smile makeover dentist

Treat Yourself to a New Smile

The changing seasons can prompt many people to want to change their appearance, perhaps through treating themselves to a brand-new smile. Your dentist in Charlottesville can provide a number of different cosmetic dentistry and restorative treatments to help provide a beautifully healthy and natural looking smile.

Cosmetic and Restorative Options
Modern dentistry techniques are extremely sophisticated and your dentist can do a lot to improve your smile. Possible options include porcelain veneers that cover the front surfaces of your teeth, crowns to restore teeth damaged by tooth decay or trauma, dental bonding that helps improve the shape of the tooth in just one easy visit, and enamel reshaping to correct minor issues such as slightly overlapping teeth. Dental implants can be used to replace missing teeth, transforming a gappy smile into something far more pleasing.

Teeth Whitening
Professional teeth whitening can quickly brighten up your smile, creating a youthful and healthy appearance. Your dentist in Charlottesville can offer you in-office whitening that will lift the shade of your teeth in just an hour. If you prefer, you can have custom made whitening trays to use at home. Your dentist will provide you with the correct strength of whitening gel to safely bleach your teeth.

Teeth Straightening
It’s never too late to straighten your teeth and adult orthodontics is increasingly popular. Ask your dentist about Invisalign clear braces that will discreetly straighten your smile without really affecting day-to-day activities.

Checkups and Professional Cleanings
Your first step should be to schedule an appointment for a checkup and professional cleaning. Your dentist will need to examine your mouth to make sure your teeth and gums are healthy before carrying out any cosmetic dentistry treatments. They’ll discuss the type of options that might help you, and can compile a treatment plan to improve your smile. A professional cleaning removes tartar buildup and gives your smile an added sparkle. It’s a great treatment for keeping teeth and gums healthy.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Preventive Dentistry: Teach your Kids Early

It is vital for parents to understand not to wait until an oral health problem arises to begin dental treatment for their kids. Parents should be aware that in order for children to have the best chance for healthy teeth and gums throughout life, preventive dentistry is one of the keys.

Good oral care should begin when your child is an infant. As soon as babies start drinking milk, sugars can attack the gums even though there aren’t any teeth yet. To avoid damage, clean your child’s gums by gently rubbing them with a damp soft cloth. Around age one, schedule your child’s first appointment with the dentist. The examination will include looking for any issues, teaching home care, and allowing your child to become accustomed to a dentist setting.

As you child grows, dentists and parents can partner together to teach preventive dentistry habits to children. Dentists can show parents the ideal ways to guide children in proper brushing and flossing, and parents can ensure that the methods are carried out consistently at home. You and your dentist may decide together as your child grows whether to opt for dental sealants to help protect your child’s teeth from potential decay and cavities.

Another aspect of good oral health that parents should be involved in is providing nutritious foods for their children. Your dentist can educate your family on the best foods for your teeth and gums, as well as the foods and drinks to avoid. Some items are known to contribute to tooth decay, gum disease, and staining. Teaching your child to make healthy diet choices will promote a healthy mouth.

Preventative dentistry both at home and in your dentist’s office will make your child feel confident about oral care and become comfortable with the dentist. If the time comes for more extensive services, your child will likely trust the dentist and have less apprehension about the dental visit. Good preventive care, however, helps avoid problems and your child will be less likely to encounter major problems requiring painful procedures and lots of time in the dental chair.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Dental checkup in Charlottesville

Exploring Toothpaste Options

Across drugstore and grocery aisles, toothpaste options line the shelves. Brushing plays an important part in maintaining dental hygiene. With all the choices, you may feel like it’s a tough to make a decision. Knowing the difference between whitening toothpaste and natural toothpaste can help you decide the best option for your smile.

Cavity-fighting toothpaste
When used correctly, all toothpastes ward off cavities by removing plaque from teeth. Choosing toothpaste with fluoride will protect enamel from erosion and strengthen your teeth. Children under six shouldn’t use fluoride toothpaste because they can ingest too much and end up with white spots on their teeth from overexposure to the fluoride.

Whitening toothpaste
Although these options will remove staining, whitening toothpastes don’t work as well as professional teeth whitening. For temporary results and a brighter appearance, many people swear incorporate whitening toothpaste into their hygiene routines.

Antibacterial toothpaste
Some of the newer products have an antibacterial agent called triclosan that may help protect gums from the bacterial infections that cause gum disease. Since these toothpastes haven’t been on the market that long, the jury is still out on their effectiveness.

Natural toothpaste
Found in most health food stores, all-natural toothpastes are typically fluoride-free. Often, natural toothpastes contain ingredients such as peppermint oil, myrrh, or aloe to clean teeth and freshen breath.

Toothpaste for sensitive teeth
If eating ice cream or drinking coffee causes tooth pain, toothpaste designed to minimize sensitivity might be good for you. These compounds work by desensitizing teeth and blocking the tubules that reach the nerves in your teeth.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Dental implants dentist

Improving Your Smile with Dental Implants

Losing teeth for one reason or another is not as uncommon as you might think. Injuries and severe tooth decay are only a couple of the causes for smiles to have holes in them from missing teeth. The good news is that you don’t have to go through life with an incomplete smile. Dental implants provide one solution for replacing lost teeth.

Popularity
These restorations that involve a titanium root with an artificial tooth on top have become increasingly popular. Instead of using bridges or dentures that are known to have some hassles with them, implants are a permanent and secure solution. Once the area has healed, you can go back to your normal habits without any concerns related to the implant. They look very natural, preserve neighboring teeth, improve speech, restore the mouth’s function, and help maintain your facial features.

Candidates
Good candidates for implants have strong enough jaw bones to be able to support the implant. Patients with significant bone loss may not be able to successfully maintain implants. Good oral health is helpful, as is good general health since surgery is required. Smokers and those with certain health conditions may not be recommended for dental implants.

Procedure
Once you’ve been identified as a good candidate, the first step is having the titanium rod inserted into your jaw bone. It can take up to three months for it to completely fuse with your bones. Then your dentist will make an abutment to hold the implant, and a mold will be taken of your mouth so that the crown can be created. Until it is ready, a temporary crown will be placed. Finally, your crown will be placed and adjustments will be made if needed.

Maintenance
After you implant is complete, you can resume your regular lifestyle. Your normal dental hygiene routine of brushing, flossing, and checkups should be maintained for the best results.

 

Dental implants dentist in Charlottesville

Cosmetic dentistry procedures

What are Cosmetic Dental Procedures?

Age, bad habits, and food and drink choices can all add up to be hard on our teeth. If you are unhappy with your smile and wish you could improve it, consider cosmetic dental procedures. Cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of options for restoring your smile.

Teeth whitening
One of the most popular cosmetic dental procedures, teeth whitening can either be performed at your dentist’s office or at home. Methods used by your dentist work quickly and can provide dramatic results, but many patients are very pleased with home methods as well. Home treatments may be as simple as using products you purchase at your drugstore, or your dentist can provide customized bleaching trays for home use.

Bonding
Tooth-colored resin can be applied to your teeth to correct chipped, broken, stained, or decayed teeth in a single dental visit. The resin is molded onto the surface of your damaged tooth, shaped, and then polished to match your other teeth.

Veneers
If you’re looking for a long-lasting and stain resistant solution to damaged teeth, porcelain veneers are a good choice. These thin custom shells are adhered to your teeth to cover them so that they provide a beautiful smile.

Composite fillings
A material called composite resin is used to restore decayed teeth or to reshape your teeth to improve their appearance. Composite fillings can correct minor imperfections like a chipped tooth, or it can restore a whole tooth like a molar to a fully functional tooth.

Inlays and onlays
For large cavities or cracks in your back teeth, inlays and onlays may be used instead of fillings. These tooth-colored restorations are created in a laboratory, and then adhered to your teeth so they fit perfectly.

Cosmetic dentist in Charlottesville

Make Your Big Day Special With Teeth Whitening

While life can be full of moments that are wonderful, there are days that just naturally stand out: your wedding, your graduation, a very special anniversary or birthday, or a big job interview you’ve always wanted. Many of these events are photographed, and when you look back at those photos in years to come, you naturally want to look your very best. Will you look back on your photos and wonder, could my teeth have looked better? The answer could be yes if your teeth aren’t the best and the brightest they can be.

Teeth are covered in enamel, a strong white coating on top of the internal structures of your tooth. As we age, enamel naturally wears away. Because it cannot be replaced naturally, the enamel thins, and the yellow layer of dentin beneath is exposed. This leads to smiles that are discolored and yellowed, appearing dingy and dim.

The foods we eat affect the brightness of our teeth, and some can begin to stain long-term. Beets, blueberries and blackberries can leave stains, as can tea, coffee, dark soda and red wine. Even soy sauce and balsamic vinegar can discolor your smile. If you have any crown, bridges or veneers, those structures aren’t affected by long-term stains, and can begin to stand out in unattractive contrast to your natural, darkening teeth.

Begin the process for your important day by scheduling an appointment with your dentist. Have your teeth examined and cleaned, and learn what teeth whitening procedures would best benefit your particular smile needs. Don’t wait until the last minute, as some whitening procedures take time to reach optimal effects. Some whitening methods increase the sensitivity of your teeth or surrounding gums. Planning ahead can allow your teeth some time to recover prior to your special event.

After your professional teeth whitening, you’ll be surprised at your self-confidence. Your mood will improve as you face those around you with your best and brightest smile, and everyone you meet will sense it. Love the photos you’ll be taking for years to come, and talk to your dentist today.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Rejuvenating Your Smile with Teeth Whitening

Simple pleasures like enjoying a cup of coffee or sipping red wine can stain your teeth and leave you with a yellowed smile. Instead of giving up some of your favorite pastimes, you can restore your smile with professional teeth whitening. Home whitening options are available, but to achieve the fastest and most dramatic improvements, professional whitening methods are the way to go.

Teeth whitening is a quick and safe procedure, making it the most popular cosmetic dental procedure today. Some patients even have it done during their lunch break and go right back to work. It’s that easy! The process typically involves protecting your gums from becoming sensitive during treatment, and then applying a whitening solution to your teeth. The solution stays in place for a specific length of time and often a special ultraviolet light is shined on them to enhance the whitening process. Then your teeth are rinsed. The process might be repeated in some areas with severe stains, but the dental professional is careful not to over-whiten your teeth or cause discomfort.

You can choose the shade of white that you would like your teeth to be, and your cosmetic dentist will help you make the best choice. The goal should be to look natural and complement your skin tone. Since teeth whitening is a safe process, just about everyone is a candidate unless you have severely poor oral health. It is usually painless, although those with extremely sensitive teeth may have some discomfort that should dissipate shortly after treatment.

Rejuvenating your smile with teeth whitening is a simple way to make you look younger and enhance your smile. It also improves your self-esteem by giving you confidence in your appearance. A bright, white smile can be yours today through professional teeth whitening.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Invislaign in Charlottesville

Invisalign Teen: What You Need to Know

Invisalign Teen is a revolutionary way to straighten your adolescent’s teeth without the hassle of traditional metal braces. Invisalign utilizes a system of clear, removable aligner trays that are custom fit to your teen. The aligners are worn over the teeth and changed for a new set every two weeks. Over time, your teen’s teeth move into place, resulting in a beautiful, straight smile. If you are considering Invisalign Teen, make sure you learn the facts.

  • With proper use, Invisalign is capable of treating mild to more extreme orthodontic problems. This includes underbite, overbite, gaps, and excessive crowding.
  • Because they are removable, Invisalign allows your teen the flexibility to play sports without worrying about damaging the appliance. Musicians are also able to play their instruments without wires and brackets getting in the way.
  • Your teen can continue to enjoy favorite foods with Invisalign, unlike traditional braces that come with a long list of foods that should be avoided.
  • Invisalign aligners are easily removed for cleaning and tooth brushing and flossing.
  • The normal treatment time is approximately the same or less as with metal braces, but will depend largely on the condition of your teen’s teeth.
  • For optimal results in the least amount of time, it is recommended that your teen wears the Invisalign aligners 20-22 hours per day. Invisalign Teen has a built-in indicator that alerts your orthodontist if the aligners are being worn the minimum about of time required.
  • Your teen will enjoy less time at the orthodontist’s office with Invisalign. Traditional braces require routine adjustment and also often have broken brackets and wires that need repair. With Invisalign, your teen only needs an office visit every 4-6 weeks.
  • Most adolescents who need orthodontics are candidates for treatment with Invisalign. Your teen should be evaluated by an orthodontist who is a qualified Invisalign provider.

Contact your orthodontist to find out if treatment with Invisalign Teen is offered so your child can start enjoying the benefits of a perfect new smile.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Dental Implants: A Tooth Replacement Miracle

The days are gone when your only option for replacing missing teeth in your smile was getting dentures. Dental implants are the newest and most advanced method of restoring missing teeth, and this type of restoration accomplishes the task with natural-looking and comfortable results.

Dental implants actually replace the missing roots of a tooth that is gone. It is a very specialized procedure which requires the skill and experience of a qualified dentist or oral surgeon. The implant post, usually made of titanium, is surgically placed into a healthy jawbone. You can’t see the post after it is inserted, and then time is allowed for the post to properly fuse with the bone in a process called osseointegration. Once the area has fully healed, an artificial tooth or crown is placed on top. This completes the restoration so that it looks, feels and functions like a real tooth.

The dental implant process does not damage any adjacent teeth, and others likely won’t even be able to tell you had the procedure. Your smile is fully restored, and the tooth is strong and durable. Implants are typically lifelong solutions with good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups. They avoid some of the common complaints associated with other restoration methods, such as slipping in your mouth or having to alter your diet. After the initial implant placement, there is no mouth discomfort or irritation. Also, there is no special maintenance required with implants; normal brushing and flossing do the trick.

Another important advantage of implants is that the resorption or deterioration of bone and gum tissue in the area of your missing tooth does not occur. This prevents the side effect of premature aging which may occur when teeth are missing. Also, dental implants are not at risk for infection.

Dental implants have proven to be a very safe, reliable and effective way to restore your mouth to its complete and finest. Many patients consider implants to be the miracle solution for missing teeth.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Your Upcoming Cosmetic Dentistry Treatment

Cosmetic dentistry offers many types of procedures, from porcelain veneers to teeth whitening or bleaching. Whether you are doing something more involved, like a restorative dental bridge and crown treatment, or something more straightforward, such as veneers, you should know what lies in store for you as you pursue your smile goals.

You should begin by talking to your cosmetic dentist. This is the time for you to be honest with your dentist about any changes you’d like to see in your smile. Don’t be embarrassed to discuss your true feelings; your cosmetic dentist is here to help you achieve your dream smile. If you are healthy overall, virtually nothing can stand in the way of you and your ideal look if you are in the hands of a skilled cosmetic dentist.

If you are getting your teeth whitened or are receiving veneers, you will need to clean your teeth beforehand. Removing the plaque and bacteria from the surface of the tooth is extremely important toward achieving even whitening results. Veneers that trap bacteria beneath them are perfect environments for infection. Having a thorough cleaning ensures that your veneers will be properly bonded to the tooth surface and you can enjoy your new look with confidence.

Many cosmetic dentistry therapies are achieved through some kind of oral surgery. In order to have the best possible experience, follow all of the instructions given to you by your surgeon. Make arrangements for someone to take you home following surgery, as you will not be able to drive safely. Have your medications ready and begin taking them as soon as recommended. Eat only foods recommended by your surgeon as your mouth heals.

Braces also require a full check-up and thorough cleaning. After the braces are applied or following any adjustments, your mouth may be sore. Have ibuprofen on hand to help with the swelling and specialized orthodontic wax to protect your sensitive soft tissues.

Talk to your cosmetic dentist about your procedure to see what recommendations are best for you and your treatment.

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

Cosmetic dentist in Charlottesville

Top Reasons to see a Cosmetic Dentist

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

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

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

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

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

Contact us today to schedule your cosmetic dentistry consultation in our Charlottesville dental office.

Dental Implants

Recommended Diet Following Dental Implant Surgery

To improve the success of your dental implant surgery, there are a few guidelines you can follow during your recovery process. Diet is one of the most important factors to consider to ensure your implants heal properly.

Initially, you should not eat or drink hot foods for 24 hours after surgery as the heat could open the wound and cause an increase in bleeding. Avoid foods that may cause trauma to the gums or disrupt the implant, including the following:

  • Hard foods such as candies, pretzels, nuts, and crunchy vegetables
  • Chewy foods that require more than a couple of rounds of chewing such as rolls, gummies, hard fruit, and gum
  • Foods that could stick in teeth or leave particles behind such as popcorn, seeds, and chips
  • Foods or drinks that contain citric acid, such as oranges or grapefruit

Carbonated beverages

A soft diet is recommended for approximately two weeks after implant surgery to allow the gum tissue to heal. It is especially important to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, although you should strictly avoid the use of a straw for at least 48 hours post-surgery. Suggestions of ideal food and drinks after implant surgery would be:

  • Cooked cereals such as cream of wheat or oatmeal
  • Yogurt
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Cottage cheese
  • Broth, bouillon, or soups
  • Ground beef, baked or broiled fish, or baked or stewed chicken
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Baked or mashed potatoes
  • Soft bread
  • Puddings, milkshakes or ice cream
  • Water, milk, coffee or tea

Patients who maintain a healthy diet of soft foods feel better and heal faster after dental implant surgery. Following these guidelines will help to ensure the quickest and most successful recovery from your implant surgery.

Contact our Charlottesville dental office today to learn more about dental implants options.

Getting Dentures: What to Expect

With an estimated 49 million adults in the United States wearing dentures, there are lots of lessons learned about wearing them. Virtually everyone will say that it took a little adjustment time before they were comfortable and confident with their new teeth. It can help to know what to expect with wearing dentures at first.

Your dentures may feel very strange the first day you get them. They can seem too big for your mouth, and as though your lips are out of place. These strange sensations will disappear with time. You may also notice more saliva than usual in your mouth. This is a natural response of your mouth as it grows accustomed to the appliance.

A liquid diet is recommended by many dentists for the first couple of days after getting dentures. Then you may begin eating soft foods, like cooked vegetables, eggs, and fish. Take small bites and chew slowly. Avoid biting into foods with your front teeth.

Mouth soreness from your dentures should go away after a few days. If it lasts longer than a week, call your dentist to ask if you should be seen. You may experience minor mouth sores for the first couple of weeks that you wear dentures. This is normal as you give your mouth time to adjust. If the sores are severe, call your dentist.

Dentists recommend that you remove your dentures for a minimum of eight hours each day to give your gums a rest. Most patients do this at night while sleeping. Your dentist will provide instructions about how to care for your dentures and where to store them when not wearing them. Be sure to follow the instructions for care to ensure that your dentures last as long as possible.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Invislaign Charlottesville

Invisalign: A Modern Way to Improve your Smile

One of the newest ways to spruce up your look is to correct your teeth with Invisalign. This is an orthodontic solution that allows your teeth to be straightened without having to wear unsightly or embarrassing traditional braces. Invisalign allows you to improve your smile without affecting your eating habits, oral care routine, or self-esteem throughout the treatment process.

Description:
A series of customized plastic aligners are created to wear over your teeth to gradually move them into better position. You are able to see your treatment plan on a computer before treatment even begins, and your dentist monitors progress during checkups to make sure things are changing as desired. The clear aligners with Invisalign are popular because they are nearly invisible, can be removed for cleaning and eating, and are comfortable without causing irritation.

Correction:
Invisalign corrects various dental issues, including crowded teeth, gaps, overbites, underbites, or crossbites. Dentists often advise wearing retainers after treatment to ensure that teeth remain in their new position.

Process:
Once you select a dentist for your Invisalign treatment, an examination and discussion of goals will determine if this type of orthodontics is right for you. If you are a good candidate, a mold will be made of your teeth as well as a three dimensional image to help your dentist determine your treatment plan.

Maintenance:
Invisalign aligners are easily cleaned when removed from your mouth with gentle brushing and rinsing. You can perform your normal oral hygiene routine before returning the aligners to your mouth.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

dental implants dentist in Charlottesville

Dental Implants: The Modern Replacement Option

When you don’t have a full smile, your self-esteem and oral health decline. Implant restorations offer a solid solution for patients who have lost teeth. Designed to look and feel like your natural teeth, dental implants will rejuvenate an incomplete smile. Dental implants allow you to eat the foods you love, speak clearly, and laugh with confidence.

Constructed from biocompatible titanium, a dental implant is a small metal post surgically inserted into your jaw bone. The implant creates an artificial tooth root. Eventually, a permanent crown is placed on the post, restoring the function and appearance of your smile.

Although you can replace missing teeth with dentures or crown and bridgework, dental implants offer several advantages, including:

• Durability
• Longevity
• Natural Appearance
• Stability

Before suggesting dental implants, your dentist will evaluate your mouth and oral health to make sure you are a good candidate for implants. If you don’t have sufficient bone structure to support the implants, your dentist may suggest a bone graft. In most cases, dental implants have a 95 to 98 percent success rate.

With implant therapy, an oral surgeon or prosthodontist will position one metal post in each empty socket. Implants can replace one or more missing teeth. Once your mouth heals and bone fuses with the biocompatible post, your dentist will attach a lifelike prosthetic crown. Care for the implants as you would your natural teeth, brushing twice daily, flossing frequently, and visiting the dentist for routine checkups.

Dental implants dentist in Charlottesville

Invislaign Charlottesville

Achieving Your Best Smile with Invisalign

Not every smile is perfect, so many people want to improve their look through orthodontics. It’s not just a rite of passage for youth anymore; people of all ages pursue new smiles these days. A modern technology that is stylish and hassle-free has been developed called Invisalign. It provides great results without impacting your life as much as traditional braces.

The first step is choosing a dental professional who offers Invisalign treatment, since not every provider is trained and qualified in this approach. Once you find the right professional, the dentist will assess your mouth and determine if you’re a good candidate. With the exception of severe misalignment, most people can benefit from Invisalign.

To get started, your dentist will take teeth impressions and X-rays to create a 3D image of your mouth. That helps determine your treatment plan, how long you can expect the process to last, and allow you to see your teeth at each stage. Being able to see the final outcome is a great advantage of Invisalign.

Clear plastic aligners will be customized for your teeth. They are hardly noticeable in your smile and won’t cause irritation or discomfort. You’ll be instructed to wear them for 22 hours a day for a couple of weeks as they gently move your teeth into better positions, after which you’ll switch to a new set of aligners in the series. The trays are removed for cleaning and eating, making them much simpler than traditional braces. Your normal oral hygiene routine isn’t impacted, as you can continue brushing and flossing as usual without the appliance in your mouth. Many patients also rave about the fact that their diets do not need to change; there are no restrictions with Invisalign.

A checkup with your dentist is needed every 4-6 weeks to monitor your progress. It usually takes from 12-18 months to complete Invisalign treatment. With proper wear, you’ll end up with a beautiful smile without having to suffer through the common complaints of orthodontics.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Dental team

The Roles of Dental Hygienists and Dental Assistant

When you visit the dentist, you often see other professionals in the office. Usually, the dentist will have a hygienist and a dental assistant as part of the team. While their roles aren’t the same as the dentist’s job, these individuals do play an important part in your dental care. Understanding what the hygienist and dental assistant do can make you feel more comfortable at your dental appointments.

The Dental Assistant
To become a dental assistant, an individual usually completes course work through a community college or technical school. This training will provide hands-on experience before the dental assistant works in an actual dental practice. A dental assistant can serve many functions, including assisting the dentist during treatment, taking impressions, sterilizing instruments, and making temporary crowns for patients. Dental assistants also welcome patients and help them feel comfortable in the dental office.

The Dental Hygienist
At a minimum, a dental hygienist must earn an associate’s degree, though many hygienists choose to obtain four-year degrees. Additionally, hygienists must be licensed in the states where they practice. The dental hygienist is generally responsible for taking patient x-rays, performing an initial periodontal assessment, and cleaning your teeth. During your appointment, the hygienist will also offer tips on home hygiene to help you maximize your oral car routine. A dental hygienist may also perform deep cleanings for gum disease, apply fluoride, remove sutures, and administer local anesthetic.

Should I Allow My Teen to Undergo Cosmetic Dentistry?

Has your child been bothered by some issue with his or her teeth? Has there been bullying or teasing about a smile issue? Cosmetic dentistry may be the solution for these problems. Teens can benefit from a healthy, attractive, white smile. Benefits can include increased self-esteem and greater ease with public speaking and social interactions. Some cosmetic dental procedures can correct problems that began when teens were pediatric patients. Others can address issues of alignment or shape.

The most common cosmetic dental procedure pursued by young people is braces. Braces are so common now that in middle school, it seems as though more students have braces than do not. Even in elementary school, braces can be an option toward achieving a straight smile.

Some teens naturally have discolored teeth that can benefit from teeth bleaching or whitening. Medications and foods and drinks can affect tooth color. Most dental professionals prefer to whiten only permanent teeth that are fully erupted. The primary concern about whitening teeth for young people is that the teeth are also “young” and that the pulp is closer to the surface than in adult teeth, leading to heightened sensitivity to the products used to achieve whitening.

If your teen has suffered trauma to the teeth from playing sports or in an accident, bonding with resin composite or porcelain veneers could be the solution. Dentists can also provide mouth guards for protection while engaging in some activities, such as football or hockey. Be sure to contact your dentist immediately following any new trauma so your teen’s teeth can be properly evaluated.

If your child has a missing tooth, either from trauma, decay or congenital issue, your cosmetic dentist might recommend a dental bridge or dental implant. Bridges can be used at an early age, but dental implants are only for mature mouths with complete bone growth.

If your child has issues regarding the appearance of his or her smile, make an appointment with your dentist today to discuss what cosmetic dental treatments are best to treat those problems.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Types of Professional Teeth Whitening

By far, the best way to brighten and whiten your smile is through an in-office treatment performed by your dentist. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the whitening gel used by your dentist is much higher than that which can be obtained over-the-counter by you in a drugstore. Lasers or special lights are employed by many dentists to achieve the best results.

With the rise in popularity of in-office teeth whitening, some specialty brands have emerged that offer different methods and ingredient strengths to address even the most stubborn stains.

  • BriteSmile also uses whitening gel and a blue light, but their gel has a concentration of 15 percent hydrogen peroxide and a nearly neutral pH level, a mix that is easier on sensitive gum tissue.
  • Lumbrite employs a custom light, known as the Sapphire Plasma Arc Curing and Whitening Light. This light has no destructive UV rays, although the gel is so strong it can work without the light. Lumbrite also has a desensitizing agent in its gel to reduce problems with sensitivity.
  • GLO Science Professional has a specialized mouthpiece that employs Guided Light Optics (GLO) that works in tangent with a whitening gel, delivering light and heat to the tooth surfaces. The mouthpiece prevents oxygen from leaving the treatment area, giving optimal whitening results.
  • Philips Zoom! is one of the most popular and well-known of the teeth whitening brands available at the dentist’s office. Their whitening gel uses a 25 percent concentration of peroxide which is stimulated by a proprietary blue light to achieve maximum whitening and is said to provide a more sparkling look to your enamel.
  • Opalescence uses one of the most powerful gels available, utilizing a 40 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide as well as potassium nitrate to reduce gum and tooth sensitivity after treatment. It also contains fluoride which strengthens the tooth enamel and reduces decay.

Talk to your dentist today to determine which of these or any other professional whitening methods is best for you and your teeth whitening needs.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Why Do I Need Root Canal Treatment?

Even though regular checkups and proper dental hygiene greatly decrease the need for root canal treatment, the fact remains that it is one of the most common procedures performed by dentists today. What are some of the most common reasons you might need this dental solution?

Decay:
The primary cause for root canal procedures is decay that has entered the tooth pulp chamber and progressed to the point of causing infection or abscesses. Pain and tooth sensitivity often accompanies severe decay. Root canal treatment is the best way to avoid tooth extraction and restore oral health.

Trauma:
If a tooth endures strong force such as from a sports injury, car accident or fall, the trauma can damage the tooth so badly that root canal treatment is needed. Even if trauma isn’t completely evident at first, a severed nerve to the tooth can cause it to die over time.

Genetics:
Traits of teeth like their strength are passed along through genes. Some people inherit soft teeth that are more prone to decay, making it difficult to avoid decay even with diligent oral hygiene.

Tooth fracture:
A tooth can be fractured through chewing hard foods or ice, teeth grinding or clenching, or habits like nail biting. Even hairline fractures may allow bacteria to enter the tooth’s pulp and cause infections. Once the bacteria takes hold, root canal treatment may become necessary.

Deep cavity:
Deep cavities within teeth can allow infections to thrive, eventually causing the tooth to become inflamed or die. A deep cavity isn’t necessarily painful, so patients may not even realize they have an infection. Regular dental checkups help catch cavities early, before they are able to become so deep and serious.

Previous dental work:
Extensive or repeated dental work can cause trauma to teeth nerves and associated inflammation, making root canal therapy an important solution.


We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Veneers Can Make Your Smile Stand Out

Tooth stains, chips, cracks, and discolorations can keep you from letting others see your teeth. If you are self-conscious about your smile, then dental veneers may be the answer for you. Veneers can correct a variety of imperfections and give you a natural, beautiful smile.

What are dental veneers?:
Made from tooth-colored porcelain, veneers are attached to the front of your natural teeth. They feel just like the rest of your teeth, and are durable and do not irritate your gums. Since porcelain is resistant to stains, you’re able to eat and drink as you wish. Good oral hygiene helps keep veneers and your natural teeth strong and healthy.

What are the benefits of getting veneers?:
There’s a reason that veneers are one of the most popular options in cosmetic dentistry. They provide a solution to many problems and can dramatically improve the appearance of your smile. Veneers are the answer for tough stains or discolorations that can’t be repaired by teeth whitening. They can also make your teeth look straight and even. Veneers provide an answer for chipped or broken teeth too.

Are there any disadvantages?:
The main thing to remember is that your original tooth might need to be reshaped to a smaller size and shape to allow the new, thin coating of the veneer to be placed over it. The coating will make your tooth look like a normal, perfectly shaped tooth. However, if the veneer is ever removed, it would need to be replaced to keep your smile looking nice. Dental veneers are a life-long solution to creating your best smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

dental check up

A Healthy Mouth is Your Goal

Chances are that you want to have a smile full of sparkly, white, straight teeth. You must not forget about the goal of having a healthy smile too. If you don’t pay proper attention to your mouth, there are a number of diseases and problems that can arise. Poor hygiene causes many problems, from minor to severe, so it’s smarter to make sure your teeth stay in good condition. Follow these suggestions for a healthy smile.

Focus on daily care
Your mouth requires care every single day. You simply can’t perform hygiene tasks once every few days or just when it’s convenient, and expect to have a healthy, attractive smile. Follow your dentist’s instructions on properly brushing your teeth at least twice daily, and flossing every day too. In fact, flossing is just as important to your oral health as brushing! By performing both of these daily tasks, you’ll be able to remove debris and germs and improve your smile.

Choose your products wisely
Select toothpaste that meets your goals. It should always contain fluoride, but you can also choose brands with objectives like tartar protection, improving bad breath, and teeth whitening. You may also want to choose a mouthwash that you can use to quickly clean your mouth, or supplement your other oral care products.

Don’t ignore your dentist
Even if you’re properly caring for your mouth at home, it’s important to continue seeing your dentist regularly. Experts suggest having dental checkups every six months, so your dentist can look for problems like gum disease, cavities, and infections. It’s smart to get any issues treated right away, before things worsen and lead to more costly, painful procedures later.

Schedule your appointment today at our Charlottesville dental office.

General dentistry Charlottesville

Ouch! I Have a Mouth Sore!

There are few things more irritating than having a painful, swollen sore in your mouth. It bothers you while eating, talking, and even just sitting around. There are a number of types of mouth sores with different causes. Some are infections from bacteria, viruses, or fungus. Or they can be a result of an ill-fitting denture, broken tooth or filling, or loose orthodontic wire. Mouth sores can also be a symptom of a medical condition. Here are some details about common mouth sores.

Canker sore
These small sores occur inside your mouth, and are white or gray with a red outline. They aren’t contagious, but are recurring and can happen one-at-a-time or several at once. Experts believe that lowered immune systems, bacteria, or viruses are risk factors. Canker sores often heal by themselves in about a week, and topical anesthetics or antibacterial mouthwashes may provide relief.

Cold sore
Also called fever blisters, these sores occur outside of your mouth around your lips, nose, or chin. These blisters filled with fluid are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1, and are extremely contagious. Once you have been infected with the herpes virus, it remains in your body and occasionally flares up. Cold sores usually heal in about a week on their own. Topical anesthetics may help, and your dentist might prescribe antiviral medications to reduce outbreaks.

Candidiasis
Also called oral thrush, candidiasis is a result of the yeast Candida albicans reproducing in large quantities. It usually happens to those with weakened immune systems, and is common with people wearing dentures or with dry mouth syndrome. Candidiasis is also linked to taking antibiotics. Controlling candidiasis is done by preventing or controlling the cause of the outbreak. Ask your dentist for advice.

Leukoplakia
Common with tobacco users, leukoplakia are thick white patches on the inside of your cheeks, gums, or tongue. In addition to tobacco use, they can also be caused by ill-fitting dentures or continual chewing on the inside of your cheek. Leukoplakia is linked with oral cancer, so your dentist may advise a biopsy if the patch looks suspicious.

 

Contact our dental office in Charlottesville to schedule a dental checkup.

 

Dealing With Pain Following Root Canal Therapy

Root canal treatments are specifically designed to relieve the tooth pain associated with an infected tooth root. Patients come in with pain, and often leave the procedure with less discomfort than before. However, if you’ve recently had a root canal treatment on one or more of your teeth, you might be experiencing discomfort following the procedure. Fortunately, there are things you can do at home to take care of it.

Are your gums sore, tender or swollen surrounding the affected tooth? This is likely the result of the tiny metal clips that affix a rubber dam around the tooth, protecting it and protecting your mouth. The clips are attached along the gum line, and can leave tiny bruises or sometimes small cuts in the soft gum tissue. This pain should alleviate within two days of the treatment.

Is the tooth itself sore? This is a common occurrence and is typically the result of an inflammation of the mouth tissues that encase the tooth root. The tools used by the endodontist to perform the procedure can irritate the tissues.

Both of these types of pain can be dealt with by several over-the-counter analgesics. The ones that are most recommended to treat dental pain are those that possess anti-inflammatory agents: naproxen sodium, ibuprofen or aspirin, etc. If you are also taking narcotics prescribed by your dentist, do not take any further medication, over-the-counter or prescription, until you have checked with your dentist. Dangerous reactions can occur.

If you have been prescribed antibiotics, do not stop until you have completed each recommended dose. This ensures that your tooth remains free of infection and can heal thoroughly.

Ask your endodontist if you have other concerns about treating your post-root canal treatment pain.


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Invislaign in Charlottesville

Keep Your Mouth Healthier by Choosing Invisalign Over Traditional Braces

Traditional braces have long been thought to be the only option available to straighten your teeth and correct your bite issues. Advances in Invisalign aligners now give you a choice, one that might just leave your mouth healthier when all is said and done.

Invisalign aligners are clear plastic trays that are worn for up to twenty-two hours a day. They can be removed while eating and for cleaning. A series of trays is prepared to slowly guide the teeth into proper position over time. When one tray has done its job, the next tray in the series is utilized.

Traditional metal braces are extremely challenging to clean. The brackets and bands trap bacteria and food debris all around the teeth, and in order to prevent gum disease and cavities, wearers must thread floss painstakingly under each wire and floss each tooth one-by-one, threading again and again. Brushing is challenging, too, as brushes wear out very quickly and can’t always reach the difficult areas. Even using a waterpick can’t be fool proof, because if used incorrectly, bacteria and debris are simply pushed further into the gum pocket, causing irritation and leading to infections.

Invisalign allows you to take out your trays so you can brush and floss normally, just as you did before you began your treatment. Trays are rinsed with water and placed back in the mouth. The teeth are clean and the aligner is clean, all in a fraction of the time it would take to clean a mouthful of traditional braces.

Keep your mouth healthier by talking to your orthodontist today to see if Invisalign aligners are right for you and your smile goals.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office