Archive for April, 2014

Oral Cancer Screenings at Your Dentist

Monday, April 28th, 2014

Oral cancer includes cancers of the tongue, the hard and soft palate, the sinuses, the throat, and the cheeks and lips. It is a disease that can be life threatening if not diagnosed early enough, and oral cancer rates are increasing. One of the main problems with this condition is that it is frequently diagnosed when the cancer is already well advanced, and when the chances of a complete cure are greatly reduced.

What Are The Symptoms of Oral Cancer?
The most common symptoms include:

  • Sores in the mouth that fail to heal within two weeks, and which bleed easily
  • Lumps, bumps and swellings in the mouth
  • Rough patches of skin in the mouth
  • Color changes to the soft tissues in the mouth, for example the development of red or white spots
  • Difficultly in eating, chewing or swallowing
  • Having a sore throat or feeling hoarse
  • Noticing your teeth fit together slightly differently
  • Certain areas of the face may become numb, or might feel painful or tender

How is Oral Cancer Diagnosed?
Oral cancer screenings are a part of regular dental checkups. Your dentist will examine all the soft tissues in your mouth, and will check to see if the lymph nodes in your neck are swollen. If they find anything that looks suspicious then they will remove a few cells for closer examination. This is done with a brush biopsy, where a small brush is used to collect a few cells, or through removing a small sample of tissue for closer analysis. If anything suspicious is found then your dentist will refer you to an oral cancer specialist for further tests.

Early diagnosis of this disease is essential, and you can help yourself by keeping an eye out for any possible symptoms in between regular screenings. One of the most commons symptoms is noticing an ulcer or sore that fails to heal within a reasonable time frame. It is always worth seeking professional dental advice to help eliminate the possibility of oral cancer.

Oral cancer screening at our Richmond VA dental office

The Differences Between General and Pediatric Dentists

Tuesday, 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

Monday, 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

Monday, 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

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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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