and marketing at Trimira, the manufacturer of Identafi 3000 ultra.

Trzeciak said the device, which has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, represents a quantum leap in visualizing abnormal cell development at precancerous and cancerous stages.

An exam with Identafi 3000 ultra is simple, painless, and noninvasive. The device uses three different lights to help dentists detect, evaluate, and monitor abnormal areas in the mouth, throat, tongue, and tonsils.

“We adopted this new technology because we want to be able offer a higher degree of clinical accuracy than the standard head and neck exam allows and continue to provide quality patient care to our patients,” Roark said.

The face of oral cancer is changing. Once associated only with heavy smokers or drinkers, oral cancer is increasing at an alarming rate among nonsmokers and nondrinkers. More than 25% of patients diagnosed with oral cancer have no known risk factors. Those at highest risk for oral cancer are age 45 years and older, which includes all baby boomers, and males of African ancestry of any age.

One of the fastest-growing groups at risk for oral cancer: people who have the human papilloma virus (especially HPV-16). HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that is responsible for the majority of cervical cancers in women. Because of the HPV connection, people under the age of 40 with HPV are five times more likely to have an occurrence of oral cancer. It’s recommended that anyone over the age of 17 be screened annually for oral cancer.

To schedule an oral cancer screening exam at a Coast Dental office near you, call (888) COAST-44. To view a demonstration of Identafi 3000 ultra visit

For more information, visit

To read more about Coast Dental, go to Coast Dental.

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