A Perfect Smile Thanks to Dental Veneers

If your desire is to transform your smile quickly and easily, dental veneers may be the way to go. They hide cosmetic problems that range from minor issues to very noticeable ones. Veneers are customized so that they give you the exact look you want for your new beautiful smile. These restorations, often made of porcelain, offer a variety of benefits to meet many needs.

Straightening:
Crooked, misaligned, or uneven teeth can be hidden with veneers. An impression will be taken of your teeth, which will be sent to a lab so that veneers can be created specifically for you. Once the veneers are finished, the dentist will attach them to your teeth to give you a perfectly straight smile without having to wear braces.

Strengthening:
If you have cracked or otherwise weakened teeth, you do not have to replace them in order to get dental veneers. Once the teeth are stabilized, veneers can be applied and actually act like a splint for your teeth. Veneers create a strong bond with your teeth and can even protect against tooth decay.

Durability:
Another benefit of veneers is their durability, as they can last up to 20 years. Caring for them just means proper brushing and flossing, and regular checkups. No changes to your diet are necessary, and porcelain veneers are stain resistant so they maintain their bright appearance.

Easy procedure:
Getting dental veneers is a painless process, and quicker than many other cosmetic procedures. You can get your new smile in just two or three appointments.

Natural:
Veneers are one of the most natural-looking ways to improve your smile. They look similar to real teeth because they reflect light naturally, and the thin material fits snugly to your teeth.

Versatility:
Veneers correct a variety of cosmetic dental problems. Examples include discolorations, stains, breaks, misalignment, overcrowding, and unevenness. Just about any aesthetic flaw you have with your teeth can be covered with veneers, giving you a brand new beautiful smile.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Veneers: The Secret is Out!

For people who don’t feel confident about showing their teeth when smiling, dental veneers provide a great way to restore self-esteem and quickly create beautiful smiles. No longer only for the rich and famous, the secret of transforming smiles with veneers is out for everyone to enjoy the benefits.

Veneers are thin shells that go over the front surfaces of your teeth to hide imperfections. They are customized just for you so that they look very natural and appealing. Veneers cover problems like stained, chipped, crooked, or misshapen teeth. The most common materials that veneers are made from are composite or porcelain. Here are the details about each of these types of veneers.

Composite

  • Has an opaque finish, but it’s difficult to match the color of your existing tooth enamel color
  • Lifespan is usually two years or less
  • Susceptible to staining because of its porous characteristics
  • Requires careful and consistent maintenance to keep them looking good as long as possible
  • Typically lower in cost than other types of veneers

Porcelain

  • Has an opaque finish that appears natural and coordinates well with the color and texture of existing teeth
  • Lifespan is usually from five to ten years
  • Does not stain
  • Requires good dental hygiene for the best results

Whichever type of dental veneers you might select, chances are good that you will be glad you chose to restore your smile in this way. People won’t even realize that underneath the veneers you have crooked, discolored, uneven, or chipped teeth. Your secret will be safe, thanks to the technology of dental veneers.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

The Do’s and Don’ts of Denture Care

Thanks to advances in dental technology, dentures are more natural looking and comfortable than ever before. If you are one of the many adults wearing dentures to replace missing teeth, there are several do’s and don’ts you will want to follow to ensure they maintain their fit and your oral health:

  • Do take your dentures out before going to bed, allowing your mouth tissues to rest from wearing them all day.
  • Don’t let your dentures dry out. Soak them in mild denture solution or water while you sleep.
  • Do clean them daily with either a mild detergent or special denture cleaning solution and a soft-bristled brush.
  • Don’t soak them in very hot water, as this could cause them to warp, and they will no longer fit properly.
  • Do handle them with care. Dropping your dentures or treating them with strong cleansers or harsh brushes can do permanent damage.
  • Don’t neglect your oral care for the rest of your mouth. Even patients with a full set of dentures need to take care of their gums, and if you have partial dentures you should continue to brush and floss your remaining teeth regularly.
  • Do pay attention to changes in the fit or feel of your dentures. Problems with fit can lead to irritation and discomfort, and could also be an indication of gum disease.
  • Don’t try to adjust or repair your dentures on your own. If your dentures are ill-fitting or damaged in any way, schedule an appointment with your dentist to have them evaluated.
  • Do continue to see your dentist for regular checkups to help maintain your best oral health and check your dentures for fit and function.

If you are missing all or some of your teeth, dentures can greatly improve both your appearance and the quality of your life. By following these simple guidelines, you can maintain the beauty and functionality of your dentures for many years.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Dental Veneers: An Instant Smile Upgrade

If you’re looking for an instant smile upgrade, dental veneers might be your answer. These thin customized shells made of porcelain or resin are used to cover numerous kinds of teeth imperfections. They are bonded to the fronts of your teeth to give you a beautiful smile. Why do people choose dental veneers for their smiles? The list of benefits is long!

Natural look:
Veneers reflect light in the same way as real teeth, making them look very realistic. Their thin width allow them to blend into your smile.

Color:
Veneers are custom-made to match the exact shade of white that you desire. You and your dentist can work together to match your natural tooth shade, or to choose a brighter color that whitens your smile.

Durability:
Veneers can last for ten years or longer with proper care. Once bonded onto your teeth, they are quite strong if you avoid doing things like biting into hard foods.

Versatility:
Dental veneers hide nearly every cosmetic tooth flaw that you might have. Discolorations, chips, cracks, gaps, misalignment and more can all be covered. Veneers can even give your teeth a new shape and size if desired.

Functionality:
Veneers can strengthen teeth that are cracked, fractured or chipped. This can improve your teeth’s function at the same time as transforming their appearance.

Stain resistance:
Porcelain and resin both resist stains so that you can expect your veneers to remain the same color as when you got them. However, it’s smart to avoid consuming items that are known staining culprits.

Speed:
It may take a week or longer to create your personalized veneers in a dental lab, but the actual process of applying them takes only about an hour.

Ease on teeth:
Very little of your natural tooth must be removed in order to place veneers. The nerves of your teeth should remain unaffected, decreasing the risk of sensitivity.

Recovery:
You can return to your normal routine as soon as your veneers have been placed, as there is no period of recovery or adjustment needed.

Maintenance:
Veneers do not require any kind of special maintenance. You can just continue with your normal brushing and flossing routines.


If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

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.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Improving Smiles with Veneers

If you’ve tried teeth whitening products or other methods to improve the look of your smile but still aren’t satisfied, maybe it’s time to consider the more permanent solution of dental veneers. These provide a painless and simple way to transform your smile without the hassles that some other solutions involve.

What are veneers?:
These very thin shells are usually made from porcelain or composite materials, and they fit right onto the surface of the fronts of your teeth to improve their appearance. They hide imperfections so that no one can even tell what your natural teeth underneath might look like.

What are the benefits?:
In addition to making your smile look nicer, veneers also may be used to fill in gaps between your teeth. They can repair chips in your teeth or decayed areas. Veneers can even correct crooked teeth because they may be used to align your smile in a more appealing way.

Which type should I choose?:
Porcelain veneers are the most popular choice because of its durability and natural appearance. Veneers made of composite are often less expensive, but tend to stain easier and require replacement sooner. Composite veneers may be a good choice for small tooth chip repairs, but for overall improvement porcelain is often the preferred material.

What’s the process for getting veneers?:
After your initial consultation with your dentist, your next appointment will involve gently altering the shape and surface of your teeth if necessary to prepare them for veneers. Then a mold will be made of your mouth so that custom veneers can be created. You’ll be fitted for temporary veneers while your permanent ones are made, which usually takes a few weeks. When they are ready, your veneers will be placed using special glue and then trimmed to fit exactly. Your new smile is now complete!

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Understanding the Limitations of Teeth Whitening

Whitening your teeth to improve your smile is a popular cosmetic treatment, but you should understand that it does have some limitations to consider. If products are used correctly or if you seek the professional help from a qualified dentist, you can usually achieve a bright and appealing smile. Here are some things to think about when it comes to teeth whitening.

Methods:
You should not expect over-the-counter methods to whiten your teeth more than a couple of shades. The whitening ingredients available in products at your drugstore are not as strong as those used at your dentist’s office. Consistent and correct use of over-the-counter options can help whiten your teeth, but it may not be as much as some patients hope will occur. On the other hand, professional methods can produce dramatic and quick improvements to the color of your teeth.

Habits:
Certain habits contribute to stains on your teeth and if you don’t limit or stop activities prone to discoloring teeth, your newly whitened teeth may become discolored again. Foods like berries and curry, drinks such as coffee and red wine, and habits like smoking will all likely negatively affect your tooth color.

Restorations:
Bridges, crowns, and laminates might not respond in the same way to whitening agents as your natural teeth do. Ask your dentist about how your restorations might react to teeth whitening.

Side effects:
Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of whitening procedures, causing some patients to be unable to handle some methods of treatment. Gum sensitivity is another potential problem, but usually dissipates soon after the whitening procedure. Weakening of a restoration may also occur during whitening treatment, sometimes making it necessary to replace them.

Expectations:
Teeth whitening must be occasionally repeated if you want your bright smile to remain for a lifetime. The effects do not last indefinitely, because aging and activities can stain your teeth. Excessive bleaching may damage your teeth though, so be sure to discuss your whitening treatment with your dentist.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

The Great Outcomes of Root Canal Treatment

An aching tooth can make your life miserable. Pain, difficulty eating, inability to sleep, headaches and earaches are some of the problems that often accompany a toothache. If you have any of these symptoms and suspect a damaged tooth, a trip to the dentist is in order to see if root canal treatment might be needed.

What is root canal therapy? Although it has gotten a bad reputation over the years, it is the best way to save your tooth once infection has set in. The cause for the problem can vary, including deep tooth decay, a faulty crown, trauma, or repeated dental procedures. Once the inside of the tooth called the pulp becomes damaged, root canal treatment is the ideal solution. If you don’t seek treatment, severe pain and possible tooth loss may be in your future.

During root canal therapy, the damaged tooth pulp is carefully removed so that the interior of the tooth can be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected. Then the tooth is filled and sealed using a special material. Finally, the tooth is fully restored with a crown or filling to offer protection from future damage.

What are the positive outcomes of root canal treatment? First, it gives you back the complete function and natural appearance of your real tooth. You avoid getting a hole in your smile or needing a procedure like a dental implant. Root canal treatment restores your normal sensation and biting force, providing for efficient and painless chewing. This treatment also protects other teeth from receiving excessive wear, since your real tooth remains in place and able to take its fair share of tooth wear. Of course, treatment will also relieve the pain and other symptoms associated with your damaged tooth.

Root canal treatment is usually quite simple when performed by a qualified dental professional. Modern techniques allow the process to be as comfortable as just getting a normal filling. The procedure may be completed in only a couple of appointments and the end result will be a long-lasting, healthy tooth.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Replacing a Tooth with a Dental Implant

Having a hole in your smile is not only embarrassing or unsightly, it also impacts the function of your mouth. It’s much easier to eat and speak with a full set of teeth. In the past, dentures or bridges were the go-to solutions for missing teeth. Not anymore! Dental implants provide a secure and permanent way to restore your smile.

A dental implant is a titanium rod that creates an artificial tooth root in the location that yours is missing. It is surgically implanted into your jaw so that as it heals, it fuses with your jawbone and becomes a permanent part of your body. Once the area has healed, an artificial tooth is placed on top of the titanium rod to give you back a fully functional and attractive tooth.

Dental implants offer many advantages to patients:

  • Permanent
  • No impact to neighboring teeth
  • Attractive and natural
  • Feels like a real tooth
  • Secure
  • Prevents migration of teeth

Implants are installed using local anesthesia, so you will not experience pain during the procedure. Minor swelling may occur afterwards, and any pain can usually be treated with over-the-counter products. Risks are low with dental implants, and long-term results are successful in most cases. Good oral care is important in maintaining your implants, but is no different than your regular brushing and flossing routine. Regular checkups with your dentist will help ensure that your implant remains in your smile forever.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

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.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Helping Kids Overcome the Fear of Dentists

It’s not uncommon for children to be afraid of going to the dentist. Let’s face it, many adults don’t like visiting the dentist either. However adults mainly don’t want to take the time or don’t want to hear the news that they aren’t taking good care of their teeth. It’s different with kids though, who often have a real fear of the dentist, equipment, and the unknown situation. If your child is one of those who experiences anxiety at the mention of the dentist, here are some things you can do to help ease those fears.

Use visual aids:
It is helpful for some children to watch a video or read a book that will help them become more familiar and comfortable with going to the dentist. Your local library or the internet both likely offer resources for this purpose, and bookstores have books and DVDs for purchase. These visual aids help kids know what to expect in visiting the dentist, and what their role is in the process.

Visit the office:
Take your child to the dentist’s office prior to your appointment so they can observe the office, meet the staff, and see the area and tools used for examinations. The staff may even give your child an explanation of the tools that dentists use for checkups. Your dentist wants children to feel comfortable and confident in getting dental treatment, so most offices do their best to help your child adjust.

Explain the importance:
Even though fear sometimes overtakes logic, it’s still important to explain to your child the reasons for seeing the dentist. Help them understand the benefits of checkups, and the oral health consequences that may occur by not caring for their teeth and getting regular checkups.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

dentures

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.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

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

Endodontics or Root Canal Therapy

A tooth that has been damaged by decay or trauma may need endodontic treatment, also called root canal therapy, in order to save the tooth. Although it may sound like a scary procedure, advances in dentistry have made it a much less painful or upsetting process than it used to be. This treatment is worth it to restore your smile as naturally as possible.

How do you know you might need endodontics? You may experience pain in the tooth, sensitivity to hot or cold foods or beverages, or swelling in the area. Severe cases may have a discharge of pus near the tooth. However, not all cases of a badly damaged tooth result in noticeable symptoms. That’s one reason it’s important to maintain regular checkups with your dentist, who will pick up on problems with a tooth that you may not realize is damaged. Examination and testing such as X-rays can help diagnose a tooth that is in dire need of repair.

When possible, dentists strive to save your real tooth. Sometimes the best way to do that is through root canal therapy, which involves removing the damaged tooth pulp from the interior of the tooth. Using local anesthesia to make you comfortable, the dentist or endodontist uses special tools to enter the root canal, remove the pulp, and clean the area thoroughly. Once the tooth is ready, a crown is usually placed on top of the existing tooth to protect it from future damage and to complete the process. Sometimes antibiotics are prescribed if an infection was present to help ensure that you are in the best of health.

Endodontic treatment is often compared by patients to simply getting a regular tooth filling. The procedure is usually completed in one office visit and it won’t be long before you are back to your normal routine, with a fully restored natural tooth in your smile.


If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

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.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

 

Whitening Your Teeth at Home

If you have to think twice about smiling because you’re embarrassed about your yellowed teeth, then it’s time to do something about it. You might consider having your teeth professionally whitened for quick and effective results, but first you may want to try whitening your smile at home with these natural methods.

Hydrogen peroxide:
Most teeth whitening products you find on store shelves contain hydrogen peroxide. The liquid creates bubbles on your tooth enamel that helps remove stains. The higher the concentration of peroxide and the longer you leave it on, the whiter your teeth will become. However, be careful because too much contact can lead to tooth sensitivity. Some people enhance the whitening properties of hydrogen peroxide by mixing it with baking soda to form a paste to put on the teeth.

Strawberries:
Regularly using strawberries on your teeth can whiten them. Just cut them in half and rub them on your teeth, allowing the juice to penetrate. After a while of using this technique, you should notice your teeth becoming brighter.

Lemon or orange peels:
Rubbing the peels of lemons or oranges against your teeth and leaving the residue on for a few minutes can whiten your smile. Be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards. Don’t leave the peel extracts on your teeth for too long because the acidic content may eventually harm your tooth enamel.

Apple cider vinegar:
Stubborn stains like those from coffee or smoking can be especially hard to eliminate. Rubbing apple cider vinegar on your teeth is one way to combat persistent stains. Apply it for no more than ten minutes and then rinse your mouth, because you don’t want to damage your tooth enamel. It take one to two months of consistent daily use to achieve a whiter smile.

Brush immediately:
The most well-known way to maintain a white smile is to brush your teeth after every meal, as well as after drinking a dark colored beverage. This helps get rid of stains and prevent new ones from forming.


Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

Signs You May Need Root Canal Treatment

Having tooth pain or problems can be one of the most uncomfortable experiences possible. It is hard to ignore because it makes your whole quality of life worse. When infection or decay reaches the inner parts of your tooth, it can cause many miserable symptoms. Often the key is getting root canal treatment to save your tooth and alleviate your symptoms. Here are some warning signs that indicate you might need this type of treatment.

Severe pain:
Although not always present, severe pain sometimes occurs with a tooth that needs root canal therapy. It may be sharp, intense pain or a dull ache that won’t subside. If you experience tooth pain that is severe or lasts for several days, see your dentist for an evaluation. If root canal treatment is necessary, any pain you may have will likely disappear after a successful procedure.

Sensitivity to hot or cold:
Discomfort when consuming hot or cold items is another sign of a problem. Mild sensitivity is usually not a big deal, but actual pain when your tooth hits these temperatures may mean the tooth is in an advanced stage of trouble.

Gum tenderness or inflammation:
Swelling or tenderness is often associated with infection, although it doesn’t always mean infection is present. Your dentist can determine the seriousness of the issues and whether root canal treatment is advised. Watch for tenderness, swelling, or even a lump in the affected area.

Darkened tooth:
Discoloration is a sign that the nerves of a tooth are damaged. The tooth may become gray, black or dark yellow. Tooth discoloration is also related to trauma, damaged fillings or severe decay, so visiting your dentist for a checkup is recommended.

Gum boils:
If lesions similar to a pimple form in the gum tissues, it is called a gum boil. It is usually an accumulation of pus, which can be linked to infection. The boil may be larger or smaller at certain times, depending on the activity of the infection in your mouth. It will feel tender and can cause swelling in the area, and you may notice a bad taste in your mouth.

If you have symptoms such as these, see your dentist to learn if root canal treatment is the solution.


We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Invislaign in Charlottesville

Frequently Asked Questions About Invisalign

If you are considering straightening your teeth, you may be looking into various orthodontic options. One treatment for correcting a crooked or overcrowded smile is Invisalign. Invisalign uses a clear set of BPA-free plastic trays called aligners to straighten teeth without the metal and brackets associated with traditional braces. The following are some common questions you may have about Invisalign:

Who is a good candidate for Invisalign? Patients who have healthy teeth and gums are usually good candidates for Invisalign. Adults, teens, and older children whose teeth, including their second molars, have grown in completely can be considered for treatment with Invisalign.
What kinds of problems can Invisalign correct? Invisalign corrects the same dental problems as traditional braces, including simple to severe overcrowding, gaps, crossbite, overbite, and underbite.
How long does Invisalign treatment take to complete? Most Invisalign cases are completed within one year. However, the exact amount of treatment time is dependent on your individual situation.
How long do I have to wear the aligners each day? You will remove the Invisalign aligners when you eat, drink, or clean your teeth. Otherwise, the aligners should be worn for a recommended 22 hours per day to achieve the desired results.
Are there food restrictions with Invisalign? Because you remove the aligners when you eat, there are no limitations to the types of food you can eat while undergoing treatment.
Are retainers necessary with Invisalign? Once you have completed treatment, you will need to wear retainers while you sleep to ensure your teeth stay perfectly straight.

To determine if Invisalign is a viable option for your specific orthodontic needs, you should schedule a consultation with an Invisalign trained dental professional where you can ask additional questions specific to your case. No matter what stage of your life, Invisalign offers a comfortable, state-of-the-art approach to beautifying and improving the quality of your smile.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

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

The Basics of Kids Dental Care

Many children aren’t excited about seeing the dentist, either as a result of comments others have made or the idea of an unknown experience. Dental visits are necessary for everyone though, beginning around the child’s first birthday. Here are some basics to know about your child’s dental care.

What happens at the first appointment?:
When your child sees the dentist for the first time, the dentist will look for tooth decay and determine your child’s risk for it. You will be shown how to properly clean your child’s teeth. Also, your dentist will explain the risks of habits that may affect your child’s teeth, such as thumb sucking or sugary drinks.

How often should my child see the dentist?:
You should continue to take your child to visit the dentist every six months, or in some cases more often if your child’s risks are high for tooth decay. Regular checkups can reduce your child’s risk for cavities because plaque will be removed and fluoride will be applied to strengthen the teeth. Also, potential dental issues may be caught early to avoid problems in the future.

What if further treatment is recommended?:
Even though your child might not have permanent teeth yet, dental work may be required on baby teeth too. Cavities can be painful and should be filled. Also, healthy baby teeth help your child properly chew, speak, and develop permanent teeth.

How can I help my child feel more comfortable?:
It is important to help your child’s dentist visits go smoothly so that lifelong habits of regular checkups without fear can be developed. You might consider choosing a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s oral health and is trained to help kids through the dental visit. Discuss an upcoming dentist appointment with your child, and explain what to expect during the visit. If possible, take your child by the dentist’s office before your first appointment to see what it’s like. During the checkup, remain near your child to increase feelings of security and comfort.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Emergency dentist in Charlottesville

What’s a Dental Emergency?

It may be obvious when you’re in a situation that requires immediate treatment by a dentist. Perhaps you’re in immense pain, or you’ve had a tooth knocked out or bleeding that won’t stop. Examples like this make it easy to decide you need help right away, but sometimes it’s not as clear. What are some other problems that may require emergency dental treatment?

Cracked teeth
A cracked or fractured tooth is serious, and often means that the tooth has been damaged both on the inside and the outside. Many times the tooth can’t be saved. If your tooth is broken, schedule an emergency appointment immediately. Remember, a cracked tooth is different than a chipped tooth, which is not as serious. You can usually wait to see your dentist at the next available opportunity for a chipped tooth.

Lost fillings
Some lost fillings require immediate care to avoid worse issues. Fillings protect your tooth’s root from exposure, so if the filling falls out your root can be uncovered and cause intense pain. There is also increased risk for damage to your tooth’s structure, so seeing your dentist as soon as possible is suggested.

Lost crown
If your crown falls out, call your dentist for an appointment as soon as possible. Until you can see the dentist, try putting the crown back in place using an over-the-counter dental adhesive. Do not use any products like Super Glue. If the crown won’t stay in place, make sure you take it to your appointment with you so that it can be re-cemented correctly.

Abscess
If you have a painful swelling on your gum that resembles a pimple, it might be a serious condition called an abscess. It can damage gum tissue and teeth, as well as spread serious infection to your body. See your dentist immediately for proper treatment.

 

Emergency dentist in Charlottesville – Charlottesville Dental Care

Enhancing Your Smile with Teeth Whitening

Your smile is a noticeable part of your appearance, and yellow dingy teeth can leave a negative impression on others. Most people have to work at having a bright sparkly smile, because teeth can discolor with age, diet, and lifestyle.

You may not realize that sipping a glass of red wine or coffee can be a detriment to your smile, as can sugary items that allow acids to attack your tooth enamel. Smoking is an even worse culprit. It not only leaves ugly spots on the surface of teeth, it also contributes to poor gum health.

If your teeth are already stained or if you’re having a hard time breaking the habits that discolor them, teeth whitening is a good way to improve the look of your smile. There are numerous methods to regain the natural glow of your teeth, ranging from over-the-counter techniques for home use to professional treatments in an office setting.

Whitening products available at your local drug or grocery store include things like toothpaste, chewing gum, mouthwash, gels, and whitening strips. These are readily available and usually inexpensive options. Most of these products are simple to use and can be done in the convenience of your home when you choose. However, over-the-counter products are not as strong as professional methods. This means that results are not dramatic and usually take a long period of time of consistent use. Also, the effects may not last as long as you hope before it’s time to consider whitening again.

Professional teeth whitening is often performed by general and cosmetic dentists in an office environment. Bleaching is a popular professional method. The biggest advantage of in-office treatment is the fast results, with a visibly brighter smile evident in about an hour. Results are often dramatic, lightening teeth by several shades. Professionals trained and experienced in these methods provide safe and effective treatment. Methods available professionally may cost a bit more than home options, but the dramatic results may be worth it.


Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

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

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

 

Comparing Teeth Whitening Treatments

There’s really no way to avoid teeth becoming discolored over time. Even though you might brush like crazy, the odds are against keeping your bright white smile forever. Certain foods, aging, and habits like smoking are common culprits for staining teeth. With these factors against you, teeth whitening methods are in high demand. There are two main kinds of professional whitening methods: in-office and at-home. How do you know which is right for you?

Professional whitening in your dentist’s office is the most effective way to brighten your smile. It is the fastest way to achieve dramatic results, becoming up to ten shades brighter in just one hour. The bleaching gel used in the dentist’s office contains higher concentrations of peroxide, quickly and effectively attacking stains. In-office whitening utilizes special lights to activate the gel. The dentist is there to monitor the process to ensure you are comfortable and get ideal results.

There are a few negatives to consider with in-office whitening. Some patients experience sensitivity with the bleaching gel or the small amounts of heat during the process. Also, in-office whitening is often the most expensive way to brighten your smile, although many people consider the dramatic improvement worth the cost.

Whitening your teeth at home is somewhat less effective than in-office treatments, but many patients who don’t want to spend the time or money in the dentist’s chair appreciate this method. These kits consist of trays that your dentist provides that you fill with a lower concentrated whitening solution and wear for about thirty minutes at a time. Full results are usually possible in roughly ten days, and some patients achieve similar results as in-office methods.

Even with the lower strength gel, patients may experience discomfort during at-home whitening. You also must remember to wear the trays daily and be consistent with their use in order to obtain good results. At-home kits require patience.

Whichever professional whitening method you choose, a brighter smile is possible. Good oral hygiene practices afterwards and occasional touch-ups with home products will help maintain your brilliant new smile.


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