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.


If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

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.

 

Invislaign in Charlottesville

Invisalign and Children – A Good Fit?

Does your child need braces, but isn’t sure about being a “metal mouth” for two or more years? Did your teen come to you and beg for some other option to traditional braces? Perhaps you’ve heard about Invisalign aligners but are wondering if they’ll work for your child. Invisalign is absolutely appropriate for your teen if all of his or her baby teeth have fallen out and adult teeth have erupted.

Invisalign provides the same results as traditional metal braces, but without the metal brackets. Concerns over eating with braces are removed with the Invisalign trays, as they come out for meals, leaving your teen free to eat any food he or she desires.

Invisalign utilizes clear plastic trays that allow the process of straightening your teen’s teeth to be less obvious and less obtrusive. Beginning with x-rays and molds, your orthodontist will make a series of trays, called aligners. These trays are worn most of the day, taken out only to eat or to be cleaned. The process of straightening happens gradually and comfortably.

It is essential during this time that the trays are worn as recommended by the orthodontist. Wearing them less than the recommended amount of time will result in slower correction, and has the potential to lengthen treatment. Have your teen continue with any established good oral hygiene habits. Brushing and flossing must continue on a regular basis, brushing twice a day at minimum and flossing before bedtime.

Being a teenager is full of difficulties, and it is during this time that teens are at their most self-conscious. Adding metal braces to this transition can make everything worse for your child, leaving him or her self-conscious about eating with friends or smiling, talking or laughing in public. Your teen’s gapped, misaligned or crowded teeth can be improved significantly with Invisalign trays. Talk to your orthodontist today to see how Invisalign can make a difference for your child.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Invislaign Charlottesville

Getting a Stylish New Smile through Invisalign

Feeling unhappy with your smile can leave you wondering how you can obtain a stylish new look. Instead of being turned off by traditional treatments like metal braces, consider the modern approach of Invisalign clear aligners.

This revolutionary treatment involves wearing clear plastic aligners made just for you to gently move your teeth into better positions. They are practically invisible and are removable for eating and cleaning. The smooth material makes them comfortable, and they do not have any bothersome metal brackets or wires.

If you are interested in Invisalign treatment, the first step is finding an orthodontist or dentist who provides this service. Not every professional is trained in this method, so look for a certified provider of Invisalign. Once you identify your choices, select the provider who is convenient, experienced and gives you confidence in your treatment.

Your initial appointment will allow the professional to examine your mouth to make sure you are a good candidate for Invisalign. Unless you have poor oral health or severe teeth problems, most people qualify for Invisalign. The doctor will then prepare a treatment plan to guide your case and create your aligners. An impression of your teeth, X-rays, and photos will be taken to help with the process. A 3-dimensional image will be developed to help with your treatment plan, and also to allow you to see how your teeth will improve at each stage of the process and provide a timeline.

Once your aligners are ready, you’ll begin wearing them for about two weeks at a time and then switch to a different set of aligners in the series your doctor gives you. A checkup at the office is required about every six weeks to monitor your progress and get more aligners in the series as needed. The process will continue until treatment is complete, often in about one year. Then you’ll be ready to show off your brand new smile thanks to Invisalign.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

What is a Dental Emergency?

Sometimes an injury or tooth pain can occur suddenly, and immediate dental care may be required. It’s not always obvious when a problem needs emergency care, but some dental emergencies do need to be treated quickly to avoid infections or permanent damage. Here’s a guide to situations that are usually considered dental emergencies.

  • Cracked or broken tooth – contact your dentist immediately. Rinse your mouth with water and hold a cold compress to the affected area until you can get to your dentist’s office.
  • Excessive bleeding with lip or tongue bite – clean the area and use a cold compress. Go to the emergency room if the bleeding is severe or won’t stop.
  • Jaw injury – if you think you may have broken your jaw, apply a cold pack and immediately to your dentist’s office or the emergency room.
  • Knocked out tooth –rinse the root of the lost tooth if it’s dirty. Do not scrub or removed any tissue left on the tooth. Try reinserting the tooth into its socket, but if that isn’t successful, see your dentist right away. Placing the lost tooth in milk may help preserve the tooth until you can get professional help.
  • Loose tooth – see your dentist immediately if one of your teeth is loosened. Take over-the-counter pain reliever if needed, and apply a cold compress.
  • Lost crown or filling – place the crown or filling in a safe place and contact your dentist. To decrease sensitivity, you may apply clove oil and dental cement available at your drugstore, but only if you’ve gotten approval from your dentist.
  • Severe or sudden toothache – rinse your mouth with warm water and gently floss around the tooth. Contact your dentist if your toothache persists.
  • Swelling – painful swelling in your mouth may indicate an abscess, which is an infected area of pus that can become serious. See your dentist as soon as possible, and try rinsing your mouth with saltwater in the meantime.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Invislaign in Charlottesville

Adults: Living with Invisalign

But am I too old to deal with the hassle of teeth straightening? You may be surprised to learn how little your routine will change with Invisalign. From your morning schedule, to meals, work-outs, and bedtime you can go about your day in much the same way as before you chose to beautify your smile with this state of the art treatment.

Always rushed in the morning? Simply pop out the Invisalign aligners, brush and floss normally, and pop them right back in place. To clean the aligners, you can either use the cleaning kit provided or brush and rinse with warm water. The process is easy and quick, allowing you to get out the door to your meeting or carpool in a flash.

Big lunch with clients or a special luncheon? No problem. With Invisalign, you remove the aligners during meals. No worries about spinach stuck in metal brackets and wires, or restrictions on the types of food you can eat. Enjoy your lunch with confidence.

But I love to play basketball at lunch, and soccer with my kids? If contact sports are a big part of your life, Invisalign won’t get in your way. You can leave the aligners in without concern that you might cut your mouth, or remove them if you normally wear a mouth guard when playing. Score another point for Invisalign!

I’m so tired by bedtime that I just want to fall into bed, won’t they take forever to clean? With Invisalign, no need to worry about the tedious cleaning and flossing between brackets and wires as with traditional braces. Since the aligners are removed for oral hygiene tasks, you can simply brush and floss your teeth normally, and then brush and rinse your aligners. It’s so quick that your pillow won’t have time to miss you.

As you can see, with Invisalign, your daily routine will experience minimal changes, but your smile will achieve maximum results!

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Saving Your Smile with Cosmetic Dental Techniques

Traditional dentistry focuses on maintaining your oral health and treating any diseases you might have, while cosmetic dentistry is all about the way your smile looks. The goal of cosmetic dentists is to help you achieve the smile you’ve always wanted. It is becoming an increasingly popular area of dentistry because so many people want to look their best, and one of the utmost ways to do that is to have a beautiful smile.

There are numerous treatments and procedures available in cosmetic dentistry today. Here are some of the most popular ways that patients seek to transform their smiles:

  • Teeth whitening, sometimes referred to as bleaching, relieves stains and discolorations that are affecting your teeth. It is a simple and quick process when performed by your cosmetic dentist, often taking only an hour out of your day. The results are usually amazing, making your teeth many shades whiter and eliminating embarrassing stains.
  • Dental veneers cover up all kinds of smile imperfections. Problems like chips, cracks, discoloration, misalignment and more can be hidden under veneers. These thin porcelain shells are customized only for you, and are cemented directly onto the fronts of your teeth. A small amount of your tooth enamel must be removed in preparing your teeth, so veneers are a permanent solution for transforming your smile.
  • Dental implants are a great solution for replacing missing teeth. Instead of going through the hassles associated with dentures or bridges, implants are a permanent restoration that becomes part of your body. A titanium rod is surgically placed into your jaw bone so that it fuses with the bone as it heals, and then an artificial tooth is placed on top. Implants are a secure and attractive way to restore your smile.
  • Crowns, also called caps, are customized for every patient to fit over an existing tooth that has been severely damaged. They are often used to correctly shape broken, chipped or uneven teeth. Made of porcelain or acrylic with metal, crowns are strong and able to withstand biting forces that other restorations might not tolerate well.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

dentures

How Dentures Can Improve Your Smile

If you have been living with a mouth full of badly decayed teeth, infected gums or painful tooth infections, your dentist may have talked to you about how dentures can transform your smile. While no one wants to extract all of his or her teeth and have no remaining natural teeth, if your teeth have been a source of pain and embarrassment to you for years, having a beautiful new set of dentures could sincerely change your life.

Dentures are very natural-appearing replacements for an entire mouth of missing natural teeth and gum tissue. Dentures are removable and can be cleaned thoroughly each day, unlike examples like dental crowns or dental bridges that are permanently affixed to your mouth.

Badly decayed teeth and other oral issues can lead to chronic pain that spreads from the mouth to other areas of the face, head and neck. This pain can disrupt your life, leaving you irritable and moody, causing you to isolate yourself. Pain medications can lead you to feel groggy or off-balance, affecting your interactions with others in a negative manner. Once those teeth are removed and any underlying infection is addressed, you will be shocked at how much better you feel. The absence of this once-ongoing pain will feel as though you are free of a great burden you hadn’t realized you were carrying.

Years of poor oral health might have left you unwilling to smile broadly, or to be uncomfortable in public speaking, laughing or eating and drinking. You may avoid friends and family and you might choose not to form new relationships easily. Once your damaged teeth have been removed and you have been fitted for dentures, you will be amazed at the “new you.” The bright, perfect white smile that greets you in the mirror may look like a movie star’s smile, but in fact, it’s your smile. With your new dentures, you can feel confident as you move through life.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

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.

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

 

Kids’ Ages and their Dental Care

Teaching your kids good dental habits and making sure they get dental care are some of the most important things you can do for them. Guidelines for helping your child improve their oral health depend upon their ages. Here are some oral health tips for various stages of childhood.

Infants (up to 2 years):
It’s never too early to begin oral care! Clean your baby’s gums with a damp cloth after feedings to remove bacteria. Once the first tooth erupts, use a soft toothbrush for babies to gently brush the teeth and gums. Use a pea-sized dab of toothpaste and brush at least twice a day. Around the first birthday, begin taking your child to the dentist for regular checkups.

Preschoolers (2-4 years):
This age group has the highest incidence of tooth decay, because most preschoolers love sugary foods but may not love brushing their teeth. Brush your child’s teeth yourself until they are old enough to do it well, but continue supervising the process to make sure all areas are clean. Consider flavored or character fluoride toothpastes if it encourages your child to brush. Also, limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks your child consumes.

Young elementary (5-7 years):
As more and more teeth grow in, your child needs to brush carefully with fluoride toothpaste. Make sure all areas of your child’s mouth are being reached, and help your child use dental floss to clean between teeth and gums. Continue helping your child make healthy diet choices.

Older kids (over 8 years):
Most children should be able to brush on their own by age 8, but performing spot checks is a good idea to make sure they are doing a good job. Teach your child to brush after meals, especially when eating sugary or sticky foods, and emphasize the importance of flossing every day. Continue taking your child for regular dental checkups every six months, which will help create a life-long habit of good oral care.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Vaping and teeth

Smokeless Tobacco Does Not Mean It’s Harmless

Everyone knows that tobacco is harmful to your health, but many people believe that smokeless tobacco doesn’t fall into the same category. Just because it’s smokeless doesn’t mean it’s harmless. It’s dangerous for your overall health, but also for your oral health. Here are some possible oral health outcomes of using smokeless tobacco.

Tooth decay
Smokeless tobacco contains sugar, which combines with the plaque on your teeth to damage your tooth enamel and cause decay.

Receding gums
Placing chewing tobacco in your mouth at the same spot over and over can permanently damage your gums. It can also harm your bone structure. Your irritated gums may pull away from your teeth, expose your tooth roots, and leave your teeth painful and susceptible to decay. Receding gums sometimes also loosen your teeth and cause them to eventually fall out.

Tooth discoloration
Smokeless tobacco stains your teeth, causing embarrassing yellow and brown discoloration. It is extremely difficult to remove with normal brushing, and even professional teeth whitening may not completely remove these stubborn stains.

Bad breath
Your breath will suffer from tobacco products of any kind. Don’t be fooled into thinking that mint-flavored smokeless tobacco hides the problem.

Tooth abrasion
Smokeless tobacco can be gritty and scratch your teeth, wearing down the enamel. Loss of tooth enamel increases sensitivity and may require treatment.

Cancer
The consistent placement of tobacco inside your gums and the irritating juices accompanying it can cause a pre-cancerous condition called leukoplakia. All smokeless tobacco contains cancer-causing agents, which subject users to higher cancer risk in the oral cavity, larynx, esophagus, and pharynx.

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville