Oral Cancer Screenings in Bloomington, MN

Get peace of mind with early detection in River Bluff Dental.

Preventative Checks for Oral Cancer
Mouth cancer screenings help detect early symptoms and problems.
Woman in dental chair smiling

Do you have an abnormality inside or outside the mouth you’re worried about? Are you at an increased risk of mouth or neck cancer? Our local dentist, Dr. Palmer at River Bluff performs an oral cancer screening at each regular appointment to help keep you healthy.

During the quick and comfortable exam, Dr. Palmer looks for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions of the mouth and neck. It’s much easier to remove lesions or abnormal growths when they’re smaller. But most importantly, early detection helps save lives and improves your standard of living.

Factors that increase your chances of developing oral cancer:

  • Tobacco use (including chewing tobacco and smoking)
  • Excessive alcohol use or poor diet
  • A previous diagnosis of mouth cancer
  • Excess sun exposure (increases the risk of lip cancer)

While we perform screenings at your regular dental checkups and cleanings, please schedule an exam today if you think you’re at greater risk or experiencing any symptoms.

Benefits of an Oral Cancer Screening at the Dentist

Most oral cancer screenings at your local dentist take just a few minutes. There’s no special appointment necessary because it’s part of your standard comprehensive exam. Although, if you think you have any warning signs, please give us a call today.


Your dentist gently performs a visual scan of your mouth and neck to look for anything unusual or of concern. The doctor also feels for any lumps in and around the mouth. Typically, there’s no prep needed for an initial exam, and it’s completely pain-free.

Magic wand

Early oral cancer detection helps save lives. When we find problems early on, this typically makes treatments easier, less expensive, and more effective. As with any disease, the sooner someone begins treatment, the better.

How Oral Cancer Screenings Work
Our dentist in Bloomington, MN makes checkups easy and stress-free.
The dentist explains woman in the dentist chair how oral cancer screenings work

Your oral health affects your entire whole-body health. So while you may know to brush and floss, it’s also important to pay attention to any abnormal changes of the mouth or neck.

An oral cancer screening at River Bluff Dental in Bloomington, MN helps find any problems you might miss.

  • Step 1
    During your regular visit to the dentist, our doctor reviews your medical and dental history to see if you’re at greater risk of developing oral cancer. If applicable, we openly discuss your risk factors and ways to prevent disease.
  • Step 2
    With no prep typically required, our dentist checks your mouth, throat, and neck for signs of oral cancer. We check for discoloration, sores, lumps, lesions, or abnormal growths. If you wear dentures, we’ll remove them before the exam.
  • Step 3
    If there’s anything of concern, please don’t panic. We may keep an eye on it and have you come in for a follow-up or request a biopsy for further testing. The biopsy takes a sample of the area’s cells to see if they’re cancerous or not. Oftentimes, we will refer you to an oral surgeon for this procedure.

While we understand the topic of cancer is stressful to even think about, we encourage you to come in for your routine exam and screening. Our dental practice in Bloomington, MN truly cares about your health and offers a comfortable, relaxing environment for an anxiety-free visit.

Five-Star Reviews
‘‘My teeth were never ‘great’ and I always wanted a bright, white smile! I was always self-conscious of my smile from the braces and dental work growing up. After my smile transformation, I’m not afraid to smile anymore. Dr. Palmer and his team are the best of the best.’’

Jessica R.

‘‘I had one tooth that was shaped/angled differently than the rest. I wanted a more symmetrical appearance to my smile! The entire staff at RBD is extremely friendly and professional. They answered all of my questions and addressed any of my concerns throughout the entire process. And of course, the finished product is incredible!’’

Elizabeth M.

‘‘My teeth were wearing down and exposing dentin and causing a lot of pain. A ‘poor’ bite also contributed to the wearing down of my teeth. This lead to broken crowns due to them needed to be very thin to lift my bite. This was the inevitable choice, and better now than being forced to use dentures or implants in the future. I love my new smile! My wife does as well. Still hard to get used to have confidence in my smile and in my teeth but that is a problem that I can handle! Thank you!’’

Craig P.

‘‘I was embarrassed with my smile and now I smile a lot. I was able to get in right away even though I wasn’t an established patient. Everything was very professional yes completed in a caring environment. The staff is wonderful!’’

Julie S.

‘‘My veneers were 30+ years old and I needed an upgrade not only for cosmetic reasons but for my health. No one enjoys getting older-but at age 60 I’m feeling better, look better and have more confidence than ever thanks to my smile.. Dr. Palmer and his staff are professional and care deeply about my health and appearance.’’

Karen P.

FAQ about Oral Cancer Screenings
  • How do you screen for oral cancer?
    Our dentist at River Bluff Dental in Bloomington, MN screens for oral cancer during your regular dental exam.

    We check the inside and outside of your mouth for signs of abnormal cell growth, plus examine the neck. Mouth cancer may present itself in the lips, cheeks, tongue, floor of the mouth, and palate.

    Some signs of oral cancer may include:

    • Unusual sores in the mouth
    • Sores or lesions that don’t heal
    • Swelling, bumps, rough spots in areas of the mouth
    • Discolored patches in the mouth, including white or speckled patches
    • Unexplained numbness or bleeding in the mouth
    • Difficulty moving your mouth normally
    • Chronic sore throat or hoarseness

    If you experience any of the above symptoms, please contact our dentist. While we perform mouth and neck cancer screenings at each routine appointment, it’s best to have your symptoms reviewed by a professional as soon as possible.

  • Should I be screened for oral cancer?
    Yes, everyone should be screened for oral cancer. It’s easy to do, fast, and painless. Your dentist typically performs an oral cancer screening in five minutes or less.

    While you visit the dentist twice a year for routine checkups and oral cancer screenings, you can also stay proactive and keep an eye out for unusual patches, sores, or lumps of the mouth or neck.

    If you see anything of concern, please schedule an appointment to double-check this and determine if you need further testing. Early oral cancer detection helps improve the chances of successful treatment to help save lives!

  • Can a dentist diagnose oral cancer?
    A dentist looks for abnormalities in the mouth region but doesn’t diagnose oral cancer.

    To determine if a suspicious area is cancerous, a specialist performs a biopsy. This involves taking a sample of the area’s tissue and examining it closely.

  • Would a dentist notice throat cancer?
    A dentist may help find early signs of throat cancer because some signs are visible to the trained eye (such as lumps).

    Meanwhile, other signs of throat cancer are less obvious. These symptoms include changes in how you speak or swallow, soreness, hoarseness, ear pain, and weight loss.

    If you have any of the above symptoms, please let your dentist or doctor know, and we’ll recommend the next best steps for cancer screening and follow-up. We’ll first look at common causes of your symptoms, so please don’t panic.

    We’re here to help you prevent oral health problems and can answer any additional questions during the exam.

  • Where are oral cancers most commonly found?
    According to cancer.netOpens a new window to the cancer.net website, the most common head and neck cancers are found in the oral cavity and oropharynx.

    The oral cavity includes the lips, cheeks, gums, front of the tongue, mouth floor, mouth roof, and the small area behind your wisdom teeth. Meanwhile, the oropharynx is the region beyond the oral cavity, including the back of the mouth, part of the throat, tonsils, and tongue base.

    Our dentist in Bloomington, MN checks these regions for signs of cancer during each oral cancer screening using a safe, comfortable, and noninvasive approach.

Mouth Cancer Screening Exams in Bloomington, MN: Prevention Is the Key!
Schedule a preventive visit with your local dentist today!