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.

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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.

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Invisalign and Children – A Good Fit?

Does your child need braces, but isn’t sure about being a “metal mouth” for two or more years? Did your teen come to you and beg for some other option to traditional braces? Perhaps you’ve heard about Invisalign aligners but are wondering if they’ll work for your child. Invisalign is absolutely appropriate for your teen if all of his or her baby teeth have fallen out and adult teeth have erupted.

Invisalign provides the same results as traditional metal braces, but without the metal brackets. Concerns over eating with braces are removed with the Invisalign trays, as they come out for meals, leaving your teen free to eat any food he or she desires.

Invisalign utilizes clear plastic trays that allow the process of straightening your teen’s teeth to be less obvious and less obtrusive. Beginning with x-rays and molds, your orthodontist will make a series of trays, called aligners. These trays are worn most of the day, taken out only to eat or to be cleaned. The process of straightening happens gradually and comfortably.

It is essential during this time that the trays are worn as recommended by the orthodontist. Wearing them less than the recommended amount of time will result in slower correction, and has the potential to lengthen treatment. Have your teen continue with any established good oral hygiene habits. Brushing and flossing must continue on a regular basis, brushing twice a day at minimum and flossing before bedtime.

Being a teenager is full of difficulties, and it is during this time that teens are at their most self-conscious. Adding metal braces to this transition can make everything worse for your child, leaving him or her self-conscious about eating with friends or smiling, talking or laughing in public. Your teen’s gapped, misaligned or crowded teeth can be improved significantly with Invisalign trays. Talk to your orthodontist today to see how Invisalign can make a difference for your child.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign

If you are considering straightening your teeth, you may be looking into various orthodontic options. One treatment for correcting a crooked or overcrowded smile is Invisalign. Invisalign uses a clear set of BPA-free plastic trays called aligners to straighten teeth without the metal and brackets associated with traditional braces. The following are some common questions you may have about Invisalign:

Who is a good candidate for Invisalign? Patients who have healthy teeth and gums are usually good candidates for Invisalign. Adults, teens, and older children whose teeth, including their second molars, have grown in completely can be considered for treatment with Invisalign.
What kinds of problems can Invisalign correct? Invisalign corrects the same dental problems as traditional braces, including simple to severe overcrowding, gaps, crossbite, overbite, and underbite.
How long does Invisalign treatment take to complete? Most Invisalign cases are completed within one year. However, the exact amount of treatment time is dependent on your individual situation.
How long do I have to wear the aligners each day? You will remove the Invisalign aligners when you eat, drink, or clean your teeth. Otherwise, the aligners should be worn for a recommended 22 hours per day to achieve the desired results.
Are there food restrictions with Invisalign? Because you remove the aligners when you eat, there are no limitations to the types of food you can eat while undergoing treatment.
Are retainers necessary with Invisalign? Once you have completed treatment, you will need to wear retainers while you sleep to ensure your teeth stay perfectly straight.

To determine if Invisalign is a viable option for your specific orthodontic needs, you should schedule a consultation with an Invisalign trained dental professional where you can ask additional questions specific to your case. No matter what stage of your life, Invisalign offers a comfortable, state-of-the-art approach to beautifying and improving the quality of your smile.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

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Adults: Living with Invisalign

But am I too old to deal with the hassle of teeth straightening? You may be surprised to learn how little your routine will change with Invisalign. From your morning schedule, to meals, work-outs, and bedtime you can go about your day in much the same way as before you chose to beautify your smile with this state of the art treatment.

Always rushed in the morning? Simply pop out the Invisalign aligners, brush and floss normally, and pop them right back in place. To clean the aligners, you can either use the cleaning kit provided or brush and rinse with warm water. The process is easy and quick, allowing you to get out the door to your meeting or carpool in a flash.

Big lunch with clients or a special luncheon? No problem. With Invisalign, you remove the aligners during meals. No worries about spinach stuck in metal brackets and wires, or restrictions on the types of food you can eat. Enjoy your lunch with confidence.

But I love to play basketball at lunch, and soccer with my kids? If contact sports are a big part of your life, Invisalign won’t get in your way. You can leave the aligners in without concern that you might cut your mouth, or remove them if you normally wear a mouth guard when playing. Score another point for Invisalign!

I’m so tired by bedtime that I just want to fall into bed, won’t they take forever to clean? With Invisalign, no need to worry about the tedious cleaning and flossing between brackets and wires as with traditional braces. Since the aligners are removed for oral hygiene tasks, you can simply brush and floss your teeth normally, and then brush and rinse your aligners. It’s so quick that your pillow won’t have time to miss you.

As you can see, with Invisalign, your daily routine will experience minimal changes, but your smile will achieve maximum results!

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Replacing a Tooth with a Dental Implant

Having a hole in your smile is not only embarrassing or unsightly, it also impacts the function of your mouth. It’s much easier to eat and speak with a full set of teeth. In the past, dentures or bridges were the go-to solutions for missing teeth. Not anymore! Dental implants provide a secure and permanent way to restore your smile.

A dental implant is a titanium rod that creates an artificial tooth root in the location that yours is missing. It is surgically implanted into your jaw so that as it heals, it fuses with your jawbone and becomes a permanent part of your body. Once the area has healed, an artificial tooth is placed on top of the titanium rod to give you back a fully functional and attractive tooth.

Dental implants offer many advantages to patients:

  • Permanent
  • No impact to neighboring teeth
  • Attractive and natural
  • Feels like a real tooth
  • Secure
  • Prevents migration of teeth

Implants are installed using local anesthesia, so you will not experience pain during the procedure. Minor swelling may occur afterwards, and any pain can usually be treated with over-the-counter products. Risks are low with dental implants, and long-term results are successful in most cases. Good oral care is important in maintaining your implants, but is no different than your regular brushing and flossing routine. Regular checkups with your dentist will help ensure that your implant remains in your smile forever.

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Why Adults Should Choose Invisalign to Straighten Teeth

Let’s face it. When you talk about straightening teeth, images of middle school kids with mouths full of metal and colored bands come into your mind. As an adult, those images might give you nightmares if you imagine it for yourself. But what if you have crooked teeth or problematic bite issues? What are your teeth-straightening choices that won’t embarrass you? Invisalign is the answer and is often the right choice for adults seeking to straighten their teeth.

Invisalign is a system by which a series of clear plastic trays, or aligners, are worn for a minimum of 22 hours each day, gradually straightening your teeth without metal brackets or wires. As each tray completes its alignment, another tray is applied to continue your smile transformation.

The clear plastic aligners allow for discrete use for adults, especially in professional or interpersonal situations. It enables the wearer to function professionally without losing any kind of credibility because of negative perceptions of metal braces. You’ll eat with confidence on dates or at business dinners because the aligners are removed for eating meals. After rinsing your mouth with water, simply pop the aligner back in and allow your smile to straighten.

You’ll also take out the aligners each time you brush your teeth. This enables you to thoroughly clean your mouth and teeth and makes flossing a snap. Flossing with traditional braces takes a long time and can be difficult, even for adults. Choosing Invisalign as an adult allows you to have a healthier mouth and therefore fresher breath.

These and other benefits are possible with Invisalign. Visit your orthodontist to begin learning about all the advantages that Invisalign can offer you as an adult looking to have straighter teeth.

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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.

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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

Kids’ Ages and their Dental Care

Teaching your kids good dental habits and making sure they get dental care are some of the most important things you can do for them. Guidelines for helping your child improve their oral health depend upon their ages. Here are some oral health tips for various stages of childhood.

Infants (up to 2 years):
It’s never too early to begin oral care! Clean your baby’s gums with a damp cloth after feedings to remove bacteria. Once the first tooth erupts, use a soft toothbrush for babies to gently brush the teeth and gums. Use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste and brush at least twice a day. Around the first birthday, begin taking your child to the dentist for regular checkups.

Preschoolers (2-4 years):
This age group has the highest incidence of tooth decay, because most preschoolers love sugary foods but may not love brushing their teeth. Brush your child’s teeth yourself until they are old enough to do it well, but continue supervising the process to make sure all areas are clean. Consider flavored or character fluoride toothpastes if it encourages your child to brush. Also, limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes.

Young elementary (5-7 years):
As more and more teeth grow in, your child needs to brush carefully with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure all areas of your child’s mouth are being reached, and help your child use dental floss to clean between teeth and gums. Continue helping your child make healthy diet choices.

Older kids (over 8 years):
Most children should be able to brush on their own by age 8, but performing spot checks is a good idea to make sure they are doing a good job. Teach your child to brush after meals, especially when eating sugary or sticky foods, and emphasize the importance of flossing every day. Continue taking your child for regular dental checkups every six months, which will help create a life-long habit of good oral care.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Helping Kids Overcome the Fear of Dentists

It’s not uncommon for children to be afraid of going to the dentist. Let’s face it, many adults don’t like visiting the dentist either. However adults mainly don’t want to take the time or don’t want to hear the news that they aren’t taking good care of their teeth. It’s different with kids though, who often have a real fear of the dentist, equipment, and the unknown situation. If your child is one of those who experiences anxiety at the mention of the dentist, here are some things you can do to help ease those fears.

Use visual aids:
It is helpful for some children to watch a video or read a book that will help them become more familiar and comfortable with going to the dentist. Your local library or the internet both likely offer resources for this purpose, and bookstores have books and DVDs for purchase. These visual aids help kids know what to expect in visiting the dentist, and what their role is in the process.

Visit the office:
Take your child to the dentist’s office prior to your appointment so they can observe the office, meet the staff, and see the area and tools used for examinations. The staff may even give your child an explanation of the tools that dentists use for checkups. Your dentist wants children to feel comfortable and confident in getting dental treatment, so most offices do their best to help your child adjust.

Explain the importance:
Even though fear sometimes overtakes logic, it’s still important to explain to your child the reasons for seeing the dentist. Help them understand the benefits of checkups, and the oral health consequences that may occur by not caring for their teeth and getting regular checkups.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

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

Simple Ways to Protect Kids’ Teeth

Kids don’t always play it safe or make the best decisions when it comes to protecting their teeth. Tooth decay and mouth injuries are just a couple of things parents must worry about for their kids, whether it’s the elementary school or college years. Here are some simple ways that parents can teach their kids to protect their teeth.

Limit sports and energy drinks.
Sports and energy drinks are both heavily marketed toward today’s youth. It is true that sports drinks help replace electrolytes during exercise, but many people drink them too much or outside the exercise realm. Experts have deemed sports drinks to be unnecessary in the lunchroom or as a snack on the playground. The high acid levels in these drinks can erode tooth enamel, with energy drinks determined to cause twice as much damage. It is recommended to save sports drinks for very strenuous activities, and instead stick with water for hydration and refreshment without the negative effects.

Insist upon mouthguards.
Parents should provide mouthguards for kids in nearly any sport, even if it isn’t considered mandatory by the school or team. Mouthguards can prevent chips, fractures, or knockouts of teeth, as well as protect the soft tissues of the mouth. According to research estimates, 3 million teeth were knocked out in youth sports in 2011. Dentists suggest that athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to sustain oral injury. Inexpensive basic mouthguards or the boil-and-bite variety are available at sporting goods stores, or customized mouthguards can be purchased through your dentist.

Say no to oral piercings.
Although it applies primarily to teenagers and older, the Academy of General Dentistry advises against oral piercing for active people. Those with piercings should remove them before participating in sports, because puncture wounds can lead to infections related to increased blood flow and breathing rates during exercise. If your child is considering and oral piercing, make sure you discuss the risks and need for removal during physical activity.

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The Basics of Kids Dental Care

Many children aren’t excited about seeing the dentist, either as a result of comments others have made or the idea of an unknown experience. Dental visits are necessary for everyone though, beginning around the child’s first birthday. Here are some basics to know about your child’s dental care.

What happens at the first appointment?:
When your child sees the dentist for the first time, the dentist will look for tooth decay and determine your child’s risk for it. You will be shown how to properly clean your child’s teeth. Also, your dentist will explain the risks of habits that may affect your child’s teeth, such as thumb sucking or sugary drinks.

How often should my child see the dentist?:
You should continue to take your child to visit the dentist every six months, or in some cases more often if your child’s risks are high for tooth decay. Regular checkups can reduce your child’s risk for cavities because plaque will be removed and fluoride will be applied to strengthen the teeth. Also, potential dental issues may be caught early to avoid problems in the future.

What if further treatment is recommended?:
Even though your child might not have permanent teeth yet, dental work may be required on baby teeth too. Cavities can be painful and should be filled. Also, healthy baby teeth help your child properly chew, speak, and develop permanent teeth.

How can I help my child feel more comfortable?:
It is important to help your child’s dentist visits go smoothly so that lifelong habits of regular checkups without fear can be developed. You might consider choosing a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s oral health and is trained to help kids through the dental visit. Discuss an upcoming dentist appointment with your child, and explain what to expect during the visit. If possible, take your child by the dentist’s office before your first appointment to see what it’s like. During the checkup, remain near your child to increase feelings of security and comfort.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

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

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Getting a Stylish New Smile through Invisalign

Feeling unhappy with your smile can leave you wondering how you can obtain a stylish new look. Instead of being turned off by traditional treatments like metal braces, consider the modern approach of Invisalign clear aligners.

This revolutionary treatment involves wearing clear plastic aligners made just for you to gently move your teeth into better positions. They are practically invisible and are removable for eating and cleaning. The smooth material makes them comfortable, and they do not have any bothersome metal brackets or wires.

If you are interested in Invisalign treatment, the first step is finding an orthodontist or dentist who provides this service. Not every professional is trained in this method, so look for a certified provider of Invisalign. Once you identify your choices, select the provider who is convenient, experienced and gives you confidence in your treatment.

Your initial appointment will allow the professional to examine your mouth to make sure you are a good candidate for Invisalign. Unless you have poor oral health or severe teeth problems, most people qualify for Invisalign. The doctor will then prepare a treatment plan to guide your case and create your aligners. An impression of your teeth, X-rays, and photos will be taken to help with the process. A 3-dimensional image will be developed to help with your treatment plan, and also to allow you to see how your teeth will improve at each stage of the process and provide a timeline.

Once your aligners are ready, you’ll begin wearing them for about two weeks at a time and then switch to a different set of aligners in the series your doctor gives you. A checkup at the office is required about every six weeks to monitor your progress and get more aligners in the series as needed. The process will continue until treatment is complete, often in about one year. Then you’ll be ready to show off your brand new smile thanks to Invisalign.

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Advantages of Invisalign

Nearly two million people worldwide have discovered Invisalign, the latest technology for improving smiles. Treatment involves wearing a series of customized clear plastic aligners to gently shift teeth into better positions. This revolutionary method is appealing to patients because it eliminates some of the aspects that people dislike about traditional orthodontic solutions.

Perhaps the most obvious benefit to Invisalign is that the aligners are invisible. The clear plastic makes the trays almost undetectable in your smile. This gives patients the confidence to smile throughout treatment instead of being embarrassed by a mouth full of metal.

You can remove your Invisalign aligners at any time. Although for best success they should be worn at least 20 hours per day, they should be removed while eating or performing oral hygiene tasks. This means that there are no diet restrictions during treatment, and maintenance is simple because it involves normal brushing and flossing.

Invisalign aligners are comfortable since there are no wires or brackets that might poke or tear your skin. They also are safer than some other orthodontic options when playing sports or other activities. Invisalign aligners gently move teeth so there is typically less pressure or pain during treatment than with traditional braces.

The aligners are customized for every patient to treat your specific issues. Different sets of aligners are provided for adults, adolescents and children, plus different sets are worn during each stage of straightening. This personalized solution means that treatment is very precise, and it is even created and monitored using special computer software to increase the accuracy of treatment. Also, many patients find that the duration of treatment is less for Invisalign. The average treatment time is often about one year, as long as you wear the aligners as recommended.

With all of the advantages that Invisalign offers, it’s easy to understand why it has become such a popular choice in orthodontic treatment. If you’re interested in seeing if Invisalign is right for you, schedule a consultation with a dental professional who is trained and qualified in providing this type of treatment.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

What is a Dental Emergency?

Sometimes an injury or tooth pain can occur suddenly, and immediate dental care may be required. It’s not always obvious when a problem needs emergency care, but some dental emergencies do need to be treated quickly to avoid infections or permanent damage. Here’s a guide to situations that are usually considered dental emergencies.

  • Cracked or broken tooth – contact your dentist immediately. Rinse your mouth with water and hold a cold compress to the affected area until you can get to your dentist’s office.
  • Excessive bleeding with lip or tongue bite – clean the area and use a cold compress. Go to the emergency room if the bleeding is severe or won’t stop.
  • Jaw injury – if you think you may have broken your jaw, apply a cold pack and immediately to your dentist’s office or the emergency room.
  • Knocked out tooth –rinse the root of the lost tooth if it’s dirty. Do not scrub or removed any tissue left on the tooth. Try reinserting the tooth into its socket, but if that isn’t successful, see your dentist right away. Placing the lost tooth in milk may help preserve the tooth until you can get professional help.
  • Loose tooth – see your dentist immediately if one of your teeth is loosened. Take over-the-counter pain reliever if needed, and apply a cold compress.
  • Lost crown or filling – place the crown or filling in a safe place and contact your dentist. To decrease sensitivity, you may apply clove oil and dental cement available at your drugstore, but only if you’ve gotten approval from your dentist.
  • Severe or sudden toothache – rinse your mouth with warm water and gently floss around the tooth. Contact your dentist if your toothache persists.
  • Swelling – painful swelling in your mouth may indicate an abscess, which is an infected area of pus that can become serious. See your dentist as soon as possible, and try rinsing your mouth with saltwater in the meantime.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

What to Do in a Dental Emergency

Problems with your mouth or teeth can occur suddenly. You might be injured playing a sport, eating, or even just while doing a seemingly harmless activity. You should know what types of dental problems are considered emergencies, and what to do while waiting to see your dentist. Quick action can make a big difference in saving a tooth, or limiting damage to your mouth or face.

What is considered an emergency?

Not every dental problem must be treated as an emergency, but some do require professional treatment as soon as possible. This includes a broken or knocked out tooth, lost crowns and fillings, severe toothache, infection, and injuries to the soft tissues of your mouth.

What should I do?

See your dentist as soon as possible to treat the problem and prevent further damage. Here are some steps to take if you experience any of the following common dental emergencies:

  • Severe toothache – rinse your mouth with warm water and floss to remove trapped food.
  • Swelling – apply a cold compress on the outside of the swollen area. Do not place any painkiller or aspirin against your gums, because it can burn your gum tissue.
  • Chipped or broken tooth – if possible, save the piece that has broken off. Rinse both the piece and your mouth with warm water. If it is bleeding, hold gauze on the area. Apply a cold compress to relieve pain and reduce swelling.
  • Lost filling – apply dental cement from your drugstore to fill the hollow area until you can see your dentist. Or, try placing a bit of sugarless gum into the area.
  • Lost crown –try to replace the crown on your tooth and hold it in place temporarily with dental cement, denture adhesive, or toothpaste.
  • Abscess – infections in your mouth can become abscessed, which is a serious condition. Rinse with warm salt water and see your dentist immediately.
  • Soft tissue injuries – treat damage to your gums, cheeks, tongue and lips by rinsing with warm salty water. Hold gauze to the specific area to control bleeding, and hold a cold pack to the external area.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

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

Dental Implants: An Alternative to Dentures and Bridges

In the past, replacing lost teeth meant getting dentures or bridges. Even though these offered the best way at the time to restore your mouth’s appearance and function, technology has improved through the development of dental implants. The main drawbacks of bridges and dentures is that they do not feel or look just like real teeth, and it is difficult to chew tough foods. The advantage of implants is that they look and perform so well that you can’t even tell they are not your natural teeth.

Made from titanium, dental implants are screws that are surgically placed directly into your jawbone. They are light and malleable, but durable and strong. The titanium screws are implanted into your jawbone and given time to heal. Once healing is complete, one or multiple crowns are placed on top of the implant to recreate your missing teeth. One implant can hold more than one screw, so it is possible to attach as many crowns as needed to replace your missing teeth.

Dental implants look so much like real teeth that others won’t even be able to tell that you have any artificial teeth. You might even forget about it yourself, as they feel real as well. Since the implants are securely placed in your jaw, they are as strong as real teeth and you are able to chew and bite anything that you would normally eat. Another great thing about implants is that they don’t impact any of your adjacent healthy teeth. While bridges and dentures can sometimes damage neighboring teeth because those teeth are necessary for support, implants avoid this problem. You are left with a fully restored and comfortable smile.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

dentures

How Dentures Can Improve Your Smile

If you have been living with a mouth full of badly decayed teeth, infected gums or painful tooth infections, your dentist may have talked to you about how dentures can transform your smile. While no one wants to extract all of his or her teeth and have no remaining natural teeth, if your teeth have been a source of pain and embarrassment to you for years, having a beautiful new set of dentures could sincerely change your life.

Dentures are very natural-appearing replacements for an entire mouth of missing natural teeth and gum tissue. Dentures are removable and can be cleaned thoroughly each day, unlike examples like dental crowns or dental bridges that are permanently affixed to your mouth.

Badly decayed teeth and other oral issues can lead to chronic pain that spreads from the mouth to other areas of the face, head and neck. This pain can disrupt your life, leaving you irritable and moody, causing you to isolate yourself. Pain medications can lead you to feel groggy or off-balance, affecting your interactions with others in a negative manner. Once those teeth are removed and any underlying infection is addressed, you will be shocked at how much better you feel. The absence of this once-ongoing pain will feel as though you are free of a great burden you hadn’t realized you were carrying.

Years of poor oral health might have left you unwilling to smile broadly, or to be uncomfortable in public speaking, laughing or eating and drinking. You may avoid friends and family and you might choose not to form new relationships easily. Once your damaged teeth have been removed and you have been fitted for dentures, you will be amazed at the “new you.” The bright, perfect white smile that greets you in the mirror may look like a movie star’s smile, but in fact, it’s your smile. With your new dentures, you can feel confident as you move through life.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

The Do’s and Don’ts of Denture Care

Thanks to advances in dental technology, dentures are more natural looking and comfortable than ever before. If you are one of the many adults wearing dentures to replace missing teeth, there are several do’s and don’ts you will want to follow to ensure they maintain their fit and your oral health:

  • Do take your dentures out before going to bed, allowing your mouth tissues to rest from wearing them all day.
  • Don’t let your dentures dry out. Soak them in mild denture solution or water while you sleep.
  • Do clean them daily with either a mild detergent or special denture cleaning solution and a soft-bristled brush.
  • Don’t soak them in very hot water, as this could cause them to warp, and they will no longer fit properly.
  • Do handle them with care. Dropping your dentures or treating them with strong cleansers or harsh brushes can do permanent damage.
  • Don’t neglect your oral care for the rest of your mouth. Even patients with a full set of dentures need to take care of their gums, and if you have partial dentures you should continue to brush and floss your remaining teeth regularly.
  • Do pay attention to changes in the fit or feel of your dentures. Problems with fit can lead to irritation and discomfort, and could also be an indication of gum disease.
  • Don’t try to adjust or repair your dentures on your own. If your dentures are ill-fitting or damaged in any way, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have them evaluated.
  • Do continue to see your dentist for regular checkups to help maintain your best oral health and check your dentures for fit and function.

If you are missing all or some of your teeth, dentures can greatly improve both your appearance and the quality of your life. By following these simple guidelines, you can maintain the beauty and functionality of your dentures for many years.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office