Regaining Your Confidence through Teeth Whitening

Magazine articles often say that a smile reveals a person’s personality. If so, you don’t want to have dull, yellow, stained, dingy teeth! Instead you want a faultless set of pearly whites that communicates the best things about you, such as good hygiene and a confident air.

To transform your smile from dull to brilliant, teeth whitening is a great option. The field of dentistry has developed a whole array of products and procedures for brightening smiles. For example, patients may choose to completely hide their discolored teeth behind dental veneers. Or, tough stains can be covered up with dental bonding. If you’re looking for methods that simply bring your yellowed teeth back to a more appealing shade of white, there are several teeth whitening techniques to choose from:

  • Over-the-counter products are available from your local drugstore including whitening strips, gels, pens, toothpaste, mouth rinses and more. These require consistent use following the directions, and take longer than most other methods. Most products do provide some level of improvement, but not as dramatic as professional methods.
  • Home whitening methods are available from your dentist, such as customized trays that you fill with a special bleaching solution to wear at home for a period of time. At-home whitening typically takes several weeks to achieve desired results.
  • Professional whitening is performed at the dentist’s office using specialized tools. It is the most effective method and results are visible in only about an hour, due to the highly concentrated bleaching solution and enhancement with ultraviolet light or lasers.

Teeth whitening not only brightens your smile but also can shape your entire personality. A common benefit is increased self-confidence because you no longer feel you need to hide your teeth, but instead you tend to smile and laugh and speak more easily. Feelings of embarrassment about your teeth can affect you in many ways, but a smile that you’re proud of can improve the way you interact with others. Ask your dentist about whitening methods that can help you improve both your smile and your personality.


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Dental problems

Dealing with Common Dental Problems

If you have a dental emergency, for example a knocked out tooth or jaw injury, contact your dentist in Charlottesville right away for care. Quite often dental problems will develop out of office hours, so it’s a good idea to know how to treat them until you can visit your dentist. The following tips will help you take care of yourself or someone close:

  • Bitten Cheeks, Lips or Gums. Gently rinse the affected area using cool water. Use light but firm pressure to apply a clean piece of gauze or washcloth to stop bleeding. An ice pack can help reduce swelling.
  • Bleeding Gums. Bleeding gums are frequently caused by gum disease or through brushing your teeth too hard. Rinse your mouth with warm water and be sure to thoroughly brush and floss your teeth as this will help reduce infection and inflammation. Book an appointment with your family dentist in Charlottesville for proper diagnosis and treatment.
  • Canker Sores. It can help to wash the area with warm salt water. Avoid spicy or very hot foods until the canker sore begins to heal. If it fails to heal after two weeks, contact your dentist for advice.
  • Cracked or Broken Tooth. Carefully rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Book an appointment with your dentist to have the tooth mended, and bring any broken pieces of tooth with you to the dental office.
  • Loose Baby Tooth. Don’t attempt to pull out the tooth yourself, but instead encourage the child to gently wiggle it from side to side until it eventually comes out on its own.
  • Teething Problems. Use a chilled teething ring or a cold washcloth to help soothe your baby’s gums. Gently rubbing the gums can also relieve some of the pressure.

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Benefits of Dental Crowns and Bridges

Benefits of Dental Crowns and Bridges

If you have severely damaged, diseased or injured teeth, your dentist may recommend crown and bridge treatment. A crown is a dental restoration that fully covers a tooth and becomes the tooth’s new outer surface. A bridge is also a dental restoration that is anchored to natural teeth. However, a bridge replaces and fills the gap left by multiple missing teeth. Both crowns and bridges are made from a variety of materials and can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Unlike removable dental devices like dentures, crowns and bridges are permanently affixed to existing teeth or implants allowing them to look and function similarly to natural teeth.

In addition to restored function and appearance, crowns and bridges offer a host of additional benefits including:

  • Dental crowns protect and strengthen the natural tooth, helping you to avoid extraction.
  • Crowns are the final step in root canal treatment, protecting the tooth from bacteria that could re-infect the treated tooth.
  • Crowns and bridges restore missing teeth and support the remaining teeth.
  • Your natural bite is restored and maintained with crown and bridge treatment.
  • Placement of crowns and bridges improve your speech, smile and chewing function.
  • Adjacent teeth are prevented from shifting and tilting with crown and bridge treatment.
  • Crowns and bridges are long-lasting, predictable and durable.
  • Placement of crowns and bridges is quick and can usually be completed in as little as two appointments.
  • Alternatives to crown and bridgework, like dental implants, are usually more invasive requiring surgery and possibly bone grafting to place the implant.

Consult with your dentist to find out more about the advantages of crowns and bridges and how they can help to restore your healthy smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

dental office

Oral Health Advice

Why wait until you have a toothache, bleeding gums, bad breath, or other problems to decide it’s time to start focusing on your oral health? Your mouth and your whole body can benefit from maintaining good oral health. Here is some simple advice that will help you along the path to a healthy smile.

Brushing and flossing
Tooth decay and gum disease are both preventable with proper brushing and flossing. Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, using a circular motion. It’s best to brush after every meal, but twice a day should be the minimum. Gently floss your teeth daily to remove food particles and bacteria between your teeth.

Eating right
Focusing on eating foods from each food group will aid your oral health in addition to your overall health. Not getting essential nutrients in your diet increases your risk of gum disease, and also makes it more difficult for your body to resist infection. Eat low fat dairy items, lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Look for foods low in sugar, which can lead to tooth decay. Avoid snacking too much during the day when you aren’t going to brush your teeth afterwards, and drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Seeing your dentist
Visit your dentist at least twice a year for checkups. During these appointments, your dentist will look for problems and professionally clean your teeth. Delays in treatment of some conditions can cause them to worsen to the point that treatment may be more painful, difficult, or costly. Your dentist will help you keep your teeth and gums healthy so that you can keep smiling as long as possible.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

smoking and teeth

Quit Smoking to Save your Smile

A number of serious health problems like cancer are linked to smoking, but your oral health is also at risk from using tobacco. Your teeth can be severely stained, turning them yellow or brown, and your lips can become darker too. Smokers have a higher risk of tooth decay, and bad breath is nearly inevitable. The negative outcomes of smoking continue to worsen the longer you keep doing it, so it’s highly advisable to kick the habit. However, as most smokers can attest, giving it up is not easy. Here are some tips that may help you quit smoking.

Make a list
Create a list of the reasons you’d like to quit smoking, and look at it often to remind you of your goals and the benefits you’ll achieve. These may include things like improving your overall health, restoring your smile, making loved ones proud of you, and even saving money.

Choose a date
Select a date on the calendar to stop, and stick to it. Having a concrete target can help you focus on the challenge ahead.

Ask for help
The support and encouragement from others can be a huge part of quitting smoking. Tell your family and friends about your goal, and allow them to play a part in accomplishing it.

Occupy your mouth
Sucking on sugarless candy or mints can keep your mouth busy, so you’ll be less inclined to put a cigarette in it. Chewing sugar-free gum is another great remedy for the urge to light up.

Keep busy
Try to find things to occupy your time and mind so that you aren’t constantly thinking about smoking. Take up a new hobby that involves both your mind and your hands so that you are busy with other, more beneficial, activities than puffing on a cigarette.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Benefits of Hybrid Dentures

Have you lost all or most of your teeth due to damage, disease or decay and don’t find traditional removable dentures an attractive option? Implant-supported hybrid dentures are an alternative to traditional dentures that provide a secure and stable prosthetic replacement for missing teeth by combining the benefits of a fixed replacement with the advantages of a removable denture. Hybrid dentures are an especially viable option for patients who have lost a large amount of jawbone due to missing teeth. Some of the benefits of hybrid dentures include:

  • Hybrid dentures save your natural roots and preserves bone while reducing bone resorption and deterioration.
  • Hybrid dentures help to control facial contour changes caused by missing teeth.
  • Hybrid dentures function more naturally, allowing you to chew food better and speak more clearly.
  • With hybrid dentures, there is no need for messy denture creams and adhesives, eliminating much of the embarrassment associated with loose dentures.
  • Hybrid dentures eliminate the slippage, clacking and loss of taste associated with traditional dentures.

If you would like fixed teeth to replace teeth that you have lost but are not ready or a candidate for multiple individual implants for each missing tooth, hybrid dentures could be your solution. Hybrid dentures require only a few dental implants to secure the new teeth in place, allowing for quicker recovery time and increased comfort.

If you are seeking an alternative to traditional dentures to replace your missing teeth, talk with your dental professional to determine if you are a good candidate for hybrid dentures. With hybrid dentures, you can successfully restore the look, feel, and function of your natural teeth.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Keeping Your Smile Makeover Fresh and Fabulous

You finally have the smile of your dreams, so you want to make sure you take proper care of your bright new smile to keep it looking as fantastic as it makes you feel. Your cosmetic dental treatments and restorations can continue to look their best for many years with just a few dental health care tips and tricks:

  • Use a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste to avoid scratching and dulling the surface of your restorations. Just as you would with regular oral care, brush and floss two to three times per day immediately after meals, if possible.
  • Avoid mouthwashes that contain alcohol which can damage fillings and deteriorate the bond between crowns and veneers.
  • Limit between meal snacks and foods that are high in sugar that can promote decay and the development of cavities.
  • Refrain from eating and drinking foods and beverages such as tea, wine, coffee, and berries that are notorious for staining the surface of teeth.
  • Avoid chewing or biting on hard objects such as fingernails, pens or bottle caps.
  • Wear a mouth guard when playing contact or combat sports.
  • If you grind your teeth while sleeping, wear a night guard to avoid damage to your teeth or restorations.
  • Maintain a regular schedule of bi-annual dental checkups and cleanings.

Although they will eventually need to be repeated or replaced, many cosmetic treatments and restorations can last as long as ten to fifteen years. With excellent care and attention, you can extend the life of your smile makeover and keep it looking fresh and fabulous for years. Take the time to take care of your smile, and it will reward you with years of beautiful smiles in return.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

dentures

Problems with your Dentures

If you have chosen dentures to restore the function and appearance of your mouth, you certainly want them to do their job. Typically, if fitted correctly and you follow the instructions for use and care, dentures are a good solution. However, it’s possible for problems to arise so it’s important to recognize issues and how to handle them.

One key thing about dentures is that they must fit properly. If not, problems like gum irritation, difficulty eating and speaking, mouth infections, and denture movement may occur. Also, if you don’t keep your mouth clean and healthy, problems will likely appear.

If you experience any issues with your mouth after getting dentures, see your dentist right away. It’s possible that over time, your bones and gums can change and alter the fit of your dentures. When this happens, your dentist must determine if modification, adjustment, or replacement is needed. Never try to adjust your dentures yourself.

Here are some things you can do at home to keep your dentures in good condition:

  • Handle them carefully. When holding your dentures, place a towel on the counter or stand over a water-filled sink. This will protect them if you drop them.
  • Keep dentures out of reach of children and pets.
  • Do not sleep with your dentures in your mouth.
  • Clean them daily according to your dentist’s instructions. This includes soaking them overnight in a denture cleanser, cleaning them well each morning before wearing them, and cleaning your mouth carefully before inserting the dentures. Use a soft brush or one designed for dentures, plain soap or cleanser recommended by your dentist, and warm water. Never use bleach or household cleansers.
  • Store your dentures in warm water or denture cleaning solution. Do not use hot water, which can cause them to lose their shape.
  • Do not use toothpicks because they can damage dentures.

Wearing dentures may be tricky at first, and it may take some time to grow accustomed to them. However, if you care for them well and see your dentist for routine checkups, you can avoid most of the problems that denture-wearers sometimes encounter.

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

Cosmetic dentist in Charlottesville

Reasons that Dental Veneers Are a Popular Choice

Broken, chipped, stained, or crooked teeth can ruin an otherwise nice smile. Minor flaws like these can be easily corrected with dental veneers. They are a popular way to whiten, straighten, and improve smiles to get long-lasting and natural-looking results. Here are some reasons that veneers are chosen by many people wanting to change their look.

Better smile
Veneers are thin porcelain shells customized to fit securely onto the front surfaces of your teeth. They hide problems and fit in beautifully with the rest of your features. Your smile will be made brand new.

No more stains
Yellow or stained teeth can really make a smile look unattractive. Some discolorations are very hard to get rid of, even with professional cleanings or whitening. Veneers instantly brighten your smile to the shade of your choice, and resist stains so that you no longer have to worry about the foods and drinks you consume.

Straighter teeth
If your teeth alignment problems aren’t major and you don’t want to go to the hassles or expense of braces, veneers may be a solution. They go right over crooked teeth to create a straight smile.

Quick results
Veneers can be provided in just a couple of office visits. You will have a short time between getting temporary and permanent veneers attached, but once they are in you’ll immediately have an improved smile.

Long lasting
Veneers can last a lifetime if you take proper care of them. Regular brushing, flossing, and checkups will help ensure a sparkling smile for many years to come.

Few risks
Side effects with veneers are nearly non-existent. There may be some initial discomfort, but it subsides quickly and can be treated with over-the-counter medications. The only thing to remember is that veneers are permanent. Since a small amount of tooth enamel is removed to accommodate the veneers, you’ll have them forever or will need to get replacements at some point.

Cosmetic dentist in Charlottesville

 

General Dentistry and You

General Dentistry and You

The fact is that the health care provider most people should see the most is their general dentist. Because this branch of healthcare is uniquely targeted at preventing disease and promoting good hygiene, general dentistry can help you avoid oral concerns and maintain a healthy and attractive smile.

General dentists are the most common providers for dental treatment for patients of all ages. Routine dental visits involve examinations, sometimes diagnostic tests, professional cleanings, and discussions about concerns. If your checkup reveals issues that require further treatment, most general dentists perform required procedures. However, your general dentist may refer you to a specialist for complex treatments.

What does a general dentist do? Differing from specialists who focus on a certain area of oral care, general dentists offer a wide variety of services.

  • Preventive services – The goal of preventive dentistry is to stop disease before it has a chance to progress. Regular exams, diagnostic images, and professional cleanings are part of prevention. Proper oral hygiene techniques will also be discussed.
  • Restorative services – Procedures for dental problems falls into this category, including fillings, crowns, gum disease remedies, dentures and more. Some general dentists also offer specialized treatments like root canal therapy and dental implants.
  • Overall oral health services – Some dental problems are reflected in overall health concerns. Diabetes, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy complications and other problems may arise. General dentists can identify issues like these and offer treatment or direct you to the right specialist.
  • Cosmetic services – Many general dentists offer cosmetic treatments such as dental veneers, teeth whitening, bonding, orthodontics and more.

When should you visit your general dentist? Experts recommend getting checkups every six months, or more often if you have an issue that should be addressed like a toothache or gum bleeding. Cosmetic appointments can be made at any time. The main thing is seeing your general dentist regularly so you can benefit from preventive care.

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

When Are Removable Prosthodontics Recommended?

If your teeth are badly damaged from decay or facial trauma, or if you have several missing teeth, your dentist may recommend removable prosthodontics to solve your dental problems. Periodontitis (advanced gum disease), bone loss or serious tooth decay can leave you as a poor candidate for restorative options such as dental crowns, dental bridges or dental implants. Removable prosthodontics can restore your smile so that it looks and functions as it should and can restore your confidence as you eat, smile and laugh.

Just hearing the word “dentures” might give you pause, reminding you of your older relatives, but achievements in dental restorative therapies enable your dentist to craft a removable prosthodontic for you that will not only look, but will feel like your natural smile.

Removable prosthodontics include:

  • Partial dentures correct gaps when only a few of your natural teeth are missing. A partial denture may be the best choice if your remaining teeth aren’t strong enough to support a dental bridge.
  • Overdentures provide restorations when one or more of your natural teeth are in place in an arch – typically two teeth for a bottom overdenture and four teeth for an upper overdenture.
  • Immediate dentures are put in place following an extraction, allowing the bone and gums to recover following an extraction procedure. They prevent the adjacent teeth from collapsing upon the empty space and affecting your bite.
  • Complete dentures are for edentulous patients (patients with no teeth at all) and are designed to replace all of the teeth in one or both arches of your mouth, restoring your smile and your ability to eat and speak clearly.

Because of advancements in materials and techniques, many dentures can be mistaken for natural teeth. Only you – and your prosthodontist – will know your secret. Talk to your prosthodontist today to see what removable prosthodontics can do for you. Don’t wait to begin enjoying your life with your new, healthy smile.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

dental implants

Choosing a Professional for Your Dental Implants in Charlottesville

Restoring missing teeth with dental implants is the latest and greatest technique to give you your smile back. It offers many benefits such as comfort, aesthetics, security, and easy maintenance. If you are missing any teeth and would like to learn more about getting dental implants, you need to find a qualified and experienced dental professional for the job. Here are some tips on doing so.

Training
Dentists or oral surgeons who perform dental implants should have training specifically in the procedure. Look for a professional with credentials like a dentistry degree from a reputable university, participation in continuing education programs, and membership in dental organizations.

Reviews
Look online for reviews of the dentist and practice, and be sure to ask friends and family for recommendations. Word of mouth is often the best way to find a healthcare professional.

Examples of work
Ask to see before-and-after pictures of dental implants performed by the dentist. Request to see cases similar to yours.

Technology
A quality dental office should have the latest advancements in technology and equipment so that you will receive the most up-to-date care. Look for equipment like digital X-rays, chair side screens, and dental lasers. Also inquire about sedation or anesthesia methods available in the office.

Convenience
The location of the office should factor into your decision as you choose a professional to perform your dental implant procedure, as well as the office hours and staff. You should feel confident in the care you’ll receive, and feel comfortable asking questions and receiving treatment. Implant treatment requires multiple visits, so choose a dentist who you don’t mind establishing a relationship with over time.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Debunking the Myths about Root Canal Treatment

One of the most misunderstood procedures in dentistry is root canal treatment. If your dentist recommends this procedure, you might be quick to turn to the internet or other sources to learn about it. Unfortunately there is a lot of unreliable information out there, which can scare you away from needed treatment.

There are some common myths that circulate about root canal therapy. Instead of avoiding treatment, learn the truth about this procedure that may be the most effective way to save a damaged tooth.

Myth: Root canal treatment is very painful.

Truth: This procedure often serves to relieve pain instead of creating it. With the anesthetics and sedation dentistry available today, in most cases the procedure feels like simply getting a filling.

Myth: You don’t need root canal treatment unless you are experiencing severe tooth pain.

Fact: Pain is not always present when root canal therapy is advised by your dentist. A tooth that has died may no longer trigger pain, but treatment is necessary to eliminate infection and save the tooth. Diagnostic tests are available to help your dentist diagnose tooth problems even when pain is not present.

Myth: The benefits of root canal treatment are short-lived.

Fact: This treatment provides durable and long-lasting results, potentially for a lifetime. Since the tooth is usually topped with a crown, it can be protected indefinitely.

Myth: Root canal treatment causes illnesses.

Fact: This is one of the most common misconceptions you might run across on the internet. Based on very old research that has been proven to be wrong, the myth still exists that root canal therapy might cause various diseases. Instead, root canal treatment is safe and only improves your oral and overall health.

Myth: Tooth extraction is an adequate alternative to root canal therapy.

Fact: Dentists agree that saving your natural tooth is almost always preferred over a traumatic procedure like tooth extraction. The benefits of keeping your restored real tooth are better than having a hole in your smile or requiring tooth replacement solutions.


We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

How a Dental Crown or Bridge Can Improve Your Smile

How a Dental Crown or Bridge Can Improve Your Smile

Severely damaged, injured or diseased teeth can lead to not only cosmetic problems with your smile, but also functional ones. Your dentist may recommend dental crowns or dental bridges to treat your dental issues.

Dental crowns are a restorative dental therapy that covers the affected tooth completely, serving as the new outer surface of the tooth. A dental crown maintains the natural roots of a tooth and can prevent extraction. A dental bridge fills the gap left by one or more missing teeth and is affixed to bordering teeth with an anchoring crown.

Both dental crowns and dental bridges are made from a variety of materials that can be designed to match the color of your surrounding natural teeth. As opposed to removable prosthodontics such as full or partial dentures, dental crowns and bridges are permanently bonded to existing teeth or dental implants, allowing them to function and appear as natural teeth.

Dental crowns and bridges have a number of advantages and benefits, such as:

  • Dental crowns protect the natural tooth after a root canal therapy, helping to prevent bacteria re-infecting the tooth that could lead to extraction.
  • Dental bridges restore gapped or missing teeth, providing support to the surrounding teeth, preventing them from shifting in to fill the empty space and affecting your speech, bite and smile.
  • Your dentist can typically place dental crowns and bridges in as few as two appointments.
  • Dental crowns and bridges are both long-lasting, durable therapies, designed to protect your natural tooth for years to come.
  • Dental crowns prevent bone loss by preserving the natural tooth roots, thereby stimulating the jawbone, preventing resorption, or shrinkage, of the bone following extraction.

If you have questions about what a dental crown or bridge can do to improve the form and function of your smile, talk to your dental professional today. You can restore your healthy smile and preserve it for years to come with a dental crown or dental bridge treatment.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Cosmetic dentist in Charlottesville

Get Rid of the Guilt – You Deserve a Smile Makeover!

Have you always disliked your smile? Did childhood school pictures find you smiling closed-lipped and tense? Did you spend your teens fearful of making personal connections? As you aged, did you find yourself facing more and more mounting oral difficulties? Dental problems are difficult enough to deal with when it’s just one or two cavities or a problem remembering to floss, but when you’re dealing with a lifetime of bad oral health, it can become so much more.

Often, those who need the most professional oral care are those who avoid it completely. Many have had negative experiences in the dental chair as children, or are fearful of the pain or process that is necessary to makeover a smile that’s been unattractive and unhealthy for most of the patient’s life. These patients sometimes avoid professional care because of shame and embarrassment, fearful that the dentist is going to judge them.

Smiles go bad for many, many reasons, some of which are completely out of the patient’s control. Poor nutrition growing up because of a lack of money or parental education can be a large factor. Some medicines, if taken during childhood, can cause adult teeth to degrade, and there are many genetic factors that can be passed on to a child that leads to extremely poor quality teeth. If this sounds like you, don’t let shame in your situation keep you from getting the smile you always wanted.

Find a skilled cosmetic dentist in Charlottesville and schedule a consultation. Nothing has to be done at this first meeting, it’s just talking to the dentist. If that dentist isn’t helpful and supportive, get up and walk out and find yourself another dentist. The majority of cosmetic dentists understand the backgrounds that can lead to poor oral care. It can have nothing to do with how much you brush or floss, but everything to do with your history.

You deserve to have the smile you’ve dreamed of all your life. Don’t let fear or shame hold you back. Work with your cosmetic dentist to make a plan, and take the first steps you need to completely makeover your smile!

Considerations for a Smile Makeover

The process of improving your appearance through oral changes is called a smile makeover. A wide variety of cosmetic procedures can be performed so that you’ll be happier and more confident about your smile. There are many factors that a cosmetic dentist considers when helping you decide upon your ideal smile. Since it is a completely customized process, your dentist will ask your goals and provide recommendations based on your personal characteristics.

Alignment and spacing

Gapped, crooked, or overcrowded teeth can be aligned and straightened, often through dental veneers or orthodontics. Options for braces have expanded to include less visible approaches such as Invisalign.

Tooth color

Discolored teeth can be the sign of age or habits like consuming dark foods or smoking. Bright, white teeth suggest a more youthful look that can improve your whole appearance. This can be achieved in a smile makeover through professional teeth whitening or dental veneers. Your cosmetic dentist will help you choose the shade that best complements the color and tone of your face and hair, helping you achieve the right balance. You might also choose to have silver fillings replaced with tooth-colored composite so that they are no longer noticeable in your smile.

Tooth length

Aging can cause your teeth to wear down and become shorter, giving you a gummy smile that tends to make you look older than you are. A smile makeover can offer lengthening and reshaping of your teeth through bonding or veneers. Another option is having your gum line modified with laser dentistry so that your teeth appear longer. Altering the length of your teeth to accent your face more appropriately can be a big improvement to your features.

Missing teeth

Gaps in your smile due to missing teeth affects the appearance and function of your mouth, also creating greater risk for tooth decay and tooth shifting. Some smile makeover choices for restoring missing teeth are dental implants, partial dentures, or bridges.

Facial features

The entire shape and look of your face can be improved with certain smile makeover techniques. Examples are oral maxillofacial surgery or orthodontics. Your cosmetic dentist can make suggestions and sometimes even create computer images to show you possible outcomes.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Professional Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is the most popular cosmetic procedure that dentists perform today. It can have a dramatic effect on your smile at a smaller cost than other cosmetic procedures. You can whiten your teeth yourself using at-home techniques, but often professional whitening with your dentist’s help achieves the fastest and most effective results. Let’s examine the whitening options provided by most dentists to help you evaluate what might work for you.

Whitening at your dentist’s office:
The dentist applies a whitening product to your teeth containing higher percentages of hydrogen peroxide than what is available in at-home kits. Heat or light may be used also. This technique produces quick, uniform results, but it does sometimes cause temporary gum irritation or tooth sensitivity. This method is expensive, ranging between $500 to $1,200.

Home whitening supervised by your dentist:
A customized mouthpiece will be created by your dentist for you to fill at home with whitening gel, which contains a lower strength of hydrogen peroxide then the in-office gel. You wear the mouthpiece at home for several hours each day, and your dentist supervises the whitening with regular checkups. This method is convenient and less expensive at $300 to $500, but it produces slower results than in-office methods.

Repeating the process:
Whichever type of teeth whitening technique you might choose, remember that it isn’t a permanent repair to your teeth. You will need to repeat the process every year or two. The length of time between treatments will increase if you don’t smoke and avoid foods that are known to stain your teeth, such as coffee and red wine.


If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Dental Implants: Why They Are Better

Statistics show that losing natural teeth is still a common occurrence in oral health today. You might be surprised to know that it is estimated that 70% of Americans have lost at least one tooth by middle age. That’s why dentistry has worked hard to come up with an ideal solution as a permanent, comfortable, and attractive way to restore smiles. Dental implants are the answer.

Getting a dental implant consists of having a metal rod, usually made of titanium, surgically inserted into the jaw bone. Once the area has healed from surgery, a crown is typically placed on top to complete the restoration. This procedure results in a very secure and comfortable new tooth that shouldn’t cause problems again.

There’s a long history of other types of tooth replacement options, such as dentures and bridges. Why are dental implants considered to be the preferred choice today?

Appearance – the crown that is placed on top of an implant is aesthetically pleasing, giving you a natural smile.
Tooth preparation – no preparation or reduction to neighboring teeth is necessary with dental implants. The natural tooth structure of existing teeth is preserved.
Comfort – similar to your natural teeth, implants go into your jaw bone. This offers the same comfort and security as real teeth.
Durability – implants are made to last forever. With good care, you can expect them to last the rest of your life.
Diet – there are no dietary restrictions with implants. With dentures and bridges, you might miss out on some foods that could loosen or break your appliance. Implants allow you to eat whatever you’d like.
Maintenance – cleaning implants is the same as cleaning natural teeth. Brushing and flossing is performed normally, and no soaking or external care of appliances is required because the restoration is permanently installed in your mouth.

If you’re looking for a long-term and durable solution for missing teeth, ask your dentist about implants. The success rate is high, and the convenience and comfort can rarely be beaten by other alternatives.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Emergency Dental Care

Having an accident that involves your teeth can be one of the scariest types of trauma. It’s not only painful, but brings to mind images of a broken or gapped smile. Unfortunately, reports suggest that over half a million people seek treatment in the emergency room each year for dental related issues. Many emergency rooms are not equipped or trained to handle dental problems, so sometimes all you can do is wait to see your dentist.

Since it’s impossible to know exactly when an accident will happen, it’s a good idea to be prepared with items helpful in a dental emergency. Suggested items to include in a dental emergency kit are gauze, Q-tips, salt packets, a small container, over-the-counter pain medication, and sugarless gum. Also include the phone number for your dentist.

If your mouth is damaged in an accident, first rinse your mouth with warm salt water. Follow the directions on the label to take pain medication if necessary. If inner parts of your tooth like the nerves or dentin have been damaged, try covering the area with sugarless gum to protect it until you can get professional treatment.

Sometimes oral injuries can be handled at home until your dentist is available, but more serious situations require seeking care immediately from an emergency dental facility. Some symptoms that usually suggest immediate treatment include facial swelling that is accompanied by a toothache, or uncontrollable bleeding.

If your tooth is knocked out, find it and rinse it with water. Gently try to replace it in the socket. If it can’t be reinserted, place it in a small container with milk or slightly salty water. Ideally, you need to see your dentist within the first couple of hours in order to restore a dislodged tooth.

Following this advice for emergency dental care will help you handle the situation more calmly and know what to do if it happens to you or someone you are with.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Dental office checkup

Signs You Need to Schedule a Dental Visit

As a rule, healthy adults should plan on dental checkups every six months. These appointments allow the dentist to examine your mouth and monitor your oral health status. Sometimes, you may need to make an extra trip to the dentist. Contact your provider right away if you notice any of the following:

Bleeding gums
Though most people wouldn’t ignore a cut on their arms or legs, many individuals disregard pink in the sink as no big deal. Often, bleeding gums are an initial indication of gum disease. If diagnosed early, long-term damage from gum disease can be avoided. Without treatment, you can face pain, gum recession and eventually tooth loss.

Tooth pain

Enamel erosion, cavities, and TMJ dysfunction can all contribute to tooth pain, so let your dentist perform an exam to determine if you have an underlying issue. No matter the cause, you shouldn’t suffer needlessly, so don’t put off visiting the dentist.

Changes in your mouth

Oral cancer kills more people than cervical, kidney, testicular, brain, or liver cancer. Because it is often found in later stages, 43 percent of patients will die within five years. If you notice a sore that won’t heal, white patches, or swollen areas in your mouth, call your dentist for an appointment.

Persistent bad breath
While everyone experiences days where they need a breath mint, chronic halitosis often signifies a deeper issue. Dry mouth, certain medications, gum disease, and poor dental hygiene can all cause persistent bad breath. Your dentist can help identify the cause of halitosis and offer solutions to address the problem.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

 

What you Need to Know about Permanent Dentures

Dentures have been around a long time as a way to restore smiles plagued by missing teeth. They provide a solution for people who want to smile, talk, and eat as normally as possible. Unfortunately, removable dentures aren’t without issues. They can become loose or shift, making it uncomfortable to eat and talk. Messy denture adhesives are bothersome and ineffective for some patients. Therefore, advancements in dental technology have developed the option of permanent dentures.

What are permanent dentures?

Permanent, or fixed, dentures are suitable for patients missing one, two, or more teeth. The appliance is made up of a row of crowns or artificial teeth, which are connected together and the framework is supported by dental implants. The implants act like natural tooth roots, and the permanent dentures create a bite similar to natural teeth.

What are the benefits?

Fixed dentures definitely offers some advantages to removable ones. The need for messy adhesives is eliminated, and you don’t have to worry about loose or ill-fitting dentures affecting you. The force of your bite is also improved, so you can eat all kinds of foods without concern. Because a permanent upper denture doesn’t cover the roof of your mouth, your ability to taste and enjoy food is not sacrificed. This kind of denture stays in place for normal oral hygiene, so there are no special cleaning or soaking requirements. If properly maintained, permanent dentures can last for many years or even a lifetime.

Are there any disadvantages?

Permanent dentures are susceptible to oral problems like infection or inflammation because they are not removable. Also, it is possible that the crowns may require replacement in 10 to 15 years.

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Warning Signs Dentures May be in Your Future

You may expect you won’t need dentures because you take good care of your teeth. However, dentures are more prevalent than you may think. The number of adults in the United States needing dentures is expected to increase from 33 million in 1991 to 37 million in 2020. If you are wondering how likely you are to keep your teeth, here are some warning signs that may indicate dentures are in your future.

  • You don’t visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups and routine cleaning. Gum disease and tooth decay are the leading causes of tooth loss; therefore, it is critical to be proactive with dental care to prevent problems that could cause the need for extraction.
  • You have gums that are swollen, tender, red, or bleeding which are indications of periodontal disease. Left untreated, gum disease is the primary cause of adult tooth loss.
  • Your teeth have become loose, are shifting, or have developed wider gaps between them that can indicate bone loss from gum disease.
  • You have severe tooth pain that could be a sign that decay has progressed and is attacking the nerve at the center of the tooth. Once tooth decay has advanced, it is more likely your tooth will need to be removed.
  • You are already missing several of your teeth. If you are missing more than two teeth, it is important to replace them with some sort of prosthesis to keep pressure off of your remaining teeth.
  • It is difficult for you to eat hard candy or chewy foods, which may indicate a cracked tooth, cavities, or gum disease.
  • If you suffer from recurring stomach aches or indigestion, it may be a sign of dental problems. When you can’t chew properly, you end up swallowing larger pieces of food which is hard on your digestion.

Tooth loss does not happen overnight. With proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, you may be able to avoid or delay the need for dentures in your future.

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

dental implants dentist

Complete Your Smile with Dental Implants

Missing teeth can put a damper on your active lifestyle. You may feel self-conscious about your appearance, experience limitations in diet, or have difficulty speaking. Without a full set of teeth, you risk gum degeneration, bone loss, and other oral health problems. Designed to mimic the look and feel of natural teeth, dental implants can rejuvenate your smile.

What is a dental implant?
A small titanium post that serves as an artificial tooth root, a dental implant is surgically positioned into your gums. Your dentist will place a permanent crown on each implant, which completes the replacement tooth. Implants can be used for one or more missing teeth.

Am I a candidate for dental implants?
In general, anyone with a missing tooth should consider dental implants. The key to successful implant placement is good oral health and sufficient bone structure to support the posts. If you don’t have adequate bone levels, your dentist may recommend a bone graft to correct that situation.

How long does the procedure take?
Receiving dental implants is a two-step process. During the first visit, a trained specialist will surgically implant the posts into your jawbone. Then, you will need to wait three to six months for healing and integration with the jawbone. Once this occurs, your dentist will place the permanent crowns on the implants, giving you a full smile.

How do I care for my implants?
Just like your natural teeth, your implants require daily care. Brush often and floss frequently. Regular dental checkups are also important, so schedule visits at least twice a year.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Dental cleaning

Breaking Down Dental Visits

If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you may not recall the process for a regular checkup. These visits are an important part of your oral health care. If you are in good dental health, your dentist will probably suggest twice-yearly visits. Individuals with gum disease or other oral health concerns may need to schedule more frequent appointments. Feel free to ask your dentist questions or raise concerns at the visit.

Your dental checkup will usually include:

• Full Health History
Because oral health affects your overall wellness, your dentist will want to have a complete picture of your whole situation. A member of the dental team will ask you questions and gather relevant details about your present status. Make sure to provide helpful information like current medications and any pressing issues.

• X-Rays
Typically, your dentist will take X-rays about once a year. These images provide a clear view of your teeth and gums. Often, X-rays will identify problems, like impacted teeth, cysts, abscesses, or decay between teeth that might otherwise go undiagnosed.

• Complete Evaluation
During your checkup, the dentist will perform a periodontal assessment, bite analysis, and tooth-by-tooth inspection. If the dentist discovers a problem, your provider will make treatment recommendations to address the issue and restore your oral health.

• Thorough Cleaning
If everything checks out, the hygienist will typically remove plaque and tartar build-up from your teeth. At this time, the hygienist may also polish and floss teeth to refresh your smile.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

 

Reasons General Dentistry is Important

Reasons General Dentistry is Important

It’s easy to put off a trip to the dentist if you’re not experiencing any pain or noticeable issues. Maybe it’s inconvenient in your busy schedule, maybe you don’t want to spend the money, or maybe you experience anxiety about dental visits. None of these are good enough reasons to forego proper dental care so that you ensure a healthy mouth and attractive smile.

Having regular checkups with your general dentist is important for a variety of reasons. Probably the most beneficial reason is to catch problems early, before they have time to become serious and negatively impact your oral health. Cavities and gum disease are both examples of issues that can wreak havoc in your mouth if left untreated, but if handled quickly they may disappear with as little as a fluoride treatment or change in your hygiene routine. Avoiding treatments like fillings, crowns, or root canals – not to mention the associated costs to your wallet and your schedule – are great reasons to see your dentist every six months!

Another benefit of regular checkups is a brighter, more beautiful smile. Even the best dental hygiene at home can’t reach every bit of plaque or tartar that accumulates on your teeth. Professional cleanings eliminate buildup to give you a more appealing smile, as well as removing harmful and stinky bacteria from your mouth.

Your overall health also reaps the rewards of consistent dental care. Oral problems can impact your general health through things like introducing dangerous bacteria into your body that can spread and cause various health risks. Also, your dentist may notice signs of health issues you might not realize, such as cancers or diseases or nutritional deficiencies.

Make your smile a priority and visit your general dentist regularly. Don’t let excuses get in the way of receiving the rewards dentistry has to offer.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today