Tissue fluorescence has been used to identify abnormal lesions, including cancer and pre-cancer that may not be apparent to the naked eye. Fluorescence technology has been used in the medical field for many years, and in the dental field it has successfully screened more than 25 million patients in the past decade.
"Adding [fluorescence] as an adjunctive diagnostic procedure improved the quality and outcome of the examination process."
"Adding [fluorescence] to the routine clinical examination resulted in detection of changes not seen with white light examination ..."
Laronde et al. describe incorporating a clinical risk assessment in combination with fluorescence to predict lesion persistence. Unsurprisingly, " [t]he most predictive model for lesion persistence included both [fluorescence] status and lesion risk assessment."
"A protocol for screening (assess risk, reassess, and refer) is recommended for the screening of abnormal intraoral lesions. Integrating [fluorescence] into a process of assessing and reassessing lesions significantly improved this model."
"For those clinicians in general practice without the experience and expertise of a specialist, an imaging device to aid in the decision to refer would be very helpful. At the community level, the critical decision is not whether or not the lesion is cancer but whether or not the lesion should be referred for further investigation. Reassessment at a 3-week follow-up appointment is critical to improving the specificity of the FV autofluorescence imaging device."
“This technology [autofluorescence] has identified dysplastic, even microinvasive lesions that were completely 'normal' looking with visible light, even to the suspicious eve of an oral pathologist.”
“It is a good idea to use autofluorescence on an annual basis as a screening tool in the dental office.”
"Tissue autofluorescence is a new and powerful technology that can be used for multiple diagnostic applications.”
"Subclinical premalignant and malignant lesions that are not visible on routine white light oral examination become noticeable with direct autofluorescence visualization.”
“Autofluorescence tissue imaging is more sensitive than routine white light examination to determine surgical margins at the primary site that are free of histologic and molecular features of malignancy or dysplasia.”
"Autofluorescence imaging is capable of detecting invisible lesions or invisible tumor extensions."
“Autofluorescence imaging can be used to find lesions that are not or not easily noticed by visual inspection.”
“Autofluorescence spectroscopy could be used to find the optimal, most dysplastic location for biopsy.”
”Autofluorescence imaging might be appropriate as an easy-to-use, sensitive and inexpensive method for lesion detection."
This scientific article from the International Journal of Biomedical and Advanced Research explains why oral cancer screening in the dental set up is important. Below are a few statements taken from the journal article:
“…light-tissue interactions can be exploited to improve the visualization of neoplastic lesions.In particular, tissue autofluorescence has recently shown promise as an adjunctive diagnostic tool."
“Oral cancer and pre cancer display a loss of autofluorescence across a broad range of UV and visible excitation wavelengths."
“The incorporation of OralID in the first-line practice settings, such as dental offices and primary health care settings, may be a boon to population for regular check up for early detection of pre malignant lesions.”
“There is an enormous amount of advantage of this cost effective device (OralID) in the developing countries where financial liability is the main hindrance during oral cancer screening for the mass population."