Archive for September, 2015

How to Select a Cosmetic Dentist

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Thanks to the current popularity of cosmetic dental procedures and treatments, many dentists are offering cosmetic dentistry options within their practices. However, just because a dental professional has undergone training in the procedures you are seeking, that does not mean they are the most skilled or qualified person for the job. When considering undergoing cosmetic dentistry treatments, it is vital to do your homework and identify a dentist with the best training and most extensive experience in the procedures you are seeking.

First and foremost, when researching a potential cosmetic dentist, you should find out if they hold an accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists. This designation means they have undergone extensive training and examination in cosmetic dentistry procedures. Several other guidelines to follow when choosing a cosmetic dentist include:

  • Ask to review before and after pictures of previous procedures they have performed on actual patients.
  • Find out how long they have been practicing cosmetic dentistry and how often they perform the actual procedures you are seeking.
  • Inquire about the equipment used in their practice. Are they utilizing the most modern and up-to-date technology available?
  • Find out what type of technology they provide to preview your potential treatment options.
  • Ask about the type of continuing education the dentist pursues in order to stay current on advancements in cosmetic dentistry.
  • Assess the comfort of the office, their options for sedation dentistry, the emergency procedures they have in place, and the professionalism and helpfulness of their staff.

With careful research and consideration of these guidelines, you should be able to successfully locate an experienced and qualified cosmetic dentist in Richmond VA to help achieve the improved smile you desire.

Who is Not a Good Teeth Whitening Candidate?

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Professional teeth whitening is an excellent option for improving your smile. However, there are some conditions and circumstances that may preclude you from being a good candidate for successful teeth whitening treatment. The following are some reasons your dental professional may recommend you forgo teeth whitening for another time or treatment option:

  • Because the nerve of the tooth is still enlarged and highly sensitive, teeth whitening is not recommended for patients under the age of 16.
  • Teeth bleaching is not recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing.
  • Patients who have sensitive teeth or gums, or are allergic to peroxide, should consult with their dentist before using any at-home bleaching products.
  • If you have gum disease, tooth decay, exposed roots, or worn enamel your dental professional may discourage you from undergoing any whitening treatments until those issues are addressed and corrected.
  • Patients with tooth-colored dental restorations such as crowns, fillings, or bridges should be aware that these will not whiten and could result in uneven whitening when compared to your natural teeth after whitening treatment.
  • Individuals with unrealistic expectations such as wanting neon-white teeth may be discouraged from pursuing whitening treatments. Teeth can potentially be whitened up to ten shades, but should only be slightly brighter than the whites of your eyes.
  • Smokers who do not intend to discontinue their habit will deter any long-term whitening results.

To find out if you are a good candidate for teeth whitening, either professional or at-home, it is best to schedule a consultation with your dentist. At this time your oral and general health, lifestyle, and expectations can be evaluated to determine it teeth whitening treatments would be a viable and potentially successful option for you to achieve a more perfect smile.

When Your Root Canal Treatment Fails

Monday, September 14th, 2015

Root canal treatments are extremely common and have a very high success rate; however, between five to fifteen percent of root canal therapies fail. Any successful root canal treatment is permanent; however, some complications aren’t immediately apparent after the procedure itself is completed. Any problem with the root canal that does not prevent bacteria from entering the tooth again is highly likely to result in a failed procedure.

Extra or hidden canal branches within the tooth can lead to root canal therapy failure. Because these canals can be very difficult to locate and reach with dental instruments alone, a dentist can treat one branch without finding or treating the other. This leads to the reoccurrence of bacteria and infection at the site.

Root fractures, tooth perforations or cracks, seals that aren’t tight, or tooth restorations that are incomplete or faulty can lead to failed root canal treatments. The area beneath the tooth must be sealed while it is bacteria-free, after a thorough cleaning, or the bacteria that are left (or that travel to the site from the outside) can reinfect the tooth and lead to treatment failure.

If you are wondering if your root canal treatment is successful, look for signs similar to those you observed when you were diagnosed and recommended for a root canal procedure. Pain, swelling or a pimple-like bulge on your gums that lasts beyond the normal period of healing can signal a hidden problem. Some signs of a problem take months to appear. If you think you are experiencing any symptoms of a failed root canal, contact your dentist immediately to have the tooth examined.

Some failed root canal procedures necessitate a second root canal, while some can lead to oral surgery or tooth extraction. Talk to your endodontist today to see what procedures might be necessary for your tooth needs.

Myths About Dental Bridges

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

You might have heard several things about dental bridge therapy, but it might not all be true. Read on to see if what you think you know is a fact or a myth!

Myth: Dental bridges are the same thing as a dental crown. This isn’t true! A dental crown is placed on top of a tooth that has received a root canal treatment. A bridge is a completely false tooth that fills in the spaces in a patient’s mouth. Often a crown is used to help anchor the bridge to the adjoining teeth, but the bridge itself isn’t a crown, it’s a false tooth.

Myth: A dental bridge is just another word for dentures. Dental bridges are not dentures. Both utilize artificial teeth, but dentures are made to be removed daily, and must be cleaned and brushed outside of the mouth. Dental bridges remain fixed in the mouth and are cleaned just as you would your natural teeth.

Myth: Dental bridges are obvious and everyone will know I have one. This is completely untrue. The only people who will know you have a dental bridge are those you personally tell and those who worked on you in the dentist’s office. Bridges are extremely natural and will not affect your speech patterns.

Myth: Dental bridges break or fall out all the time. A quality bridge applied by a trained dental professional is made to last a lifetime. Patients who eat foods that aren’t recommended (very hard or chewy foods, for example) might discover that the bridge has become loose and is in need of tightening. Dental bridges rarely break.

Myth: Dental bridges are the same thing as dental implants. Implants and bridges are very different. They are only similar in that they are both treatments for missing or gapped teeth. Dental implants are screwed directly into the jawbone, while dental bridges sit on top of the gum tissue.

Talk to the Richmond VA dentists at BRS Dentistry today if you have any lingering questions about dental bridges. Don’t let misconceptions prevent you from moving forward with your dental care!

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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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