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

 

cosmetic dentistry

Enamel Bonding and Recontouring

Enamel bonding and recontouring is an easy way to hide small imperfections in your teeth, or to lengthen or change the overall shape. Treatment can often be completed in one visit to your dentist in Charlottesville and it’s extremely affordable. Even small changes can make quite a difference to your appearance. Enamel bonding and recontouring can both be carried out as separate treatments but they are often combined to give the best results.

Enamel recontouring can deal with issues such as slightly overlapping teeth or teeth that are just a bit out of alignment. Enamel bonding uses tooth colored composite resin materials to hide small imperfections. Your general dentist in Charlottesville can determine if one or both treatments are required. Before either of these procedures is carried out, your dentist will need to take dental x-rays and to examine your mouth, making sure your teeth and gums are healthy.

Enamel recontouring involves removing tiny amounts of tooth enamel to adjust the overall shape, position or length of your teeth. The amount removed is minimal and the effects can be subtle but noticeable. Afterwards the enamel is smoothed and polished to give a natural sheen.

The process for enamel bonding is equally straightforward. First your dentist in Charlottesville will apply an acidic liquid to your teeth which has the effect of slightly roughening the tooth surfaces and increasing the bond between the composite resin and your tooth. Next, your dentist will carefully apply the composite resin to the tooth, hardening the material using a special light. Finally, the composite resin will be shaped and polished to complete the process.

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

Cosmetic dentistry

Top Reasons to see a Cosmetic Dentist

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

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

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

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

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

Cosmetic dentists in Charlottesville

cosmetic dentist in Charlottesville

What You Should Know About Porcelain Veneers

If you are unhappy with your smile, porcelain veneers are a cosmetic dentistry option that can provide you with flawless teeth. Veneers are a very popular way to improve your appearance without a major, invasive procedure. Here are some things you should know about porcelain veneers if you are considering them as a solution for an imperfect smile.

Difference between veneers and crowns
The purpose of veneers is to restore your smile, and your original teeth are not removed or altered. However, a large part of the original tooth structure is removed with crowns in the process of building a new tooth. If you’re seeking a minimally invasive option, veneers may be your answer.

Natural appearance
Veneers are customized just for you, so your smile can be personalized to meet your desires. Your teeth will look natural and healthy. Porcelain is translucent and provides a realistic look to your smile. Also, stains do not stick to porcelain and even if there is any small staining, it can be easily polished off during a dental cleaning.

Permanent solution
Veneers are a permanent tooth restoration, so make sure you are happy with the color and shape before they are placed using dental cement. Alterations cannot be made once the veneers are in place.

Requires healthy teeth
A thorough examination by your dentist is required to determine if veneers are right for you. Some oral conditions do not work well with veneers, so your dentist will make sure your teeth and mouth are healthy enough to work successfully with veneers.

Cosmetic Dentist in Charlottesville

Chewing gum and teeth

How Does Chewing Gum Affect my Teeth?

Gone are the days when chewing gum is considered poor etiquette. In today’s society, you can find people chewing gum in business meetings, church, and just about every other situation. With gum chewing so prevalent, you may have wondered what it’s doing to people’s teeth. You may be surprised to learn that research shows that chewing sugarless gum has a number of dental benefits. Let’s see how it can actually be a helpful addition to your oral care routine.

Saliva flow
Chewing sugarless gum increases the flow of saliva in your mouth, which rinses away food particles. Saliva also neutralizes acids that result from bacteria in your mouth that can lead to tooth decay. Known to carry with it calcium and phosphate, increased saliva flow also helps strengthen your tooth enamel.

ADA acceptance
Choose gum with the American Dental Association (ADA) Seal, indicating it as met the required safety and effectiveness criteria. This approval means that you can trust the gum’s packaging and labeling to be true.

Sugarless
The only gums carrying the ADA Seal are sugarless. They contain sweeteners that don’t cause cavities, like aspartame, mannitol, sorbitol, or xylitol. Chewing gum with xylitol is especially recommended, because it has been shown to combat tooth decay and cavities.

Dental hygiene
Even though chewing gum can be beneficial, remember that brushing and flossing are still the best ways to care for your teeth. Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and floss every day to remove plaque and debris between your teeth. Between these dental hygiene tasks, however, it is acceptable to chew sugarless gum to continue caring for your mouth during the day.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

cold sore dentist

Dealing with Cold Sores and Fever Blisters

Fun in the summer sun can cause unpleasant side effects such as cold sores and fever blisters. Brought on by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), cold sores and fever blisters are transmitted from person to person by saliva or by skin contact. With cold sores, you generally develop clusters of tiny blisters on the lip. Most people are exposed to HSV-1 before age 10. After the first infection, the virus remains inactive until stress, illness, or sun exposure causes a new outbreak.

During the first exposure, you may have headache, nausea, fever, and/or vomiting. Patients may also have painful swelling and open mouth sores. Most of the time, cold sores or fever blisters appear on the edges of your lips. Usually, these outbreaks start with tingling or burning followed by swelling or redness. One or more blisters will typically appear within 24 to 48 hours.

Initial symptoms can last for 7 to 14 days. When the cold sores or blisters reappear, they generally crust over in about four days and then heal within 10 days. You may want to visit your doctor or dentist the first time you develop cold sores or fever blisters, but after that, you shouldn’t need medical attention. Keep the area clean and apply topical medication to lessen symptoms as well as promote healing.

Preventing a first infection for loved ones involves making sure that no one with an active fever blister kisses your kids or other family members. Sunscreen can help protect your lips from cold sores brought on by too much time in the sun.

Dentist in Charlottesville

White fillings

The Debate About Amalgam Fillings

At one time, metal fillings were the only choice to repair tooth decay. Now, many dentists have switched to composite resin fillings, which match natural-tooth color so they don’t compromise the appearance of your smile. Tooth-colored fillings have gained popularity, and many dentists only offer this option. In recent years, there has been a strong push to eliminate amalgam fillings all together.

Amalgam fillings are made of several metals, with up to a 50 percent composition of mercury. It is widely known that mercury is toxic to the body. Some of the concern about amalgam fillings is the affect mercury has on the body, including:

•    Causing damage to the kidneys
•    Contributing to infertility
•    Impacting the nervous system
•    Interfering with the function of the thyroid and pituitary glands
•    Posing unknown risk to a fetus
•    Weakening the immune system

Because each person is different, you may have no reaction to the amalgam fillings. Over time, though, these restorations may change shape or crack, which can cause them to leak. If the fillings don’t hold up, the area may become susceptible to additional damage or decay.

At your checkup, have the dentist evaluate any old fillings to make sure they are still in good condition. You can also discuss the benefits of replacing amalgams with composite fillings. The newer restorations blend with your natural tooth coloring and require less removal of health tooth structure, which allows for a more conservative repair.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

electric toothbrush benefits

Considering Electric Toothbrushes

Dentists say that electric toothbrushes really can make a difference in your ability to clean your teeth and gums. However, not all models provide the same amount of benefits. There are some important things to know about making your choice so that you purchase the best toothbrush for your needs. Here are some guidelines to consider when selecting an electric toothbrush.

Toothbrush heads
If several people will be using the toothbrush, look for one with assorted head sizes. Adults and children need different sizes of heads for the best results. Also, make sure you choose a model with replaceable toothbrush heads. This will save you money in the long run because you’re only discarding old heads, instead of throwing away entire electric toothbrushes.

Batteries
Your electric toothbrush needs a rechargeable battery so that you’re not investing money in new batteries all the time. Also, your fully charged toothbrush should last over a week. You shouldn’t have to charge the toothbrush all the time, just like you shouldn’t have to with other electric items like your laptop.

Spinning
Some electric toothbrushes offer a special type of head that spins all the way around, which allows you to clean areas that other brushes have a hard time reaching. A spinning brush may cost a bit more, but it really does a great job of helping to fight plaque and prevent gum disease.

Warranty
Look for a toothbrush with a warranty, especially when you’re buying an expensive model. That way if something unexpected happens, it might be covered under the warranty instead of having to purchase a whole new brush.

General and family dentist in Charlottesville

Do You Need a Root Canal Procedure?

When a tooth is seriously decayed or has become infected, a root canal procedure can be done to repair the tooth and save it. During the procedure, the nerve and pulp are removed, while the remainder of the center of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and then carefully sealed to prevent infection.

“Root canal” is the term for the natural space within the tooth’s center. The tooth’s nerve is in the root canal, as is the pulp (or pulp chamber), which is the soft area within the root canal. Because the tooth’s nerve isn’t vital to a tooth’s health, removing it doesn’t prevent the normal functioning of the tooth.

Removing the nerve and the pulp is necessary in some cases to address irritation, inflammation and infection stemming from severe decay, damaged or deep fillings, cracked or chipped teeth or facial trauma. When the nerve tissue and pulp become damaged, bacteria begin to form within the pulp chamber. This can lead to a serious infection or abscessed tooth. An abscess can form when the infection spreads past the ends of the tooth roots.

Additionally, severe infections can lead to bone loss around the tip of the root or holes in the tooth that drain the infection into the gums or through the cheek into the skin. It can cause swelling that spreads to the face, head, or neck.

Sometimes, the only signs you need a root canal procedure are more minor. They can include tooth pain when applying pressure or chewing, discoloration (darkening) of the tooth, tenderness and/or swelling of the gum tissue, or a pimple or blemish on the gums that is recurring. Acute sensitivity to cold or hot temperatures that does not abate with time can also be a sign.

Talk to your dentist or endodontist (a dentist whose specialty is the cause, diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases and trauma to the dental pulp or nerve of the tooth) about your concerns. Your dentist will know what to do so you may make the best decisions for your long-term tooth health.

 

If you live in the Charlottesville area and you need a root canal, contact our dental office today.

 

root canal treatment

Symptoms That Indicate You Might Need a Root Canal Procedure

If you have tooth pain or another issue, you might wonder what a visit to the dentist may reveal. You may need a root canal procedure. In order to properly evaluate your issue and to confirm the need for a procedure, a dentist will examine several factors. These typically include the symptoms you are experiencing, the signs observed, and any additional testing required to confirm an initial theory.

You may have noticed:

  • You experience average to severe pain that lingers, during or immediately after drinking hot liquids or food, or very cold liquids or foods.
  • You have pain, swelling, or sensitivity when biting or chewing on a certain tooth.
  • Your tooth pain disrupts your life, preventing you from sleeping through the night or conducting your daily business without taking an over-the-counter pain reliever.
  • You have a “bubble” on your gum, similar to a pimple. When irritated, it may release blood or pus that can smell or taste bad.
  • You have pain that radiates out from one tooth to other areas of your head or jaw. For example, a tooth pain can lead to a pain behind the eye like a headache or to the ear, resulting in earache symptoms.
  • You have a discolored tooth that is darker than the surrounding teeth. A grey tooth can indicate a “dead” tooth.
  • You have a broken or cracked tooth with obvious signs of damage or decay.


Your dentist may have noticed:

  • A tooth problem revealed by x-rays
  • A recurring or persistent gum pimple (also called “fistulous tracts”)
  • A tooth that has changed color


Additional testing:

  • X-ray examination – if x-rays did not reveal the problem, they can provide an extremely clear picture of tooth health
  • Percussion testing – a gentle tapping on the teeth to evaluate pain response
  • Thermal testing – a careful application of a hot or cold stimulus to evaluate sensitivity

Sometimes, teeth needing to undergo a root canal procedure have no symptoms discernible to the patient. It is important to visit your dentist regularly to ensure the proper diagnosis and treatment needed to maintain life-long oral health.

If you need root canal treatment in the Charlottesville area, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

Root canal treatment

Should an Endodontist Perform Your Root Canal Treatment?

An endodontist is a dentist who has undergone additional training specializing in saving teeth through treatments that involve the pulp and root of teeth. If you have been diagnosed by your family dentist with an infected tooth that requires root canal therapy, it would be logical to seek treatment by a dental professional who is specifically trained in root canal procedures. To find a qualified endodontist for your root canal treatment, consider the following:

  • Ask for a referral from your family dentist to an accredited diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics. You may also consider asking friends and family members who have undergone root canal therapy for recommendations of endodontists.
  • Inquire about the extent of the endodontist’s education and training as well as the number of root canal procedures they have performed. You will want to look for a doctor with an established practice and extensive track record of root canal experience.
  • Find out what type of equipment the doctor utilizes to ensure they are up-to-date on the most recent advances in endodontic therapy and dental technology.
  • Ask about the sedation and pain-relief options the endodontist provides for root canal patients.
  • Evaluate the endodontist and staff to determine if they make you feel comfortable, welcome, and are able and available to answer your questions.

Root canal treatment can be a stress-free and painless experience when performed by the right dental professional. Taking the time and effort to identify a qualified endodontist will help to ensure the ease and success of your procedure, and soon have you back on the road to a healthy smile.

 

Root canal dentist in Charlottesville

root canal treatment

What is Endodontics?

Endodontics is a dental term often linked to a more common dental procedure you’ve probably already heard of called root canal treatment. Endodontics focuses on the pulp of your tooth, which holds nerves and blood vessels supplying nutrients and oxygen to your tooth. When the pulp is infected or injured, endodontic treatment may be performed to save the tooth.

During endodontic treatment, the hollow part inside your tooth is cleaned, disinfected, and filled. It is often the best way to save a tooth that has been damaged by decay, trauma, or other causes. Common symptoms that endodontic treatment is necessary include pain, tooth sensitivity, or exposure of the pulp due to tooth fracture.

After examining your tooth and X-ray results, your dentist will recommend the kind of endodontic treatment you need based on how seriously the pulp is impacted. One type is called vital pulp therapy, which has a goal of preserving and protecting your tooth’s pulp. This procedure involves removing only the pulp from the crown of your tooth and not from the root. It is only advised when there is no swelling or abscess present, and the tooth is secure.

Another type of endodontic treatment is non-vital pulp therapy, which is known as root canal treatment. It is performed when there is no chance of saving the pulp of your tooth. The whole pulp will be removed from inside your tooth, and the canals will be cleaned and filled with a special material. Then a stainless steel crown will be placed on the tooth.

Sometimes endodontic treatment is not recommended, and the tooth needs to be extracted instead. This choice depends on factors such as tooth location, age of the tooth, extent of damage, and the patient’s overall health. Your dentist will be able to advise you on the best treatment for your condition.

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

 

teeth whitening dentist

Teeth Whitening Trends

Nobody is happy with yellow or brown teeth. Ugly stains from smoking or consuming foods and drinks prone to discoloring your teeth can make you a good candidate for teeth whitening. There are many techniques available to restore your bright smile. The main two categories of teeth whitening are either at-home kits or professional treatment in a dental office. Let’s learn about these to see which you’d like to use to brighten your smile.

At-home teeth whitening
There are a variety of products you can try yourself to whiten your teeth. These treatments usually take a few weeks of use before your teeth are noticeably whiter. Also remember that most of these products cannot achieve as high of a level of whiteness as those performed professionally.

  • Kits – whitening kits contain a tooth mold and gel to place inside the mold. You wear the filled mold for about 30 minutes for 2-3 weeks.
  • Strips – thin whitening strips are coated with peroxide gel, and then you apply the strips directly to your teeth for 30 minutes for 14 days. Results become evident in a few days and last about four months.
  • Toothpaste – brushing with whitening toothpaste must be done consistently and you must be patient because reaching the desired outcome usually takes a couple of months.

Professional teeth whitening
Treatments done by a dentist are the fastest and most effective way to regain your pearly whites.

  • Laser whitening – the dentist coats your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide solution and then shines a laser light on them. This oxidizes the stains and gives them a whiter appearance.
  • Porcelain veneers – if your teeth are severely stained and other whitening techniques haven’t done the trick, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers. These shells permanently cover your teeth and provide a beautiful smile.

Teeth Whitening dentist in Charlottesville

teeth whitening

Reasons Your Teeth May No Longer Be White

It can be rather upsetting to see that your smile is no longer as bright and appealing as it used to. Most people’s teeth become stained and discolored and result of diet and poor oral hygiene habits. It can make the whole appearance look dull and unkempt, giving others the impression you don’t take good care of yourself. Let’s find out the causes and what you can do about it.

Causes
There are some reasons that teeth become stained or yellowed. The culprits for tooth discoloration are as follows:

  • Tobacco – Smoking or chewing on them stains teeth.
  • Foods and drinks – coffee, colas, wines, tea, berries, sauces, and other items that you consume can damage your tooth color.
  • Medications – certain medications are known to discolor teeth, sometimes causing severe stains that are difficult to remove.
  • Poor oral hygiene – improper brushing and flossing is key in removing plaque and stains.
  • Age – aging wears away tooth enamel and reveals the yellowish dentin underneath.
  • Disease – some diseases can harm tooth enamel and trigger discoloration. Certain medical treatments like radiation and chemotherapy can also discolor teeth.
  • Environment – excessive fluoride exposure can stain teeth; this is known as fluorosis.
  • Genetics – some people are more prone to tooth discoloration than others.
  • Trauma – a hit to the maxillofacial region can damage the tooth and cause discoloration due to pulp necrosis.

Prevention
Lifestyle changes can prevent tooth discoloration, such as avoiding foods and drinks known to stain teeth. Improving oral hygiene is another step in the right direction, including regular brushing and flossing and consistent professional teeth cleanings.

Treatment
The options vary depending on the severity of discoloration and goals of the patient. Whitening methods include over-the-counter whitening products, at-home whitening kits provided by the dentist, professional in-office whitening treatments, bonding, and dental veneers. These tools cater for various needs according to patient’s concern.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Teeth whitening dentist

Teeth Whitening and Teeth Bleaching: What’s the Difference?

Having a bright, beautiful, white smile is something we all desire. It signals health and prosperity and leaves the best possible first impression a person can make. There are a host of products at the drug store that label themselves “whitening.” Whitening toothpastes, whitening mouth rinses, whitening strips, gels and creams all line the shelves, promising a “new you!” Your dentist, however, offers something labeled as “bleaching.” So what’s the difference? Which should you choose?

Your natural tooth is made up of two specific layers: enamel and dentin. The enamel layer is on the outside of the tooth. It’s the white part we see when someone smiles. It’s hard and heavily mineralized and can appear like porcelain. The dentin is the inner layer. It’s yellow in color and supports the enamel on the outside. Over time, your enamel naturally wears away and the yellow dentin color can begin to show through.

The term “whitening” is applied to any product that helps restore teeth to a natural color by removing debris and stains from a natural tooth’s surface. Any substance that restores the surface of a tooth’s enamel is a whitening product. Many whitening products contain a mild abrasive that removes leftover discoloration and food particles, leaving the enamel of the tooth smooth and white. Teeth whitening products combat stains caused by ageing and the discoloration left by many foods, or by smoking.

The FDA permits the term “bleaching” only for products that can whiten a tooth beyond their initial, natural color. Bleaching products contain active ingredients such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide. The peroxide is activated so that it releases oxygen molecules that enter the tooth enamel and break down stains in a way that whitening products cannot. This activation can occur immediately, in the case of some in-office bleaching products, like laser whitening, or it can take several hours, as it can with custom take-home bleaching trays.

If you are considering brightening your smile, talk to Charlottesville teeth whitening dentist Dr. Delph to see what product is best suited to your smile needs!

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

sleep apnea dentist

What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

More than 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a serious condition that compromises your rest and can impact your health. Some symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, extreme daytime tiredness, mouth breathing, and irritability. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea, much less common, happens when the brain fails to signal your breathing muscles.

Characterized by short episodes of not breathing, which can occur from five to 50 times a night, obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the muscles in your throat relax and your airways become blocked as you sleep. Your brain senses the lack of breathing and wakes you briefly to restore airflow. These episodes disrupt sleep and keep you from feeling rested.

Not only does sleep apnea keep you from getting a good night’s rest, but it can also put your health at risk. Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, risk of stroke, memory impairment, and weight gain. As well, your sleep partner may not get enough sleep because of your snoring and/or waking episodes.

If you suspect sleep apnea, talk with your dentist, who may recommend a sleep evaluation. Through overnight monitoring, a sleep specialist can determine if you suffer from sleep apnea. Treatment for sleep apnea may include lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask, or an oral appliance. Your dentist can fit you for night guard that will hold your jaw in the correct position to keep your airways open.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

kids dentist

Baby Teeth Basics

Babies obviously can’t take care of themselves, so parents have to handle all aspects of their care. Don’t forget their oral health! Parents need to lay the groundwork for lifelong good dental habits and healthy smiles for their children. Here are some answers to common questions about baby teeth.

Do baby teeth matter?
Primary, or baby, teeth are important. They help children chew naturally and speak clearly. They provide the place for adult teeth to grown in properly later.

Should I brush my baby’s teeth?
You should brush your baby’s teeth without toothpaste, using a small amount of water instead. Use a small, soft-bristled toothbrush at bedtime to remove plaque and bacteria from your baby’s teeth and gums.

When can I start using toothpaste?
Fluoride toothpaste can be implemented after age two, when a child can be trusted not to swallow the toothpaste. Only use a small amount of toothpaste, and watch the child carefully to ensure proper brushing and spitting out the toothpaste.

When should I take my child to the dentist?
Experts recommend taking your child to the dentist when their first tooth appears, or by their first birthday. Your child should be taken for dental visits every six months, or more often if your dentist has concerns.

Do I need a certain type of dentist for my child?
You may choose a pediatric dentist who has been trained specifically to treat children. Their goal is to teach children about oral hygiene and the importance of taking care of their teeth, as well as provide a comfortable experience in visiting the dentist. However, you may also choose a regular dentist to take care of your child’s oral health. It is up to you to decide which kind of dentist is right for your family.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Dental implant

How Dental Implants Can Preserve Bone

Preserving the bone in your jaw and face is of utmost importance to your cosmetic dentist, and as such, treatments that preserve bone are preferred over those that lead to bone shrinkage, known as resorption.

Dental implants preserve bone by mimicking the tooth’s natural roots, stimulating and preserving the bone. As part of the healing process following surgical placement, the jawbone fuses directly to the implant. Most often made of titanium, dental implants provide a very stable foundation for a replacement tooth. This foundation is so stable that it can serve as an anchor point for dental bridgework and will feel, look, and function as your natural tooth would.

The process of implant to bone fusion is known as “osseointegration.” Fusion is primarily dependent upon the quality of bone surrounding the implant, and can be achieved in three to nine months following dental implant treatment. Excessive smoking or drinking can stunt the healing process and lead to complications.

Because bone resorption is prevented with dental implants, your facial structure will not collapse and your facial shape will not change. Missing teeth that are replaced by implants avoid other problems commonly associated with tooth loss, including other teeth shifting into the open spaces created by the missing teeth, and functional problems with the jaw joints and bite alignment.

Once a tooth is extracted or falls out, a great deal of the bone in the area will shrink, or resorb over the coming year. Shrinkage occurs in a horizontal as well as vertical dimension. Most resorption occurs within the first two to three months following tooth loss. When a cosmetic dentist replaces that tooth immediately with a titanium dental implant, the bone fuses around the implant, significantly reducing bone shrinkage.

Dental implants are the only restorative treatment that preserves and maintains bone. Dentures and partial dentures can accelerate the process of bone shrinkage as a result of pressure on the underlying mouth structures as you talk or eat.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Implant dentist in Charlottesville

Making a Decision about Dental Implants

For many years, your only choice for replacing missing teeth was dentures or bridges. Now dental implants offer an impressive alternative. Don’t rule them out just because you don’t know what they are, what the process is, who makes a good candidate, or what the benefits include. Learn more about implants so you can make an educated decision whether they’re right for you.

Teeth can be lost or severely damaged for many reasons such as gum disease, tooth decay, or injury. Dental implants provide a solution by surgically placing a titanium root directly into your jawbone. A post connects the implant to an artificial tooth that is placed on top during a second surgery. Usually there is a delay between the first and second surgeries to allow for proper healing so that the implant is successful.

Implants offer lots of benefits. They look and feel like your real teeth, and there’s no slipping or speech problems as with other restorations. They have a very high success rate and can last a lifetime with good care. Your oral hygiene tasks are the same as with real teeth. Your self-esteem will increase with your fully restored and functional smile.

Although many people are good candidates for implants, your dentist will let you know if there are risks for you. Healthy gums are very important, so those with periodontal disease may not be suitable. There also must be sufficient jaw bone support for implants to attach successfully, or you might be able to have bone grafting done to achieve more jaw strength before implants.

Dental implants are often the ideal solution for people who are missing teeth. Even though you might be nervous about the procedure, implants provide a great way to restore your smile comfortably and naturally.

Dental Implants Charlottesville

family dentist

Great Snacks for Your Kid’s Teeth

The school year has started and kids are busy with school, sports, and social activities. It’s a challenge sometimes to get your kids to eat healthy when they are on-the-go, not only for their overall health but also for their oral health. Here are some tasty and healthy snacks that you can offer your kids, and chances are they’ll like them!

Yogurt
Dairy foods help build strong bones, and they’re also great for a strong mouth. Eating low-fat yogurt provides calcium. Try mixing it with berries and granola for a healthy parfait, or making homemade fruity yogurt popsicles to attract your children’s attention.

Cheese
Besides providing calcium, cheese helps fight cavities. It triggers saliva production, which washes away food particles in your mouth and the acids that can weaken your teeth. In these ways, cheese halts the process of cavity formation. Cheese not only contains calcium but also phosphorous, which both help rebuild the enamel on your teeth.

Blueberries
These berries may be small, but they’re packed with Vitamin C, minerals, and folic acid. They also contain ingredients which studies show help prevent diabetes and cancer. Try adding blueberries to pancakes and muffins, or sprinkling them with a small amount of sugar and topping them with whipped cream.

Almonds
Nuts like almonds contain ingredients to fight diseases, as well as Vitamin E, fiber, calcium, and iron. Most kids enjoy eating almonds raw, but remember they are a choking hazard for young children.

Whole wheat bread
Bread made with whole wheat provides kids with iron, zinc, magnesium, and vitamins. Whole grain cereal offers calcium, fiber, and vitamins. Enjoying these whole wheat snacks with milk provides an even healthier snack for your kids.

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Veneers dentist in Charlottesville

Transforming your Smile with Veneers

Beautiful smiles with sparkling, straight teeth are common sights these days. Many people seek various treatments to help improve the appearance of their smile, and one of the popular choices is dental veneers. Read more to find out about this quick and painless way to transform your look, and obtain a smile that others envy.

Description
A very thin porcelain shell is permanently attached to the fronts of your teeth with a durable dental adhesive. Veneers are stain resistant and can be as white as you choose. These natural-looking restorations can hide chipped teeth, gaps, misaligned teeth, and discolorations.

Procedure
A small amount of your tooth enamel is removed to allow your dentist to properly place your veneers. A model of your teeth is created to be used to create perfect veneers customized to your mouth. On your next dental visit, a solution will be placed on your teeth to promote bonding. Then the veneers are firmly attached, and there is no downtime or recovery necessary.

Maintenance
Veneers should be treated like your natural teeth. That means they can be damaged by chewing hard objects like ice or biting your nails. Dental hygiene tasks remain the same. Dentists recommend that you brush twice a day and floss daily to clean your teeth and gums, and to prevent plaque buildup and tooth decay. Maintain regular checkups at your dentist for examinations and cleanings. If properly cared for, your veneers should last many years.

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General dentistry

Making your smile sparkle

Your smile can be one of your strongest assets, or it can be one of your biggest detriments if you don’t take care of it! Studies show that people are more likely to underestimate your age if you are smiling. On the flip side, a smile containing yellow or damaged teeth has the opposite effect of making you appear older. Luckily, there are many options available to help. Here are some tips for achieving an awesome smile.

Don’t forget to floss
Many people are in the habit of brushing their teeth every day, but flossing is often neglected. It’s the best way to get rid of plaque and bacteria in those hard-to-reach areas around your teeth. Otherwise, food particles and bacteria will build up and harm your teeth and gums.

Get your calcium and Vitamin C
Strong teeth and jaw bones are a sure way to a healthy mouth. Calcium, most often found in dairy products and vegetables, will help you develop strong teeth and bones. Vitamin C, often found in citrus fruits and vegetables, also strengthens teeth by repairing tissues and preventing bacteria from accessing your gums.

Avoid food and drink enemies
Some foods and drinks have a negative effect on your oral health. Avoid sugary foods, sodas, and sticky items. Foods high in acid content can weaken your tooth enamel. Also steer away from foods and beverages that commonly stain teeth, like coffee, red wine, and dark berries. If you consume staining foods, perform good dental hygiene afterwards.

Give professional bleaching a try
Teeth whitening at your dentist’s office is effective and provides quick results.

Whiten your teeth at home
A less expensive whitening option is done at home with products you can purchase at your drugstore. Whitening strips and toothpastes can help brighten your smile, although you have to be more patient than with the professional methods.

Learn makeup tricks
Believe it or not, your makeup techniques can help your smile appear brighter. Lipstick shades with a blue undertone and bronzer make ups that darken the skin both provide a greater contrast to your teeth and help them look brighter.

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sensitive teeth

What’s Behind Tooth Sensitivity?

Tooth pain that occurs when you eat or drink something cold or hot is an indicator that your teeth are overly sensitive. It can also result from eating sour or sweet foods, and sometimes just from breathing in cold air. Usually tooth sensitivity happens when your enamel has worn down, exposing the inner part of your tooth where sensitive nerves are located. It’s important to know what kinds of things may trigger tooth sensitivity, in hopes of avoiding it in the future.

Tooth decay
Decay leads to cavities, which are holes in your teeth or damage to their structure. Tooth decay and the resulting cavities are often preventable with good dental care. If you develop a cavity, however, it’s vital to get it repaired so that area of your teeth doesn’t become overly sensitive and painful.

Gum disease
Early gum disease, called gingivitis, is usually caused by poor dental hygiene that leads to gum inflammation and redness. Your gums may bleed easily and become sore. As gingivitis worsens, your gums can recede and expose the roots of your teeth. Your roots contain nerve endings, and sensitivity will likely increase.

Trauma
Accidents to your teeth or gums may lead to sensitivity. Fractured or knocked out teeth are certainly susceptible to painful sensations in your mouth.

Teeth whitening
Many people who use teeth whitening methods complain that their teeth become more sensitive with use of these products. Some whitening techniques cause this sensation more than others, so you may have to try several if you want to pursue teeth whitening without the sensitivity.

Remedies
One way to treat this problem is to use toothpaste intended for sensitive teeth. Also, avoid foods and drinks that tend to increase your symptoms. If you do consume items that cause discomfort, gently brush your teeth afterwards to help reduce the effects.

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Dental health and pregnancy

Caring for Your Dental Health during Pregnancy

When you are having a baby, you have a lot of your mind. Most expectant moms have to worry about doctor’s appointments, prenatal vitamins, morning sickness, and picking out names. It’s important to take good care of yourself during this special time. One area that may fall by the wayside is oral health.

Though you may not think it’s a priority, your dental health can impact your pregnancy. Because hormone levels are so high during pregnancy, you may be more susceptible to problems with gum disease. Studies have shown that untreated gum disease can contribute to pre-term births and low-birth weight babies.

Protect your wellbeing and your unborn child by:

  • Eat a balanced diet. Include foods that are rich in calcium, which will keep your dentition strong and help with your baby’s developing teeth.
  • Take time to brush and floss teeth daily. This kind of home routine may help prevent bleeding gums, which often flare up during pregnancy.
  • Watch the snacks. You may need to eat more frequently, but try to choose healthy options like fruits, veggies, and whole grains so that you are less likely to develop cavities.
  • See your dentist for a checkup. After the first trimester, make an appointment for a cleaning and exam. Though you won’t want to schedule X-rays or repairs during pregnancy, routine dental care is important and shouldn’t be avoided.
  • If an emergency situation does occur, contact your dentist right away. Remind the office that you are pregnant so that they can take precautions to ensure the safety of you and your baby.

General dentist in Charlottesville

Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes and Oral Health

If you have diabetes, this condition can impact your overall wellbeing, including your oral health. An estimated 24 million Americans have diabetes, and many may not realize the affect it has on your teeth and gums. The link between diabetes and oral health has to do with blood sugar levels.

Regulating blood sugar is an important component of diabetes management. If your blood sugar is out of whack, you can have problems. Uncontrolled diabetes hinders white blood cells, which help fight off bacterial infections in the mouth. Research has shown that keeping blood sugar levels steady can lowers the chances of major complications of with the eyes, heart, and nerves. Apparently, watching these levels also helps avoid oral health problems as well.

People with diabetes have an increased risk for:

Dry Mouth – When your blood sugar is not regulated, it can decrease saliva production, which can lead to dry mouth.

Inflammation and Gum disease – With diabetes, patients face impairing of white blood cells and thickening of the blood vessels, reducing the flow of nutrients and the removal of waste in the mouth. These factors compromise the body’s ability to fight infection, so the risk for gum disease increases.

Poor healing in the mouth – If you don’t have the diabetes under control, healing throughout the body take longer, including with any dental procedures.

Thrush – A fungal infection of the mouth and tongue, thrush can occur in diabetics if their sugar levels are inconsistent because this fungus is very receptive to the high glucose levels in the saliva.

Patients with diabetes can keep their mouths healthy by following good home health care, scheduling dental visits every six months, and keeping your dentist informed about the status of your diabetes. Make sure to give your dentist contact information for your primary physician so that they can coordinate your complete health care.

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