Oral biopsy is often a gray area with insurance companies between both medical and dental coverage. Almost always, medical insurance is primary and dental insurance secondary - however, it is not uncommon for the benefit to fall between coverage of both insurances.
There will be a separate charge from the pathologist. We will forward all provided insurance information to Central Coast Pathology as a convenience to you - however, we are not responsible for their billing.
Oral Biopsy and Pathology
The inside of the mouth is normally lined with a special type of skin (mucosa) that is smooth and coral pink in color. Any alteration in this appearance could be a warning sign for a pathological process. The most serious of these is oral cancer.
The following can be signs at the beginning of a pathologic process or cancerous growth:
Reddish patches (erythroplasia) or whitish patches (leukoplakia) in the mouth.
A sore that fails to heal and bleeds easily.
A lump or thickening on the skin lining the inside of the mouth.
Chronic sore throat or hoarseness.
Difficulty in chewing or swallowing.
These changes can be detected on the lips, cheeks, palate, and gum tissue around the teeth, tongue, face and/or neck. Pain does not always occur with pathology, and curiously, is not often associated with oral cancer. However, any patient with facial and/or oral pain without an obvious cause or reason may also be at risk for oral cancer.
If Dr. La Puma is suspicious of an area in the mouth he may recommend a biopsy of the tissue and send the specimen to pathology.