Archive for July, 2013

Fear Keeps People from Visiting the Dentist

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013

Though you have probably never heard of aichmophobia or odynophobia (fear of needles or sharp objects and fear of pain respectively), these phobias and other concerns keeps many people from seeking dental treatment. Sometimes, it stems from negative experience in the past, other times it has to do with the sights and smells during the appointment. According to the Academy of General Dentistry, approximately 40 million Americans avoid the dentist because of fear and anxiety.

Without regular dental care, your smile’s appearance and your oral health can suffer. Routine checkups allow the hygienist to remove tartar build up, which keeps your teeth and gums healthy. As well, your dentist will examine your whole mouth and look for signs of trouble, including gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer. Often, these issues go unnoticed because they generate few symptoms in the early stages.

Patients who feel anxious should talk with their dentist about their concerns and discuss options for making treatment more pleasant. Many practices offer sedation dentistry, which can include taking medication designed to reduce anxiety before an appointment. The following tips may also help you deal with your fears and get the dental care you need:

• Ask for detailed explanation of the procedure so you know exactly what will happen
• Before your appointment, try relaxation steps such as deep breathing or visualization techniques
• Bring along an iPod or other device to offer distraction
• Let your dentist and the office staff know about your feelings
• Remember that you are in control and can ask the dentist to stop at any time

Relax – you’re in good hands at BRS Dentistry – Richmond VA Dentist

Dental Fillings Improve Your Smile

Sunday, July 21st, 2013

When you have a cavity, your dentist will remove the decay and repair the remaining tooth structure. Typically, a dental filling is the choice for restoring your smile. Your dentist has two options: an amalgam or composite filling. Learn more about filling basics so that you can make an informed decision about your oral health.

Amalgam Fillings
Metal fillings have been used for years to fix a tooth with that has a cavity. Less expensive than the composite fillings, amalgams offer durability, especially for back teeth. Mercury is a component of amalgam fillings, however, and questions have arisen about whether these fillings can contribute to mercury overexposure. Amalgam fillings also tend to look dark or gray with time, which can detract from your smile’s appearance. Wear and tear can cause amalgams to crack or leak, producing new decay in and around the damaged filling.

Composite Fillings
Initially, composite fillings were used for individuals who worried about the impact of metal fillings on their white smiles. Because the mercury in amalgam fillings has come under fire for contributing to potential health issues, many dentists have begun using only composite fillings. In fact, all-white fillings are becoming the standard in dental care.

Created to match your natural tooth coloring, composite fillings provide additional benefits as well. These restorations allow your dentist to perform a more conservative repair and leave more healthy tooth structure in place. Because all-white fillings bond to the tooth, they won’t change shape or leak over time. Many people have started replacing amalgam fillings with composite alternatives.

Dental office in Richmond Virginia

Do Energy and Sports Drinks Ruin Your Teeth?

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

Advertisements have successfully convinced many adults and kids that energy drinks will pump you up, and sports drinks will heighten your performance. They’ve been sold on the idea that these drinks are better for you than soda, and their popularity has skyrocketed. Not everyone is on the bandwagon, however, and one of the reasons is the possible negative affects on your teeth.

The main impact is a result of the high acidity levels in the drinks. Acid can erode your tooth enamel, which is the glossy outside layer of your teeth. Some studies go so far as to suggest that you are basically bathing your teeth with acid. Experts say that damage to tooth enamel can’t be reversed, and without a good layer of enamel your teeth will become sensitive and more likely to decay.

Researchers are still studying the effects of energy and sports drinks on your teeth. So far, studies haven’t consistently proven exactly what can happen. However, many experts suggest that since there is evidence that tooth damage may occur, it seems smart to heed the suggestions about how to minimize the effects of these drinks on your teeth. Here are some suggested ways to reduce potential tooth damage:

• Cut down on your consumption of sports and energy drinks.
• Chew sugarless gum after drinking these items, because it will stimulate saliva production. Choose gum containing xylitol because it has been shown to protect tooth enamel.
• Rinse your mouth with water after consuming these types of drinks. This will help wash away residue from the drink, and also increase saliva production. Saliva flow naturally helps the acidity levels in your mouth to return to normal.
• Wait an hour after having these drinks before you brush your teeth. This will avoid spreading the acid onto the surfaces of your teeth and increasing the erosive action.

Family & General Dentist in Richmond VA

Repair Your Teeth with Dental Crowns

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

Your oral health and comfort can be jeopardized when your teeth sustain damage. Deep cracks, severe pain, and possible tooth loss can occur if you don’t receive treatment for a structurally unstable tooth. If your tooth needs more than a regular filling to restore its integrity, your dentist may choose a dental crown. Also called a cap, a dental crown fits securely over any tooth structure above the gum line.

Depending on the extent of damage and the location of the tooth, your dentist will place a ceramic, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), or metal crown. Usually, porcelain crowns are recommended for teeth that are visible when you smile. Because the human bite can exert about 50 pounds of pressure in the back of the mouth, the chewing force can be as powerful as 200 lbs, which could destroy a ceramic crown. Typically, all-metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or zirconia crowns are used for back teeth.

Sometimes, damage occurs to a tooth that doesn’t need a crown, but is too severe for a filling. Inlays and onlays offer a good solution. Constructed from solid ceramic or metal materials, these partial crowns are stronger than traditional fillings. Inlays cover the cusps (bumps) on top of a tooth; onlays fit over a cusp and down the side of the tooth.

Crown placement usually takes two appointments. At the first visit, your dentist will remove the damaged tissue, reshape the tooth, and take impressions for the custom restoration. Your doctor will also place a temporary crown. Final placement will occur at the second appointment, once the dental office receives the permanent restoration.

Dental Crowns dentist in Richmond VA

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