Date of Award

Spring 2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Dental Hygiene


Dental Hygiene

Committee Director

Tara Newcomb

Committee Member

Gayle McCombs

Committee Member

Marshall Bonnie

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.D46 A96 2013


Purpose: The purpose of the study was to compare the effectiveness of the VELscope® Vx, versus a visual and tactile intraoral examination in detecting oral lesions in an adult, high risk population. Methods: A convenience sample of 30 participants (17 cigarette smokers and 13 dual addiction smokers) was enrolled. For the purpose of this study, dual addition was defined as cigarettes plus hookah usage. Two trained and calibrated dental hygienists conducted all examinations. Visual and tactile intraoral examinations were conducted, followed by VELscope® Vx florescence examinations. All subjects received an inspection of the lips, labial mucosa, buccal mucosa, floor of the mouth, dorsal, ventral and lateral sides of the tongue, as well as the hard and soft palate. Both evaluations took place in one visit. All participants received oral cancer screening information, recommendations and referrals for tobacco cessation programs and material on the two types of examinations provided. Results: Thirty subjects, between the ages 18-65 were enrolled (23 males and 7 females). The duration of tobacco use was significantly higher in cigarette smokers (14.1 years) than dual addiction smokers (5 years). The average numbers of cigarettes smoked per day were 13.5 compared to 14.2 cigarettes for dual addiction smokers. Neither the visual and tactile intraoral examination nor the VELscope® Vx examination showed any positive lesions. No lesions were detected; therefore, no referrals were made. Conclusion: Study participants were considered high risk based on demographics (current smokers & males). These results support data from the American Cancer Society, which indicates that males smoke more cigarettes than females, and are at a higher risk of oral cancer. Furthermore, individuals who have dual smoking addictions are on the rise, and are also at increased risk for oral cancer. Results from this study suggest the visual and tactile intraoral examination produced comparative results to the VELscope® Vx examination.


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