Monthly Archives: May 2018

When Should You Consider Dental Implants?

When Should You Consider Dental Implants?

Dental implants can be a great solution for missing teeth. Whether an accident or decay is the reason for your tooth loss, you may now realize how much you took your teeth for granted. Every time you see your smile in the mirror or try to eat chewy foods, you’re reminded once again that you need a full set of sturdy, strong, teeth.

When Should You Consider Dental Implants?

When you’re comparing options — dental implants, bridges, dentures — it’s normal to immediately prioritize the solution that’s the lowest out-of-pocket cost to you. But there are three situations in which dental implants should rise to the top of your list.

When You Want to Preserve Teeth

If you were to get a bridge to replace a missing tooth, you would need to grind down the teeth on either side of the gap. The bridge fits over these two adjacent teeth. It’s an effective solution for many people, but if you’re younger and the teeth surrounding the missing tooth are healthy, this might not be the ideal solution for you.

Dental implants allow you to replace what’s missing without harming your existing teeth. In addition, dental implants are the best solution for retaining your jawbone’s structural integrity. When the jawbone senses there is no tooth to support, the body will stop sending nutrients to that area of the jaw and it can cause the face to appear sunken.

This bone resorption process can affect the stability of surrounding teeth as well. But implants help retain jawbone strength, maintaining the health of surrounding teeth and the natural structure of the face.

When You Want a Long-Term Solution

Dental implants might cost more up front, but they last longer. Bridges and dentures need to be refitted and remanufactured periodically. This means you need to pay for a whole new appliance. With implants, invest once, and you’re set for life, as long as you take care of your dental health over time.

When You Want a Functional Fix

Bridges and dentures are acceptable … until you are missing several teeth. Once you have more than a couple of teeth that need to be replaced, dental appliances can become cumbersome. It gets harder to chew and speak comfortably, especially when the replacement teeth don’t feel permanent.

This is where dental implants offer a clear advantage. Once they are fully healed and integrated with your jawbone, it will be hard to tell which tooth is an implant and which is natural — it functions exactly like your original tooth. You can eat whatever you want, brush your teeth the same way and you won’t have any speech issues.

When You’re Ready, We’re Here

Choose Richmond Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for the best in dental implants and tooth restoration options. Every recommendation is made with your best interests in mind. We always work hand in hand with your dentist, ensuring you get the personalized care you deserve.

4 Oral Cancer Facts You Might Not Know

4 Oral Cancer Facts You Might Not Know

Oral cancer is usually divided into two categories. The first is cancer that develops in the oral cavity, which includes the lips, inside of the lips and cheeks, teeth, gums and the front of the tongue. The second is cancer that develops in the oropharynx, which includes the middle region of the throat, from the base of the tongue to the tonsils.

4 Oral Cancer Facts You Might Not Know

You should know about this disease in order to prevent it, if possible, and get treatment as soon as you are diagnosed.

The Five-Year Survival Rate is 57 Percent

The five-year survival rate for oral cancer is only 57 percent. Sadly, this number has not gone up in recent years. The oral cancer death rate is higher than cervical cancer, Hodgkin’s lymphoma or thyroid cancer. Almost 50,000 people in the U.S. will be diagnosed with the disease this year and 9,750 will die from it. This is roughly equivalent to at least one person dying per hour, every hour of the day.

It’s Usually Discovered in Later Stages

The reason the survival rate is low is because this cancer is usually discovered in its later stages after it has already metastasized to another location, such as the lymph nodes of the neck. At this point, treatment is less effective because it has had time to spread deep into the surrounding tissues.

Your Dentist and Oral Surgeon Can Help

The most effective way to protect your health is to continue to get regular dental exams. Dentists and their teams are trained to spot irregularities in the mouth tissues. Sores, red or white patches, lumps, thickening of the tissues, problems swallowing or chewing or changes in the way your jaws fit together could point to cancer.

While you may think nothing of it, your dentist can record your symptoms and refer you to an oral surgeon who has knowledge about oral pathologies to further investigate the issue. This is how oral cancer is diagnosed in earlier stages. And when it is diagnosed early, the five-year survival rate is 90 percent versus 57 percent.

You Can Take Steps to Reduce Your Risk

Besides being proactive and getting regular oral care, you can take other steps to reduce your risk of developing oral cancer. Oral cancer risk goes up if you smoke tobacco or drink alcohol. Sun exposure is another risk factor. Always wear protective lip balm when you go outside for long periods of time.

Of course, focusing on whole-body health through regular exercise and a balanced diet will also contribute to your long-term well-being.

We are oral surgeons with experience in diagnosing and treating oral pathologies. Trust Richmond Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery for referrals and treatment if your dentist or doctor spots oral cancer symptoms.