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Oral Cancer

Oral Cancer PreventionOral cancer kills more people nationwide than either cervical or skin (melanoma) cancer, and only half of patients diagnosed will survive more than five years. One American dies every hour from oral cancer. The most common risk factors are tobacco use, frequent high quantity alcohol consumption, constant sunlight exposure, habitual cheek or lip biting, or poorly fitting dentures. Although 80 to 90 percent of oral cancers are found in people who use tobacco and/or drink alcohol excessively, 25 percent of oral cancers occur in people who have no risk factors at all.

Your dentist could very well be your number one soldier in the fight against oral cancer. Statistics show in about 10 percent of patients, dentists notice a problem area even before the patient notices. During a regular dental checkup, your dentist will examine your entire mouth, searching for a flat, painless, white or red spot or small sore. Other signs of oral cancer can include:

  • A sore that bleeds easily or does not heal.
  • A color change of the oral tissues.
  • A lump, thickening, rough spot, crust, or small, eroded area.
  • Pain, tenderness, or numbness anywhere in the mouth or on the lips.

Two tests can determine if a trouble spot is cancerous. A brush biopsy is a painless test performed on areas that look harmless or do not have a clear cause. This test can detect potentially dangerous cells in the early stages of the disease. A scalpel biopsy, which requires local anesthesia, is usually performed on suspicious areas.

Remember to schedule regular checkups for everyone in your family. Two visits per year are recommended for general care. If, between visits, you notice any unusual changes in your mouth, call your dentist immediately. Together you and your dentist can fight and win the battle against oral cancer.

For more information about oral cancer, support groups, or treatments, visit www.oralcancerfoundation.org.

New Reopening Guidelines

Dear Alpine Dental Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and staff safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up- to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

• Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You’ll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

• We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.

• You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children’s toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.

• Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you’re offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

• We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

• We ask that you contact the office once you arrive in the parking lot to let us know that you have arrived. We will then call you when we are ready to seat you.

• Upon arrival we will asking some screening questions and taking your temperature. Anyone with a temp over 99.5 degrees farenheit will be rescheduled.

• We require you to be wearing a mask when you come in for your appointment.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep our patients and staff safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 763-536-1118 or email at patientcare@alpinedentaloffice.com.

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,
George Rizkalla, DDS Team

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