Dakota Regional Periodontics

How can you know if you have oral Cancer?

There are few things as nerve-wracking as potential cancer and oral cancer is no different. And while it can be very serious, it’s important to stay calm and speak with your doctor. When caught early, oral cancer is much more treatable and so it’s important that you recognize the early signs. This guide will explain everything you need to know.

Oral Cancer

Oral cancer is no different from other forms of cancer in that it is the growth of cells that cause damage to surrounding parts of the body. For oral cancer, in particular, it appears as a growth or sore in the mouth that will continue to persist. It can affect all areas of the mouth and is very serious, particularly when not found early.



These are some of the symptoms of oral cancer:

  • Swellings, lumps or bumps, rough spots, and eroded areas inside the mouth
  • White, red, or both patches in the mouth
  • Unexplained bleeding in the mouth
  • Unexplained numbness, loss of feeling, or pain/tenderness in any area of the face, mouth, or neck
  • Persistent sores on the face, neck, or mouth that bleed easily and do not heal
  • A soreness or feeling that something is caught in the back of the throat
  • Difficulty chewing or swallowing
  • Difficulty speaking or moving the jaw or tongue
  • Hoarseness, chronic sore throat, or change in voice
  • Ear pain
  • A change in the way your teeth or dentures fit together
  • Dramatic weight loss

If you notice any of these symptoms then it’s imperative to speak to your doctor immediately.

Factors That May Cause Cancer

There are a number of factors that have been identified as being able to cause oral cancer. These include:

  • Smoking
  • Excessive drinking
  • Using smokeless tobacco
  • Family history of cancer
  • Overexposure to sun
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)


Oral cancer screenings are a part of your regular dental checkups. Your dentist will feel for irregular lumps or changes in your mouth. If anything appears unusual, then your dentist may order a biopsy which may be performed with a brush, scalpel, or even later.

To learn more about oral cancer exam in Rapid City, check out Dakota Regional Periodontics


Treatment of oral cancer will form a plan of surgery to remove the cancerous cells and then radiation or chemotherapy to eradicate other traces of cancer.

To find an oral surgeon, check out Dakota Regional Periodontics


There are things you can do to help prevent the chances of getting oral cancer. You can avoid dangerous behavior like drinking, smoking and over-exposure to sunlight. Additionally, you should have regular dental checkups and perform regular self-exams (using a mirror to look for changes in the tissue).


Oral cancer is, of course, a serious issue. However, with the right combination of regular dental checkups, avoidance of dangerous behavior and being vigilant about potential symptoms, you can improve your chances of either catching it early or avoiding it altogether. 

When dealing with issues like cancer, you’ll want a top professional by your side. Dakota Regional Periodontics is one of the premier experts in oral cancer in South Dakota. An esteemed member of the South Dakota Dental Association, they have the perfect blend of expertise and experience to ensure your wellbeing.

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Dakota Regional Periodontics’ dental faq: How can you improve the appearance of short teeth?

A bright smile can be so important for a person’s confidence. It can be the difference between walking into a room with a smile or sheepishly hiding your pearly whites. So it’s no surprise that having short teeth make people feel uneasy about themselves. Fortunately, there is something you can do to remedy the issue of short teeth. This guide will explain everything you need to know about crown lengthening for short teeth.

What is Crown Lengthening?

It is a procedure that involves removing gum tissue, and in some cases bone, to increase the visible amount of tooth on display.  It can be performed on either one tooth, several teeth and even the entire gum line. The process is relatively routine, however it is still delicate and the dentist will be very careful to ensure that there is enough gum left to maintain good oral health.

Why Get Crown Lengthening?

Crown lengthening is a procedure done for a couple of reasons. Structurally, it can be performed to improve the health of the gums or prepare for a crown. However, it can also be done for aesthetic reasons to correct a “gummy smile”


A gummy smile or excessive gingival display is a condition where the patient has more than 3mm of the gum exposed. While not overly serious, it can make people feel self-conscious and unconfident about their smile.


A dentist may also recommend a crown lengthening to:

  • expose cavities beneath the gum line
  • expose fractured areas of tooth 
  • expose more tooth structure before they can perform procedures like a bridge or crown.


To learn more about Cosmetic Dentistry Dakota, check out Dakota Regional Periodontics


The Crown Lengthening Procedure

There are different methods your dentist may opt for when performing the procedure. The method they end up going with will be determined based on a number of conditions like the cause of the excess gums and the mouth conditions.

To learn more about Crown Lengthening in rapid city, check out Dakota Regional Periodontics


Perhaps the most common method, a gingivectomy involves removing the gum tissue. It is done under local anesthetic and can be done with a scalpel, lazers of a heated electrical instrument (electrocautery).

best gingivectomy in rapid city

To learn more about Gingivectomy in Rapid City, check out Dakota Regional Periodontics

Apically repositioned flap surgery

This method involves creating a flap of tissue using an incision. The flap is lifted so that excess gum and even bone can be removed. It is then stitched into play near the root of the tooth.

Surgical extrusion

This involves surgically moving the tooth to a preferred location in the mouth and then re-stabilizing the tooth. It is often chosen when a tooth is fractured.


There are few things that can affect your confidence like the physical appearance or your smile. Having a gummy smile can be damaging to your self-esteem but thankfully, is treatable. A crown lengthening procedure can be just what you need to restore confidence in your mouth. 

Book an appointment and bring that smile again! 

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Dakota Regional Periodontics’ dental FAQ: When should you consider dental implants?

Dental implants are increasingly an option for many people. Whether you have a missing tooth or are self-conscious about dentures, implants could be a good option for

Dental Implants in Rapid City. 

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are artificial replacements for natural tooth roots and act as a long term solution for missing teeth. They attach to the jaw bone and gum and provide a base for
artificial teeth. They are made from materials like titanium and other human safe substances. Because of their very natural fitting, they bring comfort and functional use for those who feel self-conscious about missing teeth.

Types of Dental Implants

1. Endosteal implants

Endosteal implants are in the bone and are the most commonly used type of implant. The dental implants are placed directly into the jawbone and are generally
used as an alternative for patients needing a single tooth replacement. They can also be used as a bridge using 2 implants as anchors for a denture.

How Do Implants Work?

The implant preparation and process can take a few months and is done in steps. The first step is placing the implant fitting itself. The next step is done 3-4 months later, this
is when we ensure the implant is integrated (become a part of you) the new tooth can then be placed onto the implant by your general dentist.

The procedure is done in our office with the comfort of local anesthetic and for those a little more anxious, we do offer nitrous or I.V.sedation. To learn more about dental implants in Rapid City, check out our website.

Best dental implants in rapid city

Can Anyone Get Dental Implants?

For adults with generally healthy gums, and sufficient bone, implants are a fantastic option. However, they are not suitable for everyone. Children under the age of 18 should not have dental implants as their teeth are still growing. Additionally, the following people should consult with their dentist as they may not qualify for dental implants:

● Smokers
● People who have had radiotherapy to your jaw area
● People who have diabetes which isn’t well-controlled
● People who suffer with gum (periodontal) disease or their oral hygiene is inadequate

To learn more about dentures in Rapid City, check out Dakota Regional Periodontics

How Long Do Dental Implants Last?

The longevity of dental implants varies depending on the type and of course the ongoing care.

As an industry average, it is expected that dental implants will last 25 years to a lifetime. Every implant will need to be examined yearly and cleaned twice a year. With that being said, you can greatly expand the life of your dental implants by practicing good dental hygiene, flossing regularly and using an antibacterial mouthwash such as CloSYS.

Dental implants are a fantastic option to bring back that perfect smile, they’re long-lasting and look completely natural. At Dakota Regional Periodontics we are experts in implant dentistry and periodontics, and we have a track record of success and quality. We care for each of our patients as if they are our family.

Schedule an appointment today by calling us at 605-348-2556

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