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

Reasons that Veneers May be Right for You

Porcelain veneers hide your teeth’s imperfections so that you are happier with your smile. They are very thin shells that are adhered onto the fronts of your teeth to permanently give you the look you want. Veneers can make your teeth look straighter, whiter, and better than ever before.

How do you know if veneers might be right for you? Here are some things to consider when deciding whether veneers can help your smile:

  • You would like to alter your teeth permanently.
  • You want to change the color of your teeth.
  • Your front teeth are broken or chipped.
  • Your teeth are not evenly spaced.
  • Your teeth are not aligned straight.
  • You’d like to improve your smile quickly.
  • You don’t want to affect much of your natural teeth.
  • You would like a brighter smile.

If any of these statements describe your situation, then porcelain veneers might be a good choice for you. Of course the first thing you need to do is consult a dentist for advice. Many times, the ideal person for the job is a cosmetic dentist. This type of specialist focuses on performing procedures to help patients achieve their cosmetic smile goals. Veneers is one such treatment that has grown in popularity because it transforms smiles in just a few short appointments, and it is a painless approach.

When you visit a cosmetic dentist, you will be able to describe what bothers you about your teeth and learn if you are a good candidate for veneers. If so, the dentist will explain the simple process of having your porcelain veneers custom-made in a lab for you. Your natural teeth will undergo some minor preparation, and when your veneers are ready the dentist will securely attach them to your teeth. Then you will be set to show off your new smile!

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

dentures

Dentures: Frequently Asked Questions

Dentures have improved dramatically over the past several years. Whether it’s your first set of dentures or your fifth set, you probably have questions. Below are some commonly asked questions and answers about dentures:

  • Will dentures change how I look? Today’s dentures are personalized to your mouth, making their appearance more natural than ever. Dentures also support your cheeks and lips, making you look years younger.
  • Will dentures change how I feel? After a period of adjustment, dentures should make you feel more confident than ever.
  • Will dentures alter my speech? While speaking may be difficult initially, with practice, your speech should quickly return to normal. Practicing reading and counting out loud will help to speed up the adjustment.
  • Will dentures affect how I eat? Eating may take some practice, and you should start with a soft food diet while you adjust to the differences between eating with your natural teeth and dentures. Take small bites and try to chew on both sides of your mouth at the same time. Avoid hard, crunchy or chewy foods that can damage your dentures.
  • How do I care for my dentures? Clean dentures daily, brushing immediately after every meal if possible. Use a soft brush and gentle cleanser, taking care to avoid hard abrasives. Be careful when they are out of your mouth not to drop them or clean them on hard surfaces.
  • Once I have dentures, will I still need to see the dentist? Regular dental examinations and professional denture cleanings are vital to maintaining your oral health. Have your dentist periodically check the fit of your dentures to ensure they are comfortable and last for as long as possible.
  • When will I need to replace my dentures? With care, dentures typically last 5-10 years. Because your mouth continues to change shape as you age and denture teeth wear down, you should have them checked yearly to avoid any significant problems.

Consult with your dental professional about any additional questions or concerns you may have about your future with dentures and your potential for a bright, new smile.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Cosmetic dentist makeovers

Are You a Candidate for a Smile Makeover?

Are you unhappy with the appearance of your smile? Will the improvements you desire need multiple dentistry treatments to achieve the results you are seeking? You may be an ideal candidate for a smile makeover. A smile makeover is a process in which a number of cosmetic dentistry treatments are combined to perfect your smile. Usually, a smile makeover will include options like teeth whitening, dental bonding, porcelain veneers, invisible braces, composite fillings or gum contouring.

Broadly, anyone who has problems with their teeth is a candidate for a smile makeover. However, the best candidate for a smile makeover will be in good general and oral health. You should be free from gum disease and any other ailments or health problems that would preclude undergoing cosmetic dentistry procedures. An ideal candidate will also have grown in all permanent teeth and completed their jaw growth, making a smile makeover inappropriate for young children.

You may be an ideal candidate for a smile makeover if your smile is marred by a number of imperfections including:

  • Discolored or stained teeth
  • Chipped or cracked teeth
  • Crooked, twisted, or incorrectly placed teeth
  • Decayed teeth
  • Gapped or widely-spaced teeth
  • Gummy smile
  • Unhealthy gums
  • Bite conditions such as overbite or underbite

The appearance and health of your smile are vital to your self-confidence and overall happiness. Smile makeovers are safe and effective for most candidates, with little to no side effects. To determine if a smile makeover is right for you, contact an experienced, qualified cosmetic dentist for a one-on-one consultation.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

 

How Dental Implants Changed Dentures Forever

If you’ve been wearing dentures for a while, you may have some complaints. They might fit poorly and shift or click when you talk or eat. Poor fit can lead to discomfort and sores in the mouth that worsen over time, or they can collect food underneath them, leading to bad breath.

If this sounds familiar to you, there might be alternatives for you. One of the newest developments in dentures is the pairing of standard dentures with dental implants. The dental implants are placed directly into your jawbone, providing the kind of stability only previously offered by natural teeth. Dentures fixed in the mouth with dental implants become something new: hybrid dentures.

Dentures that utilize dental implants as their anchors are very stable. They enable denture wearers to enjoy foods previously denied them, such as crisp, healthy foods or chewy cuts of meat. Eliminating the food restrictions present for many denture wearers allows them to eat a wider variety of foods, helping to reduce the risk of poor nutrition and the poor health associated with it, including digestion difficulties.

Because of this increased stability, the denture itself can be made smaller. A standard denture covers the roof of the mouth completely, inhibiting the taste and texture of foods. A denture designed around dental implants, however, has an open roof and facilitates a greater enjoyment of foods of all kinds, as well as a more natural feel for your tongue.

Dental implants also stimulate bone by mimicking natural tooth roots. This stimulation allows the bone to continue to be strong and alive, whereas the bones of the face can begin to shrink once a tooth has been extracted. This bone shrinkage leads directly to poor denture fit. Dental implants used with dentures avoid this issue.

If you are a denture wearer and you’d like to see some changes in how your dentures fit, talk to your dentist to see how using dental implants can improve your denture experience.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Maintaining Your Dentures

Getting back your ability to smile and eat with a complete set of teeth is one of the great benefits of dentures. To prevent infections, sores, or further tooth damage, it is important to maintain dentures properly. Here are some ways that dentists advise to keep your dentures in great condition.

Cleaning

Rinse your dentures well after meals to remove food particles and avoid stains. Brush them daily with a soft toothbrush to remove plaque and deposits. Use a mild soap or product that your dentist recommends, but avoid harsh toothpaste or strong cleaners.

Soaking

Soak your dentures in water or cleaning solution when you are not wearing them, especially overnight. This helps keeps them from drying out or becoming misshapen. Do not use hot water.

Rinsing

If you use a cleaning solution, rinse your dentures well before putting them back in your mouth. Avoid swallowing denture cleaning solution because it can cause stomach upset.

Handling

Handle your dentures very carefully so that you don’t drop them or bend them. Clean them over a basin filled with water, so that if they fall they shouldn’t be damaged.

Visiting your dentist

Maintain regular checkups with your dentist to get both your mouth and your dentures examined. Most dentists recommend visits every six month for ideal results. See your dentist sooner if your dentures are not fitting well, are causing irritation, or have become loose.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Family dentist in Charlottesville

Reasons Regular Family Dentist Visits are Important

Trips to your family dentist for checkups and cleanings may not top your list of fun family activities, but there are important reasons you should make visits to the dentist a priority for your family. Excellent oral health depends heavily on prevention and by taking proactive steps, you can ensure your family will have years of beautiful, healthy smiles. The following reasons outline why regular care by your family dentist is vital to the overall health of your family:

Your family dentist will screen for oral cancer. In the United States, there is approximately one death every hour from oral cancer. Oral cancer is highly curable with early diagnosis and treatment.

Routine cleaning and checkups help to prevent the advancement of gum disease. When diagnosed early, gum disease is both treatable and reversible. However, left unchecked, advanced gum disease can enter your bloodstream leading to a higher incidence of heart disease and possibly stroke.

Maintaining good oral care is the best way to ensure you will keep your natural teeth for a lifetime. Gum disease left untreated can lead to tooth loss, causing a host of other potential problems.

Early detection of cavities, gum disease, and other issues by your family dentist will help you to avoid more serious problems which could lead to root canal treatment, tooth loss, or gum surgery. Early detection and treatment are the keys to avoiding larger dental emergencies.

Clearly, making appointments with your family dentist a priority in your family’s regular routine is a critical part of maintaining not only their excellent oral health, but also in ensuring their overall good health. Every member of your family should be scheduled for cleanings and checkups with your family dentist at least twice per year to ensure a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

 

Choosing the Right Dentures

No matter how much you want to preserve your real teeth, it’s not uncommon for people to lose teeth. It may occur with age, decay, gum disease, or injury. If this happens to you, there’s no reason to go through life missing teeth in your smile. It’s better to quickly see your dentist for replacement teeth, so that you avoid shifting of your remaining teeth, speech problems, or saggy facial muscles. One solution that your dentist will likely offer to restore your smile is dentures. Here are some tips to help you select the right dentures for you.

Dentist

An important step in the process of getting dentures is making sure you have a qualified and experienced dentist treating you. Most dentists provide dentures as part of their services, or you may choose to go to a prosthodontist. This type of specialist focuses on restorative dentistry. No matter who you choose, make sure that you are confident you will get dentures that meet your specific goals and needs.

Type of dentures

There are several types of dentures available, each with their own attributes. These are the main kinds:

  • Full dentures – an acrylic appliance that replaces all of the teeth in your upper jaw. These are functional and replicate your real teeth, and are usually comfortable when fitted correctly.
  • Partial dentures – these replace one or two missing teeth using a dental arch. Partial dentures are made of acrylic, metal, plastic, or a combination of these materials. These are attached with a clip that holds them in place in your mouth.
  • Permanent dentures – these dentures are permanently attached and require almost no maintenance. They are the costliest of the types of dentures.

Color

Dentures are available in various shades of white so that you can select the color that is most natural for you. Be careful about choosing the brightest white color, which may look unnatural compared to the color of your real teeth. Your dentist will help you find a neutral color that looks best with your smile and complexion.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office