Oral Cancer
in Barrie
Who is at risk for oral cancer?

There are two known pathways leading to oral cancer. This first is tobacco and alcohol use. The second is through exposure to HPV-16 (human papillomavirus). When oral cancer is detected early, survival rates are good (80-90%). Unfortunately, most oral cancers are not detected until a later stage, which is why the death rate from oral cancer is high (45% five years after diagnosis). In Canada, oral cancer kills one person every hour of every day; this is why our dentists believe an oral cancer screening test is vital to helping maintain your overall health. ​

In the past, oral cancer was believed to be associated mostly with tobacco use. This is no longer the case. In fact, in people younger than 50 years old, HPV-16 is now believed to be the main cause of oral cancer. Between tobacco, alcohol, and/or exposure to HPV-16, nearly every adult in Canada is at risk for developing oral cancer. That’s why we recommend a basic oral cancer screening twice per year, and a specific oral cancer screening (VELscope) once every year. Like any cancer, early detection increases the survival rate.

How do we screen for oral cancer?

Every time you have a cleaning and check-up, our dentists and hygienists conduct a visual oral cancer screening. In addition to visual screening, we strongly recommend VELscope screening once a year. Combined, this approach can help detect oral cancer in its earlier stages.

If you have a lump, bump, crack, ulcer, spot or another area of concern in or on your mouth, lips, tongue, palate, gums, cheek or throat, call us immediately and we will see you for an exam as soon as possible to screen for oral cancer.

Will my insurance pay for oral cancer screening?

Most insurance companies do not cover oral cancer screenings. We have had insurance companies tell us that because the screening process is a new technology, they won’t cover it.


As your partners in wellness, we’re so passionate about cancer prevention that we will perform a complimentary oral cancer screening. We feel very strongly that your insurance company does not have the right to dictate the quality or level of care you receive. It’s a mentality that acts as a barrier to patients receiving the best care possible.

Appointment Request
No Referrals

Georgian Mall Family Dental is one big, happy family and we would be delighted for you to join us in caring for your dental needs – no doctor referral required. We offer a warm and welcoming environment that will immediately help you feel at home, and our diversified team of specialists can take care of any and every dental procedure you may need.

Open 7 days a week

Georgian Mall, 509 Bayfield Street, Barrie
We are located on the Upper Level inside Georgian Mall,
across from Sportchek