While the VELscope system can help clinicians discover several types of abnormal tissue in the oral cavity, it is perhaps best known for its ability to assist in the discovery of oral cancer and precancer.
A deadly disease.One North American dies of oral cancer every hour of every day. The disease claims over twice as many lives as cervical cancer.
A disfiguring disease. Oral cancer is perhaps the most disfiguring type of cancer. It often requires surgery that can grossly distort the patient’s physical appearance and chemotherapy and/or radiation that can cause them to lose their sense of taste and experience great difficulty in eating and maintaining their appropriate weight.
A disease that is not going away.Unlike most types of cancer, the number of new cases of oral cancer has not declined materially in the past three decades. One reason: numerous studies suggest that oropharyngeal cancer—often in the tonsils or the base of the tongue—is associated with the sexually-transmitted human papilloma virus or HPV.
A disease that can strike almost anyone.In addition to tobacco and alcohol user, any person who is sexually active is at risk of developing the disease. This is why health experts recommend that all adults receive an oral cancer exam on at least an annual basis.
A disease that can be tamed.Oral cancer’s high mortality rate is due to the fact that the disease is usually discovered in late stages, when the 5-year survival rate is only 20%-to-30%. But when discovered in early stages, the survival rate leaps to 80%-to-90%. By supplementing the white light oral cancer exam with the VELscope system, clinicians can see cancerous and precancerous lesions that might not be apparent to the naked eye. In fact, the VELscope system is the first product cleared by the FDA and Health Canada to make that claim.
VELscope – How does it work?
Step 1: the “white light” exam. The VELscope exam is actually the second step in a comprehensive oral cancer exam. The first step is a conventional “white light” exam in which the dentist or hygienist looks for lesions in the oral cavity with the naked eye and uses palpation to feel for any bumps in the neck or face. This generally takes about 3 minutes.
Step 2: the VELscope exam. The VELscope handpiece emits a safe blue light into the oral cavity, causing tissue fluorescence from the surface of the epithelium through to the basement membrane, where pre-malignant changes typically start, and in the stroma beneath. The special, patented optical filtering in the handpiece allows the clinician to immediately view the different fluorescence signatures from the oral tissue to help differentiate between normal and abnormal tissue. Abnormal tissue, such as dysplasia or cancerous lesions, typically appear as irregular, dark areas that stand out against the otherwise normal, green fluorescence pattern of surrounding healthy tissue. This technology thus helps dental practitioners identify potentially dangerous growths that might have been missed with the naked eye, yet this exam takes only 2-to-3 minutes.
Step 3: Surgical biopsy. If the clinician does detect anything of concern during the VELscope exam, the next step will likely be a surgical biopsy. Only when the results of the biopsy are read by an oral pathologist can the condition of the tissue be diagnosed. In the worst case the diagnosis could be oral cancer, but in most cases the diagnosis will be precancer or some other much less serious form of abnormality.
Surveys indicate that 94% of dental practices are either “satisfied,” “very satisfied” or “extremely satisfied” with the ability of the VELscope system to help them discover lesions that they otherwise would have missed.
View of healthy tissue with the naked eye.
View of same healthy tissue through the VELscope.
View of abnormal tissue (biopsy-confirmed to be severe dysplasia) with the naked eye. No apparent problem.
View of same abnormal tissue through the VELscope. Lesions identifiable by dark color and irregular shape.
source from VELscope
International Dental Clinic (The Orthodontist Co., Ltd.)
Fifty Fith Plaza , 2 nd Floor, Sukhumvit 55 Rd. (Thong lo 2) , Wattana ,
Tel. 662-789-3033 Fax. 662-381-4016 Email: