VELscope (Visually Enhanced Lesion Scope) by LED Dental uses natural tissue fluorescence to identify abnormalities of the oral mucosa (lining of the mouth) including cancer, infections, and serious oral inflammation. It is a painless and non-invasive device that emits a strong blue light. VELscope is handheld and used during standard dental inspections.
Why use VELscope?
VELscope is an important addition to routine oral examinations using white light and palpitation (touch) to identify oral abnormalities. Under VELscope’s blue light, certain mucosal lesions that are not normally visible, and which cannot be felt, stand out and are much easier to identify. VELscope can also be used to differentiate between benign and cancerous lesions within the mouth.
How does it work?
VELscope uses a strong blue light that causes certain abnormal cells and areas of inflammation to glow dark green or black. Normal tissue appears pale green under this light. It is similar to how neon colors will glow under a black light, which makes the identification of certain lesions of the mouth easier. Under normal white light, abnormal areas of tissue may look the same as surrounding normal tissue.
At our practice, we are committed to giving you the best possible care. We use VELscope as a preventative tool to help us catch any potential oral health issues at their early stages.
Why is this important?
According to the SEER ( Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results) database, run by the National Cancer Institute, the five-year survival rate for oral cancer detected early is 80% to 85%. However, if it is detected late, the survival rate for five years is only 50%.
Unfortunately, oral cancer is often detected in the late stages when it is difficult or impossible to cure. Both the disease itself and available treatment options for late-stage oral cancer can have devastating and disfiguring consequences for patients, and the prognosis for long-term survival is not good. This makes early identification critical.
What conditions can be detected by VELscope?
- Oral cancers, including salivary gland tumors
- Precancerous lesions
- Squamous papillomas
- Inflammation from a variety of causes, including lichen planus and lichenoid reactions
- Viral, fungal, and bacterial infections