About Smiles -  - Family and Cosmetic Dentist

About Smiles

Family and Cosmetic Dentists located in Austin, TX & Round Rock, TX

VELscope Cancer Screening Specialist

In its early stages, oral cancer often goes unnoticed. It may not cause pain or a physical change that you’d notice. That’s why the dentists and dental hygienists at About Smiles in Austin and Round Rock, Texas, perform routine oral cancer screenings at your regular checkup. Advanced technology has an important role in your cancer screening. We proudly use VELscope®, a device that painlessly and noninvasively detects early changes that may signal cancer.

VELscope Cancer Screening Q & A

What is oral cancer?

Oral cancer broadly refers to cancer that develops in any part of the mouth:

  • Lips
  • Tongue
  • Gums
  • Inner lining of cheeks
  • Roof of mouth
  • Floor of mouth

While there are several types of oral cancer, it most commonly develops in the tissues that cover the surface of your mouth, tongue, and lips.

Are you at risk for oral cancer?

Anyone can develop oral cancer, but some factors put you at a higher risk:

  • Tobacco use
  • Heavy alcohol use
  • Excessive sun exposure to your lips
  • Human papillomavirus (a sexually transmitted disease)
  • Weakened immune system

Tobacco use is the most significant risk factor for getting oral cancer. Risk increases depending on the amount of tobacco and the length of time it’s used. Your chances of oral cancer are higher no matter what form of tobacco you use. Whether you smoking cigarettes, use chewing tobacco, dip snuff, or smoke a pipe -- they all put you at risk.

How do the dentists at About Smiles screen for cancer?

Like other types of cancer, oral cancer is easier to treat when it’s caught early. That’s why regular preventive checkups at About Smiles include screening for oral cancer.

While we always perform a visual inspection, we’re also proud to offer an advanced tool for cancer detection called the VELscope. This device detects cancerous cells long before they’re visible to the human eye, and it only takes about two minutes to inspect your mouth, so it’s easy to fit into your regular dental checkup.

How does VELscope screen for cancer?

The VELscope is a handheld device that sends a harmless, bright blue light into your mouth. As the light passes over your mouth and tongue, it makes soft tissues shine in distinct patterns.

The patterns are different in any area where the tissues are abnormal rather than healthy. These unusual patterns can reveal cells that are in the early precancerous stage, as well as cells that have developed into cancer.

However, the VELscope results do not mean you have a diagnosis of cancer. To verify why the cells are different, a small sample must be removed and sent to a medical laboratory, where they’re examined under a microscope to determine if they’re cancerous.


At About Smiles, we are in-network with most major insurance plans. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.

Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield
Delta Premier
United Concordia

Words from our patients

  • Google+

    "Dr. Hoover & Cathy were great. This was my first pain free dentist visit in a while. I am glad I have finally found a dental office where I don't feel nervous..."

    Nancy G.
  • Yelp

    "Dr. Hoover is the best of the best. She is truly invested in my dental health. Finding her was a blessing. I would recommend Dr. Hoover to EVERYONE I know!"

    Sunday P.
  • Yellow Pages

    "I appreciate the kindness and attention that me and my family receive whenever we come in. Best dentist office ever! Everyone here is great!"

    Verified Patient
  • Yellow Pages

    "Short wait times and great service. I love the staff here. They make me feel so comfortable and are all very nice. The hygienist was so gentle with my cleaning."

    Sara A.
  • Google+

    "Great experience at About Smiles. The hygienist was really sweet and caring... There is no pushing for unnecessary treatments. Great place to have dental work done."

    Ernesto V.
  • facebook

    "Dr. Hoover has allayed my fears of the dentist with her caring compassionate ways. She truly has her patient's best interest at heart. "

    Emily H.
  • facebook

    "I absolutely love 'About Smiles'... The title is so appropriate because not only do they care about your teeth, they also are the friendliest and nicest people."

    Kim B.
  • facebook

    "I had a very deep filling that needed to be removed and replaced with a crown, which they make in the office. When I left I had a beautiful new crown!"

    Denise A.
  • facebook

    "The office staff at About Smiles are fantastic! Everyone is very helpful, they even checked my benefits and explained my coverage. Highly recommend About Smiles!"

    Danielle F.
  • Google+

    "I'm afraid of dentists, but Dr. Hoover and her team have helped me overcome my fears. The team is caring, friendly and helpful. I actually look forward to going."

    Rosy J.
  • Google+

    "Warm and welcoming staff. Nice facilities and modern equipment. Dentists have friendly patient focused demeanor, I didn't feel rushed."

    Ryan M.
  • facebook

    "The dental work is excellent, the office is lovely and the rest of the staff are super professional. I can't recommend them enough."

    Jennifer A.
  • Google+

    "Dr. Hoover was amazing; she addressed and explained my issues to ease any discomfort. They have amazing staff and enjoyed my visit."

    Brian S.
  • Google+

    "It's so nicely decorated and clean. They really care and everyone who works there is happy and enjoys what they do! Awesome dentist!"

    Emily A.
  • Google+

    "Absolutely the best Dentist Professionals I have ever found... The extraction was done with out any complications and with top notch bedside manner."

    Thomas S.
  • facebook

    "All my questions were answered thoroughly which made my visit more comfortable. I will definitely be returning here for my dental work!"

    David P.
  • facebook

    "The experience was not only friendly and nearly painless, but it was fast. I walked out of that lovely office in one and a half hours WITH a new crown!"

    Courtney C.
  • Yelp

    "This is by far the best experience I've ever had with a dental office. They get me in asap and never leave disappointed. I've referred my family and they feel same."

    Rudy L.
  • Google+

    "Friendly staff. Dr. Hoover is very informative, professional and kind. I would recommend to others."

    Verified Patient
  • Google+

    "I had such a great experience at this office. Dr. Hoover and her team are so gentle and make you feel at ease."

    Suzanne D.
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