Preventing a Root Canal Procedure

March 28th, 2015

Everyone would like to have beautiful, natural, healthy teeth. No one looks forward to a dental procedure like a root canal, and there are steps that you and your dentist can take now to keep your likelihood of a root canal procedure low.

Prevention is the key to avoiding a root canal procedure, and this begins with the patient at home. The development of good dental hygiene habits is the greatest step you can take toward overall good dental health. Brush at least twice a day, after each meal, and especially before you retire for the night. Don’t give the bacteria a chance to eat away at your teeth overnight while you sleep! Flossing daily eliminates stuck food particles and bacteria your brush can’t reach.

Keep your tooth enamel strong by using a toothpaste or mouthwash with fluoride. Do not use fluoridated toothpastes on children under the age of two, and children under six shouldn’t use fluoridated mouth rinses.
Ensure that your teeth and body receive all of the nutrients needed for maximum health by eating healthy and well. Crunchy foods such as hard fruits and raw vegetables can also help keep the surfaces of teeth clean.

Stopping smoking is a huge factor to life-long health, not just for your teeth, but for your body. It contributes to heart disease, lung disease, cancer, and other serious health problems. It’s never too late to stop! Ask your dentist or caregiver for help if you are having trouble quitting.

Drinking lots of water has benefits throughout your body, and keeps the mouth hydrated and clear of harmful acids, sugar, and bacteria. Avoid soda, energy drinks, juice, and coffee, or if you must consume them, drink water afterwards to keep their damaging effects at a minimum.

These steps are all important in the goal of preventing cavities and therefore preventing root canal procedures. If you do have a cavity, address it immediately when the decay is small, before it grows larger and reaches the inner areas of the tooth.

Talk to your dentist in Richmond today about these and the other steps you can take to reduce your risk of a root canal procedure.

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

March 21st, 2015

When you think of cosmetic dentistry, you may believe its only purpose is to improve the aesthetic appearance of your smile. While many cosmetic procedures are elective, they do have restorative functions as well. If you are unhappy with the condition of your smile, consider these benefits of cosmetic dentistry:

  • You will experience increased self-confidence with a beautifully restored smile. First impressions are important, and nine out of ten adults believe personal and professional success is affected by the condition of your smile.
  • Enhance your career opportunities with an improved smile. Studies show that people who take care of their teeth have better chances of getting the job in interviews.
  • Restore your youthful appearance by whitening dingy teeth and repairing cracks and chips that are aging you.
  • Relieve headaches and joint pain caused by misaligned teeth and bruxism. A bite that is not aligned properly will cause headaches and tooth and joint pain.
  • Restore your oral health and decrease the chances periodontal disease with teeth that are whole, straight, and easily cleaned.
  • Improve your overall health by receiving proper dental care which improves your oral health and helps to prevent related health conditions.
  • Repair decayed areas of a tooth to restore vital function.
  • Stop worrying about the appearance of your smile and enjoy the satisfaction of knowing you are facing the world looking your best.

The advantages of cosmetic dentistry in our Richmond dental office are many, and the results can be life changing. If you find yourself with imperfections in your teeth and smile that make you uncomfortable, schedule a consultation with a qualified dental professional to find out how today’s advances in cosmetic dentistry can create a smile you will be proud to share with the world.

Choosing a Type of Dental Veneers

March 14th, 2015

Dental veneers are thin, wafer-like shells that are placed on top of your natural teeth in order to address issues such as discoloration, gapped or misaligned teeth, or teeth that are worn down with age.

Veneers are typically made from composite resin or porcelain. Depending on your smile needs, your veneers may be made by a dental technician outside your mouth in a dental laboratory, a process known as indirect veneers. Your cosmetic dentist can also create veneers from composite resin onto your tooth during your visit in the dental office. This is known as direct veneers.

Porcelain veneers using the indirect process are best used for dull, discolored or worn teeth, as well as teeth that have extensive cracking, chipping or uneven spacing or gaps. Composite bonding through direct application can minimize smaller tooth issues such as minor cracks or small chips and minor discoloration.

The veneer process of removing some of the natural tooth surface is permanent. You cannot go back and add enamel to your tooth. Because of this, many cosmetic dentists will steer you toward the most minimally invasive veneer option in the beginning. If your natural teeth are functioning well and your smile is aesthetically pleasing, dental veneers may not be the best choice for you.

If your teeth are severely discolored, dull or cracked, porcelain dental veneers may be the best first step for you. Dental veneers last for many years and are proven to improve and enhance the overall appearance of your smile, mouth and the shape of your face.

Some veneers available today come able to be placed on the natural tooth with little to no grinding away of the natural tooth surface. These are known as “no preparation” veneers. While some veneer procedures may still require minor tooth modifications, these minimal to “no prep” veneers require that less of the tooth be removed, typically affecting only the enamel layer, with no effect to the dentin of the tooth beneath the enamel.

Your cosmetic dentist will give you all the information you need to choose a veneer type that is suited for your particular smile needs. Talk to your dentist today!

How Your Family Dentist Makes the Waiting Room Fun

March 7th, 2015

Family dentistry practices are rising in popularity. As parents discover the convenience and expertise of a family dentist, more are turning to them to care for their family’s oral health. The trust and long-term relationships developed with family dentistry practices are excellent reasons for choosing a family dentist for your family, but as these practices grow, their offices prioritize high-quality dental care while offering you the most relaxed setting available for you and for your children.

Younger patients can be especially anxious or fearful at the dentist’s office, and your family dentist understands. Offices are offering many distractions for these younger patients in an effort to provide a stress-free visit for everyone, both child and parent! When you are choosing a family dentist, ask what amenities are present. You may find some of the following:

  • Family appointments made in one block, sometimes congruently
  • Video games appropriate for all ages
  • Television screens playing popular kids’ programming
  • Complimentary snacks for those after-school patients
  • Complimentary beverages, including coffee, tea, bottled juice or water
  • Free wi-fi
  • Access to a computer with a high-speed internet connection
  • Electronic massage chairs

Once your appointment has begun, you may be provided:

  • Headrest pillows
  • Warm, soft blankets
  • Custom video playing in your exam room
  • Music players with headphones for relaxation
  • Safety glasses to shield your eyes from the glare of the exam room lights
  • Sedation dentistry, including oral or inhaled sedation options
  • Hot towels and a private area to freshen up following treatment
  • Toy chest for pediatric patients as a final thank you

As you begin your search for a family dentist, do some research through phone calls and visiting the office’s website. If a family dentistry practice looks appealing to you, visit their offices and see if you like it. An inviting, warm reception area, friendly staff, and modern amenities should be present, ensuring that you and your family will have the most positive dental experience possible, leading to a lifetime of good oral hygiene habits.

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.

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804-288-5324

6901 Patterson Ave.
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Richmond , VA 23226

804-754-4161

10410 Ridgefield Pkwy
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Richmond, VA 23233


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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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