Richmond Oral & Cosmetic Surgeons

4 Tips to Help You Prepare For Corrective Jaw Surgery

pinkPreparing for your jaw surgery is a very important part in ensuring a smooth experience and recovery process. Here are a few tips that can help you make sure you are as ready as possible:

Maintain a healthy diet:
It’s important to be in good physical health before undergoing any type of surgery. A great way to do so is to ensure you are having a balanced diet and exercising as much as you can. Making sure you are getting proper nutrition will give your body the strength it needs for a faster recovery. Starting this as soon as possible before your surgery is key because creating these healthy habits may take some time.

Keep up good oral hygiene habits
Not only are good oral hygiene habits a good practice to have, they will prevent the risk of infection and possible bacterial complications during surgery. Brushing twice a day and flossing are extremely important parts of your oral health, and this may be one of the most important precautions you can take pre-surgery.

Plan and prepare non-chew meals in advance
When recovering, the last thing you are going to want to do is try to figure out what your to eat. Planning in advance will reduce stress and make the recovery process that much easier. Try purchasing in bulk easy-to-eat foods, like pre-made soups, yogurt or pudding. Even purchasing a food processor or blender, if you don’t already have one, could make your meal preparation so much easier.

Relax
The thought of surgery can be very overwhelming to anyone. Mediating or listening to some relaxing music before your surgery is a great way to calm nerves.

We would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have! Call us today! 804-379-7120

5 Perks of Getting Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

laughingFor some reason there is this negative stigma surrounding wisdom teeth removal when in reality there are more perks than you would think. Odds are you will have to get your wisdom teeth removed, so it’s in your best interest to accept the good and the bad of this procedure. So let’s focus on the good!

1. No More Pain: Whether this was a preemptive procedure or a tad bit rushed due to pain, the whole reason for removal is to ensure your wisdom teeth won’t ever be an issue again. Even though there can be negative side effects to removal, it doesn’t mean that all will apply to you. By making sure you keep up with all of your doctor’s instructions after the procedure you can avoid any further discomfort and remain pain free moving forward.
2. Time Off: The average amount of wisdom teeth recovery time is about three to four days depending on the severity of impaction. More than not people tend to take a full week off, maybe even more, to have enough time to fully heal before getting back into the swing of things. Take advantage of the mandatory down time you have.
3. Ice Cream: Not like you ever need an excuse to eat an unlimited amount of ice cream but having your wisdom teeth removed is basically a get out of jail free card. It’s in your best interest to choose a flavor without any huge chunks to avoid irritating the sensitive areas surrounding your extracted wisdom teeth.
4. Unlimited Movies: There is no shame in binge watching your favorite TV shows or movie trilogies because technically it’s the doctors’ orders. Rest and relaxation is your top priority for the first couple days after removal. Although you physically won’t be productive during this time it doesn’t mean you can’t productively cross off all of your shows you’ve been waiting to watch.
5. Sympathy: A majority of the time you end up looking worse than you feel which can work in your favor. More than likely the majority of your friends and family will have already had the procedure and can relate to it. It won’t be long until your friends and family show up with thoughtful surprises, like wisdom teeth removal friendly snacks, movies and a good book.

To schedule your root canal therapy consultation make sure you give our office a call! 804-379-7120

When do You Need a Bone Graft?

yellow flowerBone grafts are essential for replacing missing or damaged bone in your jaw. Whether a cavity has reduced your tooth to an empty, gummy space after an extraction, or gum disease has caused loose teeth, a bone graft can repair and rebuild the damaged bone needed to support a dental implant. Surrounding teeth can also become loose and eventually fall out without healthy bone regeneration, which may cause future complications. Without bone grafting, a dental implant would not have enough mass to securely latch onto.

So, when do you need a bone graft?

• Once a tooth is lost, 25% of bone width is reduced within the first year. If left untreated for an extended period, there would not be enough surrounding jawbone to support a dental implant to replace a missing tooth. Once bone mass is gone, it cannot be reversed which is why a bone graft may be needed.

• Periodontal disease can also cause bone to disintegrate, which can lead to tooth loss. The bacteria slowly eat away at the jawbone and periodontal ligament, which connect teeth to bone.

• Dental trauma, including the persistence of grinding and clenching teeth, can cause excess wear on the tissue supporting tooth structure. The constant pressure can also lead to fractured or cracked teeth, which do not heal. Aside from grinding and clenching, trauma can also include a tooth getting knocked out from an accident or a fall. In this case, a bone graft may be needed as well.

Bone loss can be caused by several different circumstances, but one thing is for sure- a bone graft is a great alternative for repairing and building new bone. So, what are you waiting for? Call today for a consultation to see what our office can do for you! 804-379-7120

4 Types of Foods You Can Eat After You Had Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

picture of ice cream cones

About 90% of people need to get their wisdom teeth removed. If you are a part of that 90%, you might be wondering what the steps are post-surgery. Taking it easy and getting a lot of rest is a key step to a quick recovery. Another big step is knowing what you can and can’t eat. Here is a list of foods you can indulge in post-surgery.

  1. Ice Cream: After having a minor surgery, it’s okay to treat yourself with a little sweet. The coolness will not only feel good, but it will also help sooth inflamed tissue. Try to avoid eating cones and flavors of ice cream with large chunks in them like chocolate chips and nuts.
  2. Soup: Soup is a great food to have on hand after your surgery. It provides protein and the broth is easy to eat. If you choose this brothy goodness, make sure you aren’t eating large pieces of vegetables and the temperature of the soup isn’t too hot.
  3. Mashed potatoes: Not only are mashed potatoes delicious, but they are easy to make and they really are the perfect post-surgery food. You can smother them with gravy, butter or sour cream. Top the meal with whatever sounds good to you, but make sure there aren’t large potato chunks you’ll have to chew. Another route you could take is mashed sweet potato. Top it with butter and cinnamon to take this savory treat to sweet!
  4. Smoothies (NO STRAWS): Smoothies are a great source to get all the nutrients your body will need. You can make different flavors with fruits and vegetables. Prepack your smoothie packs before you have your surgery so all you have to do is blend and enjoy. You could also add in different protein powders or vitamins to help your body. If you choose to make a smoothie, DO NOT USE A STRAW. Sucking on a straw could disrupt your healing process and create dry sockets.

These are just a few ideas of what you can eat post-surgery. There are a ton of other options. Get creative and indulge in the snacks you wouldn’t normally eat for your main course. If you have any hesitations or questions on what you can’t and can eat, call our office. We are happy to answer any questions you may have.

What You Need to Know About Oral Cancer

woman sitting on chair pondering

One of the most important jobs we have is to examine, monitor, and diagnose oral cancer in our patients. Every year, nearly 52,000 Americans are diagnosed with oral cancer. More than 8,000 of

those people will die. This is why it is crucial to get routine oral exams and keep a close eye on the state of your mouth.

To make sure that you stay educated and healthy, here is a list of the most important facts you should know about oral cancer:

  • 90% of oral cancers begin in the surface area of the mouth, tongue, and lips. We highly recommend performing regular self-exams, which your dentist can review with you!
  • Cancer found on the tongue, gums, lips, throat, or back of mouth is considered oral cancer.
  • Largest risk factors: Tobacco and alcohol use are two of the biggest risk factors for oral cancer.
  • Other risk factors: Pre-cancerous oral lesion, excessive UV/sun exposure, human papilloma virus (HPV), certain drugs and genetic syndromes.
  • If you are experiencing these common oral cancer symptoms, call our office: Sores that don’t heal, lumps inside the mouth, white or red patches on soft tissues in the mouth, bleeding, pain when swallowing or chewing, numbness, difficulty moving the jaw or tongue, lumps in neck, hoarseness, and more.
  • To diagnose oral cancer, we will examine the mouth and neck, inquire about your exposure to risk factors, and possibly order biopsies and imaging of the head (CT, MRI, etc).
  • Pain is not typically present with early stage oral cancer, so it is crucial to get routine oral checks!

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to call our office and schedule an appointment!

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Wait For Your Dental Implant

Image of clock with the words the sooner the better next to it

You need a dental implant, but you are reluctant to get started. We understand that there is some hesitation and life gets in the way. However, here are a list of reasons as to why you 

shouldn’t wait.

  1. Stop your remaining teeth from moving. Your teeth help keep everything in place. When you are missing a tooth, and have a gap, your teeth will start to shift to fill in that gap. That could cause not only uneven teeth, but teeth that are harder to clean and, in the end, that cost you more to fix.
  2. Save Your Jawbone. When you are missing a tooth, your jawbone slowing starts to deteriorate and shrink away. The roots of your teeth keep the jawbone stimulated to maintain the bone mass. The longer you are missing the tooth, the more the bone will disintegrate, making the implant process more difficult.
  3. The appearance of your face. Living without a tooth can eventually change how you look, especially if you suffer from bone deterioration. The longer you go, your skin could begin to make your cheeks sag, which will make you look older than you are.
  4. The way you speak. When you are missing a tooth, it could make it hard to annunciate words, making you sound like you have a lisp.
  5. Your overall self-esteem. Getting a dental implant will allow you to feel like your normal self. You won’t have to worry about how you look or how you sound. The implant looks and feels like a normal tooth. No one will know that you have an implant unless you tell them.

These are just a few reasons as to why you should wait to get your dental implant. If you are experiencing any hesitations or have further questions, contact our office. We are happy to ease your mind and get you on track to a beautiful smile.

BOTOX: Not Just for Wrinkles

In our office, we use Woman wondering for aesthetic purposes – specifically to help our patients to turn back the hands of time by temporarily removing wrinkles. In just 5-10 minutes, we are able to give you a youthful look that will boost your self-confidence.

But many of our colleagues out there utilize BOTOX® for medical purposes as well! It may come as a surprise to you – but not too big of a surprise, hopefully, (we wouldn’t want to cause any extra wrinkles, after all!) – that BOTOX® has many uses besides just smoothing out lines.

Here is a fun look at what else BOTOX® is doing for patients these days:

Underarm Sweat

When your deodorant doesn’t do the job, BOTOX® might be able to help. BOTOX® can be used to reduce severe underarm sweat, also known as severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis. BOTOX® reduces sweat by blocking the nerves from reaching the sweat glands, therefore stopping the production of excessive sweat.

Headaches

BOTOX® can be used to treat chronic migraines. While BOTOX® doesn’t fully lessen the effects of a migraine, it has been shown to lessen the intensity as well as reduce the frequency with which migraines occur. The effects from injections helping headaches typically lasts for three months.

Overactive Bladder

An overactive bladder and BOTOX® are probably the last two things you would have thought to put together, but BOTOX® has been shown to be beneficial to people that have an overactive bladder. BOTOX® works on the bladder by stabilizing spontaneous retracting and releasing, which leads to less frequent trips to the bathroom!

Overall, BOTOX® comes in handy for issues such as chronic headaches, overactive bladders and excessive underarm sweat. Who would have known that BOTOX® does more than prevent wrinkles?

If you are ready to tackle your age lines and wrinkles, give Richmond Oral & Cosmetic Surgeons a call for more information about BOTOX® – we are your BOTOX® experts!

Oral Health- A Mouth-Body Connection

You may have heard the saying that the eyes are the window to the soul, but did you know that the mouth is the window to overall health? When you think about health goals you may picture the gym and kale smoothies, but oral hygiene is just as important.woman smiling

By taking a look inside your mouth, your dentist can tell many things about your overall health. An unhealthy mouth can be a sign of an unhealthy body, and many oral conditions can be a sign of serious underlying health problems.

Protecting your oral health is a positive step towards a healthy body. A few simple steps can be taken to preserve your oral health.

– Brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Brushing and flossing your teeth keep them and your gums clean and healthy. Regular brushing and flossing reduces plaque build-up that can lead to gum disease and other periodontal diseases.
– Scheduling check-ups and cleanings with your dentist. Visiting your dentist every six months is vital to your oral health and can prevent oral related problems such as gum disease and tooth decay from developing. Your dentist will perform an examination of your mouth and can give you recommendations on how to improve your oral health.
– A healthy diet and exercise. Regular light exercise can help reduce the risk of periodontal disease. Coupled with a balanced diet, your body will be able to get the nutrients needed for a healthy body.

This year, be sure to add oral health goals to your list of resolutions – your teeth and your body will thank you!

Smoking and Oral Cancer

image of a cigaretteOral cancer is a cancer that develops within the mouth or oral cavity. But it doesn’t just affect the mouth, it can involve the lips, tongue, throat, salivary glands, pharynx, larynx and sinuses. There are many factors that can cause oral cancer, but smoking is one of the biggest lifestyle choices that can increase the risk of disease. The Mouth Cancer Foundation found that 90% of those with oral cancer consumed tobacco. When you combine heavy use of alcohol and tobacco, the risk is even greater.

Oral Cancer Statistics

9,750 people die from oral cancer each year in the U.S, and oral cancer represents about 4% of all cancers and 2.2% of all cancer deaths in the U.S. After reading those stats, you might be wondering how you can avoid being a part of these grim numbers.

Preventing Oral Cancer

The first step is to choose a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to eat a balanced diet, exercise, avoid alcohol (or drink in moderation) and avoid tobacco usage altogether. But it’s also important to recognize all the signs and symptoms of oral cancer so that it can be caught early on.

Here are a few oral pathology signs to watch out for:

  • Feeling of a lump or object in your throat
  • Numbness, pain or tenderness in your mouth and tongue
  • Troubling moving your jaw or tongue with chewing, swallowing or speaking
  • Loose teeth with no apparent dental cause
  • Lingering sore throat

If you are experiencing any of these signs or symptoms, contact our office today. In addition to that, we urge you to have regular oral cancer screenings in our office. We offer oral cancer examinations to all our patients. The earlier the cancer it detected, the quicker we can help you. Call our office today at 804-379-7120 to schedule your screening appointment.

What is a Wisdom Tooth?

image of a wisdom tooth emerging from the gumsWe all know that for most people, wisdom teeth need to be removed in order to prevent serious dental problems! But have you ever wondered, what exactly is a wisdom tooth? Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that typically grow in during a person’s late teens/early twenties.

Why are they called “wisdom” teeth?

Formally known as “third molars”, wisdom teeth developed their name due to the late nature of their arrival, at an age where people are “wiser” than when their other teeth grow in (during childhood).

What is their purpose?

Today, wisdom teeth are no longer needed in order for us to process food. Back in the day, however, when the human diet consisted of tough meats and fibrous vegetables, an extra molar was needed to break down food. Scientists have not discovered a common day use for wisdom teeth, as they are not needed for chewing modern food.

Why do wisdom teeth need to be removed?

Over the years, human jaws have become much smaller, making the space too crowded for wisdom teeth. Therefore, when wisdom teeth start growing in, they push on the teeth that have already established themselves. Once they start pushing on other teeth, the alignment of a person’s mouth is affected. Wisdom teeth can easily become “impacted”. This means that they are trapped underneath a person’s gums and are unable to fully erupt, which can be painful. Since wisdom teeth aren’t needed and can affect your smile and health negatively, we recommend that most people have them removed. For the few pepole that don’t get their wisdom teeth removed, serious dental health problems can occur down the road.

If you’re curious about the status of your wisdom teeth – contact us today at 804-379-7120
and we will go over your options with you!