Free Screening During Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

Oral Cancer Awareness Month

In honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, East Georgia Center for Oral and Facial Surgery will be offering free oral cancer screenings on:

  • Saturday, April 9th
  • 9am to 12pm
  • 613 East Grady Street, Statesboro,
  • Screenings are simple, painless, and quick (10 minutes). We look forward to seeing you! 

April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month.  Approximately 43,250 Americans will be diagnosed with oral cancer this year and only 57% of these newly diagnosed patients will survive after 5 years.  While oral cancer is most commonly found in those who have heavily utilized tobacco products throughout their lives, it can also be diagnosed in young individuals or those who have never smoked a single cigarette.  Additional risk factors include exposure to ultraviolet radiation, alcohol use, and the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV16).

Often, oral cancer goes unnoticed by patients in the early stages and thus, does not become diagnosed until late in their development.  The American Dental Association recommends a visit with your dentist at least every six months.  If your general dentist finds a suspicious lesion or mass, they will likely refer you to a surgeon for a consultation.   Based on the surgeon’s assessment, a biopsy may be performed or the concerning lesion may be observed for a short period of time.   Once cancer is diagnosed, treatment may involve surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of modalities.

Current research is focused on understanding phases of cancer development and applying new therapies for treatment.  For now, minimizing risk factors and early detection are crucial in achieving the best prognosis.


Paying It Forward With Dentistry From The Heart

Dentistry From The Heart 2016

Dr. Patel and Dr. Marz

On December 18, Dr. Rod Uribe and I teamed up with Dr. Rich Marz for the 3rd Annual Statesboro Dentistry From The Heart.  This tradition has become a day where East Georgia Center for Oral and Facial Surgery assists in spreading smiles throughout our great community by providing free dental care to those in need.  Our team finds it especially rewarding participating in this event during the Holiday Season.  The patients provide plenty of gratitude, handshakes, hugs, and tears that always leave a warm feeling in our hearts.   This year, East Georgia Center for Oral and Facial Surgery provided $10,000 in surgical treatment!  We can’t wait to participate in next year’s Dentistry From The Heart, and plan to continue our support for the Statesboro, Swainsboro, and surrounding communities throughout the year.

Anesthesia: Methods Available for Your Comfort

East Georgia Center for Oral & Facial Surgery

Richard J. Hammond, DMD; and Suketu J. Patel, DMD, MD

At East Georgia Center for Oral and Facial Surgery, we offer several methods of anesthesia to help alleviate any apprehension you may have for your procedure. Our experienced doctors and skilled staff aim to keep you and your loved ones safe and comfortable during surgery. During their residency training, oral and maxillofacial surgeons typically complete 4-6 months of rigorous adult and pediatric anesthesia rotations to supplement their surgical training. In addition, many oral and maxillofacial surgeons enroll in medical school and obtain a medical degree (MD) in order to broaden their understanding of medical, surgical, and anesthetic principles. During your initial consultation, your oral surgeon will review your procedure and medical history to help you choose the most suitable method of anesthesia for your surgery.

Methods of Anesthesia:

Local Anesthesia: The patient is completely conscious throughout the procedure and involves the administration of a local anesthetic (ie. Lidocaine) to numb the area where the surgery will be performed. Local anesthesia is typically chosen for simple procedures in minimally apprehensive patients.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation with Local Anesthesia: Nitrous Oxide (laughing gas) is administered through a small nasal breathing mask. The patient remains conscious but is in a relaxed condition. A local anesthetic is still given to further keep the patient comfortable during the surgery. Nitrous Oxide has a mild sedative and pain-controlling effect during the procedure. The sedation is completely reversed after the procedure by breathing oxygen for 5 minutes. This allows the patient to drive home and resume their daily activities rather quickly. Nitrous Oxide benefits patients who are moderately apprehensive and are undergoing simple or more involved surgical procedures.

Intravenous Anesthesia
Intravenous (I.V.) medications are administered to help the patient fall asleep and be completely unaware of the procedure being performed. Prior to surgery, the oral surgeon will perform a thorough evaluation of the heart, lungs, and airway. Vital signs are monitored in compliance with the American Society of Anesthesiologists, and our office utilizes the most updated and state of the art monitoring to keep our patients safe during their procedure. Our excellent staff have specialized anesthesia certification and regularly participate in anesthesia training in our office and courses throughout the country. Intravenous anesthesia is given for advanced and longer surgeries or in very apprehensive patients. Wisdom teeth are commonly removed with this method of anesthesia.

Please visit our website,, or call our office to schedule a consultation at 912.764.5435 (Statesboro, GA) and 478.419.2100 (Swainsboro, GA).

Suketu J. Patel DMD, MD

Dancing With The Statesboro Stars

Team Patel/Walker

Team Patel/Walker

I am very honored to be participating in the 2015 Dancing With The Statesboro Stars. Dance practice has begun and it has been very intense and grueling. My partner, Katie Walker, and I are enthusiastically preparing for the event and we are very excited to be taking the stage on October 1 at the Georgia Southern University Performing Arts Center. We join 22 other motivated dancers to help put on a great show and raise money for Safe Haven – the emergency safe house for adult and child victims of domestic violence serving Bulloch, Candler, Effingham, Jenkins, Screven, and Washington counties. I recently had the opportunity to visit Safe Haven and was immediately impressed with the leadership, advocacy, and comfortable and secure housing that is provided. None of this is possible without the support that the organization receives from outside contributions and donations from events such as Dancing with the Statesboro Stars. The services provided are essential for our community since Safe Haven provides hope to victims and allows them the opportunity to safely make arrangements for a better and brighter future.

To make a donation to Safe Haven, and support TEAM PATEL/WALKER for the 5th annual Dancing With The Statesboro Stars, please click here:

Thank you for your support!

Wisdom Teeth: Is it time to have them removed?

shutterstock_35017306As the summer approaches, many teenagers and young adults utilize their break from school to schedule a suitable time to have their wisdom teeth evaluated. Studies show that 90% of patients will have a wisdom tooth removed in their lifetime. Wisdom teeth do not require removal if they are able to grow into one’s mouth completely and functionally, and are painless, cavity-free, disease-free, and surrounded by healthy gum tissue. Often, this is not the case and wisdom teeth are unable to completely break through the gum tissue. These types of teeth are classified as “impacted” and they are prone to disease even if one experiences no pain or symptoms. Wisdom teeth can lead to spontaneous pain, gum disease, damage to neighboring teeth, formation of aggressive cysts or tumors, and serious or potential life-threatening infections.

Wisdom teeth are typically removed by an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Surgery involves low risks, and complications are minimized when surgery is performed between the ages of 15-25 years. At East Georgia Center for Oral and Facial Surgery, Dr. Rod Uribe and I are board certified surgeons who specialize in wisdom teeth extraction and the administration of intravenous sedation to help make your experience safe and comfortable. Please visit our website,, or call our office to schedule a consultation.

Suketu J. Patel DMD, MD

Oral Cancer: Early Detection Saves Lives


Oral Cancer FactsIn honor of Oral Cancer Awareness Month, East Georgia Center for Oral & Facial Surgery will be offering free oral cancer screenings on each of the following Wednesdays in April:

Oral cancer is not a rare disease. Approximately 43,250 people will be diagnosed with oral cancer every year in the US. It kills one person every hour of every day, and over 115 new individuals will be diagnosed with it each day. The good news is that it can often be found early in its development, through a simple, painless, and quick screening.

 Who should get screened?

Every adult. Oral cancer can often be caught early, even as a pre-cancer. With early detection, survival rates are high and the side effects are from treatment are at their lowest. Like other screenings you engage in such as cervical, skin, prostate, colon and breast examinations, oral cancer screenings are an effective means of finding cancer at its early, highly curable stages. Make them part of your annual health check-ups.

 What are the risk factors?

There are two distinct pathways by which most people come to oral cancer. One is through the use of tobacco and alcohol, a long term historic problem and cause, and the other is through exposure to the HPV16 virus (human papilloma virus version 16), which is now the leading cause of oral cancers in the US, and the same one, which is responsible for the vast majority of cervical cancers in women. The quickest growing segment of the oral cancer population are young, healthy, non-smokers due to the connection to this virus.

 Early Indicators:

  • Red and/or white discolorations of the soft tissues of the mouth.
  • Any sore which does not healed within 14 days.
  • Hoarseness which lasts for a prolonged period of time.

 Advanced Indicators:

  • A sensation that something is stuck in you throat.
  • Numbness in the oral region.
  • Difficulty in moving the jaw or tongue.
  • Difficulty in swallowing.
  • Ear pain which occurs on one side only.
  • A sore under a denture, which even after adjustment of the denture, still does not heal.
  • A lump or thickening which develops in the mouth or on the neck.

An oral cancer screening should be conducted every year, so take advantage of this free offer and get screened today.  Visit us at one of our Free Screening Events previously listed. 

For more information about oral cancer, please log onto The Oral Cancer Foundation’s official website at For more information on the upcoming FREE oral screenings, please call 912.764.5435 or stop by our office at 613 E Grady Street.