A Review of Oral Cancer Risk Factors by Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia | Dentist Near Me

At Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia, we understand that early detection of oral cancer significantly enhances the chances of successful treatment. Our skilled dental team is proficient in identifying oral cancer at its earliest stages, ensuring the best possible outcomes for our patients. Regardless of age, everyone can be susceptible to oral cancer, although some individuals are at higher risk than others. Below are the top seven risk factors for oral cancer:


Are you in your forties or older? As you age, your likelihood of developing oral cancer increases. Most cases are diagnosed in individuals around the age of 62, though the average age is gradually decreasing due to rising cases linked to the human papillomavirus (HPV), particularly among those aged 52 to 56. Given this trend, regular screenings for oral cancer are essential for individuals of all ages.


Men are twice as likely as women to develop oral cancer, often due to higher rates of alcohol and tobacco use. However, the gap is narrowing as more women engage in these behaviors. Additionally, younger men are increasingly diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancer. It is crucial for both men and women to undergo regular oral health examinations to ensure early detection.


Using tobacco products, whether through smoking or chewing, significantly raises your risk of developing oral cancer. These products can lead to cancers of the lips, cheeks, gums, and throat, with risk levels correlating to the frequency and duration of use. Even non-smokers should not ignore the importance of regular oral cancer screenings.


Heavy alcohol consumption is linked to about 70% of oral cancer cases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), heavy drinking is defined as two or more drinks per day for men and one or more drinks per day for women. Heavy drinkers are over twice as likely to develop oral cancer compared to non-drinkers. However, abstainers can still be at risk, emphasizing the need for regular consultations and screenings.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

Annually, at least 10,000 oral cancer cases in the United States are attributed to HPV, a common sexually transmitted infection. Typically, those diagnosed with HPV-related oral cancers are younger and do not have histories of smoking or heavy drinking. Patients with HPV-related oral cancers generally face lower risks of death or recurrence. Regular dental visits are crucial for monitoring and early detection.


Extended exposure to sunlight increases the risk of lip cancer, particularly for individuals who work outdoors. Using UV protection, such as lip balms with UV filters, is essential. If you frequently work outdoors, we recommend scheduling additional examinations to monitor your oral health.


A poor diet can elevate your risk of developing oral cancer. Diets low in fruits and vegetables are particularly concerning. According to the American Dental Association, proper nutrition plays a key role in reducing cancer risk. Regardless of diet, everyone should receive comprehensive oral examinations to detect any signs of cancer early.

Oral cancer does not discriminate. While these seven factors are associated with increased risk, regular dental examinations are vital for early detection and better treatment outcomes, regardless of your age, gender, or lifestyle. At Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia, our team is dedicated to providing thorough screenings and personalized care to catch oral cancer early. Contact us today to schedule your comprehensive oral examination.

Dentist Columbia: Your Partner in Oral Health

For residents in Columbia seeking a reliable dentist, Diamond Dental Studio is here to support your oral health needs. Early detection and prevention are crucial, and our team is committed to providing the highest standard of care. Reach out to Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia to book your next appointment and ensure your smile remains healthy and cancer-free.

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

Restoring Your Smile with Dentures | Columbia Dentist

At Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia, we understand the impact of missing teeth on your confidence and quality of life. Our Columbia Dentist team is dedicated to helping you regain your smile with high-quality removable dentures tailored to your specific needs.

Dentures offer both cosmetic and functional benefits, providing you with a natural-looking smile and the ability to chew and speak comfortably. Each set of dentures is custom-fitted to ensure optimal comfort and functionality.

The process begins with taking impressions of your jaw and mouth to create a model. This model is used to design dentures that fit your mouth perfectly in terms of color, shape, and fit. Once designed, the dentures are tested and adjusted as needed before being cast into a permanent set by a skilled technician in our dental lab.

There are two types of dentures available:

  1. Conventional Complete Dentures: These are recommended for patients who need to replace all of their upper and lower teeth. Conventional dentures are made after the gums have healed completely. They provide essential support to the structures of your face, preventing sagging and premature aging. With conventional complete dentures, you can eat, chew, and speak with confidence.
  2. Partial Dentures: Also known as dental bridges, partial dentures replace one or more missing teeth. They not only enhance your smile but also prevent remaining teeth from shifting or rotating. Our team ensures that the replacement teeth match your natural teeth, providing a consistent and aesthetically pleasing smile.

Regardless of the type of denture, regular follow-up appointments with our Columbia Dentist are essential. Dentures may need adjustments over time to maintain comfort and fit correctly. We recommend regular brushing with a soft-bristle brush and a non-abrasive cleanser to prevent plaque buildup.

Typically, dentures need to be replaced every five to ten years. Our dentist will evaluate your dentures during your appointments to determine if they need to be refitted or replaced.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment to discuss dentures, please don’t hesitate to contact our dental office. We’re here to help you achieve a healthy and confident smile!

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

Why You Need a Dentist? | Columbia SC Cosmetic Dentist

Maintaining good oral health is essential for your overall well-being, and regular dental visits are a crucial part of achieving this. Just like we clean our homes and cars, taking care of our oral health should be on our “to-do” list twice a year. At Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia, we’re here to ensure that your oral health is well-maintained.

Routine dental examinations and cleanings play a significant role in preventing tooth decay, periodontal disease, and even oral cancer. By identifying and treating oral issues early, we can prevent them from becoming more severe and requiring invasive treatments. We recommend visiting our Columbia SC Cosmetic Dentist office twice a year for cleanings and x-rays to check for decay. Fluoride treatments may also be recommended to strengthen tooth enamel and prevent decay.

Fear of dentists is common, but it shouldn’t prevent you from seeking necessary dental care. If you’re anxious about visiting the dentist, you’re not alone. Studies conducted with the American Dental Association have identified anxiety, perceived lack of need, cost, and time as common reasons for delaying dental treatment. However, avoiding the dentist can lead to more severe oral health issues down the road.

Here are some signs that you should schedule an appointment with our Columbia SC Cosmetic Dentist:

  • Facial, tooth, or mouth pain
  • Mouth injuries or trauma
  • Conditions like diabetes that increase your risk of oral health problems
  • Pregnancy
  • Jaw pain or stiffness
  • Bleeding, swollen, or red gums
  • Recent dental work like fillings, crowns, or implants
  • Difficulty eating or drinking due to pain
  • Persistent dry mouth
  • Tobacco use or smoking
  • Mouth sores that don’t heal
  • Concerns about dental hygiene or questions about oral health

Don’t neglect your oral health – it’s essential for your overall well-being. Our dentist at Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia is here to help you maintain optimum oral health. If you’d like to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us. Your smile is our priority!

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

Enhance Your Smile with Veneers at Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia | Dentist in 29204

Curious about improving the appearance of stained or gapped teeth? Look no further than veneers, an option that many of our patients consider for transforming their smiles. If you’re contemplating whether veneers are the right choice for you, here’s what you need to know:

Understanding Veneers

Veneers are ultra-thin, custom-made shells crafted to cover the front surface of teeth, enhancing their appearance. Made typically from dental porcelain, these shells conceal stains, chips, and unevenness, offering a natural-looking smile enhancement.

How Veneers Work

Veneers address a variety of dental imperfections, from chipped or broken teeth to noticeable gaps and stubborn stains. During the procedure, veneers are delicately placed over your teeth without altering their structure, ensuring a seamless fit.

Factors to Consider When contemplating veneers, it’s essential to keep several factors in mind:

  • Longevity: Veneers can last between 15 to 20 years with proper care, making them a durable smile enhancement option.
  • Natural Appearance: Opt for a veneer shade that complements your natural teeth for a seamlessly beautiful smile.
  • Maintenance: While veneers require minimal upkeep, they can still chip or crack over time, requiring occasional maintenance.
  • Selective Placement: Veneers don’t always require application on all teeth; sometimes, only a few teeth may benefit from this enhancement.
  • Material Choice: Porcelain veneers are often preferred for their stain-resistant properties and natural aesthetics.
  • Professional Evaluation: Before opting for veneers, a thorough dental examination is necessary to ensure suitability for the procedure.
  • Coverage: Veneer procedures typically aren’t covered by insurance, so it’s essential to explore your coverage options beforehand.

Transform Your Smile Today

Veneers offer a versatile solution for correcting minor dental flaws, including discoloration, gaps, and misalignment. If you’re eager to discover whether you’re an ideal candidate for veneers, reach out to our office to schedule a consultation. Our team at Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia is committed to helping you achieve the radiant smile you’ve always dreamed of.

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

Understanding the Diabetic Periodontitis Connection | Dentist Near Me

In the United States, nearly 65 million individuals grapple with periodontal disease, while approximately 30 million contend with diabetes. The relationship between diabetes and gum disease is multifaceted, with evidence suggesting a two-way connection. Individuals with diabetes face an elevated risk of developing gum disease, while those with gum disease are more prone to experiencing diabetic complications.

Risk Factors for Individuals with Diabetes For individuals managing diabetes, maintaining optimal blood sugar levels is paramount. Elevated blood sugar levels elevate the risk of several oral health issues, including:

Tooth Decay: Elevated blood sugar levels provide ample fuel for bacteria in the mouth, leading to the formation of plaque—a sticky film laden with bacteria that can erode tooth enamel and cause cavities.

Gum Disease: Chronic bacterial infection of the gums characterizes gum disease. Without proper intervention, plaque buildup hardens into tartar, triggering inflammation of the gums (gingivitis) and potentially leading to bone loss.

Fungal Infection: Diabetes compromises the immune system, paving the way for fungal infections like oral candidiasis. Proper blood sugar control, along with antifungal medication, helps manage such infections.

Dry Mouth: Uncontrolled diabetes can decrease saliva production, resulting in dry mouth. Dry mouth not only heightens the risk of tooth decay and gum disease but also affects chewing, speaking, swallowing, and taste perception.

Prevention and Oral Care

To mitigate the risk of infections and complications associated with diabetes, individuals must prioritize comprehensive oral care by monitoring blood sugar levels diligently and striving to keep them within the normal range. Scheduling regular dental hygiene appointments to monitor oral health and address any emerging issues promptly. Remain vigilant for early signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, swelling, and persistent bad breath. Abstaining from tobacco products, as they can exacerbate oral health problems. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing with antimicrobial mouthwash.

Given the heightened risk of gum disease and tooth decay associated with diabetes, adherence to stringent oral hygiene practices and regular dental visits are imperative. By proactively managing diabetes and prioritizing oral health, individuals can mitigate their risk of extensive dental treatments in the future.

For personalized guidance on maintaining optimal oral health while managing diabetes, schedule an appointment with our dentist in Columbia at Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia today.

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

Unlock Your Perfect Smile with Dental Implants at Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia! | Dentist in 29204

One out of every four adults under 30 loses a tooth. An implant is a safe, long-term option. 

Dental implants are surgical fixtures that are inserted into the jawbone and allowed to fuse with the bone over the span of a few months. The implant acts as a replacement for the root of a missing tooth. It is the closest thing to a natural tooth because it stands on its own without affecting nearby teeth.

Dentures or dental bridges can be anchored on dental implants in small groups or in conjunction with a replacement crown for single tooth replacements. In the same way that the root of a natural tooth prevents bone loss, dental implants provide a strong, long-lasting solution to tooth loss.

The use of dental implants is a highly preferred option for tooth replacement due to their many benefits, which include:

  • A natural-looking smile: Dental implants resemble the appearance of your natural teeth, restoring your genuine smile.
  • Healthier teeth: Because implants can be anchored without modifying the surrounding tooth structure, more of your natural teeth are preserved and intact.
  • Speech Enhancement: When non-anchored removable dentures slip within the mouth, they can cause slurred or mumbled speech. Implants are permanent, therefore eliminating this concern.
  • Comfort: Dental implants provide a comfortable alternative to removable dentures that can move and cause discomfort.
  • Functionality: An implant works like a natural tooth, allowing you to continue to eat the foods you enjoy.
  • Durability: Stability, strength, and stain resistance are all characteristics of dental implants.
  • Bone loss prevention: Loss of teeth can lead to empty spaces in the jaw, causing the jawbone to deteriorate. Dental implants provide a stable root that attaches to the bone, thereby preventing bone loss.
  • Built to last: Every 5 to 7 years, dentures need to be replaced. Properly maintained, dental implants can last a lifetime.

An implant may be the right solution for you if you have one or more missing teeth. To determine if you are an appropriate candidate for dental implants, it is important to consider your oral and overall health. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Anchoring the implant with adequate bone support
  • The gums are healthy.
  • Nerve and sinus locations
  • Your overall health, including any chronic illnesses you may have,

If you would like to learn more about dental implants, we invite you to schedule a consultation at our dental office. Our goal is to help you once again have a healthy, beautiful smile.

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

Considering dental veneers for a brighter, more confident smile? | Dentist in 29204

At Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia, we understand the desire to enhance your smile and address common concerns like stained teeth or noticeable gaps. If you’re curious about whether dental veneers are the right solution for you, let’s explore the key factors together.

Understanding Dental Veneers: Dental veneers consist of thin ceramic layers placed over the front surface of your teeth. Typically crafted from dental porcelain, these veneers are customized to blend seamlessly with your natural teeth, offering an aesthetic improvement without the need for extensive dental work.

What Can Veneers Address? Veneers serve multiple purposes, including repairing chipped or broken teeth, closing gaps between teeth, and eliminating stubborn stains. Our experienced dentists meticulously assess your teeth to ensure precise measurements for a perfect fit. Importantly, veneers preserve your natural tooth structure while providing cosmetic enhancements.

Important Considerations: While veneers offer transformative results, some individuals may initially experience heightened sensitivity to hot or cold foods. Additionally, as veneers involve minimal removal of tooth enamel, the process is typically irreversible to prevent potential staining. It’s advisable to minimize consumption of staining beverages like wine, coffee, and tea post-procedure. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits, including regular brushing and flossing, is essential for preserving the longevity and appearance of your veneers.

Unlock Your Dream Smile: Dental veneers offer a non-invasive solution for addressing minor dental imperfections, such as discoloration, gaps, and misalignment. Unlike traditional braces or bridges, veneers complement your existing dental work, providing a natural-looking enhancement to your smile. Schedule a consultation with our skilled dentist today to discuss your goals and develop a personalized treatment plan tailored to your needs.

Discover Your Perfect Smile: Are you ready to achieve the smile of your dreams? Diamond Dental Studio of Columbia is committed to helping you achieve optimal oral health and confidence through personalized dental solutions. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about the transformative potential of dental veneers.

For additional insights, visit: Know Your Teeth

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

The 411 on Oral Thrush | Dentist in Columbia

Even the healthiest mouth is filled with bacteria. Normally, your daily oral hygiene routine helps prevent oral health complications. However, it is possible to develop an excess of bacteria and fungi, which can lead to additional problems. Here’s what you should know about oral thrush and what you can do to prevent it.

What is it?

Oral thrush is caused by a collection of the fungus called Candida in your mouth. Bacteria and fungi do occur naturally in your mouth, but it is important that they are not permitted to build up. Thrush can appear as white, thick patches on your tongue or inner cheek. It may also look like a white sore in your mouth. 

Who Can Get Oral Thrush?

Young children, infants, and the elderly are at a higher risk of developing oral thrush. If you have a weakened immune system or diabetes, it is even more important that you stay active in keeping your mouth healthy and preventing issues like oral thrush. Smokers also tend to develop oral thrush more often than other patients.

Oral Health Implications

Oral thrush can lead to trouble swallowing and tasting. As it develops, it can become painful. Oral thrush can make affected areas feel like they are burning, and slight bleeding can occur if you are scraping your tongue or cheeks. Some describe the feeling as having cotton in their mouth. Thrush can spread easily. If you have a weakened immune system, it is possible that thrush can move into your lungs, digestive tract, and even your heart.


Our best recommendation for preventing oral thrush is a vigilant daily oral hygiene routine that] includes a thorough brushing and flossing of your teeth, and includes your tongue. We sometimes recommend a patient use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue. Just like your teeth, your tongue depends on daily cleaning to stay healthy and free of germs and bacteria.

The American Dental Association recommends that for some patients it might be helpful to consider an antimicrobial toothpaste or mouthwash. Check with our dentist to see which solutions might be best for you.

We cannot overstate the importance of regularly scheduled dental exams. By having your mouth checked by our team, we can work with you to prevent oral health issues like thrush. For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy or to schedule your next visit, please contact our office.

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

Everything You Need to Know About Wisdom Teeth | Dentist Near Me

Wisdom teeth are the last new teeth that will enter your mouth. Unfortunately, most patients have some form of complication resulting from their wisdom teeth. Did you know that your wisdom teeth can even impact your overall health? Here’s what you need to be aware of regarding your wisdom teeth.

The Basics

Typically, your wisdom teeth will come in between the ages of 17 and 25. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS), as many as 90% of patients have an impacted wisdom tooth. An impacted tooth is unable to properly grow through your gums because of a lack of space.

Oral Health Implications

An impacted wisdom tooth is something that you should consult with our dentist about. We can determine the position of your wisdom teeth with a panoramic x-ray or cone beam scan. Impacted teeth can cause infection and damage to surrounding teeth and bone. They can even cause you to lose the surrounding teeth if the issue is not resolved. It is extremely important these issues are addressed early on. 

Your wisdom teeth are also hard to clean in the back of your mouth. An wisdom tooth not receiving the proper care can be a breeding ground for bacteria leading to infection and gum disease.

Your Overall Health

An infection of your wisdom teeth can lead to oral diseases, but it can also lead to further, more serious complications as well. The oral bacteria that gets into your bloodstream can lead to heart, kidney, and other organ infections. 

The Importance of Examinations

You might not notice any pain or discomfort around your wisdom teeth, but that does not

necessarily mean they are healthy. Even wisdom teeth that fit properly can be the target of a future infection or tooth decay. It is essential to keep up with regular examinations so that our trained, experienced team can take a close look at your wisdom teeth.

Our dentist can help assess your wisdom teeth and whether they will need to be removed. Wisdom teeth can have a significant impact on your oral health and your overall health. For more questions about wisdom teeth or to schedule your examination, please contact our office.

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

Be Careful Who You Kiss | Columbia Dentist

When you are close to someone you can often be overly comfortable in sharing everything. This reigns especially true with kissing. In one kiss, more than 500 germs can be shared between two people. Sharing a simple kiss can have an impact on your oral and overall health. We’ve listed some of the ways that kissing can be hazardous to your health.

Colds and Flus

When you feel like you might be coming down with a cold or flu, it is best to avoid kissing. You certainly don’t want to transmit any illnesses, especially in today’s world. Colds and flus are easily passed on through saliva and nasal fluids.

Cold Sores

If you see a cold sore near your mouth and lip or are starting to feel one coming on, you should avoid kissing someone. Cold sores will look like small, clear blisters usually close to your lips. Cold sores are a viral infection, but are extremely contagious. Cold sores that are leaking fluids are especially contagious, however even a sore without any fluid can spread to others in contact. Avoid contact if you see cold sores! The virus can also be spread to the eyes and other parts of the body. 

Mono–The Kissing Disease

Mononucleosis, or mono, is spread very rapidly through kissing. The disease can also be spread by sharing behaviors such as sharing a cup, food, or straw. We recommend avoiding sharing your food and drink with others. 

Periodontal Disease 

The bacteria that cause periodontal (gum) disease can be spread through kissing and especially through sharing a toothbrush. Don’t ever share a toothbrush with your partner or child.

Tips for Fresh Breath

It makes sense to want to have clean, fresh breath when kissing. It is best to avoid foods that contain strong spices and flavors, such as garlic or onion. Long after they have been consumed, it is still possible to smell these foods on someone’s breath. Make sure you follow a regular daily oral hygiene routine. This includes brushing your teeth twice daily, as well as brushing your tongue, roof of the mouth, and inside of your cheeks. We suggest using a mouthwash or sugar-free gum after eating to help diffuse strong odors. Sometimes bad breath can be caused by other factors, so if you feel these solutions are not working, contact us for a dental evaluation

Hundreds of germs can be shared when kissing. Watch out for cold sores as well as cold or flu symptoms. For more tips on keeping your mouth healthy, or to schedule your next visit, contact our office.

Diamond Dental Studio of Forest Acres Columbia
Phone: (803) 738-1114
3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

We Are Here For You

Dr. Julia K. Mikell
Solo Practitioner

3261 Harrison Rd.
Columbia, SC 29204

(We are easy to find in Forest Acres at the corner of Harrison Rd. and Budon Ct., near the Zesto’s on Forest Drive.)

(803) 738-1114

Providing Dental Care
For Many Communities Including:

Forest Acres, Fort Jackson, Arcadia Lakes, Lake Katherine, Heathwood, Shandon, Rosewood, Downtown Columbia, Earlewood, Cottontown and the University of South Carolina


Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday: 8:30 AM - 5 PM
Friday: Closed

  • South Carolina State Dental
  • America Dental Association
  • America Dental Association

Dentist in Forest Acres Columbia, SC

See What Our Patients are Saying About Us

Dentist in Columbia, SC

“My husband and I had our 1st appointment with Dr. Mikell today and we left there feeling like we absolutely made the right choice! She and her staff were professional, kind, competent, and very respectful to us. We feel like this was a fabulous start to a long and happy relationship!”

Erica R. Columbia, SC Dental Patient

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“Diamond Dental is a good place for your dental care . The staff there is great and friendly. I have recommended my friends there because I trust them with my dental care.”

Caesar A.

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“I really appreciate the staff at Diamond Dental, they're awesome! Dr. Mikell, DDS and Ms. Deborah know me and my kids by name and I feel like where going to visit family and not a dental appointment. We talk and catch up like ole buddies!”

Tabitha M.

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“Dr. Mikell and her staff are the best! I moved ten years ago, but still drive in to town to have her team take care of my smile. They are the nicest people you will ever find!”

Kurt S.

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“Julia and her entire amazing staff are top notch. From routine cleanings to more specific emergency situations, I truly trust this team to take care of me. I am so thankful specifically for their help with a fitted night guard. I sleep better and my teeth are protected! Highly recommend Diamond Dental Studios!”

Sarah S.

Dental News in Forest Acres Columbia