The VELscope is a handheld device that emits a harmless, bright blue light that is used to inspect the mouth and tongue. The beam is sensitive to abnormal tissue changes and the distinctive illumination causes the soft tissue of the mouth to naturally fluoresce. VELscope technology helps visualize abnormal oral tissue, such as potential cancerous or precancerous tissues that are not apparent with the naked eye alone.

To learn how VELscope can brighten your wellness landscape, contact Old Town Smiles. We are conveniently located in Alexandria, Virginia to proudly serve the needs of the greater Washington, D.C. area. Call (703) 836-7000 to schedule an appointment and be sure to ask us about our VELscope process. Your smile deserves the best care possible!

About Oral Cancer Screening

The word “cancer” instills fear in the hearts and minds of everyone who has experienced loss at the hands of this disease. The best way to combat cancer is through transparency and diligence. Oral cancer is a curable disease, provided that it is caught in its early stages. Prompt detection and diagnosis can make a tremendous difference in life expectancy. Oral cancer is 90% curable in its early stages, however, oral cancer is often not symptomatic in its infancy.

The VELscope device is amazingly effective at identifying oral mucosal disorders such as erythroplakia and leukoplakia.[1] The oral mucosa is a thin membrane that coats the inner lining of the mouth. It is both sensitive and protective, so any aberrations in its texture or appearance are red flags for health problems in general.


Traditional oral exams employ harsh white lights to inspect the elusive nooks and crannies of the mouth, tongue and surrounding areas. While we applaud every effort to increase awareness of burgeoning cancers and their swift treatment, we also urge you to seek the right tools for the job. VELscope harnesses the power of autofluorescence to turn down the wattage and turn up the sensitivity.

While these results are wonderfully encouraging, VELscope is just one component in the equation. The operator of the VELscope device must be a trained, perceptive medical professional. You want a practitioner who can interpret their findings and translate them into palpable action. In short: you should have Dr. Seema Ahmed on your diagnostic team.

Benefits of Consulting with Old Town Smiles

As the old saying goes, seeing is believing. But what if you can’t fully comprehend what you are seeing? The VELscope allows us to identify certain anomalies in the oral cavity, but we must apply our scientific knowledge to assessing their respective dangers.

The caring, professional staff at Old Town Smiles has been training for years to meet the challenge of keeping you at your healthiest.


When it comes to holistic health, you want a true Renaissance woman on your side. Meet Dr. Ahmed. She has mastered such seemingly disparate fields of study as Cognitive Neuroscience and Oral Medicine, and she combines her disciplines with an award-winning approach to your well-being. After serving as the Chief Resident at the esteemed Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia, Dr. Ahmed specialized in oral health as a barometer of your overall vitality. When she operates the VELscope device, it is more than just a medical tool; it is a window to your peace of mind.

Eligible Candidates

If you wish to know where you stand in the fight against oral cancer, you may be an ideal candidate for a VELscope session. The medical professionals at Old Town Smiles can determine your eligibility for detection and diagnostics as part of your comprehensive consultation. Please call (703) 836-7000 to book an appointment.

Private Consultation in Alexandria, VA.

A meeting with Dr. Ahmed is a pleasant, informative rendezvous. But even though your experience will be light and breezy, you are benefitting from decades of experience and hard work. The doctors at Old Town Smiles have dedicated their considerable brainpower to studying and treating dental and oral health disorders. You can learn so much from a simple consultation with our team of experts!

As part of our continued efforts to impart useful information to the communities of Alexandria, Virginia, Washington, D.C. and beyond, we regularly update our blog. Feel free to read through our posts and bring any pertinent questions to your consultation at Old Town Smiles.


The VELscope procedure is so unobtrusive, there is almost no preparation required. Simply brush and floss as normal and be ready to open wide for a gentle yet thorough examination.

VELscope Procedure

From the moment you arrive for your VELscope diagnostic session, we want you to feel right at home. Recline in your comfortable chair and simply follow the instructions of the doctor administering your treatment.

You may be asked to move your tongue or perform other simple motions to allow the VELscope device proper access to your oral cavity. The duration of your procedure will vary depending on how extensive the possible aberrations may be. We want to make sure we map any and all lesions during your visit to Old Town Smiles.

Continued Care

Once we have identified potential trouble spots along the lining of your mouth, we must define them as precisely as possible. VELscope allows Dr. Ahmed to trace the exact borders of any premalignant or malignant lesions we may find.[3] It is essential to understand the parameters of potential cancerous manifestations so that they can be removed for biopsy or for good!

Proven Results

The VELscope device empowers you to take control of your dental destiny. By knowing the status of your oral health, you can follow the next steps necessary to your continued wellness. One look at our glowing reviews will illustrate how committed we are to providing you caring consideration and diligent attention.

“Absolutely the best! The waiting room is clean and bright. When you walk down the hall to your assigned chair you can see how immaculate everything is. The staff is exceptionally friendly and helpful. The quality of work is the highest and the most up to date!”

Cynthia A.

Complementary Procedures 

VELscope technology is a wonderful tool in our toolkit known as preventive dentistry. The best time to solve a problem is before it occurs, so we offer a full suite of services to our wonderful clientele.


Bad breath, discomfort, and restless sleeping patterns may all have the same root cause: dry mouth. Old Town Smiles can diagnose and treat your unique situation in order to prevent more serious complications down the road. If gone unchecked, dry mouth can lead to bleeding, sores, and deepening pain. We vow to improve your smile by giving you something to smile about!


Teeth perform a myriad of functions every day of our lives. They chew your food, they beam with delight, and they defend against the elements. But which elements are defending your teeth? The answer is fluoride. By bolstering your oral health with the proper fluoride treatment regimen, Old Town Smiles can fend off decay before it consumes you.


Brushing and flossing are great ways to maintain your dental wellness, but they may need some supplemental care every once in a while. Professional teeth cleaning gives you a comprehensive set of options designed to remove plaque and tartar. All that remains is your gorgeous grin!

To experience the enduring rewards of preventive care, contact Old Town Smiles at your earliest convenience.



The price of VELscope depends on several factors. Your insurance plan, the extent of your dental issues, and the number of sessions required all contribute to the final cost of your treatment. Old Town Smiles is proud to provide transparent pricing as part of your consultation process. Feel free to familiarize yourself with our office policies, which include your payment and credit options. As always, we welcome you to call (703) 836-7000 with any budgetary questions you may have.


  1. Awan, K. H., Morgan, P. R., & Warnakulasuriya, S. (2011). Evaluation of an autofluorescence based imaging system (VELscope™) in the detection of oral potentially malignant disorders and benign keratoses. Oral Oncology47 (4) 274-277.
  2. Hanken, H., Kraatz, J., Smeets, R., Heiland, M., Blessmann, M., Eichhorn, W., … & Rana, M. (2013). The detection of oral pre-malignant lesions with an autofluorescence based imaging system (VELscope TM)–a single blinded clinical evaluation. Head & Face Medicine(1) 23.
  3. Sawan, D., & Mashlah, A. (2015). Evaluation of premalignant and malignant lesions by fluorescent light (VELscope). Journal of International Society of Preventive & Community Dentistry5(3), 248–254.