The VELscope® Vx is an oral disease discovery device, not an oral cancer diagnostic device. The VELscope® is the first adjunctive device cleared by the FDA and Health Canada to help clinicians detect cancerous and precancerous lesions and other lesions that might not be apparent to the naked eye. The VELscope is also cleared to help surgeons determine appropriate surgical margins around lesions prior to excision.VELscope® Vx technology is changing the way oral cancer screenings take place.
The VELscope® Vx handheld device emits a harmless, bright blue light which is used to inspect the mouth and tongue. The device is extremely sensitive to abnormal tissue changes and the distinctive blue-spectrum light causes the soft tissues of the mouth to naturally fluoresce. Healthy tissues fluoresce in distinct patterns that are visibly disrupted by trauma or disease, such as neoplastic lesions, and fungal, viral or bacterial infections. Natural tissue fluorescence is caused by “fluorophores”. When fluorophores are excited by light of an appropriate wavelength (for example, blue), they emit their own light at a longer wavelength (for example, green). The resulting fluorescence can reveal a great deal about cellular, structural, and/or metabolic activity changes that are often directly related to disease processes occurring inside the tissue.
How Does It Work? The VELscope® Vx Handpiece emits a safe, visible blue light into the oral cavity, which excites the oral tissue and causes it to fluoresce. The oral cavity can then be examined in real time, enhancing the practitioner’s ability to quickly identify suspicious tissue that may require further investigation. Abnormal fluorescence patterns aid the clinician in detecting unhealthy mucosal tissue that sometimes cannot be seen with the naked eye.
Such patterns arise from a variety of causes, including:An increase in metabolic activity in the epithelium;A breakdown of the fluorescent collagen cross-links in the connective tissue layer beneath the basement membrane; An increase in tissue blood content, either from inflammation or angiogenesis (hemoglobin strongly absorbs fluorescence excitation [blue] and emission light [green]);The presence of pigments (e.g., melanin or amalgam particles) which absorb light.
The VELscope® System is the only device cleared by the FDA to assist in discovering oral mucosal lesions that might not be apparent or visible to the naked eye. Our dental professionals have been specially trained in the use of the VELscope. Do not delay, early detection is the best form of prevention.