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.


If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

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

cosmetic dentistry

Porcelain Veneers Revealed

Thank goodness for modern dentistry that allows people to have attractive smiles even though their teeth may not cooperate. For some people, regular dental care is enough to keep their teeth and gums healthy and looking nice. However, over time many people’s teeth become stained or discolored. Chips and cracks can occur that cause unsightly and embarrassing problems. If things like this happen to you, it’s time to consider restoring your smile with porcelain veneers.

Veneers are thin porcelain shells that are permanently adhered to the front surfaces of your teeth, hiding imperfections and giving you a whole new look. It is a simple, non-invasive procedure that can make a dramatic difference in your appearance without any pain or great inconvenience.

There are a variety of benefits to getting porcelain veneers. Here are some of the great advantages you can expect if you and your dentist decide that veneers are right for you:
•  Veneers completely hide stains and discolorations on your teeth. Years of eating and drinking foods that tend to stain your teeth can be erased with veneers. For tough stains, sometimes whitening techniques simply aren’t enough. Veneers provide an easy remedy that will immediately and effectively hide your problem teeth.
•  You and your dentist can choose the exact color that you’d like your veneers to be. You can select the best shade to match your other features and your goals for your smile.
•  Obtaining veneers does not require invasive procedures like reshaping, scraping, or extensive contouring of your teeth. There isn’t any pain associated with the veneer process.
•  Only one or two dental appointments are necessary to get veneers.
•  Porcelain veneers are durable and strong, often lasting from ten to fifteen years.
•  Veneers give you back your confidence so that you are proud to smile and display your beautiful look.

Cosmetic dentist in Charlottesville – Dr. Delph

sugar-and-teeth

Avoiding Tooth Decay: Where Sugar Hides

You may already know that consuming sugar brings health risks with it. It can contribute to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, but it can also harm your teeth and gums. Even if you avoid desserts and sugary treats, you may be consuming more sugar than you realize. You should be aware that sugar is hidden in foods that you may not have considered.

Since the sweetened taste of sugar entices many people, manufacturers tend to add sugar to just about anything. Examples include crackers, condiments, salad dressing, peanut butter, yogurt, sauces, and protein bars. Manufacturers also list sugar on food labels under other names to trick people. Some alternate names for sugar are sucrose, dextrose, maltose, and molasses. Another hidden ingredient to avoid is high fructose corn syrup.

How can you avoid sugar if it’s lurking in the foods you enjoy? Here are some helpful hints in limiting your sugar intake:

  • Eat whole food instead of processed food. Vegetables, fruits, and nuts are some other choices that will fill you up without the added sugar.
  • Look for products that are sugarless or don’t have added sugars. Even foods labeled “low sugar” may contain more than you’d like.
  • Drink sugarless beverages that won’t flood your mouth with sugar. Sodas, sweetened juices, and sweetened coffee provide lots of sugar and calories. Water is always an ideal choice to quench your thirst.
  • Steer clear of artificial sweeteners, which don’t fill you up and leave you craving more sweets.
  • Give yourself time to get used to having less sugar in your diet. Foods may taste less satisfying as you adjust, but you’ll get accustomed to the flavors that foods provide without the extra sweetness.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

 

Keeping Your Bright Smile after Teeth Whitening

It’s a fact of life that teeth can become dingy and yellowed through the years. Your diet, age, personal habits and more affect the shade of your teeth. Even with the best care, it’s nearly inevitable that at some point you’ll want to brighten your smile. Once you pursue teeth whitening, you’ll want to be sure to make your new smile last as long as possible.

Over-the-counter products are readily available from your local drugstore and simple to use. However, they can take a long time to obtain full results and even then, you may not achieve the desired shade you’d like. Professional teeth whitening is the fastest and most dramatic way to brighten your smile.

If you spend the time and money to whiten your teeth professionally, making it last will be important to you. Results can last for a long time, but probably not forever. Here are some tips for making your white teeth last longer:

  • Watch your diet especially carefully for the first 48 hours following treatment. Your teeth are at the most risk for staining during this timeframe.
  • For the first few days, avoid eating known staining foods like blueberries, beets, dark soups, marinades, sauces, curry or tomato products.
  • At first, avoid broccoli, green beans, peas, sprouts, corn, or skinned potatoes. These have increased risk of particles getting stuck into the highly susceptible tooth pores after whitening treatment.
  • Watch out for citrus fruits that are high in acidity, which can also make your saliva more acidic. Your teeth are more prone to damage from acid when they already have increased sensitivity from the whitening chemicals.
  • Avoid drinking dark colas or coffee, since both can stain your teeth no matter when you drink them.
  • Get in the habit of drinking from a straw so that dark colored drinks don’t come into as much contact with your teeth.

Choosing the right foods and drinks after teeth whitening can make a big difference in the length of time your teeth stay white. Make the best decisions to enjoy your bright smile.


We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Cosmetic Dentistry Options to Whiten Your Smile

A variety of factors can cause your teeth to become dark and dingy. Smoking or chewing tobacco, drinking wine, coffee or tea, eating pigment intense foods, too much fluoride, or trauma to the tooth can all cause your teeth to discolor and lose their shine. The good news is cosmetic dentistry offers several options to return your teeth to their natural whiteness:

  • Professional teeth whitening can be completed in as little as one office visit and can lighten your teeth as much as ten shades. This type of whitening mainly treats surface stains and can last several years with careful maintenance.
  • Dental veneers are a better option for teeth with internal stains that are resistant to professional whitening. The placement of veneers involves roughing up the surface of the tooth and then applying an extremely thin porcelain or composite veneer that bonds to the surface of the tooth. With care, dental veneers can last as long as ten years.
  • For individual teeth that have changed color due to damage or trauma, composite bonding is an excellent option. This procedure involves the use of a tooth-colored bonding material to cover the surface of the tooth and match it to the color of the surrounding teeth.

If you suffer from a dark or discolored smile and want to restore it to bright and white, cosmetic dentistry may be the answer to your concerns. Schedule a consultation with a qualified cosmetic dentist to find out which treatments would best suit your needs and allow you to once again face the world with a beautiful, white smile.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

How to Prevent the Need For Root Canal Treatment

The desire for a beautiful, healthy, natural smile is universal. Dental procedures such as root canal treatments aren’t something people aspire to have, and there are things you can do personally that can reduce your risk of having a root canal procedure.

Prevention is the best step you can take to avoid root canal therapy, and it all begins with you at home. If you didn’t grow up with good oral hygiene habits, now is the time to develop them. This simple step can lead directly to good oral health. Be sure you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day, following each meal if possible, and absolutely before sleeping. If you don’t brush your teeth before bedtime, you’re providing a robust breeding ground for bacteria to grow and degrade your teeth while you’re sleeping. Floss daily to reach the places between teeth and beneath the gum line that brushing can’t reach.

Fluoride in your toothpaste and in mouthwash can keep your tooth enamel strong and durable. Never give fluoridated toothpastes to children under the age of two years and avoid fluoridated mouthwash until the child is more than six years old.

Maintaining a proper diet ensures that your body is receiving all of the nutrients it needs for health, both orally and elsewhere in the body. Chewing crunchy foods like raw vegetables and hard fruits can help keep your teeth bright and clean, scraping away debris while you chew.

If you are a smoker, you should stop immediately. Not only is it a huge factor in your oral health, but also for your overall health. Smoking contributes directly to lung disease, cancer and heart disease, as well as other health issues. Your dentist or doctor can give you excellent advice about quitting.

Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and avoiding sugared drinks. Rinse your mouth after consuming soda, coffee, tea or a sports drink.

Be sure to see your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings, and keep your risk of a root canal treatment low.


If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Root Canal Therapy Myths

Have you been told that you may need a root canal treatment? Are you worried because of things you’ve heard in the media about how “awful” a root canal is? Don’t worry about what you’ve heard; endodontic therapy isn’t at all what you’d think. Let’s debunk some myths!

  • Myth #1: Root canal treatment is very painful. This isn’t true! In fact, a root canal treatment is performed specifically to relieve a patient’s pain, not to cause more. After a root canal treatment, you might feel some tenderness, but the pain you felt when the damaged tissue and infection was still inside the tooth will be completely gone. Once the swelling from the procedure has gone down, you will be able to use your new tooth exactly the way you could use your natural tooth when it was completely healthy.
  • Myth #2: Root canal therapy or other endodontic work can lead to disease elsewhere in the body. Another falsehood! Root canal treatments don’t spread disease to the rest of the body, rather, they remove infected tissue and bacteria from the body, preventing the affected tooth from becoming re-infected.
  • Myth #3: Extraction is better than root canal treatment. Extraction is not preferred to root canal treatment! Whenever possible, it’s preferred to keep your natural tooth. Your natural tooth’s roots stimulate and preserve the bone of your jaw, as well as providing adequate support to the surrounding teeth. Dental implants or dental bridges can be problematic, both in function and in dietary restrictions. In fact, an extraction can lead to several prolonged appointments to perform replacement procedures, treatments that are far more involved than a root canal treatment.

Endodontic treatment is an extremely common dental procedure that can provide durable, long-lasting restorations that will function as your natural tooth did. If you believe you may need a root canal treatment, talk to your endodontist or dentist today to see how this successfully proven treatment can help you and your smile needs.


If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns and Bridges

Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Crowns and Bridges

What is a dental crown?

  • A dental crown encases a damaged tooth completely within a custom-fit cap, or crown, fitting perfectly over the affected tooth. A dental crown is designed specifically for you and your tooth’s particular design, fit and function. It is a restorative therapy that can restore function to a tooth that may have had excessive decay, has been cracked or has recently undergone root canal treatment.

How do dental crowns work?

  • A dental crown covers a damaged tooth entirely and can be used to improve not only the tooth’s appearance, but also its shape or alignment.

What is a dental bridge?

  • A dental bridge makes a literal bridge between two anchor teeth, filling a gap left by a missing tooth that has either fallen out naturally or is the result of acute decay or facial trauma. Dental crowns cover the bordering anchor teeth, allowing the bridge to fit securely and to function as your natural tooth.

What materials are used for dental crowns?

  • Dental crowns can be porcelain (ceramic), porcelain-fused-to-metal, or gold or other metal alloy. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be designed to closely match the color and translucency of your natural teeth. Metal alloys are usually stronger, and are a better choice for back teeth.

Is a dental cap a crown?   

  • Yes! A dental cap is another name for a dental crown.

Am I a candidate for a dental bridge?

  • If you are missing a tooth and you have adjacent teeth that are stable, dental bridges are for you. Even if you are missing a front tooth or a tooth that has only one border, there are types of dental bridges that could meet your needs.

Are there alternatives to a dental bridge?

  • Dental implants are rising in popularity as technology has improved. A dental implant can restore a single tooth or can restore several, and are the standard of care for the replacement of a missing tooth today. Because a dental implant continues to stimulate the jawbone, it doesn’t lead to bone loss over time.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

You Can Look Younger With Cosmetic Dentistry

Special occasions like class reunions and weddings where photos are going to be taken are important. You will want to look your best, especially when you look back on the photos in years to come. When you look in your mirror, are you noticing that your smile seems less than its best? Could your look use some refreshing?

As time passes, our smiles age. Whether you realize it or not, your teeth are discoloring a little bit every day. Discoloration can come from the food we consume, such as blueberries, beets, blackberries, balsamic vinegar or soy sauce. Drinking tea, red wine, coffee or dark soda can also affect the brightness of your smile. Smoking leaves teeth looking yellow and dingy.

As well as discoloring, our teeth slowly wear away. The outer, whiter layer of enamel will thin with age, revealing the yellower layer of dentin underneath. The length of a tooth is also reduced with age as teeth wear away with natural, everyday use. Short, discolored teeth send a signal of old age whether we intend them to or not.

Composite bonding, porcelain or composite resin veneers and dental crowns can help you achieve a brighter, whiter, more even smile. Veneers can even correct gaps and hide chipped or malformed teeth. Dental implants can be an excellent solution to a missing tooth. A smile that is badly misaligned might require braces or some other kind of orthodontia to achieve optimal results.

Your cosmetic dentist can work with you to determine what steps should be taken to address your particular smile concerns and rejuvenate your smile, making you look younger and more refreshed. You will begin to see the positive responses from people who will be able to see you at your youthful best, allowing you to be your most confident, most comfortable self. The changes you make now can change your smile for years to come.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Invislaign in Charlottesville

Invisalign versus Metal Braces

Straighter teeth are possible through traditional metal braces or Invisalign clear aligners, but how do you know which are right for you? These two types of orthodontics work differently to improve smiles. Invisalign uses invisible removable plastic aligners to gradually shift teeth, while metal braces require brackets bonded to the teeth and arch wires to apply pressure to move the teeth.

If you are deciding between these two types of treatment, ask yourself some questions to help you choose:

  • How severe is your case? Moderate conditions like overcrowding, gaps, and overbite or underbite issues can be treated with either option. However, more severe cases like malocclusions, jaw problems, crossbites, or seriously crooked teeth may require metal braces for more effective results.
  • Do you care if others see your braces? Metal braces are very noticeable and bulky, while Invisalign is virtually invisible in your smile. Adults and self-conscious teens may prefer the concept of hidden orthodontic treatment.
  • Will you be diligent in wearing aligners? They should be worn at least 22 hours each day for best results, so neglecting to wear them consistently can negatively impact your smile or require longer treatment time.
  • Are you concerned about keeping your teeth clean? Metal braces can be difficult to clean because food becomes caught in the wires and brushing may not easily reach all areas. Since Invisalign trays are removable, brushing and flossing are performed normally throughout the process.
  • Are you worried about teeth stains? Since it’s easier to keep teeth clean with Invisalign, you avoid the risks of stains from food and plaque buildup around metal braces that may stain your teeth.
  • How often do you want to visit the orthodontist? Metal braces require office visits at least every 4 weeks for tightenings. Invisalign trays are changed every 2 weeks, but many orthodontists provide a series of trays to take home so that an office visit isn’t required each time. It’s possible that you may not visit the orthodontist as often with Invisalign.

The ideal choice for your orthodontic treatment can be decided by consulting with your orthodontist. Find out which option will best transform your smile.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Teeth Whitening: Quit Living with a Discolored Smile

You’re not the only one if you feel like your smile has become dull and yellowed. This happens to nearly everyone, and it is the most common complaint that people have about the look of their smiles. There is no reason to live with a discolored smile. Teeth whitening is available to restore your pearly whites.

There are a number of reasons that your smile has changed over the years. Aging causes tooth enamel to thin and allow the yellow-tinged dentin layer to show through. Dark-colored foods and drinks stain teeth, some medications produce the side effect of darkening teeth, and tobacco use creates difficult stains. Teeth may also change color due to mouth trauma.

Whatever the culprit is for your diminished smile, teeth whitening is a simple way to restore it. Whitening products contain bleaching agents that break up stains so that the color is less concentrated and your teeth look brighter. However, teeth whitening does not work in all situations. It does not affect restorations like veneers, fillings or crowns. Whitening is also not usually effective on stains resulting from injury or medications. Yellow teeth are the most likely to respond to teeth whitening, while brown or gray tones might be less improved.

There are numerous options for teeth whitening. Home products are available at your local drugstore like whitening toothpastes, gels, pens, strips and more. These methods focus on removing surface stains from your teeth. At-home bleaching kits are another option, typically obtained from your dentist, that involve filling a mouth tray with a special bleaching solution and wearing the trays for a time period like overnight. These kits are stronger than over-the-counter methods, but not as strong as professional whitening performed in a dental office. It is accomplished in about an hour in the dental chair using a concentrated bleaching agent and special lighting or laser to enhance the process, and provides the most dramatic results.

Consult your dentist for advice on the best whitening methods to use on your teeth. Every patient is different and certain methods may be more effective or comfortable for various people.

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

Making Dental Hygiene Fun for Kids

In many households, the bedtime routine is no fun. One of the trickiest parts for some parents is getting their kids to brush their teeth. However, it’s not a part of your child’s routine that should be skipped. To help make taking care of their teeth fun for children, here are some ideas for parents.

Toothbrushes

Provide your kids with fun toothbrushes! By choosing a brush decorated with their favorite character or color, your children will think of their toothbrush more like a toy than a dental tool. Consider getting more than one toothbrush, so each night they can choose the one they want to “play” with at the time.

Toothpaste

Children are picky about their toothpaste flavors just like their foods. Select toothpaste that you know your kids will like. Some of the flavor options include bubble gum and fruits, as well as the standby mint.

Floss

If they start flossing at a young age, your kids will likely view it as part of their oral hygiene routine all of their life. Try using some of the fun flossing tools on the market today, because they may help get your child interested in flossing. There are many colors and shapes to choose from, so keep trying until you find one that motivates your child.

Rewards

Enticing your children with rewards is often an easy way to encourage them to perform a task without arguing. Consider making a rewards chart and giving them a sticker each time they brush and floss. By the end of a week filled with good dental hygiene, a special reward will await them!

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today