Greetings from Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney

Drs. John Pinnix and George Betancourt would like to extend our sincerest best wishes to you and your families. We hope that you continue to navigate these most difficult times with strength, perseverance and the promise that we will all soon return to 'business as usual'.

Please note, the purpose of this email is not to go into detail about our office protocols during the current COVID- 19 response. We always have and will continue to maintain the highest level of aseptic and sterilization techniques. Regarding our office hours, we are presently closed as a result of recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as well as the American Dental Association. For patients with upcoming appointments, trust that we will communicate directly with you via phone call to reschedule them as we learn more about our current situation.

For the time being, we want to extend to you, our patients, the helping hand you need during these times for all things dental. While we may be limited in terms of office hours and available services, Drs. Pinnix and Betancourt remain available to you via other modalities. For example, we ask that you please find and follow our social media pages, pinnixandbetancourt on Instagram, Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney on Facebook, and @BlakeneySmiles on Twitter. We will use these social media outlets as a means of communication and also a way to provide a Question & Answer forum for general questions anyone may have.

For personal/private needs related to ongoing treatment or your dental health, we will be available to schedule a virtual consultation. This may be accomplished via FaceTime, Zoom meeting or other platform whereby we may have a face to face encounter. These will be available to you, our patient, as a courtesy.

These are unprecedented times for us all. We strive to be on the front edge of the capabilities and service we provide our patients. Much of that depends on our availability and communication. We are here and we will, across any medium possible, provide the guidance you need during these difficult times. We ask that you please reach out to us either via email to the office (, one of our social media platforms, or our phone line from which you can leave a message. We will make every effort possible to get back to you in a timely manner.

From Drs. Pinnix, Betancourt and our entire staff at Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney, we hope you and your families manage the COVID-19 pandemic with an abundance of care, caution and respect for the well being of our community.


Drs. John M. Pinnix, George A. Betancourt and the staff of Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney


Drs. John M. Pinnix IV and George A. Betancourt offer routine oral cancer screenings at their Charlotte, NC, practice as part of every biannual exam. The prognosis for oral cancer is best when it is detected in the early stages, which is why we provide regular screenings for our patients using advanced technology. If you want to undergo an oral cancer screening, or if you need to establish ongoing care with an experienced dentist, contact us today.

oral cancer exam

Why Early Diagnosis Matters

Oral cancer symptoms are not obvious in the early stages. By the time they become noticeable, the disease has usually reached later stages and may have spread to other parts of the body, making it much more difficult to treat. When any form of cancer is detected in the early stages, the patient stands a much greater chance of successful treatment. 

Risks and Symptoms

You may be at a greater risk of developing oral cancer if you:

  • Are male
  • Are over 50
  • Use tobacco in any form (including cigarettes, cigars, snuff, or chewing tobacco)
  • Consume excessive amounts of alcohol
  • Have a family history of oral cancer
  • Were exposed to excessive amounts of sunlight at a young age
  • Are infected with HPV (human papillomavirus)
  • Were previously diagnosed with oral cancer

However, at least 25 percent of patients diagnosed with oral cancer carry none of these risk factors, while many who do never develop cancer.

Oral cancer symptoms include:

  • Red or white lesions, spots, or patches
  • Unexplained bleeding
  • Painless lumps or abnormally thick lining in the mouth or skin
  • Hoarse throat or a voice change
  • Difficulty chewing, swallowing, speaking, or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Sensation of something caught in your throat
  • Loose teeth
  • Dramatic weight loss

Our Screening Procedure

The standard oral cancer screening focuses on visual and tactile inspection. Our dentists will look and feel for abnormal tissue, palpating your mouth, cheeks, jaw, lymph nodes, and neck. 

To minimize the possibility of overlooking abnormalities, Drs. Pinnix and Betancourt incorporate Vizlite® technology into their routine screenings. Though not a replacement for the visual and oral exam, this supplemental system helps to identify and mark abnormal oral lesions that could otherwise go unnoticed.

Vizlite® technology is based in basic biology. Every cell contains a nucleus in which DNA is stored. However, when cells become cancerous, their nuclei start to take over most of the space inside. With a Vizlite® inspection, patients wash their mouths with an acetic acid rinse. Next, your dentist inspects your mouth with a special light. Any abnormal cells will appear to glow while normal tissue remains dark. The entire procedure takes less than five minutes and is easily incorporated into a regular checkup.

If any suspicious lesions are present, your dentist will order an oral biopsy. This painless test removes small samples of the abnormal tissue for more extensive examination under a microscope. Results are usually returned within a week.

Contact Us Today

Here at the Advanced Dentistry of Blakeney, our purpose is to enhance your quality of life and help you understand how to maintain oral health. For more information on oral cancer screenings and how they can help you, reach out today to schedule an appointment. 

Contact Us Today

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Charlotte Office

8918 Blakeney Professional Dr
Ste 100
Charlotte, NC 28277

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm