Archive for February, 2015

Family Dentistry – The Most Convenient Choice

Friday, 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

Saturday, 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

Saturday, 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?

Saturday, 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.

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