Family Dentistry – The Most Convenient Choice

February 27th, 2015

It seems that with each passing year, our lives become more hectic, scheduled, and harried. If you have children, there are the endless school events and music lessons and sports practices. Running from here to there can leave you less time for some of the most important things, like your oral hygiene.

Have you found yourself putting off your regular dental check-up? Has it been more than a year since you saw your dentist? Are your children up-to-date with their dental visits, but you’re falling behind? This can happen, especially as we place the care of others over the care of ourselves.

By choosing a family dentistry practice, this can be a thing of the past when it comes to your teeth! A family dentist can see each member of your family, from the youngest infant to the oldest retiree. All of your dental visits occur in the same office, so you won’t be jumping in the car to go yet somewhere else, stuck in traffic and feeling overwhelmed.

With family dentistry, you can schedule your appointments to have multiple family members seen back-to-back or at the same time. This is especially of interest to families with multiple children. Imagine having three or four appointments going on at the same time, and being done after the time of a single visit! Reduce the time you spend in the waiting room with squirming or unhappy children by choosing a family dentistry practice.

Your family dentist realizes that your time is extremely important, and that each member of your family is important and valued. A family dentist knows about all of the changes your teeth undergo over time, and is sensitive to this. It’s easy to make smile goals with your family dentist, as he or she will be there from the start to the finish.

Make the choice to simplify your life. Make it easy to keep you and your entire family smiling brightly. Choose a family dentistry practice today.

Tooth Restoration After Root Canal Treatment

February 21st, 2015

Root canal therapy treats the interior of the tooth. The final step in root canal treatment is placing a permanent restoration to protect the tooth and restore it to full form and function. This procedure should be performed within one month of your root canal treatment to decrease the risk of re-contamination or breakage of the treated tooth. Having a permanent dental restoration placed will extend the success of root canal treatment by preventing damaging leakage or fracture.

The general condition of the treated tooth and the amount of tooth structure lost will determine if the tooth would be best restored with a permanent composite filling or a dental crown. For small cavities in front teeth with insignificant tooth structure loss, your dental professional may place a tooth-colored filling after a root canal procedure.

More often, your dentist will recommend the placement of a dental crown to restore a root canal treated tooth. Teeth that have had root canal therapy can be fragile, and a dental crown provides the best protection against future bacterial contamination and fracture. A dental crown is made in a laboratory and custom fit your tooth. Crowns are made of porcelain, metal, or a combination of the two. Dental crowns can be placed on front or back teeth, and are especially appropriate for molars that must withstand heavy chewing forces.

Having a root canal treated tooth restored with a dental crown or permanent filling will extend the success of your treatment. If you are showing symptoms of a damaged or diseased tooth, a properly performed root canal treatment and permanent restoration can save your tooth and extend its function for a lifetime.

Root canal dentist in Richmond

Recovering from Wisdom Tooth Extraction

February 14th, 2015

Patients often wonder about what they can expect following wisdom tooth extraction surgery, and with a little preparation, the surgery and the following recovery can go well and the patient can recover quickly. Planning ahead is the key!

Make your preparations well before your surgery. Set your appointment on a day that allows for you to recuperate and rest after the surgery. Friday appointments are ideal for recovering over a weekend. Be prepared with movies, books, and games to pass the time while you are resting.

Go to the grocery store the day before your appointment and have plenty of soft and easy to eat foods on hand. Applesauce, soup, yogurt, gelatin, cottage cheese, or pudding are all excellent choices following surgery. Avoid foods that require chewing or that are too hot or too cold. If your mouth is still numb, you can damage your gums and not realize it until the anesthesia wears off. Avoid the consumption of alcohol while taking any painkillers.

Do not drive yourself to the appointment. You will need someone to drive you home following your surgery and to help you fill any prescription medications your dentist has prescribed to treat your pain or prevent infection. Do not drive for at least 24 hours or while under the effects of a prescription painkiller.
Rinsing your mouth with salt water promotes healing and decreases irritation. Do not spit the water out; let it drizzle out. Do not use straws to drink your liquids and do not smoke, as these actions can lead to dry sockets. Elevate your head and apply ice packs to your cheeks to help prevent facial swelling over the first 24 hours.

Keep water, painkillers, gauze, and antibiotics close to your bed or sofa so you don’t have to get up to find the things you need. Don’t wait to take your painkillers, but take them immediately when you leave the dentist. Ask your friends and family for help during your recovery. They can help with simple meals or errands while you spend the next few days recovering.
With a little preparation, you can be ready for your wisdom tooth surgery in our Richmond VA dental office!

What is Orthognathic Surgery?

February 7th, 2015

If your dentist or oral surgeon suggests you need orthognathic surgery, you might be scared off by such a big unknown term. This type of surgery is a fancy name for a single or double jaw surgery with the purpose of repositioning the jaws. The goal is usually to correct the alignment and occlusion of the patient’s jaws.

In previous years of dentistry and orthodontics, malocclusions (problems in the way the upper and lower jaws and teeth fit together) were handled solely with orthodontic treatment. Often braces were used to realign the teeth to achieve the best possible positioning, but they didn’t always correct the associated jaw misalignment. Even though chewing function might improve with only braces, the ideal jaw position is not always attained.

Instead, many professionals today suggest combining both orthodontic and surgical treatment to ideally repair jaw problems. Usually orthodontic work is started first, to align the dental arches. Then jaw surgery is performed to position one or both jaws correctly. Orthodontic treatment often continues after surgery until all teeth are moved into perfect alignment.

As part of this process, facial harmony is also accomplished. When the jaws shift, the soft tissue in the cheeks, chin, lips, and end of the nose also move. Once the jaws are positioned appropriately, a harmony of the features of the face is acquired and results in a more attractive profile.

Orthognathic surgery is recommended for patients ages 18 to 45, because oral surgeons suggest waiting until the jaws have normally stopped growing around age 18. Also, surgeons are selective about performing jaw surgery on patients over 45 due to possibly worsened conditions of teeth and gums. Surgeons consider the patient’s overall health when deciding if orthognathic surgery is recommended for older candidates.

Now that you’re more familiar with the purpose and meaning of orthognathic surgery, hopefully you’ll be more prepared to discuss the options with your dentist if this type of treatment is suggested for you.

Dental office in Richmond VA

Cosmetic Dentistry Surgery Aftercare

January 28th, 2015

If you are undergoing a cosmetic dental surgical procedure such as the placement of mini or traditional implants, following some basic aftercare instructions will get you on your way to a successful recovery. Here are some helpful tips:

· Keep the teeth and treated areas as clean as possible. Your cosmetic dentist may provide you with a special mouthwash to aid this process, or you can use a warm salt-water rinse. Use a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste to brush normally, taking care not to disturb the surgical areas.

· While most cosmetic dentistry procedures are relatively painless, some discomfort can be expected in the teeth and adjacent tissues for 24 to 48 hours after treatment. Your cosmetic dentist might prescribe pain medication, or you may take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. You will experience the most successful pain relief by taking medication on a regular basis and before significant discomfort occurs.

· It is advised that you stick to a soft diet of foods such as eggs, pasta, and oatmeal while your mouth is healing. It is important to stay hydrated, but try to drink liquids at room temperature as you may experience some sensitivity to hot and cold. Avoid using straws because they can cause blood clots to dislodge.

· Swelling may occur depending on the type of procedure. If swelling occurs, place an ice pack on your face adjacent to the area treated in 10-minute intervals until the swelling has subsided.

Be sure to consult your cosmetic dentist in Richmond VA with any specific questions or concerns you might have regarding aftercare from your cosmetic dental surgical procedure.

Maintaining Dental Veneers

January 21st, 2015

Porcelain veneers have a lifespan of 7 to 20 years. However, in order to extend their life to the fullest, proper care is important.

Maintaining your veneers is relatively simple, and you should treat them as you would your natural teeth. Brush with a non-abrasive fluoride toothpaste and floss regularly. There is no need to be afraid of damaging your laminates with routine oral hygiene.

Generally your dentist will have you return for an evaluation shortly after your veneers are placed to determine how your mouth is accepting the veneers. This visit is an important step towards successful oral health. This visit would also be an opportunity for you to ask your dentist any questions or voice any concerns you might have about your new veneers.

If you grind or clench your teeth at night, you should notify your dentist so they may fit you with a protective night bite guard. Regular use of this type of guard will ensure your veneers do not suffer involuntary damage while you are sleeping.

Porcelain veneers are very durable and should not stain. However, if you have concerns about staining, you may want to consider avoiding or minimizing food and drinks which are known to cause staining issues. Porcelain is strong but also brittle. Chewing on bones or hard candies or opening nuts with your teeth is not advisable. As with natural teeth, it is advised that you keep your sugar intake low and confined to meal times.

When properly cared for, there is no higher occurrence of tooth decay with dental veneers. Proper oral hygiene, routine checkups, and professional cleanings by your dentist will allow you to keep your bright new smile for years to come.

If you are looking for a cosmetic dentist in Richmond VA for dental veneers, contact our office today to schedule your appointment today.

How to Choose a Family Dentist

January 14th, 2015

Choosing a family dentist is about trust. A good family dentist will care deeply about his or her work, and is deeply passionate about providing the best dental care for you and your family. A family dentist wants to create a life-long relationship with your family and wants to see you for years to come.

If you are looking for a new family dentistry practice, be sure to visit the office of anyone you are considering before making an appointment. Talk to the staff and see the facilities. Is it a good fit for each member of your family? Talk to your friends, family, or colleagues for recommendations, and look online for further options and reviews.

A family dentist’s office should be warm and comfortable for patients of all ages, from pediatric to geriatric. Often, a family dentist’s office contains games, children’s books, or toys to help younger patients pass the time. Video screens are common and are to be enjoyed by everyone. Seating will be comfortable, allowing for some space between older patients and younger.

A family dentist’s team will be friendly and kind, and will greet you with a warm smile. Children will often be addressed by name upon entering, to put them at ease. A family dentist wants each child with whom he or she interacts to leave with a positive impression of a dental visit. Children who have a positive foundation for good dental hygiene and dental visits inevitably grow up to be adults who continue to place oral health at the forefront of their priorities.

If at all possible, choose a family dentistry office in your area. It will help you save time and prevent you from sitting in traffic while trying to visit a dental office across town. Choosing a neighborhood family dentist can also ensure close proximity in case of a dental emergency.

With the right family dentistry choice, your entire family will look forward to dental visits. Check-ups will be completed in comfort and with ease. You, too, can enjoy the benefits of a family dentist today.

Family dentist in Richmond Virginia

Is it Possible to Whiten One Tooth?

January 7th, 2015

Do you have a single tooth that has darkened due to trauma? The first step in determining if a damaged tooth can be lightened is to visit your dentist for a thorough examination.

Your dentist will need to identify what is causing the dark staining. To do this, your dentist may perform x-rays or other tests to learn if the pulp of the tooth is “vital” or alive. If the tooth is deemed to be alive, external bleaching may yield the whitening results you are seeking. Your dentist can create a single-tooth bleaching tray to whiten the traumatized tooth effectively. This type of tray keeps the bleach away from other teeth, producing the best color match for your overall smile.

However, if it is determined that the nerves have died and it is no longer a living tooth, your dentist may need to perform a root canal. Darkening of a dead tooth can happen immediately or may develop over time after a root canal procedure has been performed. For this type of tooth trauma, your dentist or endodontist may recommend bleaching the tooth from the inside.

Stains from a non-vital tooth come from the inside, rather than outside, of the tooth. Therefore, your dentist needs to put the bleach inside the tooth. This type of teeth whitening is a routine procedure that involves making a small opening in the tooth through which to bleach the tooth. Once this procedure is complete, you can assess with your dentist whether the desired results have been achieved. If the whitening is not enough, the tooth can then be bleached externally as well. If the results are still not acceptable, you may want to consider a tooth-colored veneer or crown.

If you have a darkened tooth marring your smile, consult your dentist to determine the best teeth whitening treatment to return your smile to its bright, white best.

Teeth whitening dentist in Richmond VA

Everyday Things That Are Staining Your Teeth

December 28th, 2014

Having a bright smile is a sign of good health, and it not only makes your face more radiant, but also appear younger! As you age, your teeth lose their outer layer of tooth enamel. The layer underneath is called dentin, and it is more yellow than the surface enamel. Even though this yellowing is natural and expected, everyday things can hasten that unwanted process. With some minor care, you can avoid these pitfalls and keep your smile shining bright.

Most people know that soda, coffee, tea, and red wine can stain teeth; however, it is less commonly known that some foods, such as tomato sauce, basalmic vinegar, and soy sauce can leave unsightly stains. Blackberries, blueberries, and beets all leave residual color on your teeth. You don’t have to stop enjoying these healthy foods, but you can reduce the staining effects by rinsing your mouth after eating and by brushing immediately.
Recent studies have shown that some sports and energy drinks may be worse for your teeth than sugary drinks. Researchers know that these kinds of drinks can erode tooth enamel if consumed long-term. Prevent this erosion by limiting your consumption of these kinds of beverages and by rinsing your mouth with water when you are finished drinking.

Antibacterial mouthwashes containing cetylpyridinium or chlorhexidine can stain your teeth. Some blood pressure medications, antibiotics, antihistamines, and antipsychotic drugs can cause tooth discoloration. Excess iron and fluoride may also cause stains.

Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your health, but it’s also one of the worst culprits when it comes to discoloring teeth. Tobacco stains penetrate deep into the pits and grooves of tooth enamel. Brushing alone will not remove the stains, and the longer you smoke, the more difficult the stains are to remove.

Talk to your dentist about the elements of your diet and lifestyle that affect the whiteness of your teeth. There are many options available to address the stains and yellowing already present and to strategize to prevent future discoloration.

If you need professional teeth whitening and you live in the Richmond VA area, contact our office today to schedule a consultation to see if teeth whitening is right for you.  We look forward to seeing you.

How is a Family Dentist Different?

December 21st, 2014

Family dentists care about you and your teeth from the moment you enter the world until the moment you leave it. They want to get to know you – and your teeth – and they have the expertise, knowledge, and skill to care for a child’s baby teeth and for his or her adult teeth. A family dentist focuses on preventative care, aiming to avoid any serious dental complications as you age.

Family dentistry offices are generally friendly, warm, and comfortable. They are specifically designed to put nervous or anxious children and adults at ease. The staff strives to build a relationship with each member of your family, offering a lifetime of dental care and advice on any issues that might arise.

A family dentist in Richmond VA could treat more than one member of your family in a single visit. Booking more than one appointment per visit is extremely convenient, and it can save you valuable time and effort by allowing you to be seen while your spouse or child is seen in an adjacent area. Don’t drive all over town for your family’s dental needs; see a family dentist instead!

Your family dentist will provide you and your family with the necessary oral hygiene skills needed to have a lifetime of good oral health. Your family dentist will ensure that each member of your family has the latest recommendations regarding brushing, flossing, and rinsing to prevent tooth decay and plaque between appointments.

A family dentist provides all of the services a standard dentist does, such as regular dental cleanings, check-ups, and x-rays. Other preventative treatments include sealants and fluoride treatments. A family dentist is able to treat cavities with fillings or to handle gum disease. Basic cosmetic dentistry procedures like tooth whitening are also offered.

The primary difference for a family dentist is the length of time a family dentist wants to see you. A family dentist can treat you for the rest of your life, and will use the knowledge about you and your particular oral health history to make the best decisions regarding your care in any situation that might arise.

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Dear Dr. Brown,
I wanted to thank you and your entire staff for my recent dental experience at your Patterson office. Everyone exceeded my expectations in making my dental visits comfortable, from scheduling to the finish of my procedure. I truly felt everyone cared about me as an individual and took special steps to

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