The Differences Between General and Pediatric Dentists

April 22nd, 2014

Some people make the mistake of not realizing that there are some significant differences between general and pediatric dentists. Taking children to a dentist specially trained to meet the needs of kids oral health can be very beneficial. These dentists not only have extensive training and experience in children’s oral health, pediatric dentists also ensure children have a good experience and develop lifelong positive attitudes toward obtaining dental care.

Pediatric dentists receive the same education as general dentists, but then they undergo an extra two to three years of training and experience in treating the unique needs of children’s oral health. This includes a residency program where the pediatric dentist works with infants, children, teens, and special needs children. Their training involves learning to manage children’s behavior during the dental visit, sedation techniques, teaching oral hygiene, and learning about the growth and development of kids’ oral systems. Pediatric dentists learn to diagnose problems, correct issues, and provide preventative care.

Children have unique issues and therefore require treatments that apply to them. Pediatric dentists have the ability to identify risks that children may have from their parents, diet, and habits like pacifier use or thumb-sucking. A typical dentist appointment for a child might include examination, teeth cleaning, fluoride treatments, as well as diagnosis and correction of cavities, broken teeth, or other defects. Pediatric dentists also watch for tooth alignment problem and bite issues, and are able to monitor and treat oral problems related to diseases like diabetes or gum disease.

Kids dentist in Richmond VA

Details about Getting a Root Canal

April 14th, 2014

Tooth decay can happen to anyone, and if allowed to take hold and worsen, it can cause major problems. Your tooth may become infected, swollen, and unhealthy. Without treatment, the infection might spread to other tissues and cause a painful abscess. Instead of losing a damaged tooth, root canal treatment is possible to treat the infection and remove decay to restore your tooth’s function and health.

Signs you need a root canal
Most of the time, there are symptoms that alert you to a problem with your tooth. Pain, tenderness, sensitivity, and discoloration may all be signs of an issue. See your dentist for an examination that will determine if root canal treatment is recommended. If you aren’t experiencing any symptoms, your dentist might still find a problem that requires root canal therapy. This is a good reason regular checkups are important.

Preparing for a root canal
When you visit your dentist, a thorough examination will be performed to assess any swelling or discomfort. X-rays will be taken to help determine the health of your tooth. Your dentist may also test the pulp of your tooth directly to help learn the extent of the damage.

Root canal procedure
Root canal treatment is performed using anesthesia, from local to general depending on the case and patient. The first step is eliminating decay from your tooth by drilling a small opening to access the pulp. The interior of your tooth will be cleaned so that there is no unhealthy tissue left. Then the canal will be filled with rubbery material that hardens to create a sturdy core. Finally, the tooth will be sealed for protection and a crown is placed on top of your existing tooth. This completes the root canal procedure and you will be able to return to normal eating and activities within a few days.

Root canal dentist in Richmond VA

The Lowdown on Cosmetic Dentistry Procedures

April 7th, 2014

When it comes to smile improvement, cosmetic dentistry probably has the answer. This branch of dentistry aims to change your smile so that you are happier and more confident. There are a variety of dental treatments and related procedures that may be implemented to enhance your smile.

Teeth whitening
Perhaps the most popular treatment sought at cosmetic dental offices is teeth whitening. Many people are unhappy with their discolored, stained teeth after years of wear and consuming foods that stain. Most cosmetic dentists offer several methods for brightening your smile, most of which require only one dental visit. Although you can purchase whitening products for home use, procedures done by your dentist are more effective and give longer results.

Veneers and crowns
When you have a damaged or discolored tooth, veneers and crowns are good options available from your cosmetic dentist. Porcelain is often the material used because it matches natural tooth color well, making the restoration blend right in with your smile. Veneers are permanently attached to the fronts of your teeth to cover flaws, and crowns are supportive restorations that restore tooth function.

Tooth-colored composite resin may be used to fill in gaps between your teeth or the contours of a tooth. This simple process is called bonding. It can also be used to restore the appearance of a slightly chipped or discolored tooth. Bonding may be performed to fill in small visible cavities, since it blends right in and does not damage your smile’s appearance.

Cosmetic dentists and orthodontists both may recommend braces to improve your smile. Crooked teeth, misalignments, gaps, and protruding teeth can all be corrected with orthodontic work. Cosmetic dentists are well versed in using aesthetically pleasing types of braces, such as clear braces or Invisalign clear trays. These provide effective results with less impact on your appearance during treatment.

Cosmetic dentist in Richmond Virginia

Diabetic Dental Care

March 28th, 2014

People with diabetes are more likely to have oral health problems. Infections and gum irritations are harder to treat in diabetics, and can more easily progress into advanced stages. Therefore, if you have diabetes, it’s vital to be extra careful about practicing good dental hygiene and maintaining optimum oral health.

Some of the dental issues that diabetic patients face include:

  • Higher risk of gum disease like gingivitis and periodontitis
  • Increased risk of cavities
  • Trouble fighting bacteria, allowing increased plaque buildup on teeth
  • More tartar, which irritates the gums
  • Higher risk of tooth loss if gum disease reaches advanced stages
  • More susceptible to bacterial infections, which can delay the healing process
  • Higher risk of dry mouth, which often causes cavities

Unfortunately, oral health problems can also affect your overall health. If you have diabetes and also gum disease, it is harder to control your diabetes. Severe gum disease elevates blood sugar, which in turn puts you at higher risk of diabetic complications.

As a diabetic, follow these recommendations for dental care:

  • Visit the dentist at least every six months, and discuss any changes in your condition or medications.
  • Brush a minimum of twice daily, and floss every day.
  • Consider using an anti-bacterial toothpaste or mouthwash to prevent gum disease.
  • If you wear dentures, properly care for them to avoid oral thrush.
  • Discuss scaling and root planning procedures with your dentist, which can clean your teeth better so that bacteria can’t cling to them as well.

Another thing to remember is to report any health issues to your dentist if you have any dental procedures scheduled. Complications like trouble regulating your blood sugar level can impact the safety of certain procedures, such as oral surgery or implant placement. It can also affect your ability to heal properly.

BRS Dentistry – Dental office in Richmond VA.

What Makes a Pediatric Dentist Different

March 21st, 2014

In young babies, thumb sucking is a good self-soothing option. As children grow, this habit can cause dental problems. Roughly 18 percent of children from ages two to six suck their thumbs. As permanent teeth grow, ask your dentist for advice about how to get your child to break the habit. The following tips may help speed up this process:

Don’t pressure your child too soon
Talk with your pediatrician and dentist to determine the best age to work on quitting. Many health care providers don’t worry about thumb sucking until permanent teeth start to come in, usually around age five or six.

Establish a reward system
Encourage your child to stop thumb sucking through positive reinforcement. Try stickers on a chart and small prizes after so many days of progress.

Start small
Begin the process by working with your child on curtailing the habit in public. Slowly move on to more difficult times, such as bedtime.

Be patient
Realize that your child will have slip-ups and setbacks. Don’t punish or yell at your child because these actions can actually make your child upset or nervous, which may lead to more thumb sucking.

Use peer pressure
If you child sucks his or her thumb around other people, talk with your child about what the kids say about this behavior. Sometimes, this discomfort is enough to motivate your child to quit.

Consider additional help
Look into purchasing a thumb guard. These devices make thumb sucking difficult, if not impossible, and may give your child an additional boost with giving up this habit.

Your child’s health is our priority at BRS Dentistry in Richmond Virginia

Ouch! I Have a Mouth Sore!

March 14th, 2014

There are few things more irritating than having a painful, swollen sore in your mouth. It bothers you while eating, talking, and even just sitting around. There are a number of types of mouth sores with different causes. Some are infections from bacteria, viruses, or fungus. Or they can be a result of an ill-fitting denture, broken tooth or filling, or loose orthodontic wire. Mouth sores can also be a symptom of a medical condition. Here are some details about common mouth sores.

Canker sore
These small sores occur inside your mouth, and are white or gray with a red outline. They aren’t contagious, but are recurring and can happen one-at-a-time or several at once. Experts believe that lowered immune systems, bacteria, or viruses are risk factors. Canker sores often heal by themselves in about a week, and topical anesthetics or antibacterial mouthwashes may provide relief.

Cold sore
Also called fever blisters, these sores occur outside of your mouth around your lips, nose, or chin. These blisters filled with fluid are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1, and are extremely contagious. Once you have been infected with the herpes virus, it remains in your body and occasionally flares up. Cold sores usually heal in about a week on their own. Topical anesthetics may help, and your dentist might prescribe antiviral medications to reduce outbreaks.

Also called oral thrush, candidiasis is a result of the yeast Candida albicans reproducing in large quantities. It usually happens to those with weakened immune systems, and is common with people wearing dentures or with dry mouth syndrome. Candidiasis is also linked to taking antibiotics. Controlling candidiasis is done by preventing or controlling the cause of the outbreak. Ask your dentist for advice.

Common with tobacco users, leukoplakia are thick white patches on the inside of your cheeks, gums, or tongue. In addition to tobacco use, they can also be caused by ill-fitting dentures or continual chewing on the inside of your cheek. Leukoplakia is linked with oral cancer, so your dentist may advise a biopsy if the patch looks suspicious.



Schedule a dental check up visit today at BRS Dentistry in Richmond VA.

Pulling Baby Teeth

March 7th, 2014

Losing baby teeth shouldn’t be a rite of passage to be feared. It’s a natural part of the process of growing up, and usually doesn’t hurt nearly as much as getting the teeth in the first place. As a parent who desires to make the process as painless as possible, here is some advice about baby teeth and the best ways to lose them.

At around age six, most children begin to lose their primary teeth to make room for permanent adult teeth. They often fall out in the order they come in, so the bottom front two teeth are the first to go, followed by the two top teeth. Most kids lose all their primary teeth by around age 13. Dentists suggest allowing the teeth to fall out on their own, because they typically come out right before the permanent tooth is ready to make its appearance. If your child has a loose tooth, it may be met with excitement. After all, a visit from the tooth fairy may be imminent! However, the idea of losing a tooth hurting or bleeding may strike fear in your child.

Either way, you can’t let a loose tooth hang on forever. Waiting for it to fall out by itself decreases the risk of bleeding, and can reduce the chance of infection. However, a dangling tooth or a child afraid of swallowing the tooth will be reason for a parent to get involved. Here are some tips:

  • Encourage your child to wiggle the tooth with their finger or tongue.
  • Since your child can tell exactly how loose the tooth is and how much force is painful, encourage the child to pull the tooth on their own. Offer a piece of gauze or tissue to get a firmer grasp on the tooth.
  • Allow food to do the job. Have your child bite an apple or popsicle.
  • Don’t be tempted to tie the tooth with a string to a door and slam it. This is not a painless way to pull a tooth!



Dentist for kids in Richmond Virginia

The Benefits of an Electric Toothbrush

February 27th, 2014

Maybe you’ve wondered if using an electric toothbrush is a fad that will pass, going the way of pet rocks or the thighmaster. The truth is that there are a number of reasons that electric toothbrushes will probably stick around for a long time. Let’s find out why you should consider using an electric toothbrush in your own dental hygiene routine.

First, there is a difference between electric toothbrushes and those that are battery-operated. Toothbrushes powered by batteries that make the bristles vibrate a bit really aren’t much different than manual toothbrushes. True electric toothbrushes plug into an outlet to recharge, and you change the brush heads every few months. You can choose from several types depending on how the heads rotate, oscillate, or use sonic technology.

Once you’ve chosen an electric toothbrush, and are committed to brushing twice daily using the correct technique, you should expect to start reaping the benefits. Dentists recommend them as the best way to keep your teeth clean. Their bristles remove plaque faster and better than manual toothbrushes, and can often access hard-to-reach areas. Also, you’re able to control how hard you brush better with an electric toothbrush. You just hold the brush and the moving bristles work on their own. This helps you avoid injuring your gums or removing tooth enamel.

Another big appeal of electric toothbrushes is that they’re easier for people with physical limitations to use. These have larger handles making them easier to grip, and their powered bristles do much of the cleaning for you. They also reach areas that may be normally hard to access. Electric toothbrushes also help you brush for the appropriate length of time, since most models have a timer that lets you know when you’ve brushed for the recommended two minutes.

So if it’s time for you to get a new toothbrush, consider switching to an electric model. Your mouth will benefit from your willingness to try something new.

Family dentist in Richmond VA – BRS Dentistry

Are Oral Piercings Dangerous?

February 21st, 2014

You may like the way oral piercings look, but you might not like the dangerous risks that come with them. Because your mouth contains millions of bacteria, infection and swelling often accompany oral piercings. It can really take the fun out of this popular way to express yourself. Make sure you think it through before getting a piercing, to make sure you’re ready for the responsibility and willing to perform tasks to keep the area healthy. This information will help educate you about what oral piercings involve.

What kinds of things can an oral piercing cause?
Piercing your lips, tongue, cheeks, or uvula can interfere with speaking, swallowing, or chewing. It can also cause:

  • Infection – the moisture in your mouth is home to lots of active bacteria, so it’s a perfect place for infection. Infections can be life-threatening if untreated, and associated swelling can block your airway.
  • Nerve damage – your tongue may be numb after piercing, which may be temporary or permanent. It can affect your ability to taste and move your mouth.
  • Gum, teeth, and fillings damage – biting or playing with your piercing can harm your gums and crack or scratch your teeth. Piercings can also damage fillings, and cause tooth sensitivity.
  • Allergic reactions – some people are allergic to metals and have reactions at the piercing site.
  • Drooling – tongue piercings can increase saliva production and cause drooling.
  • Dental care problems – oral jewelry can hamper dental care and block X-rays.

What should I do if I already have piercings?
If you have any oral piercings, contact your dentist or doctor right away if you have signs of infection. These include swelling, pain, fever, chills, or red streaks near the piercing site. Always keep the piercing area clean and use a mouth rinse after meals. Avoid clicking the jewelry against your teeth and gums, and remove it before participating in sports. See your dentist regularly for checkups.

BRS Dentistry is a general dentistry practice in Richmond VA

Make Over Your Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry

February 14th, 2014

A healthy and attractive smile can be life-changing if you have a smile that you find embarrassing. An unsightly smile can not only hurt your self-esteem and social life, it can also hurt your career. Your teeth should present an image that you are content with as you communicate and interact with others. If your smile doesn’t, then a smile makeover may be in order.

Cosmetic dentistry offers all sorts of techniques and procedures that can improve your look. Even subtle changes in your smile can make a huge impact on how you look and feel. Here are some of the most popular ways to enhance your look.

Teeth whitening
There are a number of products and treatments available to brighten your smile. Whitening your teeth at home is an option, but it requires more time and commitment than professional whitening methods. If you choose in-office whitening, you can expect dramatic results in as little as one hour. Whatever method you select, teeth whitening is a safe and effective way to improve your smile.

Commonly made of porcelain, dental veneers are customized thin shells that cover the fronts of your teeth. They hide embarrassing flaws like chips, cracks, and discolorations.

For minor tooth problems, bonding is a great option. A composite resin is applied to the tooth to alter its shape or color. It is a painless procedure that provides a natural and quick change to your smile.

Dental implants
You don’t have to be a senior citizen to experience tooth loss. Patients of all ages can benefit from dental implants to restore one or more missing teeth. These permanent and natural-looking replacements for teeth don’t impact your chewing or speaking. There is no messy maintenance and you may even forget your implants aren’t your real teeth.

Whether major orthodontic work like completely moving your teeth and jaw into better positions, or minor tooth movement is all that is needed, orthodontics can be a great way to makeover your smile. New technologies such as clear braces offer subtle ways to undergo orthodontic treatment.

Cosmetic dentist in Richmond VA

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