It is with mixed emotions that I inform you of my retirement effective January 1, 2021. It has been an honor and privilege to care for you and your families over the last twenty-six years at Riley Dental Associates.
In preparation for retirement, on January 1, 2019, I sold the practice to my nephew, Dr. Brent Riley, and I continued to work as an associate dentist. It is with great pleasure to announce that Drs. Brent Riley, Bradley Hammitt, and Jenna Chalk will be assuming care of my patients. You can expect to continue receiving the quality of care in which you have been accustomed to at Riley Dental Associates over the past years.
My heartfelt appreciation for your kindness, loyalty, and trust goes out to each of you, and will always be greatly treasured.
Is anxiety or nervousness preventing you from visiting our team? Dental treatments should not be a cause of stress. If you worry about pain, embarrassment, or loss or control during a dental examination, we want you to know two very important things: You are not alone and We can help.
Dental Anxiety Is Common
Research has shown that most patients experience some degree of anxiety when visiting the dentist. Between 10 and 20% of the general population encounters such a high level of stress and nervousness that they ignore oral healthcare altogether. This can increase the risk of developing severe oral health complications, requiring additional care.
In many cases, dental anxiety has two main causes. First, patients may have had a negative experience in the past, leaving them apprehensive towards their next appointment. Second, is through influence. This is particularly true for children. Children learn through imitation and are influenced by their parents. If you dread going to the dentist, your child may pick up on the behavior and develop similar fears.
Our Team Can Help
The first action you can take is to let our team know about your feelings of nervousness and anxiety. We have a number of techniques to help you feel more comfortable and relaxed. Our compassionate team is always open to discussing your options with you.
We will consult you regarding what your visit will entail, and work together to find a comfortable pace at which you feel comfortable.
If nervousness, stress, fear, or anxiety have caused you to skip appointments or avoid dental care completely, please contact our team. Dentistry is constantly evolving by offering new technology and treatment methods with patient safety and comfort in mind. Talk to our team about your fears or concerns and allow us to work with you. Ignoring your oral health can have serious repercussions and lead to more necessary treatments.
We use our tongues every day to talk, taste, and swallow, yet we rarely take time to think about this flexible organ. Here are 9 things you may not know about the tongue:
1. The longest recorded tongue was more than 3.8 inches from back to tip; the widest measured over 3” across.
2. The human tongue contains 8 separate muscles intertwined.
3. A blue whale tongue weighs about 5,400 pounds and is roughly the size of an adult elephant!
4. Tongues come in many shapes and have varying numbers of taste buds. This makes a human tongue imprint as unique as a fingerprint.
5. The average person has about 10,000 taste buds in their mouth.
6. A single taste bud contains between 50 and 100 taste cells, which may have sensors for multiple tastes.
7. No individual taste cell can identify both bitter and sweet flavors.
8. 1 milliliter of saliva contains about 1,000,000 bacteria.
9. Using a tongue scraper to clean your tongue is proven to help prevent osteoporosis, pneumonia, heart attacks, premature births, diabetes, and male infertility.
Health issues involving the tongue are most commonly caused by bacteria or tobacco use. Proper cleaning of the tongue can help prevent these conditions from developing. However, if you notice sores, discoloration, or other symptoms, contact our office.
Some tongue-affecting illnesses include:
· Leukoplakia – excessive cell growth characterized by white patches in the mouth and on the tongue. It is not dangerous, but can be a precursor to oral cancer.
· Oral thrush – an oral yeast infection common after antibiotic use, often characterized by cottage-cheese like white patches on the surface of the tongue and mouth.
· Red tongue – may be caused by a deficiency of folic acid and/or vitamin B-12.
· Hairy tongue – black and/or hairy-feeling tongue can be caused by build-up of bacteria.
· Canker sores – small ulcerous sores on the tongue, often associated with stress. These sores are not the same as cold sores and are not contagious.
· Oral cancer – most sore tongue issues are not serious. However, if you have a sore or lump on your tongue that does not heal within a week or two, schedule a screening.
For more information about the tongue or to schedule a screening with our doctor, contact our office.
Oral cancer does not discriminate. It affects those of all ages, genders and races. Smokers do develop oral cancers at higher rates than non-smokers. However, this does not absolve the rest of the population from being at risk, as well.
It’s incredibly important to keep to your recommended schedule of oral health examinations. By visiting your general dentist at least twice per year, it is much more likely that our dental team will be able to identify potentially cancerous lesions in early stages. As you may know, the key to survival of most forms of cancer is early detection. Oral cancers are treatable, especially if caught before displaying obvious signs. The best results occur when oral cancer is identified and treated during early stages.
If your general dentist identifies a lesion that appears to be irregular, he or she may refer you to our team. We’ll recommend the next steps. Once pathology has been identified, we can proceed with treatment if necessary.
We will complete a biopsy to confirm whether a lesion is cancerous. It is not possible to confirm an oral cancer diagnosis without a biopsy. For this reason, try to refrain from making assumptions until we have confirmed your diagnosis. If it’s been more than 6 months since your last appointment or if you have noticed a lesion, bump or irregular patch of skin that doesn’t heal within a few days, consider an oral cancer screening by your general dentist. Know that your dentist will provide you with advice and may refer you to our team for a closer look.
If you have considered skipping the recommended dental visits that provide your first line of defense against oral cancers, please reconsider. It could save your life.
Did you know your oral health can impact your overall health?
We’ve compiled a list of 5 tidbits about your teeth and oral health.
Cheese has been found to promote dental health by helping prevent
tooth decay. The calcium and phosphorus found in cheese help neutralizes acid
in the mouth. Acid can create dental erosion, which can cause decay that may require
filling. Cheese creates a protective film around teeth and helps remineralize
Your smile can make a difference. Studies have found that 50% of
people consider a smile the first facial feature they notice. One study found
that 88% of us remember people with beautiful smiles whenever we meet new
people. This means attractive smiles are key to being more noticeable and
Don’t forget to replace your toothbrush at least once every
three months. You should get a new toothbrush after recovering from any sort of
viral infection, flu, or cold. You are more likely to be re-infected if these
bacteria implant themselves on the bristles.
In your lifetime, you only get two sets of teeth— baby teeth and
permanent teeth. It is important to take proper care of your permanent teeth. Did
you know that no two people have precisely the same set of teeth? Your teeth
are as unique as a fingerprint. This is the reason teeth are used by
investigators for identification. Your tongue also has a unique print, though
it is not commonly recorded.
F.Y.I on Floss
Floss is a lot more useful than you may think. If you skip out
on your daily flossing, you can miss cleaning up to 40% of your tooth surfaces.
Flossing can also help prevent gum disease by removing plaque near the gum
line. Floss has other alternative creative uses. The next time you are looking
for a fun holiday project, grab some dental floss and a handful of cereal to
string for the tree. Floss works well for repairing a bead necklace too!
Bonus Fact: Health
professionals are rated among the most trusted people in the U.S so make sure
to call our dentist and make an appointment today!
An injury to your mouth can be a painful, expensive
experience. For athletes, mouth and tooth injuries are a very real risk.
Mouthguards are an excellent tool for protecting your mouth from injury and
harm. Our team can help you find a solution that protects your teeth while you
Why Wear a
Mouthguards protect your teeth. For athletes, injuries to
the mouth can cause cracked teeth, or even worse, missing teeth. Additionally,
your mouth is mostly made up of soft tissues, such as your tongue, inside
cheeks, and lips. These areas can become injured or pierced when playing
sports. Mouthguards help defend your mouth and teeth against such injuries.
Do All Athletes Need
Yes. High-contact sports such as hockey, wrestling,
football, and boxing pose the greatest risk for mouth injuries. However, all
athletes can benefit from being cautious. Gymnasts should consider wearing one
to protect their mouth in the event of a fall. Baseball and basketball players
should protect themselves from being injured by a ball or collision with
another player. Mouthguards should be treated as a necessary piece of your
athletic gear, no matter which sport you play.
Which Mouthguard Is
the Most Effective?
Our team can help you during your next visit to our office.
There are many options available, ranging from store-bought to custom-fitted
mouthguards. We will work with you to determine which type of mouthguard is
best for you. It is important that any guard fits properly.
If you are currently receiving orthodontic treatment, we may
recommend a special type of mouthguard. Braces
can puncture your mouth if impacted, particularly during sports. Our team will
help you find a solution that works.
Prevention is the best solution to oral sports injuries. Contact
our office and ask about finding a mouthguard that is right for you.
While brushing or flossing your teeth, do you notice blood on your toothbrush or in the sink? Swollen, red, or tender gums can bleed when brushing or flossing, even if you are brushing gently. While it may seem harmless, it is important that you do not ignore these symptoms as they may be signs of a more serious issue. Here are four reasons why your gums may be bleeding, and what you can do for prevention.
Poor Oral Hygiene Habits
Brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily is recommended. However, this routine might still cause your gums to bleed. Bleeding gums can be a consequence of flossing too hard. Use soft bristle toothbrushes for a gentler cleaning.
Inhaling smoke can leave toxins on the teeth that irritate gums and cause them to bleed. Smoking can cause your immune system to be compromised, and prevent tissues from healing correctly. Quitting cigarette use will reduce bleeding gums. If you smoke, be sure to schedule an extra oral examination with our team to evaluate your gum health.
Nutritionally Poor Diet
A healthy lifestyle is beneficial to every aspect of your health. Eating junk food high in sugar content can cause decay and lead to poor oral health. A balanced diet and proper oral hygiene can reduce the risk of bleeding gums.
Plaque and bacteria can build up on your teeth and become inflamed. Gingivitis is often symptom free. The one symptom that typically appears is bleeding gums, which is usually ignored because it is generally painless. Gingivitis is preventable by brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and flossing regularly to reduce plaque build-up. Schedule an appointment with us today if you suspect you have gingivitis.
If your gums regularly bleed, it is important that you contact our office. Our team can provide a complete oral examination and recommend proper treatment. Your oral health can significantly impact your overall health. For a healthy life, start by maintaining healthy gums.
Did you know that chocolate might not be as bad for your teeth as people may have thought? You can now eat your favorite treat without feeling guilty. Studies have shown that there are benefits to eating chocolate, however, not all chocolate is created equal. It is important to note that these benefits apply to dark chocolate, not milk chocolate or white chocolate. Dark chocolate is rich in Fiber, Iron, Magnesium, Copper, Manganese and a few other minerals.
A 100-gram bar of dark chocolate with 70-85% cocoa contains:
11 grams of fiber
It also has plenty of potassium, phosphorus, zinc and selenium
Here are more advantages to eating dark chocolate and how to maintain good oral health while doing so.
Chocolate and Your Teeth
Chocolate is a candy that dissolves quickly in your mouth, resulting in less time on your teeth. It does less damage than a chewy or sticky candy because the sugar doesn’t cling to your teeth as long.
Chocolate and Your Health
Cocoa and dark chocolate are also a powerful source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called free radicals. Many experts believe this damage is a factor in the development of blood vessel disease, cancer, and other conditions. The bioactive compounds in cocoa can improve blood flow in the arteries and cause a small but statistically significant decrease in blood pressure.
Eating chocolate can lower your risk for cardiovascular disease. A study also showed that the flavanols from cocoa can improve blood flow to the skin and protect it against sun-induced damage.
Remember to eat responsibly as too much sugary food can be harmful, regardless of the benefits. Eating dark chocolate and brushing your teeth after will reduce the negative effects of chocolate.
While you can indulge on your favorite chocolate treat occasionally, be sure to keep up with your oral hygiene routine. Brush at least twice each day for two minutes, and floss regularly.
To schedule your next visit to our office, please contact our team.
3709 Old Forest Road Lynchburg, VA 24501
When a tooth is extracted, your blood cells clot over the site of the tooth to protect your bone, nerves, and tissue. However, some patients experience dry sockets, a condition where blood clotting does not occur. Here’s what you need to know about dry sockets after tooth extraction.
What are Dry Sockets?
Dry sockets are the result of your blood failing to clot, or when an existing clot is removed. They leave the area previously protected by your tooth exposed, which includes bone and nerves. Symptoms often include significant pain and discomfort where your tooth was extracted. Pain often lasts beyond the first three days following your procedure. Further symptoms can include having a bad taste in your mouth, pain on the same side of your face as the extracted tooth site, and visible bone where the tooth was removed.
Who Is At Risk for Developing Dry Sockets?
In most cases of extraction, your mouth will heal normally. Dry sockets have been noted to occur at a higher rate in individuals who smoke, chew tobacco, practice poor oral hygiene methods, or suffer from an infection impacting the gums or teeth. Additionally, it is important that you follow all directions provided to you following extraction. Patients who fail to do so, and choose to do things such as drinking with a straw after treatment, have a higher risk for developing a dry socket.
Treating Dry Sockets
If you experience a dry socket, contact our team for an appointment. It is essential to keep the area clean to prevent infection. Removing debris is the first step to keeping the site clean. Additionally, our team may provide you with pain medication suggestions as well as gauze or medicated dressings to protect the site. Avoid touching the area before coming in to our office.
The direct cause of dry sockets is not widely understood. However, it is a temporary condition that can be managed and treated by taking the proper precautions. If you develop a dry socket following the extraction of a tooth, please contact our team. We will do our best to see you as soon as possible to ensure your mouth is able to heal properly.
3709 Old Forest Road Lynchburg, VA 24501
Lynchburg Dental Office
Lynchburg, VA Dentist
Riley Dental Associates, PC
3709 Old Forest Road
Lynchburg, VA 24501
Providing dental care for the communities of:
Appomattox | Lynchburg | Altavista | Amherst | Big Island | Brookneal | Coleman Falls | Concord | Evington | Forest | Gladys | Goode | Hurt | Long Island Lynch Station | Monroe | Naruna | Rustburg | Spout Spring | Sweet Briar
"Love my Dentist office. The receptionist is always so polite and informative. They greet you with a smile and make you feel so at ease. I love my hygenist, she is wonderful and so understanding and gentle. My dentist is truly the best!! I love his casualness and expertise. He doesn't make you feel as if you are just a patient, he makes you feel like family, and actually, so does the entire team at Riley Dental. I have been going to Riley Dentist since my children had their first check-ups and they love him as well."
"I am taking a teeth wellness journey after raising 4 kids and putting them first, me last. I also have had trauma seeing a dentist and so it was no easy feat to begin. The staff here are excellent and professional. Very calming, friendly and understanding. I appreciated the hygienist numbing my gums today for my cleaning. Last time I had this done I was in terrible pain. This time was pain free!! Big work ahead but these are the people I want to take care of me!"
"I was new to the area and the courteous and professional staff at Riley were able to help me get plugged in right away. They also have knowledgeable staff about insurance policies and claims. This is definitely where I will be going now that I am in Lynchburg."
"The staff at this practice are amazing. I need a ton of work on my mouth, and I was embarrassed for anyone to look at it. I had my initial appointment yesterday and I was immediately at ease. There was no judgment for the condition of my mouth, and the staff was incredibly kind and caring. I'm very pleased with my decision to choose Riley Dental Associates!"
"My dentist retired just as I needed acute care for loose and painful tooth. Riley Dental Associates worked me in within a few days and treated me like I had been a patient for many years. Very friendly and professional staff. Would be hard to find a better dental practice."
"Riley Dental is amazing. I have been to a few other dental offices in the area and have always had issues with not being numb enough due to sensitive teeth. At Riley Dental I didn't feel a thing! Their staff is very nice and helpful and they will take the time to explain everything. Their process is quick and they have amazing attention to detail. Their office is nice and clean they have a nice waiting area. All my cleaning was covered by my insurance. I also felt like the number of pictures and x-rays they took was enough to show them everything they need. I would highly recommend going to Riley Dental!"