When suspicious-looking tissue or general irregularities are found in your mouth, we may suggest a biopsy. A biopsy allows us to get a closer look and better understanding of the cells in your mouth and helps us to identify serious problems such as oral cancer.

We may recommend a biopsy if we find something during a physical exam or other oral procedure. This is a precautionary measure- with many oral cancers, the earlier you catch them the better chance you have of surviving.

The Results

Biopsies reveal abnormalities within tissue samples. For example, both malignant and nonmalignant cells can be detected when viewed via a microscope. By understanding exactly what type of cells are in your mouth, we can craft a treatment plan accordingly.

The Procedure

A biopsy starts with the removal of a small amount of tissue from the area. To do this, we will give you numbing cream so that you will not feel the procedure. After we have scraped away the tissue sample, we may need to give you a few stitches. In most cases, the whole process can be done in less than 30 minutes.

Side Effects

You may experience soreness or swelling after the procedure. This will vary from person to person and depend on the type of biopsy that is performed. To help offset any discomfort, we recommend over-the-counter pain medications.


The amount of time it takes to get your results will vary. Some biopsies are done in just a few days and others may take up to a week. Once we have the results, we will let you know what has been found and help you to interpret and understand these findings. We will then work with you to construct a plan and move forward with treatment.