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Publication Date


Publication Title

Journal of Dental Hygiene








PURPOSE: This study compared the effectiveness of the VELscope(R) Vx versus visual and tactile intraoral examination in detecting oral lesions in an adult, high risk population.

METHODS: The pilot study compared the intra oral findings between 2 examination types. The sample was comprised of 30 participants who were addicted to either cigarettes or a dual addiction (cigarettes plus hookah). High risk population was defined as males who were current cigarette smokers or had a dual addiction. Two trained and experienced licensed dental hygienists conducted all examinations. Throughout the study, all visual and tactile intraoral examinations were conducted first by one dental hygienist first, followed by the VELscope(R) Vx fluorescence examinations by the second dental hygienist. All subjects received an inspection of the lips, labial and buccal mucosa, floor of the mouth, dorsal, ventral and lateral sides of the tongue, hard and soft palate, and visual inspection of the oropharynx and uvula. Both evaluations took place in 1 visit in the Dental Hygiene Research Center at Old Dominion University and external sites. All participants received oral cancer screening information, recommendations, referrals for tobacco cessation programs and brochures on the 2 types of examinations conducted.

RESULTS: Participants were considered high risk based on demographics (current smokers and mostly males). Neither visual and tactile intraoral examination nor the VELscope(R) Vx examination showed positive lesions. No lesions were detected; therefore, no referrals were made. Data indicated the duration of tobacco use was significantly higher in cigarette smokers (14.1 years) than dual addiction smokers (5 years) (p>0.005). The average numbers of cigarettes smoked per day were 13.5 compared to 14.2 cigarettes for dual addiction smokers.

CONCLUSION: Results from this study suggest the visual and tactile intraoral examination produced comparative results to the VELscope(R) Vx examination. Findings from this study support that the VELscope(R) Vx is still considered an adjunct technology and cannot be used exclusively for oral cancer screening.

Original Publication Citation

Ayoub, H.M., Newcomb, T.L., McCombs, G.B., & Bonnie, M. (2015). The use of fluorescence technology versus visual and tactile examination in the detection of oral lesions: A pilot study. Journal of Dental Hygiene, 89(1), 63-71.