Monthly Archives: April 2021

Dental implants in Richmond

How Do Dental Implants Work?

After the gaps in your grin are filled with dental implants, you’ll be able to smile with confidence. And your new teeth will not only look and feel natural, they’ll also restore proper oral function, granting you the ability to eat anything you like.

If you’ve been living with missing teeth, getting dental implants may be the ideal solution. Before you commit to the procedure, however, you’ll want to have a better understanding of how implanted teeth work. Here, we explain the three parts of an implant and the important role each one plays in creating a beautiful replacement tooth that lasts a lifetime.

Dental implants in Richmond

The Implant Post

Acting as a substitute for the roots of a missing tooth, the screw-like implant post is typically made of biocompatible, medical-grade titanium. Placed beneath the gumline, the post fuses with the jawbone to form a stable, secure foundation for tooth replacement.

The Implant Abutment

The abutment of a dental implant serves as a connector piece, providing a way for the post to attach to the replacement tooth fixture. Usually made of titanium, the component sits close to the gumline, but it isn’t visible once the final implant part is put in place.

The Dental Fixture

Taking on the role of the actual tooth or teeth, the dental fixture is the part of the implant that can be seen. Depending upon the number of missing teeth, this component will be one of the following:

  • Crown — Used to replace a single tooth and made of ceramic resin or a porcelain compound, a crown is designed to closely mimic the appearance of the surrounding teeth.
  • Bridge — When two or more teeth are missing, a bridge or group of crowns arranged as a single fixture is used to create a gap-free grin. Unlike traditional bridges, placement doesn’t harm the nearby teeth.
  • Denture — Replacing a partial or full dental arch is done with an implant-supported denture, which usually requires only four titanium posts to provide the necessary support.

Thinking About Getting Dental Implants?

To make an informed decision about tooth replacement, you’ll need to learn more about the dental implant process. And if you live in the greater east central Indiana area, the professional team at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery is here to help.

We specialize in tooth restoration, and our board-certified oral surgeons have been restoring smiles with implanted teeth for more than a decade. We’d be happy to answer your questions, explain your tooth replacement options and recommend your best treatment approach. Contact our office in Richmond, Indiana, and schedule a dental implant consultation today.

Richmond oral cancer screening

Can You Prevent Oral Cancer?

According to the American Cancer Society, newly diagnosed cases of oral cancer are expected to total 54,010 in 2021. When discovered early on, treatment is likely to be successful — but for a projected 10,850 of the individuals who develop oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer this year, the disease will prove fatal.

As of now, no one knows how to completely prevent oral cancer. That said, by making smart decisions, you may be able to lower your risk of developing the disease.

Richmond oral cancer screening

Unavoidable Risk Factors for Oral Cancer

There’s no getting around some of the risk factors for developing oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer. You simply cannot control the following:

  • Gender — Men are twice as likely as women to develop the disease.
  • Age — Oral cavity cancer is more prevalent in people over the age of 45.
  • Genetics — Certain inherited genetic conditions carry a high cancer risk.
  • History — Oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancers tend to run in families.

Other risk factors — including contracting a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and having a weakened immune system — may also be unpreventable.

Choices That Raise Your Oral Cancer Risk

Individuals who make certain lifestyle choices are at a greater risk of being diagnosed with oral cavity or oropharyngeal cancer. The disease is more common among those who:

  • Smoke or use any form of tobacco
  • Engage in frequent and heavy alcohol consumption
  • Have excessive exposure to UV radiation from sunlight
  • Eat few fruits, vegetables and plant-based foods

Steering clear of tobacco, limiting alcoholic drinks, using sun protection and eating healthy may not fully prevent oral cancer from developing — but making these decisions can definitely reduce the risk.

Habits that Help Prevent Oral Cancer

Research has yet to reveal a way to prevent the development of oral cavity cancer, but studies have shown that taking certain actions can be beneficial. To reduce the risk and improve the odds of early detection, experts recommend:

  • Practicing good dental hygiene, including twice-daily brushing, flossing and scheduling regular checkups
  • Establishing a regular exercise routine and maintaining a healthy weight
  • Conducting monthly self-exams to look for abnormalities in the mouth tissues

Scheduling regular professional oral cancer screenings is also advised. An expert in diagnosing and treating conditions of the mouth, face and neck may notice early warning signs of cancer development — and spotting the disease early improves the chance of successful treatment.

If you have never had a professional screening, or if it’s been quite some time since your last exam, make an appointment at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Our highly skilled team has more than a decade of experience in the diagnosis and treatment of oral cavity and oropharyngeal cancer, and we’re known for our compassionate, caring approach.

To schedule a professional oral cancer screening in the greater east central Indiana area, contact Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery today.