How a Dental Crown or Bridge Can Improve Your Smile

How a Dental Crown or Bridge Can Improve Your Smile

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

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

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

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

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

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

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Cosmetic dentist in Charlottesville

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

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

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

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

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

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

Considerations for a Smile Makeover

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

Alignment and spacing

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

Tooth color

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

Tooth length

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

Missing teeth

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

Facial features

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

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Professional Teeth Whitening

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

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

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

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


If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Dental Implants: Why They Are Better

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

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

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

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

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

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Emergency Dental Care

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

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

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

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

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

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

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Dental office checkup

Signs You Need to Schedule a Dental Visit

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

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

Tooth pain

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

Changes in your mouth

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

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

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

 

What you Need to Know about Permanent Dentures

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

What are permanent dentures?

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

What are the benefits?

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

Are there any disadvantages?

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

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Warning Signs Dentures May be in Your Future

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

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

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

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

dental implants dentist

Complete Your Smile with Dental Implants

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

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

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

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

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

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Dental cleaning

Breaking Down Dental Visits

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

Your dental checkup will usually include:

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

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

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

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

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

 

Reasons General Dentistry is Important

Reasons General Dentistry is Important

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

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

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

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

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

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Is a Family Dentist Right for Your Kids?

Proper dental care is vitally important for every member of your family. Children should begin visiting a dentist as soon as their first tooth erupts, which in most cases is by their first birthday. Your family dentist is trained to take care of both adult and pediatric dental needs. An experienced family dentist can offer a wide array of dental care services to the children in your family.

A family dentist can perform routine pediatric oral exams and twice yearly professional cleanings, as well as other preventative care such as treatment with fluoride and protective sealants. In the unfortunate case your child should suffer trauma to a tooth, your family dentist is available to treat a loose, broken, or knocked-out tooth. Your dentist can diagnose and treat gum disease, tooth decay and cavities as well as identify and treat misaligned or crooked teeth and jaw or bite problems.

Your family dental practice may also offer a variety of kid-friendly amenities to make visits to the dentist less stressful. Game rooms, televisions with kid videos, and treasure box treats are just a few of the things that might be available to help your child feel at ease.

As your child ages, there will be no need to switch dentists because your family dentist can treat your child from infancy to adulthood. Having the same dentist for your entire family makes life easier when it comes time to schedule routine examinations. Often you can schedule several family members at the same time. Your family dentist will be familiar with your entire family’s dental history, which is a major benefit of taking everyone to the same dentist.

When the time comes to choose a dentist for your children, you can feel confident your family dentist will provide a lifetime of excellent dental care.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

General Tips for Healthy Teeth

General Tips for Healthy Teeth

Keeping your teeth and gums in good condition can mean the difference between being embarrassed to smile and being happy to display your pearly whites. Your smile is one of the first things people notice, so here are some things to add to your dental care routine so that your teeth are sparkling and healthy.

Brush after consuming staining items:
Avoid foods and drinks that are known to stain your teeth, such as coffee, red wine, colored gravies, and dark colas. Brush your teeth as soon as possible after consuming such items. If brushing isn’t possible, try eating an apple to help clean away staining residue.

Change your toothbrush:
Old bristles that are out of shape and worn harbor bacteria and don’t as good of a job as newer brushes. Change your toothbrush every three months, or when it starts to look worn. Remember to choose a brush with soft bristles for the best treatment of your teeth and gums.

Floss regularly:
Use dental floss at least once every day to clean between your teeth and along your gums. Carry floss with you so that you can quickly use it in private moments after a meal or bothersome snacks.

Use mouthwash:
Add mouthwash to your daily routine to help kill bacteria that your toothbrush doesn’t reach. It also can help improve your breath.

See your dentist:
No matter how well you care for your mouth, see your dentist every six months for checkups and professional cleanings. This will not only keep your teeth bright, it will catch any problems early in hopes of avoiding more extensive dental work in the future.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Who Can Benefit from Dental Veneers?

One of the most popular treatments in cosmetic dentistry is veneers. These thin shells made of porcelain or composite resin are bonded to the fronts of your teeth to hide the flaws of your real teeth. They look natural, resist stains, and are a durable way to restore smiles. Veneers offer a solution for patients with a variety of dental problems.

Fractured teeth:
Teeth that are broken or chipped can be hidden behind veneers, fully restoring your smile.

Discolored teeth:
Stained or yellowed teeth may result from a number of things. Some discoloration such as from foods or age can be improved with teeth whitening treatments. However, stains resulting from things like drugs, large resin fillings, or too much fluoride may not respond to whitening methods. Veneers provide the ability to choose the shade of white you like and get your bright smile back.

Small teeth:
Sometimes teeth are just too small for a person’s facial features. It is difficult for orthodontists to close gaps between teeth that are too small, and gum recession is also often an issue with small teeth. Veneers can take care of both of these problems.

Worn teeth:
When the edges of teeth become worn, it can make you look older than you actually are. Veneers can lengthen teeth that are shortened with wear so that your smile looks brand new.

Crooked teeth:
Misaligned and crooked teeth can be hidden under dental veneers. This gives your smile a uniform and appealing look.

Cosmetic issues:
Veneers can be provided simply for cosmetic purposes to change the shape and appearance of your teeth. You and your cosmetic dentist can design the veneers together so that your teeth might look more curved, flatter, bigger, or longer as you choose.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Trading Your Dentures in for Dental Implants

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

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

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

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

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Signs You May Need a Root Canal Therapy

If you are dealing with ongoing tooth pain, you may be too fearful to go to the dentist to find out what’s going on. It’s important that you do, however, as you may need root canal therapy. Your dentist will need to evaluate you to see if that procedure is necessary, and will closely examine several factors: the signs the dentist can see personally, the results of any tests performed during your visit, and the symptoms you have been experiencing with the problematic tooth.

Your dentist may observe:

  • A tooth that is discolored
  • X-rays that reveal a tooth problem
  • A fistulous tract, or persistent or recurring gum pimple

Additional testing done by your dentist:

  • X-rays provide an extremely clear picture of the health of the tooth
  • Thermal testing can evaluate sensitivity through a careful application of hot or cold temperatures
  • Percussion testing evaluates pain response through gentle tapping

You may have been noticing:

  • A broken or cracked tooth obviously decayed or damaged
  • A discolored tooth, especially a grey tooth
  • A “bubble” in your gums, like a pimple. It may or may not have ruptured, leaking pus that smells or tastes awful
  • Pain that shoots out from one tooth to your jaw or ear, leading to earache symptoms
  • Pain that prevents you from living your life without painkillers
  • Pain, sensitivity or swelling on one certain tooth
  • Extreme sensitivity to hot or cold liquids that lingers and is very painful

In some cases, an infected tooth that requires a root canal treatment has no symptoms at all that could be discerned by you. Only a dental professional can confirm the need to undergo root canal therapies. If you are experiencing pain that disrupts your life, talk to your dentist or endodontist immediately. Root canal treatments are designed to relieve the pain you’re experiencing now and to restore your tooth to full form and function. Don’t wait to get your life and smile back!

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Advantages of Dental Veneers

Veneers are a great solution for many people who are unhappy with their smiles and want a permanent improvement. These thin porcelain shells are bonded to the surface of teeth to make the smile more appealing. You and your dentist can choose the shade you prefer, and a minimal amount of preparation is required before attaching the veneers.

Many kinds of problems disappear with dental veneers. Some of the common reasons that people choose veneers include:

  • tooth discoloration or staining
  • crooked teeth
  • worn teeth
  • too much gums visible
  • uneven teeth
  • misshapen teeth
  • bite problems
  • overly sensitive teeth

No matter what flaws you might be getting dental veneers to hide, these restorations offer a number of advantages:

  • Your real teeth may look unhealthy and damaged, but covering them with veneers gives them a healthy glow of a well-cared-for smile.
  • Veneers look very natural, because the porcelain material is translucent and offers a glassy appearance.
  • Porcelain resists stains so your smile will stay as white and bright as the day you got the veneers.
  • Veneers last anywhere from ten years to a lifetime, depending on the quality of the application and your proper maintenance of them afterwards.
  • There is no special care required other than your usual brushing and flossing routine.
  • Veneers can increase your self-esteem, since you can feel confident that your smile is the best it’s ever been.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Energy drinks and teeth

Energy Drinks and Your Teeth

Though sports drinks and energy drinks may provide refreshment after a workout or keep you awake to study, they can also do serious damage to your teeth. People often think of these drinks as healthy alternatives to soda, but that’s not the case. In fact, research shows that these beverages are up to 10 times worse for your oral health than cola.

The issue with sports and energy beverages comes from the high acidity. Manufacturers add acid to these drinks to balance the sugar. Even more than soft drinks, the acid in sports and energy beverages can erode tooth enamel, which increases the odds of cavities. Once teeth are weakened by decay, you become more susceptible to future problems down the road.

Another reason sports and energy drinks are problematic is the way people consume them. Because most individuals sip on them throughout the day, teeth are continuously exposed to the acid in the beverages. To minimize the risks to your oral health, consider these tips:

  • Use a straw when you consume these beverages because it restricts the amount of liquid that gets on your teeth.
  • Chew sugar-free gum, which promotes saliva production and rinses the acid from your teeth.
  • Brush your teeth right after drinking sugary beverages to remove any residue and keep teeth healthy.
  • Make H2O your first choice. Consuming lots of water and limiting intake of sodas, sports beverages, or energy drinks will help you stay hydrated and promote good oral health.

 

Family and general dentist in Charlottesville

Feeling Better about your Smile with Veneers

Teeth that cause you to be embarrassed about your smile may be hidden using a popular cosmetic dentistry technique called veneers. Broken, chipped, discolored, or misaligned teeth can easily be hidden with this long-lasting dental solution.

Veneers are very thin shells, usually made of durable porcelain, placed over your teeth to hide the flaws. It is a simple process for your dentist to attach them to your teeth, and you and your dentist can even choose the color of your veneers for the most natural and appealing look. The process is pain-free and does not require lots of time at your dentist’s office. Veneers feel like regular teeth and do not cause irritation of your gums.

One of the greatest things about veneers is that the porcelain resists stains, so you can eat and drink whatever you would like without avoiding items that are known to discolor teeth. Caring for veneers does not require anything additional to your normal oral hygiene routine. Proper maintenance will help keep your veneers looking great and your teeth healthy.

Finding a dentist to do your veneers is usually easy. Many dentists practice this technique, it is just a matter of inquiring to find out which ones provide the service and determining who you are most comfortable with to do your dental work. You should make sure that the dentist you choose is experienced and qualified in providing dental veneers. Asking for before and after photos of other patients with veneers is a good idea too.

Once you have chosen a dentist and decided together that veneers will be helpful in your case, you will be on your way to a beautiful smile.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Transforming Your Smile with Dental Veneers

When your appearance gets you down because you are embarrassed about flaws in your smile, dental veneers can turn your life around. The process is simple and in only a couple of visits to your dentist, you’ll have a brand new beautiful smile.

Getting dental veneers is painless. Your dentist just takes impressions of your natural teeth and then the mold is used to create veneers just for you in a dental lab. The thin shells, usually made of porcelain or composite resin, are bonded onto the fronts of your teeth to hide all kinds of imperfections.

There are many reasons that patients consider veneers to transform their smile. Here are some common ones:

  • Stains – severely discolored and stained teeth sometimes do not respond to teeth whitening treatment, or the results just aren’t dramatic enough to make you happy with your smile. The shade of dental veneers is chosen by you and your dentist, so you can achieve the exact color you’d like.
  • Chips – teeth that are chipped or cracked are easily hidden under veneers. The damaged portion of the tooth is supplemented so that it looks brand new, and the hard coating supplied by the veneers protects the weakened tooth from further damage.
  • Misalignment – if braces or other orthodontia didn’t work for you or if you want to avoid the sometimes lengthy and embarrassing process, veneers make your smile appear straight and perfect. Uneven or crooked teeth can cause low self-esteem, but veneers will make you proud to smile.
  • Gaps – extra spaces between your teeth can also be upsetting, especially large gaps that might even call for invasive procedures like dental implants. Your dentist may be able to cover awkward gaps with veneers to give you an even smile without any pain or prolonged recovery time.

Veneers aren’t for every dental problem, but many of them can be addressed with this easy and quick solution. Ask your dentist if they are right for you.


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Invislaign in Charlottesville

Invisalign and Older Smiles

The innovative approach to improving smiles through Invisalign has paved the way for beautiful smiles for people of all ages. Not just for children and teenagers, Invisalign appeals to adults all the way through to retirement ages. It’s never too late to transform your smile and regain your self-esteem when you have the option of Invisalign.

What types of problems does Invisalign address? In addition to simply straightening the teeth to achieve a more perfect smile, dental problems like gaps, overcrowding, overbites, underbites, open bites and cross bites can all be improved.

The process involves wearing customized invisible plastic aligners over your teeth. New aligner trays are provided every few weeks during treatment as your teeth gently move to their improved positions. The aligners are removable for easy dental hygiene, since normal brushing and flossing are possible instead of dealing with cumbersome wires and brackets. The clear plastic trays are nearly invisible in your smile, hugging your teeth securely allowing for no embarrassing slips or speech impacts.

Invisalign is possible for just about anyone with permanent teeth and healthy gums. Older patients are often at higher risk for gum issues, so correcting crooked teeth or overlaps is especially beneficial to help those patients avoid gum problems related to gaps or inability to clean teeth properly. Correcting misalignments can also prevent jaw or joint pain in the mouth, head, and neck area.

Patients over the age of 50 are seeking orthodontic treatment more than ever. As they age, many people want to avoid dentures when possible and Invisalign can provide a great option for making smiles look more appealing while also improving oral health. A beautiful smile can also improve your outlook on life, making you look and feel younger. An attractive smile positively impacts your overall attitude and appearance, and it’s possible with the help of Invisalign.

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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.

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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.

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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