Oral Biopsies: A Quiz

Have you recently visited us due to a change in the lining of your mouth? Perhaps you noticed a sore or ulcer. Or, perhaps you didn’t realize anything had changed but we detected a slight abnormality during your last visit. Whatever the case, we often suggest an oral biopsy for an accurate diagnosis of what is happening in your mouth. In some cases, irritation simply occurs and the problem is completely benign. In other cases, problems like oral cancer may be presenting themselves. Fortunately, the sooner we detect a change, the greater our chance of offering effective treatment. Feeling good about early detection but a little uneducated when it comes to biopsies? Learn more with the following to set your mind at ease:

Oral Biopsy Quiz: True or False

  1. True or False: We will perform a biopsy the moment we notice a change in the lining of your mouth.
  2. True or False: A biopsy is a sample of your tissue that we will take from your mouth to send to a lab where the cells will be examined.
  3. True or False: There is only one type of biopsy, which includes cutting a very small amount of tissue away from your oral lining.

Quiz Answer Key

  1. False. In some cases, we may wait approximately one to two weeks if the change in your mouth looks like it may be a simple irritation. After closely monitoring the abnormality, if it does not heal on its own, we will then proceed by taking a biopsy.
  2. True. We take a biopsy so a lab can more closely study what is happening in your mouth. The examination will provide details regarding the particular disease (if any), as well as how far the disease has progressed. In some cases, we will discover a problem before it flourishes, such as pre-cancerous cells.
  3. False. Different concerns call for different types of biopsies. In some cases, we may remove a small sample of tissue. In other cases, we may take an incision-free biopsy by gently scraping cells from your mouth. Keep in mind, we will offer our support and ensure you feel comfortable.


Dr. Shawn Hofkes and the staff at Cerritos Dental Surgery are highly qualified to address complex issues, including those that require oral surgery to correct. To schedule an appointment or consultation with Dr. Hofkes, contact us today by calling 562-584-4082. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.