When to Choose Mini Dental Implants

Dental implants are used to replace individual or missing teeth or to anchor loose dentures. For many patients with these issues, traditional dental implants may not a viable option. For example, a patient who does not possess adequate bone levels to anchor the implants would not be a good candidate for traditional dental implants. With mini dental implants, the bone required to anchor the implant successfully is much less.

Thanks to advances in implant dentistry, these patients have other options. Mini dental implants have emerged as an attractive choice for cases that are not conducive to the placement of traditional implants. For the patient who has inadequate bone, the bone required to successfully anchor mini dental implants is much less. Unlike traditional implants, the placement procedure for mini dental implants is a minimally invasive procedure that can be completed in one appointment by a specially trained general or family dentist. Because the procedure is less involved, the pain and length of recovery is greatly diminished.

Patients who have existing health conditions that would preclude them from more invasive surgery may find mini dental implants an extremely appealing option. Mini implants are also a perfect choice for restoring one missing or damaged tooth. Should implant failure occur, grafting procedures would not be necessary because of the small size with mini dental implants.

Most importantly, mini dental implants maintain the look, feel and function of your natural teeth. While you have to wait months for traditional implants to fuse with the bone, mini dental implants are ready for immediate use. Talk to your dentist to determine if mini dental implants would be a good option for your dental restorations and get ready to face the world with a confident new smile.

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

Long Term Dental Implant Care

Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Like natural teeth, dental implants require vigilant oral care to maintain their usefulness and prevent problems. Once the implant has fused to the jaw bone, it is important to follow some general guidelines to ensure the continued success of your dental implant and restoration.

A condition known as peri-implantitis is a common cause of implant failure. This occurs when an accumulation of plaque leads to damage of the tissues and infection of the bone around the implant. While the implant itself is not susceptible to decay, if plaque is not removed with thorough brushing and flossing at least twice per day the resulting periodontal disease can lead to implant failure.

Your dental professional may also recommend the use of additional oral hygiene products such as special brushes or oral irrigation devices to aid in the removal of food debris and plaque around the areas of the implant supported restorations. Your dentist or hygienist can assist in teaching you to utilize these devices to improve your implant care.

Regular dental visits and examinations are vital to detect and prevent any issues that may present problems for your dental implants. Expect to visit your dentist every 3 months for the first year after implant placement, and then every six months for the life of your implants. Your dentist will also provide special care instructions if your implants are being used to support a removable denture. It is important to know how to place and remove the appliance without causing damage to either the denture or your implant.

Avoid applying excessive pressure or eating hard foods that could cause damage to the restoration and implant area. If you suffer from conditions like teeth grinding or clenching, discuss with your dentist the option of being fitted for a night guard to prevent the problems these habits can cause your implants. Taking excellent care of your oral health will help to ensure years of dental implant success.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Invislaign Charlottesville

The Invisalign Process

A new way to straighten teeth has been introduced with Invisalign clear braces. As you wear the invisible plastic aligners, your teeth are gently shifted into better positions and you avoid many of the hassles associated with traditional braces.

Treatment begins with a consultation with a professional who has been trained and recognized to provide Invisalign braces. A thorough analysis of your teeth and jaw, as well as your smile goals, will be done to determine if Invisalign is right for you. If so, a treatment plan will be customized just for you after X-rays and impressions of your mouth are taken. The process also uses 3D images to create a computer simulation of your treatment.

Using the exact measurements taken of your mouth, a set of aligners will be made from clear plastic. Invisalign treatment advances in stages, with a different set of aligners worn every two weeks. They should be worn consistently for about twenty hours daily, but are removable for eating and cleaning. Maintenance is simple because the aligners can be gently brushed along with your normal brushing routine.

There are no restrictions about foods to avoid when undergoing Invisalign treatment, since the aligners are removed while eating. You also don’t have to worry about food getting stuck in the braces like with metal braces, and because food doesn’t contact the aligners there are no worries about stains. Invisalign braces can be worn while playing instruments or sports, although they should not be considered a substitute for a protective mouth guard.

Visits to the orthodontist are usually required every six months or so to monitor treatment and ensure ideal results. The amount of time it takes to achieve your smile goals depends on each patient and how consistently the aligners are worn, but treatment often lasts about a year.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Invislaign Charlottesville

Should My Teen Choose Invisalign or Traditional Braces

Metal braces used to go hand-in-hand with teenage years. Those awkward years were made so much worse with the taunts of “metal mouth” or “brace face.” Today, if your teen is dreading those comments, there are alternatives, particularly Invisalign.
Has your teen been told that braces are a necessity? Is he or she fearful of time spent in metal braces? Invisalign could be the solution, providing an “invisible” way to straighten and align crooked teeth.

Not all teens are suited for treatment with Invisalign. The aligners must be worn diligently, up to 22 hours a day, in order to work properly. Teens may be tempted to remove them more often than recommended, leading to far longer treatment time or ineffectual treatment.

Changes in Invisalign treatment are addressing the specific needs of teens with solutions like the blue dot wear indicator, which allows dentists and parents to determine if the teen is wearing the aligner the recommended amount of time.

Power ridges provide the maximum force necessary to exact complex movements in the mouth, including the movement of tooth roots. Because some teens are still in the process of having their teeth erupt, Invisalign aligners can feature eruption tabs or other design elements for teeth that are still in the process of erupting.

Benefits like these allow Invisalign to cater to a teen’s specific orthodontic needs while still providing all of the things that make Invisalign aligners so popular with patients of all ages.

Invisalign makes it possible to remove the plastic aligners while teens are eating or cleaning their teeth. Metal braces can trap unsightly bits of food, leading to a teen being self-conscious. Oral hygiene habits remain far easier with Invisalign than with traditional metal braces. Flossing takes place normally, while flossing with traditional metal braces is very challenging.

If you have questions regarding whether or not Invisalign or traditional metal braces are right for your individual teen, talk to a skilled orthodontist today. Your orthodontist will determine if Invisalign will be the most effective treatment to address your teen’s orthodontic needs.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Common Kids Dental Emergencies

Kids will be kids, and emergencies happen that can affect the mouth. To avoid long-term damage, extensive pain, or unsightly results, it’s important to know what to do in a dental emergency. Let’s learn what you should do when your child has one of the following common oral problems.

Severe toothache:
Look for food stuck between the teeth, and if so try to dislodge it with floss. Clean the affected tooth and rinse the mouth well with warm water. Swollen gums may indicate an infection, which requires a dental visit. Facial swelling can be relieved with cold compresses, but if it accompanies severe pain you should take your child to the dentist or emergency room. Try giving over-the-counter pain reliever, but don’t place the medication directly on the gum or tooth.

Chipped tooth:
If your child chips a tooth, contact your dentist immediately. Fast action can help save the tooth, reduce the risk of infection, and prevent extensive procedures. Have your child rinse with cold water. If you can find the tooth fragment, take it to the dentist in case it can be bonded back in place.

Knocked out tooth:
The first thing to do is locate the missing tooth. Hold it by the crown instead of the root, and rinse it gently. Try replacing the tooth back in the socket, and have your child bite a piece of gauze or cloth to hold it in place until you get to the dentist. If you can’t insert it, place it in a cup of cold milk to take with you. Time is important in saving a displaced tooth, so see your child’s dentist immediately.

Cut lip, tongue, or cheek:
Ensure your child’s teeth are undamaged, and apply firm pressure with a moist washcloth or teabag to the bleeding area. If it doesn’t stop in fifteen minutes, call your child’s dentist or head to the emergency room. If the tongue is bleeding, there’s not much you can do except wait to see if it stops bleeding on its own within fifteen minutes. If not, visit the dentist or emergency room.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Teaching Kids Good Dental Habits

Your teeth and gums are physical assets that you want to keep healthy your whole life, and the best way to do that is to take care of them. Proper dental care needs to begin at a young age so that good habits are established for life. It is a parent’s role to teach children proper hygiene, and to ensure they get professional treatment. Here are some ways that you can help your child learn good dental habits.

Supervise brushing:
Parents should watch children brush their teeth, especially for ages seven and under, to ensure the appropriate amount of toothpaste is used and that none is swallowed. Have your child brush for about two minutes, and make sure all areas of the teeth and gums are cleaned. Provide tips and help as needed.

Establish good eating habits:
Teach your child that diet impacts oral health. Some foods worsen plaque buildup and introduce damaging acid into the mouth, leading to increased tooth decay and higher risk for cavities and gum disease. Certain foods and drinks are also known to stain teeth, or cause bad breath.

Promote water consumption:
Drinking water not only is good for your overall health, it’s also helpful to your mouth. Encourage your child to drink water after eating, especially if it’s not possible to brush teeth right away. Also, fluoridated water is proven to help fight cavities.

Visit the dentist:
Begin taking your child to the dentist around age one, so that the child gets good dental care and learns that dental visits aren’t scary. Have a positive attitude about checkups, and consider taking your child to a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s oral health.

Be a role model:
As the saying goes, practice what you preach. Set a good example of brushing at least twice daily, flossing every day, limiting your intake of staining foods and drinks, and visiting your dentist regularly.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

What’s a Dental Emergency?

It may be obvious when you’re in a situation that requires immediate treatment by a dentist. Perhaps you’re in immense pain, or you’ve had a tooth knocked out or bleeding that won’t stop. Examples like this make it easy to decide you need help right away, but sometimes it’s not as clear. What are some other problems that may require emergency dental treatment?

Cracked teeth

A cracked or fractured tooth is serious, and often means that the tooth has been damaged both on the inside and the outside. Many times the tooth can’t be saved. If your tooth is broken, schedule an emergency appointment immediately. Remember, a cracked tooth is different than a chipped tooth, which is not as serious. You can usually wait to see your dentist at the next available opportunity for a chipped tooth.

Lost fillings

Some lost fillings require immediate care to avoid worse issues. Fillings protect your tooth’s root from exposure, so if the filling falls out your root can be uncovered and cause intense pain. There is also increased risk for damage to your tooth’s structure, so seeing your dentist as soon as possible is suggested.

Lost crown

If your crown falls out, call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. Until you can see the dentist, try putting the crown back in place using an over-the-counter dental adhesive. Do not use any products like Super Glue. If the crown won’t stay in place, make sure you take it to your appointment with you so that it can be re-cemented correctly.

Abscess

If you have a painful swelling on your gum that resembles a pimple, it might be a serious condition called an abscess. It can damage gum tissue and teeth, as well as spread serious infection to your body. See your dentist immediately for proper treatment.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Trading Your Dentures in for Dental Implants

After suffering tooth loss for any reason, it’s important to restore your mouth’s function and appearance with restoration options through your dentist. In the past, many patients have gotten dentures for this purpose. Dental implants provide a newer and very popular option. If you already have dentures but aren’t completely satisfied with them, is it possible to change to dental implants instead?

The answer is yes! Of course, you need to consult your dentist to make sure that you are a good candidate for implants. There are a number of reasons that denture wearers might decide that implants are a better solution to their tooth replacement needs. Some patients find dentures to be uncomfortable because they don’t stay in place securely or they irritate the gums. Some find a more permanent remedy to be more appealing than dentures, and implants do provide a long-lasting solution to tooth loss. If patients with dentures don’t like them and aren’t wearing them consistently, they aren’t achieving the goal of restoration.

There are some additional complications that can occur with dentures, making implants more appealing. Trouble speaking and eating is a hazard if the dentures slip, as well as jawbone loss and increased wrinkles. Some patients even alter their diets due to problems eating certain foods. The increased dental hygiene regimen also bothers some patients who are unwilling to do the extra tasks required.

If you dislike your dentures, consider making the switch to dental implants. It might restore your self-confidence as well as your mouth’s function and appearance.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Rules for the First Days of Wearing Dentures

Once you’ve received dentures to restore missing teeth, it will take some time to get accustomed to them. There’s no reason to be alarmed or frightened about wearing dentures, because most patients go through the same adjustment period. If you’re aware of the potential issues and how to react to them, the process will be easier for you. Here are some rules to follow as you begin wearing dentures.

Don’t try to fix them yourself.

Even though dentures are customized just for you, that doesn’t mean they always fit perfectly right away. There might be some molding defects or other minor flaws that cause the dentures not to fit exactly right or rub sores on your gums. If this happens, don’t try to correct the problem yourself. Take your dentures back to your dentist to explain what’s bothering you, and give your dentist a chance to properly and safely adjust them without damaging the dentures.

Watch your diet.

Similar to getting braces at first, you’ll want to stick to eating soft foods for the first few days of denture wear. Avoid foods that are sticky or hard to chew. Focus on chewing with your back teeth instead of the front part of your dentures, and cut your food into small bites.

Soak your dentures.

Soaking your dentures in a solution recommended by your dentist can help keep them hydrated. This will avoid dryness, which causes friction between your dentures and gums and can lead to mouth sores.

You’re going to unintentionally bite yourself.

It’s part of wearing dentures at first; you’ll probably bite the insides of your cheeks. It’s a natural part of adjusting to the appliance in your mouth, and it will subside as you get used to wearing them. Gargling with a fluoride rinse or other mouthwash provided by your dentist may provide relief.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Why Do You Need a General Dentist

Why Do You Need a General Dentist?

Your good health depends on taking excellent care of your teeth. Not only does proper dental care protect your oral health, but it also has a major impact on your overall health. Routine brushing and flossing are just the start. Establishing a relationship with a good general dentist is a vital part of taking care of both your dental health and your general health.

The focus of general dentistry is to stop minor dental problems before they become large health issues. While many dentists now offer cosmetic and restorative treatments, the main responsibility of a general dentist is preventative. Treating cavities, performing root canal treatment, and performing regular cleanings and examinations are some of the important things services by a general dentist.

Even if you take vigilant care of your teeth, only a qualified dentist or hygienist can remove the plaque and tartar that forms around and below your gum line. Regular checkups allow your general dentist to detect problems that could potentially lead to more serious issues. Caught in the early stages, potential trouble like gingivitis or periodontitis can be successfully treated before they become bigger concerns. General dentistry procedures like scaling, root planning, and root canal treatment can be used to save infected teeth.

Prevention is the key to a healthy smile. Taking proper care of your teeth at home and keeping a regular schedule of cleaning and exam appointments with your general dentist will go a long way towards saving your smile for years to come.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Types of Dental Crown and Bridge Materials Available

Types of Dental Crown and Bridge Materials Available

Restorative dentistry has made incredible advancements in the technology of restorative dental materials, and there are more options than ever today for your dental crown or dental bridge. Zirconium and porcelain have proven to provide lasting strength and durability, exhibiting the most natural cosmetic dental restorations available today. Each tooth in each mouth is different, however, and in some cases, resin composite or metal alloy might be the choice recommended for you.

Metals are a common choice for dental crowns and dental bridges. Gold or palladium alloys, as well as chromium or nickel (base-metal) alloys can be excellent choices. Metal alloy crowns show the least “wear down” over years of use. They almost never chip, break or wear down opposing teeth. The primary complaint about metal alloy materials is that their color is metallic and thereby unnatural. They will not blend with the surrounding teeth, and as such, they are chosen more for back molars where they won’t draw attention.

Dental composite/resin materials are a popular choice that can be made to blend with the surrounding teeth, but they’ve been shown to wear down over time and are more prone to fractures and breaking than other materials.

Porcelain can be fused to metal to form a natural-appearing crown or bridge, and because of their appearance, are a good choice for front or back teeth. Over time, however, discoloration can appear along the gum line as the porcelain wears away, leaving a dark, unsightly line. The porcelain can be fused to zirconium, however, which eliminates the dark line and is a good cosmetic choice for front teeth.

Crowns and bridges can also be made from all-porcelain or all-ceramic materials. These materials are the best choice for natural-looking teeth of the types of dental crown and dental bridge materials available in restorative dentistry today. Because they contain no metal, they are excellent choices for patients with metal allergies. They tend to be weaker and less durable than materials containing metals, however.

Talk to your cosmetic dentist today with any questions you have regarding what type of dental crown or bridge material is best for your smile needs.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

What Can a Cosmetic Dentist Do For You?

Most people are not born with a perfect appearance. Some people turn to cosmetic surgery to correct or enhance the things they find unappealing about their looks. However, if cosmetic surgery is not on your agenda, cosmetic dentistry offers many procedures and treatments to quickly and successfully improve your appearance. Because your smile is usually the first impression you make on the world, fixing stains, cracks, gaps, and other imperfections can make a dramatic impact.

While many cosmetic dental procedures can be performed by your general dentist, a cosmetic dentist has a distinct advantage when you are seeking to improve your smile.

A cosmetic dentist makes it their business to have extensive knowledge and training in the treatments specific to improving the appearance of your teeth. Just a few of the procedures and treatments provided by a qualified cosmetic dentist include:

  • Dental implants
  • Dental crowns
  • Dental bridges
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Teeth straightening
  • Composite bonding
  • Teeth whitening
  • Dentures

In cooperation with a qualified cosmetic dentist, you can elect to have one or a combination of cosmetic dental treatments to perfect your smile. You may just need whitening to brighten and beautify your discolored teeth, or you may need whitening as well as bonding for gapped or chipped teeth. You may even need clear braces or veneers to straighten a crooked smile. A cosmetic dentist will have the knowledge to coordinate treatments to achieve the desired result with the least amount of time, discomfort, and complications. With the help of an experienced and qualified cosmetic dentist, you can improve not only your smile but the overall appearance you present to the world.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

dentures

Options for Complete Dentures

Denture technology has come a long way since the days of George Washington and his wooden teeth. Unfortunately, people still lose teeth for a variety of reasons including periodontal disease, trauma, and decay. Missing teeth make talking and eating difficult, and can ultimately cause sagging facial muscles. However, with today’s advances in technology it is more possible than ever to replace those lost teeth with natural and comfortable dentures.

Complete dentures cover both upper and lower jaws. The options for complete dentures range from immediate dentures to highly customized implant dentures. Immediate dentures are pre-made and available at your dentist’s office. They are not custom fitted and are set into gum sockets immediately upon removal of your teeth. While these offer the convenience of walking immediately out of the dental office with your new teeth in place, once gum tissue heals and swelling reduces they may shift and become loose. This issue requires follow-up visits for your dentist to make adjustments. People with immediate dentures may also have difficulty speaking, or experience a “clicking sound” when talking.

Conventional full dentures can be made 8 to 12 weeks after tooth loss or removal. Once the gums have healed, your dentist takes a series of impressions of your mouth to be sent away to a dental lab to create your dentures. This process may require multiple visits to your dentist to ensure a proper fit and correct bite. While this process takes longer and is more involved than immediate dentures, you will achieve a more secure and personalized fit. Both conventional and immediate dentures require the use of denture adhesives to keep them securely in place.

For an even more custom, natural looking and secure denture option, implant dentures are an excellent alternative. With implant dentures, small implants are placed in the jaw where they heal in place surrounded by the bone. The denture then snaps into the implant with attachments under the denture. These attachments keep the denture stable, providing more comfort and confidence. You do not have to worry your dentures will slip or fall out while you are eating, talking, or laughing. Implant dentures do not require the use of any denture adhesives.

Talk to your dental professional to determine the best use of denture technology to ensure many years of a confident and comfortable smile.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Restoring Your Oral Health Through Root Canal Therapy

A toothache can make your life miserable. It may involve terrible tooth pain as well as headaches, sleeplessness, and difficulty eating. A trip to the dentist’s office is a must if you want relief. An examination might reveal that you need root canal treatment to save your tooth and eliminate your symptoms.

Severe tooth decay, a faulty crown, repeated tooth procedures or trauma are common causes of tooth damage. These issues can also lead to infection of your tooth’s pulp, which is on the inside of your tooth. Also called endodontic therapy, root canal treatment focuses on getting rid of the damaged tooth pulp. If infection is present, it is also removed. The root canal is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, and then the area is filled with a special material called gutta-percha. Finally, the tooth is typically restored with a dental crown to provide maximum protection from future damage.

Some of the benefits you can expect from root canal treatment include chewing with normal biting force and sensation, maintaining natural tooth appearance, protecting other teeth from excessive wear, and avoiding a troublesome gap in the smile. In as little as one or two appointments, these benefits can be achieved without a great deal of discomfort. Innovations in technology have made the experience of root canal treatment usually no more painful or difficult than simply getting a dental filling. Once root canal treatment is complete, the tooth can last a lifetime with regular checkups and proper oral hygiene.


We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Boost Your Teeth Whitening Results

There is no quicker or easier way to dramatically improve the look of your smile than professional teeth whitening. Your dentist probably offers several whitening options and can advise you about the most appropriate type of whitening treatment to ensure your brightest, whitest smile. No matter which whitening treatment you and your dentist decide will be best, there are several tips you can follow to help you achieve the ideal result:

  • Have any existing dental problems treated prior to whitening to avoid side effects or complications.
  • Schedule a professional teeth cleaning prior to your whitening appointment to remove buildup of plaque or tartar you cannot remove with home cleaning, and provide the best surface for the whitening treatment.
  • Begin brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste several weeks before whitening to limit the sensitivity that can sometimes result from whitening agents.
  • If you are extremely prone to dental sensitivity, check with your dentist about taking a painkilling medication before your whitening appointment.
  • Consult with your dental office to determine how much time you should allow for your whitening appointment.
  • Refrain from eating or drinking anything except water for at least one hour after the completion of your whitening treatment, and avoid ingesting foods and beverages that contain stain-causing agents for no less than 24 hours.
  • Make sure to attend any follow-up appointments with your dentist.
  • Maintain excellent home oral care habits to extend the life of your whitening procedure.

By following these tips, you can boost the results of your professional teeth whitening treatment and face the world with beautiful, bright smile!

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Teeth Whitening Options

A brighter smile can make a big difference in your appearance. There are lots of choices today for improving your tooth color. Here are details about some of the options so you can decide which way you may want to whiten your smile.

Eliminating the need:
One way to eliminate the need for teeth whitening is to avoid foods and drinks that are known to cause stains. These include items like coffee, tea, red wine, berries, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and curry. If you do consume foods that stain, try to brush your teeth as soon as possible before stains can attach to your teeth.

Whitening at home:
There are many products available at your drugstore to help you brighten your smile at home. Whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes are two types of options, although it can take a while to see results from these methods. Whitening strips are a popular choice, which are covered in a bleaching solution and attached to the fronts of your teeth. Depending on the brand and strength, they might be in place from 5 to 30 minutes daily for a week or two in order to achieve the desired results. Overuse of these strips can increase teeth sensitivity, so be careful not to use them too often.

Professional whitening:
Whitening procedures performed at your dentist’s office are usually the fastest and most effective way to spruce up your smile. Custom trays filled with a higher strength bleaching gel may be made to be worn either in the office or at home later. Another method that must be administered in the office involves a bleaching agent applied to your teeth’s surface and then a bright light to speed up the process. You can typically expect dramatic results from this type of professional whitening.


We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Erasing Flaws with Dental Veneers

Cosmetic problems with your teeth can make it embarrassing to show your smile. Thanks to dental veneers, you can erase flaws and create a brand new look that will make you want to show off your pearly whites instead of hiding them.

Veneers are very thin shells that are usually made of porcelain. They are custom-made to fit right on top of the fronts of your teeth. The veneers are securely bonded in place so that you can feel confident and comfortable with your smile. The porcelain is matched to the same color as your natural teeth, or a few shades brighter if you’d like to whiten your smile. This material reflects light in the same way that real teeth do, so that others can’t even tell the veneers are there. Porcelain is also very durable, and will not stain like real teeth.

Dental veneers hide many different kinds of problems with your teeth. Some of the most common reasons that people choose to recreate their smiles with veneers include:

  • Teeth damaged from injury or decay, including chips and cracks
  • Unsightly gaps between teeth
  • Stains or discoloration that isn’t corrected with teeth whitening
  • Misshapen teeth that do not match the rest of your smile

Veneers are a quick and painless solution. Your natural teeth will be slightly prepared so that the veneers attach properly, but the process is not uncomfortable. Once your veneers are placed, you can expect them to last years without needing to replace them. Maintenance involves routine brushing and flossing just as you would normally, and keeping regular checkups with your dentist.

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

Dental Veneers and Discolored Teeth

There are a number of reasons people choose to get dental veneers, which are able to hide all kinds of tooth problems. These thin porcelain shells are bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth and can transform an embarrassing smile into one to fill you with pride. One of the most common reasons that many patients opt for veneers is to hide discolored teeth.

No matter what the cause for it, teeth can lose their bright white shine over time. It can be from consuming foods and drinks that tend to stain teeth, such as red wine, coffee, berries, sodas, and other culprits. Or it can be side effects from medications, including the antibiotic tetracycline which can cause severe tooth discoloration if taken during a child’s formative years. Poor oral hygiene can also contribute to yellowed teeth, as well as tobacco use. Aging in general tends to discolor teeth too.

If your teeth show the effects of staining or yellowing, and you’d like to get that healthy youthful glow back, porcelain veneers are a good option. They provide a unique advantage of never staining, so they look like new the entire time you have them. With proper care, your veneers should last for decades or even a lifetime. That means a bright, white smile that won’t deteriorate!

Another great benefit about veneers is that they provide an instant improvement to your smile. As soon as they are placed, your smile will be transformed. If you have concerns about what they will look like, many dentists are able to use computerized photo imaging technology to give you an accurate idea of what to expect. This may alleviate any hesitations about veneers being the right solution to hide your discolored teeth. Ask your dentist today about the possibility of getting veneers to improve your smile.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Cosmetic dentistry

Top Reasons to see a Cosmetic Dentist

A special area of dentistry has been formed that focuses on making your smile as flawless and appealing as possible. Cosmetic dentistry corrects imperfections that cause people to feel insecure and unhappy with their smiles. If you are one of those people, maybe it’s time to see a cosmetic dentist to give you back your smile and confidence. Here are some of the most common reasons for visiting a cosmetic dentist.

One of the biggest complaints that people have about their smile is the color of their teeth. Stains can cause your teeth to become yellow or brown with time, making your smile unattractive and embarrassing. Cosmetic dentists offer teeth whitening techniques that brighten your teeth, and can restore your pearly whites in just one appointment.

Gaps in your smile from missing teeth not only look awkward, they also make chewing and speaking more difficult. A cosmetic dentist can replace your missing teeth with dental implants, bridges, or dentures. Implants have become increasingly popular because they provide a permanent, comfortable, and natural-looking solution for missing teeth.

Cosmetic dentists can solve a variety of other imperfections that make you unhappy with your smile. Veneers improve the shape and color of your teeth by covering the fronts of your teeth with thin shells. Dental fillings and root canals resolve problems often linked to tooth decay. Crowns are used to cover an unhealthy tooth and restore its strength, shape, size, and appearance. They also may be used in conjunction with dental bridges to correct gaps in your smile.

There is no reason to go through life ashamed of your teeth. Make an appointment with a cosmetic dentist to see how your smile can be improved to get the bright, beautiful smile you desire.

Cosmetic dentists in Charlottesville

Chewing gum and teeth

How Does Chewing Gum Affect my Teeth?

Gone are the days when chewing gum is considered poor etiquette. In today’s society, you can find people chewing gum in business meetings, church, and just about every other situation. With gum chewing so prevalent, you may have wondered what it’s doing to people’s teeth. You may be surprised to learn that research shows that chewing sugarless gum has a number of dental benefits. Let’s see how it can actually be a helpful addition to your oral care routine.

Saliva flow
Chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, which rinses away food particles. Saliva also neutralizes acids that result from bacteria in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay. Known to carry with it calcium and phosphate, increased saliva flow also helps strengthen your tooth enamel.

ADA acceptance
Choose gum with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal, indicating it as met the required safety and effectiveness criteria. This approval means that you can trust the gum’s packaging and labeling to be true.

Sugarless
The only gums carrying the ADA Seal are sugarless. They contain sweeteners that don’t cause cavities, like aspartame, mannitol, sorbitol, or xylitol. Chewing gum with xylitol is especially recommended, because it has been shown to combat tooth decay and cavities.

Dental hygiene
Even though chewing gum can be beneficial, remember that brushing and flossing are still the best ways to care for your teeth. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and floss every day to remove plaque and debris between your teeth. Between these dental hygiene tasks, however, it is acceptable to chew sugarless gum to continue caring for your mouth during the day.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

electric toothbrush benefits

Considering Electric Toothbrushes

Dentists say that electric toothbrushes really can make a difference in your ability to clean your teeth and gums. However, not all models provide the same amount of benefits. There are some important things to know about making your choice so that you purchase the best toothbrush for your needs. Here are some guidelines to consider when selecting an electric toothbrush.

Toothbrush heads
If several people will be using the toothbrush, look for one with assorted head sizes. Adults and children need different sizes of heads for the best results. Also, make sure you choose a model with replaceable toothbrush heads. This will save you money in the long run because you’re only discarding old heads, instead of throwing away entire electric toothbrushes.

Batteries
Your electric toothbrush needs a rechargeable battery so that you’re not investing money in new batteries all the time. Also, your fully charged toothbrush should last over a week. You shouldn’t have to charge the toothbrush all the time, just like you shouldn’t have to with other electric items like your laptop.

Spinning
Some electric toothbrushes offer a special type of head that spins all the way around, which allows you to clean areas that other brushes have a hard time reaching. A spinning brush may cost a bit more, but it really does a great job of helping to fight plaque and prevent gum disease.

Warranty
Look for a toothbrush with a warranty, especially when you’re buying an expensive model. That way if something unexpected happens, it might be covered under the warranty instead of having to purchase a whole new brush.

General and family dentist in Charlottesville

root canal treatment

Symptoms That Indicate You Might Need a Root Canal Procedure

If you have tooth pain or another issue, you might wonder what a visit to the dentist may reveal. You may need a root canal procedure. In order to properly evaluate your issue and to confirm the need for a procedure, a dentist will examine several factors. These typically include the symptoms you are experiencing, the signs observed, and any additional testing required to confirm an initial theory.

You may have noticed:

  • You experience average to severe pain that lingers, during or immediately after drinking hot liquids or food, or very cold liquids or foods.
  • You have pain, swelling, or sensitivity when biting or chewing on a certain tooth.
  • Your tooth pain disrupts your life, preventing you from sleeping through the night or conducting your daily business without taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • You have a “bubble” on your gum, similar to a pimple. When irritated, it may release blood or pus that can smell or taste bad.
  • You have pain that radiates out from one tooth to other areas of your head or jaw. For example, a tooth pain can lead to a pain behind the eye like a headache or to the ear, resulting in earache symptoms.
  • You have a discolored tooth that is darker than the surrounding teeth. A grey tooth can indicate a “dead” tooth.
  • You have a broken or cracked tooth with obvious signs of damage or decay.


Your dentist may have noticed:

  • A tooth problem revealed by x-rays
  • A recurring or persistent gum pimple (also called “fistulous tracts”)
  • A tooth that has changed color


Additional testing:

  • X-ray examination – if x-rays did not reveal the problem, they can provide an extremely clear picture of tooth health
  • Percussion testing – a gentle tapping on the teeth to evaluate pain response
  • Thermal testing – a careful application of a hot or cold stimulus to evaluate sensitivity

Sometimes, teeth needing to undergo a root canal procedure have no symptoms discernible to the patient. It is important to visit your dentist regularly to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment needed to maintain life-long oral health.

If you need root canal treatment in the Charlottesville area, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

teeth whitening

Reasons Your Teeth May No Longer Be White

It can be rather upsetting to see that your smile is no longer as bright and appealing as it used to. Most people’s teeth become stained and discolored and result of diet and poor oral hygiene habits. It can make the whole appearance look dull and unkempt, giving others the impression you don’t take good care of yourself. Let’s find out the causes and what you can do about it.

Causes
There are some reasons that teeth become stained or yellowed. The culprits for tooth discoloration are as follows:

  • Tobacco – Smoking or chewing on them stains teeth.
  • Foods and drinks – coffee, colas, wines, tea, berries, sauces, and other items that you consume can damage your tooth color.
  • Medications – certain medications are known to discolor teeth, sometimes causing severe stains that are difficult to remove.
  • Poor oral hygiene – improper brushing and flossing is key in removing plaque and stains.
  • Age – aging wears away tooth enamel and reveals the yellowish dentin underneath.
  • Disease – some diseases can harm tooth enamel and trigger discoloration. Certain medical treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can also discolor teeth.
  • Environment – excessive fluoride exposure can stain teeth; this is known as fluorosis.
  • Genetics – some people are more prone to tooth discoloration than others.
  • Trauma – a hit to the maxillofacial region can damage the tooth and cause discoloration due to pulp necrosis.

Prevention
Lifestyle changes can prevent tooth discoloration, such as avoiding foods and drinks known to stain teeth. Improving oral hygiene is another step in the right direction, including regular brushing and flossing and consistent professional teeth cleanings.

Treatment
The options vary depending on the severity of discoloration and goals of the patient. Whitening methods include over-the-counter whitening products, at-home whitening kits provided by the dentist, professional in-office whitening treatments, bonding, and dental veneers. These tools cater for various needs according to patient’s concern.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

sleep apnea dentist

What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

More than 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a serious condition that compromises your rest and can impact your health. Some symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, extreme daytime tiredness, mouth breathing, and irritability. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea, much less common, happens when the brain fails to signal your breathing muscles.

Characterized by short episodes of not breathing, which can occur from five to 50 times a night, obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the muscles in your throat relax and your airways become blocked as you sleep. Your brain senses the lack of breathing and wakes you briefly to restore airflow. These episodes disrupt sleep and keep you from feeling rested.

Not only does sleep apnea keep you from getting a good night’s rest, but it can also put your health at risk. Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, risk of stroke, memory impairment, and weight gain. As well, your sleep partner may not get enough sleep because of your snoring and/or waking episodes.

If you suspect sleep apnea, talk with your dentist, who may recommend a sleep evaluation. Through overnight monitoring, a sleep specialist can determine if you suffer from sleep apnea. Treatment for sleep apnea may include lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask, or an oral appliance. Your dentist can fit you for night guard that will hold your jaw in the correct position to keep your airways open.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

kids dentist

Baby Teeth Basics

Babies obviously can’t take care of themselves, so parents have to handle all aspects of their care. Don’t forget their oral health! Parents need to lay the groundwork for lifelong good dental habits and healthy smiles for their children. Here are some answers to common questions about baby teeth.

Do baby teeth matter?
Primary, or baby, teeth are important. They help children chew naturally and speak clearly. They provide the place for adult teeth to grown in properly later.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth?
You should brush your baby’s teeth without toothpaste, using a small amount of water instead. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush at bedtime to remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth and gums.

When can I start using toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste can be implemented after age two, when a child can be trusted not to swallow the toothpaste. Only use a small amount of toothpaste, and watch the child carefully to ensure proper brushing and spitting out the toothpaste.

When should I take my child to the dentist?
Experts recommend taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Your child should be taken for dental visits every six months, or more often if your dentist has concerns.

Do I need a certain type of dentist for my child?
You may choose a pediatric dentist who has been trained specifically to treat children. Their goal is to teach children about oral hygiene and the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as provide a comfortable experience in visiting the dentist. However, you may also choose a regular dentist to take care of your child’s oral health. It is up to you to decide which kind of dentist is right for your family.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today