Oral cancer is surprisingly common, ranking sixth among all types of cancer diagnosed in the United States, according to the Academy of General Dentistry. Like with all cancers, if oral cancer is not detected early enough, it can have devastating, even fatal, effects. Your oral surgeon is trained to spot signs of oral cancer, such as lesions or unusual thickening of the oral tissues.
Although it has been difficult to catch oral cancer early in the past, new methods have emerged that improve the process. Specifically, Chicago oral surgeon Dr. Koos offers the VELscope oral cancer early detection system. The VELscope system shines a special blue light onto the oral tissues, and that light then causes the cells to become fluorescent. When the cells are fluorescent, any abnormal cells will have a different appearance from their healthy counterparts. The VELscope system is the only FDA-approved device that assists oral surgeons in identifying abnormal clusters of cells that are not visible to the naked eye.
When a suspicious group of cells is identified by using the VELscope system, the oral surgeon can remove them and send them to a lab to be biopsied. If a cancer diagnosis is confirmed, the oral surgeon can also help to treat the condition, by surgically removing the cancerous cells.
Certain risk factors increase the likelihood that a person will develop oral cancer. If you smoke or use chewing tobacco or regularly consume large amounts of alcohol, you should have an oral surgeon screen you regularly for the disease. The HPV virus can be the culprit in oral cancer cases, so patients who have tested positive for it should be closely monitored, as should patients with a family history of the condition.
If you have any of these risk factors, schedule an appointment for a VELscope evaluation with Dr. Koos. Even seemingly risk-free patients should take this step, too, as many cases of oral cancer are idiopathic, or without any apparent cause. This screening may ultimately save your life.
I want to second the experiences that many people have written on this page. The dental care at this office is fabulous. Dr. Koos removed my wisdom teeth and the process was as painless as it could be. From waiting room to chair, they allowed no time for me to panic, were very reassuring, and very kind after I had awoken. Dr. Kralj also filled cavities and it was again, as painless a process as it could be. The office is beautiful, the dental staff are very professional and obviously skilled. I would give the dental care I received here five stars.
However, as noted by another customer noted, I had serious problems with the front desk staff. Between my initial consultation appointment and my surgery, I called multiple times to ask if they had heard back from my insurance company regarding my claim and subsequent payment plan. Each time, I was told that the claim had been submitted but no confirmation received. Finally, only a few days before my surgery, I called and after pressing the woman further, found that no claim had been submitted. When I pressed them to contact the insurance company, Kate, the woman working with Ora said she would. When I called the next day, three days before my surgery, she had still not called my insurance company yet. After I expressed my frustration again, they finally contacted the insurance company, two months after they said they would. Moreover, throughout the process each person I talked to was quick to say that she had never updated my file and she didn’t have any responsibility for the mix up.
For such a wonderful clinic, the front desk staff is poor.
People who wear dentures usually find that their fit deteriorates over time. When the teeth have been extracted or have fallen out, as is the case with denture wearers, the jaw bone no longer can rely on the teeth’s roots as structural anchors to stimulate it. As a result, that bone erodes, altering the shape that the denture was originally designed to fit. Eventually, the bone resorption progresses to a point at which the denture must be replaced.
This type of dentures dilemma can be resolved with a visit to Dr. Steven Koos, your Chicago Loop oral surgeon, who can place dental implants to secure an entire arch of artificial teeth and replace dentures permanently.
Dental implants present a superior tooth replacement method because they prevent the bone loss that alters the fit of dentures. The implants essentially replace the function of the tooth’s root, warding off further deterioration of the bone.
Dr. Koos may even be able to help denture wearers in the Chicago Loop who have already suffered some bone loss by using an implant placement approach known as All-on-4 dental implants, which holds the denture in place using just four strategically placed implants. The bone wears away most quickly where it is the thinnest, which is in the rear of the upper jaw. The All-on-4 technique maximizes the available bone toward the front of the jaw, startegically angling the implants below the gumline to ensure that there is room to accommodate them.
The artificial arch of teeth can be designed to the patient’s specifications, creating a smile that is remarkably natural in its appearance. Dentures held in place by dental implants are easy to care for as well. In some cases, they may be removed and cleaned in the same way as traditional dentures.
If it has been a few years since your dentures were originally fitted and you’ve noticed that your dentures are starting to slip out of place on a regular basis, call 312.328.9000 to schedule an appointment with our Chicago oral surgery All-on-4 center to see if dental implants would be appropriate in your case.
I first went to ora with a terrible tooth ache and ora was very accomidating to my schedule and the urgancy of my situation. I met with dr. mark and then with the surgeon steve. I have never felt so comfortable with a dentist office and the entire staff was amazing. I can actually say that I want to get back to keep up on my dental work. Which has never been the case in my entire life.
I highly recommend ora for any of your dental needs. It feels great to have a dentist you are comfortable and confident in.
Oh, and the office is really clean!
AND the dentist even called me later in the evening to see how I was recovering. Definitely looking forward to heading back in there with trust in the dentist.
The joint that connects the skull to the lower jaw, known as the temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is a complex structure that facilitates not only the jaw’s vertical movements, but its lateral ones as well. Understandably, the multiple structures involved in this multi-faceted joint present a number of opportunities for problems to arise.
TMJ disorders can manifest with a wide variety of indications, which may range from limited jaw movement to head and neck pain to clicking or popping noises when the jaw is in motion. These symptoms may be so severe that the patient concludes that oral surgery of the TMJ is the only resolution.
Indeed, some TMJ disorders ultimately require oral surgery in Chicago, but more conservative courses of treatment typically are attempted first. Patients may respond to minor adjustments and self-care practices, such as avoiding hard, crunchy foods or stress management techniques. Either singly or in combination, bite splints, medications, and physical therapy may be helpful treatment modalities to improve a patient’s TMJ issues.
People with TMJ disorders still should consult with an oral surgeon early in the process, even when surgery is not immediately indicated. The oral surgeon can use advanced CT or MRI radiography (x-rays) and other imaging techniques to get a better view of the jaw and pinpoint the main problem. This step will facilitate an accurate diagnosis, which is essential in determining which treatment approach will be most effective.
TMJ disorders may be caused by any number of factors, such as trauma, arthritis, stress, congenital defects, bruxism or jaw misalignment. Therefore, the treatment must target the specific problem. For example, if the bite is the primary concern, the patient may need to undergo orthodontic treatment to realign the jaws or if stress and bad posturing is the root then physical therapy can help to reduce tension on the muscles.
If the x-rays show some sort of structural damage to the jaw or if the symptoms do not respond to less invasive interventions, then oral surgery on the jaw joint may offer the only resolution. Oral surgery to correct TMJ problems can entail arthrocentesis (TMJ joint flushing), arthroscopy, open joint surgery, or even partial or full joint replacement, although the last of these is exceedingly rare.
Be assured that if you are plagued by TMJ disorders, treatments are available to reduce your symptoms. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Steven Koos, your Chicago oral surgeon and TMJ expert, to get back on track to being pain-free.