Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology is a type of dental specialty in the United States that focuses on the diagnosis and assessment of different diseases that affect the oral and maxillofacial region. It is a subbranch of histopathology and pathologists must provide interpretations of tissue biopsies.
Light microscopy is the main method of examination in oral pathology, but there are additional methods that can be used as well. Some of those other methods include:
- Electron microscopy
- Molecular analysis
Specialists in this area have had extensive training in the field and they often work in dental schools; however, there are some that are based outside of the school to include areas such as:
- Academic trainees
- District and regional hospitals
- Academic clinical lecturers
- Academic clinical fellows
If a dentist is provided with the designation of oral pathology, it is inferred that this includes all areas of pathology to include the mouth and any related tissues. In a broad sense, pathology is better defined as the study of the disease and the cause of the disease, its development, process, and consequences. It would not be uncommon for your oral pathologist to ask for you to have a biopsy performed to confirm a possible diagnosis.
A biopsy is a type of surgical procedure that involves the removal of a piece of tissue that is suspicious in nature. Biopsies are often taken from the lining tissue in the mouth or the bone that may have some involvement in the disease as determined by x-rays.
At Pacific Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center, our oral surgeon will biopsy any areas of concern and then place the specimen in a safe container to be examined by a pathologist underneath a microscope. Dr. Brandon Kang is experienced in oral pathology and will discuss the results with you and also a recommended treatment plan once the results come back from the oral pathologist.
It is important to understand that biopsies must be taken to ensure a high level of accuracy when determining the actual diagnosis. Once a report has been provided to Dr. Kang from the oral pathologist, you may or may not need to have a procedure performed in our office. Sometimes, surgery is required, and, in these situations, Dr. Kang will discuss it with you before proceeding.
Are There Any Warning Signs to Look Out For?
The goal behind oral pathology is to look for and diagnose any cancerous cells in the mouth and the surrounding tissues. There are some symptoms or warning signs that you can look out for and these signs will help you better understand whether or not you need to come into our Oakland or San Francisco office.
- Thickening of or a lump on the skin lining of the inside of your mouth
- White patches
- Difficulty swallowing or chewing
- Red patches
- Single sore or multiple sores that fail to heal and bleed easily
- Chronic hoarseness or sore throat
If you are worried that you may have oral cancer, or you have been referred to our office to have a biopsy done, now is the time to call us. We offer screenings and biopsies in our Oakland, CA and San Francisco, CA office.
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Bay Area Oral Surgeon, Dr. Brandon Kang, manages a wide variety of problems relating to the mouth, teeth, and facial regions. For more information about the oral and maxillofacial surgery services we provide, or to schedule a consultation,
contact us at 510-227-8099
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