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Dental professionals are on the front lines of detecting oral cancers in their earliest stages when they are easiest to treat. General dentists often turn to oral and maxillofacial surgeons like Dr. Bryan McLelland when abnormalities are detected that warrant further investigation. Our specialists at Liberty Oral & Facial Surgery in Spokane Valley, Washington, and Post Falls, Idaho, diagnose any deviations from the norm detected in the mouth and on the neck and head. These deviations include cysts, pre-cancerous lesions, and benign (non-cancerous) and malignant tumors.

A biopsy or sample of the affected tissue may be collected and analyzed to rule out conditions and to make an accurate diagnosis that informs the development of immediate and effective treatment plans.


It is vital that all patients maintain regular oral cancer screenings. More frequent screenings may be necessary if you have risk factors for these cancers, including smoking, vaping, and the use of tobacco products. Symptoms or anomalies that may warrant a biopsy include:

  • White patches
  • Red patches
  • Persistent sores
  • Thickened tissue
  • Lumps
  • Bumps

Some behaviors and functional changes can also indicate mouth cancers, including chronic sore throat, hoarseness, and problems swallowing. As with other types of cancers, it is critical to identify oral tumors early into the disease process and promptly treat them. The American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons reports that the 5-year survival rates of oral and oropharyngeal cancers of the mouth, throat, nose, voice box, trachea, and esophagus are 84% when treated before cancer has spread. Survival rates fall dramatically after the cancer has metastasized to the lymph nodes and distant organs, to 66% and 39%, respectively.


Performing a biopsy is relatively straightforward; one of our skilled surgeons applies a localized anesthetic to numb the affected area. This step assures utmost comfort. For patients nervous about the procedure, we may discuss sedative options to help them relax. A small amount of tissue from the suspicious site is gently removed. Then, the tissue is examined under a microscope. We will discuss what we find during this examination with the patient and recommend the following steps to resolve the condition at hand. We won’t know the most appropriate treatment option until we understand the true nature or cause of your symptoms.

Please do not wait for alarming symptoms to present themselves before you reach out to us. We encourage you to contact the “first choice” in oral and maxillofacial expertise in the Inland Northwest, Liberty Oral & Facial Surgery, at 509-922-2273.


  • The staff was great here. Both professional and fun to be around. I had all 4 wisdom teeth pulled and my normal dentist said that the surgery was going to... read more

    James Story Avatar James Story
    January 29, 2020

    Dr. McClellan was great. His staff was so friendly and comforting. Kris and Justin took such great care of my son. I would highly recommend them!!!

    Hope Harper Avatar Hope Harper
    December 16, 2019
  • Had a tooth pulled Monday. Having no issues . Staff is very professional and helpful. Had a implant put in on 11/13/19. No pain what so ever staff very... read more

    Brent Lewis Avatar Brent Lewis
    December 16, 2019

    I felt very comfortable here. Staff are very nice and knowledgeable. They definitely made sure that I was aware all risk and care for before and after post surgery on... read more

    Saundra Bergquist Avatar Saundra Bergquist
    December 7, 2019
  • I felt very comfortable here. Staff are very nice and knowledgeable. They definitely made sure that I was aware all risk and care for before and after post surgery on... read more

    Saundra Bergquist Avatar Saundra Bergquist
    December 7, 2019

    Excellent service. Staff is amazing. I understood exactlly what was being done and everything went beyond my expectations. The Exparel pain relief is amazing no soreness in my mouth... read more

    Paul Carroll Avatar Paul Carroll
    December 6, 2019
  • Great hospitality. Super quick procedure for my wisdom teeth. In and out in less than an hour!

    Marvin Reyes Avatar Marvin Reyes
    November 22, 2019

    I love the doctors. Made the pre and post surgery easy and little to no pain. Also loved the helpful email reminders after my surgery

    Kaela DuChesne Avatar Kaela DuChesne
    November 16, 2019
  • Such a nice environment! Just had my wisdom teeth pulled out and it was such a good experience! They even called me later in the day to make sure I... read more

    November 10, 2019

    Had number 9 pulled. No pain no swelling, staff was very caring and pleasant.

    Jim Oxford Avatar Jim Oxford
    October 22, 2019
  • It was an amazing experience! Dr. McLelland made it very quick and there was hardly any pain. I was nervous about it being painful, but it hardly hurt at all!... read more

    Abi Michaelis Avatar Abi Michaelis
    August 16, 2019

    Went in for a FREE consultation and then I was told when leaving that I owed $127.00 for an X-ray that I did not ask for. I paid said bill and... read more

    Jeffrey Long Avatar Jeffrey Long
    July 19, 2019
  • I had an oral implant in May 2019, and from my original consult to pre-op to the actual procedure and post-op, I can say I am highly satisfied and impressed!... read more

    Vickie Dawson Avatar Vickie Dawson
    May 17, 2019

    Dr. McLelland and his staff are the best in the business. Dr. McLelland talks you through all the procedures. His staff is very attentive, kind and friendly

    Douglas Stewart Avatar Douglas Stewart
    April 11, 2019
  • I just love this place! Dr. Moody is awesome! And all the staff are friendly and caring. I have and will continue to recommend liberty to anyone seeking dental care.

    bridgette terrell Avatar bridgette terrell
    April 2, 2019

    I had 3 teeth extracted here, one being an impacted wisdom tooth. Dr. Moody did an amazing job. It was painless during the procedure and the procedure didn't take much... read more

    Kati Doney Avatar Kati Doney
    March 27, 2019
  • Amazing staff Bryan Mclelland was great would not go anywhere else. They got it down.

    Michael Phillips Avatar Michael Phillips
    March 18, 2019

    Dr. Jones pulled my wisdom tooth 4 days ago and it's healing perfectly. He forewarned me that my tooth was sitting close to a nerve that might result in facial... read more

    Becca B Avatar Becca B
    January 29, 2019
  • Wonderful caregivers. Make sure you are well educated on everything going on. Dr Mclelland is a very skilled surgeon and called later the day of to check up on my... read more

    Laura Wright Avatar Laura Wright
    January 25, 2019

    This was such a positive experience for me!...the staff at Liberty are absolutely attentive, concerned and wonderful...Thank you, Liberty Oral Surgery, for the comfort and speed of my tooth extraction!!

    Laineyrose7 Avatar Laineyrose7
    December 31, 2018