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

Dental Veneers and Discolored Teeth

There are a number of reasons people choose to get dental veneers, which are able to hide all kinds of tooth problems. These thin porcelain shells are bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth and can transform an embarrassing smile into one to fill you with pride. One of the most common reasons that many patients opt for veneers is to hide discolored teeth.

No matter what the cause for it, teeth can lose their bright white shine over time. It can be from consuming foods and drinks that tend to stain teeth, such as red wine, coffee, berries, sodas, and other culprits. Or it can be side effects from medications, including the antibiotic tetracycline which can cause severe tooth discoloration if taken during a child’s formative years. Poor oral hygiene can also contribute to yellowed teeth, as well as tobacco use. Aging in general tends to discolor teeth too.

If your teeth show the effects of staining or yellowing, and you’d like to get that healthy youthful glow back, porcelain veneers are a good option. They provide a unique advantage of never staining, so they look like new the entire time you have them. With proper care, your veneers should last for decades or even a lifetime. That means a bright, white smile that won’t deteriorate!

Another great benefit about veneers is that they provide an instant improvement to your smile. As soon as they are placed, your smile will be transformed. If you have concerns about what they will look like, many dentists are able to use computerized photo imaging technology to give you an accurate idea of what to expect. This may alleviate any hesitations about veneers being the right solution to hide your discolored teeth. Ask your dentist today about the possibility of getting veneers to improve your smile.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

What Can a Cosmetic Dentist Do For You?

Most people are not born with a perfect appearance. Some people turn to cosmetic surgery to correct or enhance the things they find unappealing about their looks. However, if cosmetic surgery is not on your agenda, cosmetic dentistry offers many procedures and treatments to quickly and successfully improve your appearance. Because your smile is usually the first impression you make on the world, fixing stains, cracks, gaps, and other imperfections can make a dramatic impact.

While many cosmetic dental procedures can be performed by your general dentist, a cosmetic dentist has a distinct advantage when you are seeking to improve your smile.

A cosmetic dentist makes it their business to have extensive knowledge and training in the treatments specific to improving the appearance of your teeth. Just a few of the procedures and treatments provided by a qualified cosmetic dentist include:

  • Dental implants
  • Dental crowns
  • Dental bridges
  • Porcelain veneers
  • Teeth straightening
  • Composite bonding
  • Teeth whitening
  • Dentures

In cooperation with a qualified cosmetic dentist, you can elect to have one or a combination of cosmetic dental treatments to perfect your smile. You may just need whitening to brighten and beautify your discolored teeth, or you may need whitening as well as bonding for gapped or chipped teeth. You may even need clear braces or veneers to straighten a crooked smile. A cosmetic dentist will have the knowledge to coordinate treatments to achieve the desired result with the least amount of time, discomfort, and complications. With the help of an experienced and qualified cosmetic dentist, you can improve not only your smile but the overall appearance you present to the world.

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

dental implants dentist

Replacing a Single Tooth with a Dental Implant

Are you or someone in your family missing a single tooth due to an accident, infection, or fracture? If you are missing a single tooth for any reason, a single tooth dental implant can replace both the natural tooth and its root. The best, long-term option for restoring a single missing tooth is a dental implant fitted with a crown.

To place the implant, a small titanium post is inserted into the jawbone. This anchor provides a “root” for the placement of the implant that looks, feels, and functions like a natural tooth. These “anchors” are extremely compatible with bone and attach to the jawbone and gums to become a base for the crown. A temporary tooth can be placed while the dental implant integrates with your natural bone to form a foundation for a crown. Once the implant has fused to the bone, the final step in the treatment is the placement of the permanent crown onto the dental implant.

One of the advantages of a dental implant is that it allows you to replace a single tooth without sacrificing the health of neighboring teeth. Other treatments, such as bridges, require the adjacent teeth to be ground down to support the appliance. Grinding down the teeth damages tooth enamel and structure. Also, a single implant can be more aesthetically pleasing and easier to keep clean than a bridge.

It is of vital importance to replace even one missing tooth, as leaving it untreated can cause bone loss, compromised chewing ability, as well as an unattractive smile. If you have one missing tooth, or a tooth that needs to be removed due to damage or decay, the best and most natural option is a single tooth dental implant.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Trading Your Dentures in for Dental Implants

After suffering tooth loss for any reason, it’s important to restore your mouth’s function and appearance with restoration options through your dentist. In the past, many patients have gotten dentures for this purpose. Dental implants provide a newer and very popular option. If you already have dentures but aren’t completely satisfied with them, is it possible to change to dental implants instead?

The answer is yes! Of course, you need to consult your dentist to make sure that you are a good candidate for implants. There are a number of reasons that denture wearers might decide that implants are a better solution to their tooth replacement needs. Some patients find dentures to be uncomfortable because they don’t stay in place securely or they irritate the gums. Some find a more permanent remedy to be more appealing than dentures, and implants do provide a long-lasting solution to tooth loss. If patients with dentures don’t like them and aren’t wearing them consistently, they aren’t achieving the goal of restoration.

There are some additional complications that can occur with dentures, making implants more appealing. Trouble speaking and eating is a hazard if the dentures slip, as well as jawbone loss and increased wrinkles. Some patients even alter their diets due to problems eating certain foods. The increased dental hygiene regimen also bothers some patients who are unwilling to do the extra tasks required.

If you dislike your dentures, consider making the switch to dental implants. It might restore your self-confidence as well as your mouth’s function and appearance.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Teaching Kids Good Dental Habits

Your teeth and gums are physical assets that you want to keep healthy your whole life, and the best way to do that is to take care of them. Proper dental care needs to begin at a young age so that good habits are established for life. It is a parent’s role to teach children proper hygiene, and to ensure they get professional treatment. Here are some ways that you can help your child learn good dental habits.

Supervise brushing:
Parents should watch children brush their teeth, especially for ages seven and under, to ensure the appropriate amount of toothpaste is used and that none is swallowed. Have your child brush for about two minutes, and make sure all areas of the teeth and gums are cleaned. Provide tips and help as needed.

Establish good eating habits:
Teach your child that diet impacts oral health. Some foods worsen plaque buildup and introduce damaging acid into the mouth, leading to increased tooth decay and higher risk for cavities and gum disease. Certain foods and drinks are also known to stain teeth, or cause bad breath.

Promote water consumption:
Drinking water not only is good for your overall health, it’s also helpful to your mouth. Encourage your child to drink water after eating, especially if it’s not possible to brush teeth right away. Also, fluoridated water is proven to help fight cavities.

Visit the dentist:
Begin taking your child to the dentist around age one, so that the child gets good dental care and learns that dental visits aren’t scary. Have a positive attitude about checkups, and consider taking your child to a pediatric dentist who specializes in children’s oral health.

Be a role model:
As the saying goes, practice what you preach. Set a good example of brushing at least twice daily, flossing every day, limiting your intake of staining foods and drinks, and visiting your dentist regularly.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Erasing Flaws with Dental Veneers

Cosmetic problems with your teeth can make it embarrassing to show your smile. Thanks to dental veneers, you can erase flaws and create a brand new look that will make you want to show off your pearly whites instead of hiding them.

Veneers are very thin shells that are usually made of porcelain. They are custom-made to fit right on top of the fronts of your teeth. The veneers are securely bonded in place so that you can feel confident and comfortable with your smile. The porcelain is matched to the same color as your natural teeth, or a few shades brighter if you’d like to whiten your smile. This material reflects light in the same way that real teeth do, so that others can’t even tell the veneers are there. Porcelain is also very durable, and will not stain like real teeth.

Dental veneers hide many different kinds of problems with your teeth. Some of the most common reasons that people choose to recreate their smiles with veneers include:

  • Teeth damaged from injury or decay, including chips and cracks
  • Unsightly gaps between teeth
  • Stains or discoloration that isn’t corrected with teeth whitening
  • Misshapen teeth that do not match the rest of your smile

Veneers are a quick and painless solution. Your natural teeth will be slightly prepared so that the veneers attach properly, but the process is not uncomfortable. Once your veneers are placed, you can expect them to last years without needing to replace them. Maintenance involves routine brushing and flossing just as you would normally, and keeping regular checkups with your dentist.

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

Why Do You Need a General Dentist

Why Do You Need a General Dentist?

Your good health depends on taking excellent care of your teeth. Not only does proper dental care protect your oral health, but it also has a major impact on your overall health. Routine brushing and flossing are just the start. Establishing a relationship with a good general dentist is a vital part of taking care of both your dental health and your general health.

The focus of general dentistry is to stop minor dental problems before they become large health issues. While many dentists now offer cosmetic and restorative treatments, the main responsibility of a general dentist is preventative. Treating cavities, performing root canal treatment, and performing regular cleanings and examinations are some of the important things services by a general dentist.

Even if you take vigilant care of your teeth, only a qualified dentist or hygienist can remove the plaque and tartar that forms around and below your gum line. Regular checkups allow your general dentist to detect problems that could potentially lead to more serious issues. Caught in the early stages, potential trouble like gingivitis or periodontitis can be successfully treated before they become bigger concerns. General dentistry procedures like scaling, root planning, and root canal treatment can be used to save infected teeth.

Prevention is the key to a healthy smile. Taking proper care of your teeth at home and keeping a regular schedule of cleaning and exam appointments with your general dentist will go a long way towards saving your smile for years to come.

We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

emergency dentistry in Charlottesville

When Emergency Dental Care is Needed

As much as you hope it doesn’t happen, dental emergencies can sneak up on you. Some clinics offer emergency dental care to provide quick, effective, and safe treatment. It’s important to know what kinds of dental problems require urgent care, as opposed to those that can wait until you can get a regular appointment with your dentist. Here are some common types of emergencies that warrant immediate treatment.

Severe toothache
A painful toothache that won’t go away should not be ignored. These can occur suddenly, be confined to a single area, cause pain when eating, and also involve your gums. Symptoms like these may indicate an abscess, which can also lead to facial swelling. Sometimes your airway can even become blocked. A severe toothache requires immediate relief, and therefore is considered a dental emergency.

Excessive bleeding
If you have oral bleeding from something like losing a tooth and you can’t get it under control, you need to see an emergency dentist. Normally when a tooth falls out, the bleeding will stop after a few minutes. If the blood won’t clot for some reason, or if there was severe trauma, excessive bleeding can occur. A dentist can help stop the bleeding by applying pressure, using a hemostatic agent, or even using stitches.

Fractured teeth
Infection may occur when a tooth is fractured, especially if the break goes deep into a permanent tooth, so immediate care is necessary. An emergency dentist will apply dentine padding to the affected area, so that you can visit your own dentist the next day for further treatment.

Surgery complications
If you have had oral surgery and the pain is more severe or lingering than your dentist anticipated, you should seek treatment immediately to make sure complications like a dry socket or jaw fracture hasn’t occurred.

If you have a dental emergency, contact our Charlottesville dentists office.

Rules for the First Days of Wearing Dentures

Once you’ve received dentures to restore missing teeth, it will take some time to get accustomed to them. There’s no reason to be alarmed or frightened about wearing dentures, because most patients go through the same adjustment period. If you’re aware of the potential issues and how to react to them, the process will be easier for you. Here are some rules to follow as you begin wearing dentures.

Don’t try to fix them yourself.

Even though dentures are customized just for you, that doesn’t mean they always fit perfectly right away. There might be some molding defects or other minor flaws that cause the dentures not to fit exactly right or rub sores on your gums. If this happens, don’t try to correct the problem yourself. Take your dentures back to your dentist to explain what’s bothering you, and give your dentist a chance to properly and safely adjust them without damaging the dentures.

Watch your diet.

Similar to getting braces at first, you’ll want to stick to eating soft foods for the first few days of denture wear. Avoid foods that are sticky or hard to chew. Focus on chewing with your back teeth instead of the front part of your dentures, and cut your food into small bites.

Soak your dentures.

Soaking your dentures in a solution recommended by your dentist can help keep them hydrated. This will avoid dryness, which causes friction between your dentures and gums and can lead to mouth sores.

You’re going to unintentionally bite yourself.

It’s part of wearing dentures at first; you’ll probably bite the insides of your cheeks. It’s a natural part of adjusting to the appliance in your mouth, and it will subside as you get used to wearing them. Gargling with a fluoride rinse or other mouthwash provided by your dentist may provide relief.

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Dentures dentist in Charlottesville

Questions and Answers about Dentures

An estimated 50 million Americans have lost all their teeth, and 69 percent of adults are missing at least one tooth. Without a full set of teeth, you may deal with alignment problems, dietary restrictions, and self-esteem issues. With modern dentures, your dentist can renew your appearance and improve oral health.

Dentures are prosthetic appliances created to replace missing teeth. Full dentures are rows of false teeth that cover the upper, lower, or both arches. If you still have some of your natural teeth, your dentist may suggest a partial denture, which fits into the empty space in your smile like a puzzle piece.

How do dentures feel?
At first, your prosthesis may take some getting used to, so give your mouth time to adjust. You may have some difficulty with pronunciation, but that will pass.

Will my dentures need to be replaced?
As we age, our mouth tissues change. Over time, your dentures may need to be repositioned, realigned, or entirely remade. Never make changes to your appliance; contact your dentist if something doesn’t seem right.

How do I care for my dentures?
To protect your dental appliance, handle the denture with care. When you take the device out, always store it safely in its case. Gently clean your dentures with mild soap and water to remove bacteria. Make sure to put the denture out of reach from small children or pets.

Do I still need to brush if I have dentures?
Absolutely. Your gums still need proper oral care, so brush them twice daily to keep the tissue healthy.

We offer dentures at our Charlottesville dental office