Long Term Dental Implant Care

Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Like natural teeth, dental implants require vigilant oral care to maintain their usefulness and prevent problems. Once the implant has fused to the jaw bone, it is important to follow some general guidelines to ensure the continued success of your dental implant and restoration.

A condition known as peri-implantitis is a common cause of implant failure. This occurs when an accumulation of plaque leads to damage of the tissues and infection of the bone around the implant. While the implant itself is not susceptible to decay, if plaque is not removed with thorough brushing and flossing at least twice per day the resulting periodontal disease can lead to implant failure.

Your dental professional may also recommend the use of additional oral hygiene products such as special brushes or oral irrigation devices to aid in the removal of food debris and plaque around the areas of the implant supported restorations. Your dentist or hygienist can assist in teaching you to utilize these devices to improve your implant care.

Regular dental visits and examinations are vital to detect and prevent any issues that may present problems for your dental implants. Expect to visit your dentist every 3 months for the first year after implant placement, and then every six months for the life of your implants. Your dentist will also provide special care instructions if your implants are being used to support a removable denture. It is important to know how to place and remove the appliance without causing damage to either the denture or your implant.

Avoid applying excessive pressure or eating hard foods that could cause damage to the restoration and implant area. If you suffer from conditions like teeth grinding or clenching, discuss with your dentist the option of being fitted for a night guard to prevent the problems these habits can cause your implants. Taking excellent care of your oral health will help to ensure years of dental implant success.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

When to Choose Mini Dental Implants

Dental implants are used to replace individual or missing teeth or to anchor loose dentures. For many patients with these issues, traditional dental implants may not a viable option. For example, a patient who does not possess adequate bone levels to anchor the implants would not be a good candidate for traditional dental implants. With mini dental implants, the bone required to anchor the implant successfully is much less.

Thanks to advances in implant dentistry, these patients have other options. Mini dental implants have emerged as an attractive choice for cases that are not conducive to the placement of traditional implants. For the patient who has inadequate bone, the bone required to successfully anchor mini dental implants is much less. Unlike traditional implants, the placement procedure for mini dental implants is a minimally invasive procedure that can be completed in one appointment by a specially trained general or family dentist. Because the procedure is less involved, the pain and length of recovery is greatly diminished.

Patients who have existing health conditions that would preclude them from more invasive surgery may find mini dental implants an extremely appealing option. Mini implants are also a perfect choice for restoring one missing or damaged tooth. Should implant failure occur, grafting procedures would not be necessary because of the small size with mini dental implants.

Most importantly, mini dental implants maintain the look, feel and function of your natural teeth. While you have to wait months for traditional implants to fuse with the bone, mini dental implants are ready for immediate use. Talk to your dentist to determine if mini dental implants would be a good option for your dental restorations and get ready to face the world with a confident new smile.

Our dental office is located in Charlottesville

Boost Your Teeth Whitening Results

There is no quicker or easier way to dramatically improve the look of your smile than professional teeth whitening. Your dentist probably offers several whitening options and can advise you about the most appropriate type of whitening treatment to ensure your brightest, whitest smile. No matter which whitening treatment you and your dentist decide will be best, there are several tips you can follow to help you achieve the ideal result:

  • Have any existing dental problems treated prior to whitening to avoid side effects or complications.
  • Schedule a professional teeth cleaning prior to your whitening appointment to remove buildup of plaque or tartar you cannot remove with home cleaning, and provide the best surface for the whitening treatment.
  • Begin brushing with a desensitizing toothpaste several weeks before whitening to limit the sensitivity that can sometimes result from whitening agents.
  • If you are extremely prone to dental sensitivity, check with your dentist about taking a painkilling medication before your whitening appointment.
  • Consult with your dental office to determine how much time you should allow for your whitening appointment.
  • Refrain from eating or drinking anything except water for at least one hour after the completion of your whitening treatment, and avoid ingesting foods and beverages that contain stain-causing agents for no less than 24 hours.
  • Make sure to attend any follow-up appointments with your dentist.
  • Maintain excellent home oral care habits to extend the life of your whitening procedure.

By following these tips, you can boost the results of your professional teeth whitening treatment and face the world with beautiful, bright smile!

Schedule your appointment at our Charlottesville dental office

Teeth Whitening Options

A brighter smile can make a big difference in your appearance. There are lots of choices today for improving your tooth color. Here are details about some of the options so you can decide which way you may want to whiten your smile.

Eliminating the need:
One way to eliminate the need for teeth whitening is to avoid foods and drinks that are known to cause stains. These include items like coffee, tea, red wine, berries, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and curry. If you do consume foods that stain, try to brush your teeth as soon as possible before stains can attach to your teeth.

Whitening at home:
There are many products available at your drugstore to help you brighten your smile at home. Whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes are two types of options, although it can take a while to see results from these methods. Whitening strips are a popular choice, which are covered in a bleaching solution and attached to the fronts of your teeth. Depending on the brand and strength, they might be in place from 5 to 30 minutes daily for a week or two in order to achieve the desired results. Overuse of these strips can increase teeth sensitivity, so be careful not to use them too often.

Professional whitening:
Whitening procedures performed at your dentist’s office are usually the fastest and most effective way to spruce up your smile. Custom trays filled with a higher strength bleaching gel may be made to be worn either in the office or at home later. Another method that must be administered in the office involves a bleaching agent applied to your teeth’s surface and then a bright light to speed up the process. You can typically expect dramatic results from this type of professional whitening.


We treat patients from Charlottesville and the surrounding area

Chewing gum and teeth

How Does Chewing Gum Affect my Teeth?

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

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

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

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

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

If you need a dentist in Charlottesville contact us today

Types of Dental Crown and Bridge Materials Available

Types of Dental Crown and Bridge Materials Available

Restorative dentistry has made incredible advancements in the technology of restorative dental materials, and there are more options than ever today for your dental crown or dental bridge. Zirconium and porcelain have proven to provide lasting strength and durability, exhibiting the most natural cosmetic dental restorations available today. Each tooth in each mouth is different, however, and in some cases, resin composite or metal alloy might be the choice recommended for you.

Metals are a common choice for dental crowns and dental bridges. Gold or palladium alloys, as well as chromium or nickel (base-metal) alloys can be excellent choices. Metal alloy crowns show the least “wear down” over years of use. They almost never chip, break or wear down opposing teeth. The primary complaint about metal alloy materials is that their color is metallic and thereby unnatural. They will not blend with the surrounding teeth, and as such, they are chosen more for back molars where they won’t draw attention.

Dental composite/resin materials are a popular choice that can be made to blend with the surrounding teeth, but they’ve been shown to wear down over time and are more prone to fractures and breaking than other materials.

Porcelain can be fused to metal to form a natural-appearing crown or bridge, and because of their appearance, are a good choice for front or back teeth. Over time, however, discoloration can appear along the gum line as the porcelain wears away, leaving a dark, unsightly line. The porcelain can be fused to zirconium, however, which eliminates the dark line and is a good cosmetic choice for front teeth.

Crowns and bridges can also be made from all-porcelain or all-ceramic materials. These materials are the best choice for natural-looking teeth of the types of dental crown and dental bridge materials available in restorative dentistry today. Because they contain no metal, they are excellent choices for patients with metal allergies. They tend to be weaker and less durable than materials containing metals, however.

Talk to your cosmetic dentist today with any questions you have regarding what type of dental crown or bridge material is best for your smile needs.

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

root canal treatment

Symptoms That Indicate You Might Need a Root Canal Procedure

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

You may have noticed:

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


Your dentist may have noticed:

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


Additional testing:

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

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

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

sleep apnea dentist

What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

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

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

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

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

We look forward to seeing you in our Charlottesville dental office

teeth whitening

Reasons Your Teeth May No Longer Be White

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

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

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

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

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

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Dental Implants

Why Some Implants Fail Repeatedly

Dental implants are the best restorative choice for replacing a tooth that is missing. Whether the tooth has come out due to some kind of facial trauma or an infection or other issue, dental implants are the solution. The real difference in quality between a dental implant and other restorations such as bridges lies in the fact that the dental implant is placed directly into the patient’s jawbone, eventually fusing there through a process known as ossification.

Over time, ossification provides the kind of tooth base that is only seen elsewhere in natural teeth. When a dental implant is successful, it is as secure and as natural looking as a patient’s own original teeth; however, in some cases, dental implants fail. Sometimes they fail repeatedly. What’s causing these dental implant failures? Here are some potential causes.

Sometimes the implant doesn’t fuse with the bone and the bone shrinks away from the implant, leading to implant mobility or even the implant falling out. Patients who have weak bones due to age, osteoporosis, years of being edentulous (toothless) or another medical condition will find dental implants more challenging. If you’ve been having issues with failure to ossify, your dentist might recommend a bone graft to rebuild the jawbone to a healthy level so that dental implants can properly fuse.

In other cases, persistent infection may result in repeated implant failure. Signs of infection are continuous bleeding, swelling at the implant site or acute inflammation of the gum tissue at the implant site. Pus may be evident, or a bubble might appear on the gumline. Some health issues such as diabetes, auto-immune disorders or treatments like cancer therapies can weaken the immune system and leave the implant site vulnerable to infection. Your dentist might prescribe antibiotics or recommend you see an endodontist for a root canal treatment.

If you’re concerned about your dental implant, talk to Charlottesville dentist Dr. Delph right away. Find out what steps you need to take to ensure that your dental implants are successful.

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

kids dentist

Baby Teeth Basics

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

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

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

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

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

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

If you live in the Charlottesville area contact us today

Cosmetic dentistry

Top Reasons to see a Cosmetic Dentist

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

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

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

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

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

Cosmetic dentists in Charlottesville

Detnal implnts post 4

A Thorough Look at Dental Implants

Restoring a missing tooth is not as unnatural as you might think with the help of dental implants. These restorations have transformed the ability of dentists to make your smile complete and fully functional without the worries of cumbersome dentures or bridges.

Dental implants involve surgically placing a titanium rod into the jaw bone, which will then fuse with the bone to become a part of your body. A trusted, experienced dentist or oral surgeon is the best professional for this procedure. The implant provides a stable and secure base for a replacement tooth which is later placed on top of the rod.

Most people with missing teeth are candidates for dental implants, although your dentist will perform an examination to make sure. Healthy gums and ample strong bones are required for a successful dental implant treatment.

There are two main types of dental implants. Subperiosteal is designed for patients with a shallow jaw bone that does not allow for rebuilding, so these implants are placed under the gums. Endosteal is for patients with a thick jaw bone, which is ideal for the implant being placed into the jaw bone using plates, screws and cylinders for support. Your dentist will advise which type of implants are best for you.

Once the implant surgery is performed, the area will be allowed to heal for up to a couple of months so that the artificial tooth or crown placed on top will be able to successfully complete the procedure. Once the entire treatment is finished, you’ll have a fully functional, comfortable and secure new tooth and root.

No special maintenance is required with dental implants. Normal brushing and flossing is recommended, as well as regular dental checkups to guarantee good oral health. Implants are made to last a lifetime with proper oral care. With this advanced treatment that dentistry offers today, you can expect a worry-free restoration that gives you back your smile.

Implant Dentist post 3

A Thorough Look at Dental Implants

Restoring a missing tooth is not as unnatural as you might think with the help of dental implants. These restorations have transformed the ability of dentists to make your smile complete and fully functional without the worries of cumbersome dentures or bridges.

Dental implants involve surgically placing a titanium rod into the jaw bone, which will then fuse with the bone to become a part of your body. A trusted, experienced dentist or oral surgeon is the best professional for this procedure. The implant provides a stable and secure base for a replacement tooth which is later placed on top of the rod.

Most people with missing teeth are candidates for dental implants, although your dentist will perform an examination to make sure. Healthy gums and ample strong bones are required for a successful dental implant treatment.

There are two main types of dental implants. Subperiosteal is designed for patients with a shallow jaw bone that does not allow for rebuilding, so these implants are placed under the gums. Endosteal is for patients with a thick jaw bone, which is ideal for the implant being placed into the jaw bone using plates, screws and cylinders for support. Your dentist will advise which type of implants are best for you.

Once the implant surgery is performed, the area will be allowed to heal for up to a couple of months so that the artificial tooth or crown placed on top will be able to successfully complete the procedure. Once the entire treatment is finished, you’ll have a fully functional, comfortable and secure new tooth and root.

No special maintenance is required with dental implants. Normal brushing and flossing is recommended, as well as regular dental checkups to guarantee good oral health. Implants are made to last a lifetime with proper oral care. With this advanced treatment that dentistry offers today, you can expect a worry-free restoration that gives you back your smile.

Dental implants post 2

Restoring a missing tooth is not as unnatural as you might think with the help of dental implants. These restorations have transformed the ability of dentists to make your smile complete and fully functional without the worries of cumbersome dentures or bridges.

Dental implants involve surgically placing a titanium rod into the jaw bone, which will then fuse with the bone to become a part of your body. A trusted, experienced dentist or oral surgeon is the best professional for this procedure. The implant provides a stable and secure base for a replacement tooth which is later placed on top of the rod.

Most people with missing teeth are candidates for dental implants, although your dentist will perform an examination to make sure. Healthy gums and ample strong bones are required for a successful dental implant treatment.

There are two main types of dental implants. Subperiosteal is designed for patients with a shallow jaw bone that does not allow for rebuilding, so these implants are placed under the gums. Endosteal is for patients with a thick jaw bone, which is ideal for the implant being placed into the jaw bone using plates, screws and cylinders for support. Your dentist will advise which type of implants are best for you.

Once the implant surgery is performed, the area will be allowed to heal for up to a couple of months so that the artificial tooth or crown placed on top will be able to successfully complete the procedure. Once the entire treatment is finished, you’ll have a fully functional, comfortable and secure new tooth and root.

No special maintenance is required with dental implants. Normal brushing and flossing is recommended, as well as regular dental checkups to guarantee good oral health. Implants are made to last a lifetime with proper oral care. With this advanced treatment that dentistry offers today, you can expect a worry-free restoration that gives you back your smile.

A Thorough Look at Dental Implants

Restoring a missing tooth is not as unnatural as you might think with the help of dental implants. These restorations have transformed the ability of dentists to make your smile complete and fully functional without the worries of cumbersome dentures or bridges.

Dental implants involve surgically placing a titanium rod into the jaw bone, which will then fuse with the bone to become a part of your body. A trusted, experienced dentist or oral surgeon is the best professional for this procedure. The implant provides a stable and secure base for a replacement tooth which is later placed on top of the rod.

Most people with missing teeth are candidates for dental implants, although your dentist will perform an examination to make sure. Healthy gums and ample strong bones are required for a successful dental implant treatment.

There are two main types of dental implants. Subperiosteal is designed for patients with a shallow jaw bone that does not allow for rebuilding, so these implants are placed under the gums. Endosteal is for patients with a thick jaw bone, which is ideal for the implant being placed into the jaw bone using plates, screws and cylinders for support. Your dentist will advise which type of implants are best for you.

Once the implant surgery is performed, the area will be allowed to heal for up to a couple of months so that the artificial tooth or crown placed on top will be able to successfully complete the procedure. Once the entire treatment is finished, you’ll have a fully functional, comfortable and secure new tooth and root.

No special maintenance is required with dental implants. Normal brushing and flossing is recommended, as well as regular dental checkups to guarantee good oral health. Implants are made to last a lifetime with proper oral care. With this advanced treatment that dentistry offers today, you can expect a worry-free restoration that gives you back your smile.