Oral Medicine and Biopsy Services
At Okanagan Periodontics, we offer oral medicine and biopsy services to provide you with comprehensive oral healthcare. Your oral health is essential to your well-being. When your teeth, gums, or jaw hurt, it can make eating, drinking, swallowing, or even speaking difficult. We focus on diagnosing and managing orofacial pain in the oral cavity or mouth. If you have a lesion in your mouth that does not respond to treatment, interferes with your ability to speak or swallow, or has an unknown origin, your dentist will recommend that you visit our Okanagan periodontal clinic for an examination.
Oral Biopsy Services
When a lesion develops in the mouth or oral cavity, your dentist will recommend treatments such as medication or additional hygiene practices in an attempt to heal the area. When these treatments fail to work, a biopsy is recommended to determine why the lesion is there. Once the lesion is identified, your periodontist can develop a more accurate treatment plan.
An oral biopsy is a procedure that involves taking a tissue sample from the lesion. We complete the biopsy procedure in our clinic and send the sample to an oral pathologist for testing and analysis. Once your results come back to us, we’ll bring you back for a consultation to discuss the next steps.
Types of Biopsies
We perform two types of oral biopsy procedures in our clinic: incisional biopsies and excisional biopsies. A specially trained oral surgeon performs both types of biopsies and uses local or general anesthesia to keep you comfortable during the treatment. The type of biopsy you’ll need will depend on the location of the lesion inside your mouth and its size.
When we perform an incisional biopsy, we make an incision into the lesion and remove a small piece of tissue. Next, we send that tissue sample to the oral pathologist for testing and study. When the results are in, we’ll review your results with you and discuss what needs to be done next.
An excisional biopsy is a little different. Instead of taking a small sample, we remove the suspicious area altogether with a bit of the surrounding healthy tissue to ensure the entire lesion is removed. We then send the whole tissue to the pathologist for study and analysis. Because excisional biopsies are more complex, you’ll require stitches to the area. In oral surgeries, we use dissolving stitches that disappear on their own in about ten days.
How to Prepare for an Oral Biopsy
Either your dentist or Dr. Faigan will review with you what is needed to prepare for the biopsy procedure. If you are a smoker, we highly recommend quitting a minimum of two weeks before your procedure. Also, if you’re taking blood-thinning medications, we’ll advise you to stop taking those two weeks before your appointment unless your doctor recommends otherwise.
Both types of biopsies require local anesthesia for the procedure. General anesthesia may be used for the procedure if the lesion is significant in size.
What to Expect After an Oral Biopsy
When the procedure is complete and the anesthesia wears off, some people may experience some pain and discomfort at the site where the biopsy was taken. Your mouth may also be a bit sore for the next day or two. If you require help alleviating the pain, you can take Tylenol to increase comfort. We recommend avoiding aspirin, ibuprofen, or Aleve because those medications can increase bleeding at the biopsy site.
In addition to some pain and discomfort, there may be some minor bleeding and swelling at the healing site. To stop any bleeding, place sterile gauze on the site and apply consistent pressure for 15 to 20 minutes. To help alleviate discomfort from swelling, you can apply a cold compress to the area. The cold temperature will help the swelling go down and promote faster healing.
To help facilitate uncomplicated healing, we recommend not smoking for a minimum of 72 hours after the procedure. You can brush your teeth normally, but avoid touching directly on the biopsy spot. If using a mouth rinse is part of your oral hygiene routine, skip the rinse until your mouth fully heals. A safe alternative to mouth rinse is warm, salted water. And for your own comfort, we suggest avoiding hot, spicy, or acidic foods until the wound site heals.
Oral Biopsy Procedures in Kelowna
Residents of Kelowna and the greater Okanagan region can confidently book their oral biopsy procedures here at Okanagan Periodontics. Our mission is to provide you with a comfortable experience and expert care for all oral and periodontic surgeries.