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

What Alternatives Do I have to a Root Canal Treatment?

If you suspect you have an infected tooth, you might wonder if root canal treatment might be in your future. Do you have another option? Yes! One such alternative has been in existence for decades, but has only recently come to be more effective due to advancements in materials. This process is called pulp capping.

Pulp capping can help patients whose root infections have not yet reached the tooth’s nerve. Root infections begin when bacteria enters the pulp of the tooth through a crack or a large cavity. In a standard root canal procedure, the pulp and nerve of the tooth is hollowed out, cleaned and sealed, typically with a crown restoration.

With pulp capping, the nerve is preserved and the tooth is often repaired with a filling instead of a crown. Pulp capping allows the dentist to clean and protect the pulp, defending it from infection with medicine. With a successful pulp cap, the dentin of the tooth begins to regrow over the pulp cap. Advancements in the sealants used during these types of procedures has allowed for a greater percentage of success.

If you have a toothache, it’s important to see your dentist immediately. Pulp capping has a narrow window in which it can be performed. If your tooth is too infected, the pulp and nerve of your tooth may already be infected, and it’s too late for pulp capping to be effective.

A pulp cap is a far less invasive procedure than a root canal treatment or a tooth extraction, and there is less recovery time and tooth sensitivity following the treatment.

If you suspect you may have a tooth in trouble, talk to your dentist now. You might be able to save yourself a root canal treatment.


We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Make Your Smile Over with Dental Veneers

Porcelain dental veneers are among the most popular for making over your smile. Dental veneers can achieve dramatic and stunning results, not only in the aesthetic appearance of your smile, but also in the way you feel about yourself. Years of self-conscious behavior related to smile insecurities will begin to fall away, leaving you smiling, talking and eating in public with confidence.
Dental veneers are typically used on the most visible of your teeth, the front teeth. A very small amount of the natural tooth is ground away to make room for the veneers – so they will not appear “puffy.” A dental lab will then fabricate custom veneers from molds, using special techniques to craft the most realistic veneers in the desired tooth shade. Once these veneers are placed, they are designed to look as though they are natural, beautiful, white teeth, resulting in your best, most vibrant and confident smile.

Porcelain veneers are a relatively simple and risk-free way to correct chipped, gapped, crooked or stained teeth. Short teeth can be lengthened, and “gummy” smiles can be corrected. Some patients have suffered for years in embarrassment or discomfort with dental issues they thought would require major dental work to correct. Many times, these issues can be corrected quickly and easily with porcelain dental veneers.

If you are considering a smile makeover, it’s important to look around. Because cosmetic dentistry isn’t a legally separate specialty of dentistry, many dentists call themselves cosmetic dentists without fully appreciating the level of artistry and passion for beauty necessary to create a beautiful new smile design.

Ask any dentist for photographs of before and after patient results done personally by that dentist. Talk to your friends to see if someone has a personal recommendation. You might be surprised at how many people you think just have gorgeous natural smiles actually have had a smile makeover and now utilize dental veneers.

Don’t wait to start experiencing the benefits of dental veneers and a smile makeover. Talk to your cosmetic dentist today to see what options are available to you to meet your own smile goals.


If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Get a Dazzling Smile with Veneers

Veneers are a terrific option to create a dazzling smile. These shells fit right over your real teeth to hide a variety of cosmetic problems. Veneers are typically made of porcelain, giving you a natural and long-lasting smile.

How are they applied?:
Once you and your dentist decide that veneers are right for you, a small amount of your tooth enamel will be removed so that they fit correctly. An impression of your teeth will be made and sent to a dental lab for the veneers to be custom made. When they are ready, you will return to your dentist to have the veneers attached to your teeth with a special adhesive.

What are the benefits?:
It is hard for others to tell you have veneers because they look very natural. They are shaped just for your smile, and you select the color. Veneers resist stains from things like coffee, red wine, and tobacco use. Veneers are also a great choice because they fit right over your own teeth, without requiring more extensive procedures.

Are there disadvantages?:
Some patients experience increased tooth sensitivity after getting veneers due to the minor enamel removal. Also, veneers are permanent and the process cannot be reversed. Another thing to keep in mind is carefully choosing your veneer color, so that your smile isn’t overly white or unnatural.

Are veneers right for everyone?:
Veneers are great for hiding chips, cracks, gaps, or uneven teeth. They are whiten teeth that haven’t responded well to other methods. Veneers may not work for patients with weak teeth from decay, large fillings, or fractures. Patients who grind their teeth or clench their jaws may also be poor candidates because consistent wear can crack or chip the veneers.

What about maintenance?:
Veneers last ten years or more with good care. Practicing proper dental hygiene is important to avoid decay of your teeth under the veneers. Avoid nail biting or chewing on hard items like ice or pencils, which may break the thin veneers. Normal brushing and flossing is acceptable, and regular dental checkups are important in maintaining good oral health.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Some Fast Options for Smile Makeovers

Are you looking to improve your smile but you don’t have a lot of time? Have you heard that smile makeovers are invasive and time-consuming? There are many options available to you for your smile makeover that are relatively short and sweet. If you are in good health but want to make improvements to your smile, these fast and easy options may be right for you.

Teeth bleaching (also known as whitening) is an extremely popular and very simple therapy for quickly brightening your smile. Many common foods and drinks we consume daily can slowly dim your smile by discoloring or staining your tooth enamel. Having your teeth whitened by your dentist can lighten your teeth by as many as ten levels in a single office visit, saving you time and effort.

Composite bonding can repair small problems like cracks, chips or irregular shapes in one visit. Bonding is done by hand by your dentist and requires excellent technique and materials, as well as the skill needed to match your natural tooth color.

Perhaps you need a little more extensive work done to achieve your dream smile, but you don’t have the time. Your dentist may be able to offer you a “snap-on” smile. This is a thin appliance that is placed on top of your natural teeth using nothing but your teeth as an anchor – no adhesives are necessary. These snap-on teeth can be made to mimic a celebrity’s teeth, or just better, straighter, whiter versions of your own. They can stay in all day during your regular activities, allowing you to get the benefits of a beautiful smile without the time of a more invasive treatment.

Talk to your dentist today about the treatments you can have done in a single office visit. Your friends, family and coworkers might not be able to immediately identify what “work” you had done, but you can rest assured everyone will notice your change in attitude and your gorgeous smile.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Simple Ways to Protect Kids’ Teeth

Kids don’t always play it safe or make the best decisions when it comes to protecting their teeth. Tooth decay and mouth injuries are just a couple of things parents must worry about for their kids, whether it’s the elementary school or college years. Here are some simple ways that parents can teach their kids to protect their teeth.

Limit sports and energy drinks.
Sports and energy drinks are both heavily marketed toward today’s youth. It is true that sports drinks help replace electrolytes during exercise, but many people drink them too much or outside the exercise realm. Experts have deemed sports drinks to be unnecessary in the lunchroom or as a snack on the playground. The high acid levels in these drinks can erode tooth enamel, with energy drinks determined to cause twice as much damage. It is recommended to save sports drinks for very strenuous activities, and instead stick with water for hydration and refreshment without the negative effects.

Insist upon mouthguards.
Parents should provide mouthguards for kids in nearly any sport, even if it isn’t considered mandatory by the school or team. Mouthguards can prevent chips, fractures, or knockouts of teeth, as well as protect the soft tissues of the mouth. According to research estimates, 3 million teeth were knocked out in youth sports in 2011. Dentists suggest that athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to sustain oral injury. Inexpensive basic mouthguards or the boil-and-bite variety are available at sporting goods stores, or customized mouthguards can be purchased through your dentist.

Say no to oral piercings.
Although it applies primarily to teenagers and older, the Academy of General Dentistry advises against oral piercing for active people. Those with piercings should remove them before participating in sports, because puncture wounds can lead to infections related to increased blood flow and breathing rates during exercise. If your child is considering and oral piercing, make sure you discuss the risks and need for removal during physical activity.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Explaining Root Canal Treatment

A toothache can make everything seem terrible. Your mouth hurts, your head aches, you can’t eat what you want, you can’t sleep comfortably – in general, you feel awful! Your tooth pain may be a result of decay that has caused an infection in your tooth pulp, calling for root canal therapy.

What does that mean exactly? When the inside of your tooth or the pulp becomes infected, it causes the tooth to deteriorate and cause pain and sensitivity. Action is needed to eliminate the infection and protect the tooth from worse damage. Root canal treatment is the best solution because the damaged pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is thoroughly cleaned and restored.

To accomplish a root canal procedure, your dentist will drill a small hole in your tooth to access the pulp and expertly remove it. Once the area is cleaned and disinfected, your tooth will be filled with a special material and sealed for protection. Finally, a dental crown is usually placed on top to complete the root canal procedure. You are left with a fully repaired and protected tooth.

What benefits does root canal treatment provide?

  • Pain is eliminated with the repair of your tooth and removal of infection.
  • Your ability to chew and bite foods will return to normal.
  • You will no longer experience tooth sensitivity to hot or cold items.
  • The damaged tooth will be restored so that it looks natural in your smile.
  • Your other teeth won’t have excessive wear to make up for the damaged tooth.

With the advances in dentistry making root canal therapy faster and less painful, your procedure may be completed in as little as one trip to the dentist. Once the process is complete, you can expect your fully restored tooth to last as long as the rest of your teeth.


If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

FAQ about Dental Veneers

Porcelain veneers can transform your smile from one that embarrasses you to one that you’re proud to show off. A thin shell of porcelain is bonded onto the fronts of your teeth to improve the shape and color. If you’re looking to close gaps between your teeth, reshape your teeth, or brighten stained teeth, porcelain veneers may be your answer. Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions about veneers.

How do veneers work?:
Made from durable and natural-looking porcelain, veneers are customized to fit your teeth. Your face shape, skin tone, eyes, height, and even your personality are considered when designing your dental veneers. They are bonded securely to your teeth to give you the smile you always wanted.

Is it a long process to get them?:
The process for getting veneers usually takes about four to six weeks. At your first appointment, your teeth will be shaped and their surface will be slightly roughened. Impressions will be taken to create models of your mouth so that the veneers can be personalized for you. At the next appointment, your teeth will be cleaned and polished before a special adhesive is used to bond the veneers to your teeth. A high-intensity light is used to set the adhesive.

What will my teeth look like while I’m waiting for veneers?:
After your teeth have been prepared for veneers, usually you will be fitted with specialized temporary veneers. These interim veneers look better than your original teeth, so you won’t feel self-conscious during the waiting period.

How long do veneers last?:
Porcelain veneers typically last from ten to twenty years. Porcelain is very strong and durable, and resistant to stains and wear.

What are the advantages to veneers?:
Since the bond to your original teeth is strong, porcelain veneers can be treated just like your own teeth. They appear very natural because the porcelain looks similar to your tooth enamel. Veneers can also protect your teeth from further damage if they are chipped or worn down, so they not only cover your teeth with a layer of protection but also create a beautiful bright smile.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

Dental implant

How Dental Implants Can Preserve Bone

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

White fillings

The Debate About Amalgam Fillings

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

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

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

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

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

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Cosmetic dentist in Charlottesville

Who Could Benefit from Dental Veneers?

Lots of people feel self-conscious about smiling, and problems with their teeth can make them hesitant to talk and laugh with others. Veneers are an easy way to transform teeth, and to get that gorgeous smile you’ve always wanted. Dental veneers are made from very thin pieces of porcelain or composite resin and fit tightly over the front surfaces of your teeth. They can mask many different types of imperfections and are a great way to improve the appearance of your smile.

In spite of this, veneers are not suitable for everyone. Your cosmetic dentist in Charlottesville can help you decide if veneers are the best choice of treatment, or if another solution might be more appropriate. This procedure is not usually reversible so it’s important to be sure before your teeth are prepared for veneers. The following guidelines will help you determine if dental veneers are right for you.

Tooth Decay
Teeth that are decayed or which have already been filled are weaker and less able to support veneers. In this case you may be better off considering dental crowns that completely cover up decayed teeth right down to the gum line.

Gum Disease
You will need to have a full checkup with your dentist in Charlottesville prior to having veneers. If you have any signs of gum disease then this condition must be treated first. It’s important to be in good oral health before your veneers are fitted.

Bad Oral Habits
Nail-biting, biting on ice cubes and teeth grinding can all damage veneers. If you have any of these habits then you’ll need to quit if you want your restorations to last.

Misaligned Teeth
If your teeth are quite crooked or misaligned, consider consulting an orthodontist to decide if braces are a better solution. It could be that once your teeth are straightened you’ll no longer need veneers. Dental veneers are not meant to correct severely misaligned or crooked teeth.

Teeth whitening dentist

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

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

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

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

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

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

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

electric toothbrush benefits

Considering Electric Toothbrushes

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

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

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

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

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

General and family dentist in Charlottesville

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.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Common Kids Dental Emergencies

Kids will be kids, and emergencies happen that can affect the mouth. To avoid long-term damage, extensive pain, or unsightly results, it’s important to know what to do in a dental emergency. Let’s learn what you should do when your child has one of the following common oral problems.

Severe toothache:
Look for food stuck between the teeth, and if so try to dislodge it with floss. Clean the affected tooth and rinse the mouth well with warm water. Swollen gums may indicate an infection, which requires a dental visit. Facial swelling can be relieved with cold compresses, but if it accompanies severe pain you should take your child to the dentist or emergency room. Try giving over-the-counter pain reliever, but don’t place the medication directly on the gum or tooth.

Chipped tooth:
If your child chips a tooth, contact your dentist immediately. Fast action can help save the tooth, reduce the risk of infection, and prevent extensive procedures. Have your child rinse with cold water. If you can find the tooth fragment, take it to the dentist in case it can be bonded back in place.

Knocked out tooth:
The first thing to do is locate the missing tooth. Hold it by the crown instead of the root, and rinse it gently. Try replacing the tooth back in the socket, and have your child bite a piece of gauze or cloth to hold it in place until you get to the dentist. If you can’t insert it, place it in a cup of cold milk to take with you. Time is important in saving a displaced tooth, so see your child’s dentist immediately.

Cut lip, tongue, or cheek:
Ensure your child’s teeth are undamaged, and apply firm pressure with a moist washcloth or teabag to the bleeding area. If it doesn’t stop in fifteen minutes, call your child’s dentist or head to the emergency room. If the tongue is bleeding, there’s not much you can do except wait to see if it stops bleeding on its own within fifteen minutes. If not, visit the dentist or emergency room.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

family dentist

Great Snacks for Your Kid’s Teeth

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today