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Oral Pathology

Your dentist or physician may have noticed an area in your mouth such as on your gums, lips, tongue, cheeks, or within the jawbone that does not appear to be normal. Many of these areas are benign growths. However, to make sure that these areas are not growths that may require further surgery, our doctors must remove a sample of the abnormal tissue so a Pathologist may look at the tissue under a microscope. This will either verify that it is a change in the gums or bone that will not require any further procedure or it may show a change in your gums or bone that may need further work-up or treatment.

It is very common to have a biopsy and most patients choose local anesthesia or nitrous oxide for the procedure. You can also have IV sedation if you are interested.

You will be given instructions on diet, medications, and activity. You may need a day to recuperate since you will have some swelling and possible some bruising.

You will be given a prescription for pain medication and possibly, an antibiotic. If you play sports routinely or perform manual labor at work, let your doctor know. We can discuss when you can safely resume your activities.

While each situation is different, most biopsies require a small incision to sample a piece of the abnormal tissue. The area is then closed with sutures. We then send it to a Pathologist who will give us a report in about 1 week. At your first postoperative visit, we will inform you of the results and discuss if you will need any further procedures or treatment.

This is a common procedure and as with all surgery, there are a few potential risks. Your procedure and any risks will be discussed with you at your evaluation appointment.