Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Breaking Down Dental Visits

Tuesday, October 21st, 2014

If you haven’t been to the dentist in a while, you may not recall the process for a regular checkup. These visits are an important part of your oral health care. If you are in good dental health, your dentist will probably suggest twice-yearly visits. Individuals with gum disease or other oral health concerns may need to schedule more frequent appointments. Feel free to ask your dentist questions or raise concerns at the visit.

Your dental checkup will usually include:

  • Full Health History
    Because oral health affects your overall wellness, your dentist will want to have a complete picture of your whole situation. A member of the dental team will ask you questions and gather relevant details about your present status. Make sure to provide helpful information like current medications and any pressing issues.
  • X-Rays
    Typically, your dentist will take X-rays about once a year. These images provide a clear view of your teeth and gums. Often, X-rays will identify problems, like impacted teeth, cysts, abscesses, or decay between teeth that might otherwise go undiagnosed.
  • Complete Evaluation
    During your checkup, the dentist will perform a periodontal assessment, bite analysis, and tooth-by-tooth inspection. If the dentist discovers a problem, your provider will make treatment recommendations to address the issue and restore your oral health.
  • Thorough Cleaning
    If everything checks out, the hygienist will typically remove plaque and tartar build-up from your teeth. At this time, the hygienist may also polish and floss teeth to refresh your smile.

Schedule a visit to our Richmond dental office

Root Canal Therapy: The Warning Signs

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014

When your tooth pulp that is located in the center of each of your teeth becomes damaged or infected, the best way to save the tooth is to have root canal therapy. This safe and effective treatment is not as painful as its reputation, and should not be avoided. Watching for signs that your tooth pulp has been compromised is an important step in saving your tooth, so that treatment may be performed before your condition becomes too advanced.

There are not always signs associated with a tooth that requires root canal therapy. Sometimes only examination, X-rays, and other tests will reveal problems. This is one reason regular dental visits are important. In other cases, symptoms are present to indicate pulp damage. Some typical signs include:

  • Pain that is often related to inflamed tooth pulp, which can be caused by deep decay, chipped or cracked teeth, repeated dental procedures, faulty crowns, infection, tooth grinding, or periodontitis. Inflammation increases pressure inside the pulp cavity and triggers the tooth’s nerves. The pain may be in the tooth itself, or it can be referred to other areas in your mouth. Pain when eating or sensitivity to hot or cold is also common.
  • Gum swelling near the damaged tooth
  • Facial swelling
  • Tooth loosening
  • Pus around the damaged tooth
  • Tooth discoloration, which usually occurs over a longer period of time. Discoloration can take weeks, months, or years to appear. This is another reason for regular dental checkups.

If you experience any of the symptoms above, or if your dentist identifies problems upon examination, it’s time to consider root canal therapy. Saving your natural tooth is almost always better than having to replace a lost tooth. Root canal therapy can help you keep your smile intact, as well as its function. Your natural sensations of a real tooth remain, as well as normal biting abilities. Don’t shy away from treatment; take care of tooth pulp problems when they arise.

Root canal dentist in Richmond VA

Smile Makeover Quick Fixes

Tuesday, October 7th, 2014

Not everyone has the advantage of a perfect smile. A smile makeover can help you transform your look into what you’d like it to be, and it doesn’t have to take a long time. You can walk away from just one appointment with a better smile. Here are some of the fast treatments using non-invasive techniques that are available.

Whitening teeth
If you’re considering making over your smile, one of the quickest and simplest places to start is teeth whitening. In as little as one hour in a professional setting, you can transform your look by brightening your smile more effectively than trying it at home. Whitening products sold for home use are not as strong as professional methods, so it takes a longer period of consistent use to brighten your teeth only a shade or two. Professional whitening uses stronger concentrations of bleaching agents and a special light to hasten the process, and achieves dramatic results.

Removing white spots
Unsightly white spots that you might see on your teeth are signs of demineralization under your tooth enamel. A smile makeover can include using resin infiltration, which is a non-invasive procedure that can effectively treat white spots. You can say goodbye to the spots in as little as thirty minutes of treatment time. Teeth whitening is not advised, as it can make white spots even more noticeable.

Reshaping teeth
Minor flaws like chipped, cracked, or misshapen teeth can be corrected with contouring. Small areas of your teeth can be shaved or tooth-colored resin can be applied to alter the length or shape of teeth. Tooth contouring can take as little as a half hour, and is great for those with healthy teeth that just need slight alterations for appearance purposes.

Repairing chips or gaps
Dental bonding is a simple procedure that hides gaps, chips, stains, or spacing problems. Tooth-colored resin is sculpted onto the tooth to provide a more appealing smile in only about an hour.

Smile makeover dentist in Richmond VA

How to Keep a Healthy Smile for Life

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

Your smile is a valuable asset, but needs care to ensure it maintains its beauty. It’s essential to brush at least twice a day and floss once a day, but other factors can influence oral health. The following pointers could help you maintain a healthy smile for life.

Book Regular Dental Checkups
Most dentists recommend patients visit them twice a year, although some people may benefit from more frequent checkups. These visits are essential for your dentist in Richmond VA to examine your mouth, and can help detect any early signs of disease before they become a problem.

Watch Your Diet
A healthy balanced diet should include plenty of fruits and vegetables as well as lean proteins and low-fat dairy products. This will help provide your teeth and gums with all the nutrients needed to keep them strong and healthy, and promotes overall good health.

Quit Using Tobacco Products
Smoking or using tobacco products is well known for causing stained and discolored teeth, and smokers are more likely to have bad breath. In addition, smoking makes it harder for your gums to heal and increases the risk of oral cancer.

Quit Bad Oral Habits
Using your teeth to open packets, chewing on ice cubes and pens, and biting your nails can all cause small fractures and chips in your teeth. Your dentist can offer useful advice on quitting these habits.

Don’t Ignore Any Early Signs and Symptoms
If you develop toothache or notice your gums bleed when you brush or floss, contact your dentist in Richmond VA right away. These diseases are far easier to treat when detected early. Ignoring tooth sensitivity that could indicate a small filling is needed might mean you’ll eventually need a root canal, or even that you lose the tooth completely.

Protect Your Mouth
Popular activities such as football, soccer, basketball and hockey can all cause facial injuries. Even noncontact sports such as skateboarding may be hazardous. Your dentist can provide you with a custom-made mouth guard that will help protect your teeth and jaws during sports.

Treating Gum Problems

Sunday, September 14th, 2014

Depending on the degree of gum disease you have been diagnosed with, treatment can vary extensively. It can range from having a regular teeth cleaning and paying more attention to dental hygiene, to complex and often painful surgery. If you’ve been told you have a problem with your gums, seek treatment immediately.

Your dentist will perform a gum exam to decide the best treatment plan. This includes measuring the gum pockets around your teeth, noting inflammation, and checking gum recession. If gum pockets are extensive, it may mean you have bone loss. In that case, your dentist might refer you to a gum specialist called a periodontist.

Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease. All that may be required is a thorough professional cleaning, better oral hygiene, consistent checkups, and allowing time for gums to heal. If gum problems have advanced, a deeper professional cleaning called scaling and root planning may be needed. Medications might be prescribed to treat infection. If the areas don’t respond to these treatments, gum surgery can be performed to remove diseased tissue, save the remaining gums and bone, and allow a better environment for good future oral health.

Receding gums sometimes are not severe enough for any treatment, but cosmetic concerns may warrant a gum graft procedure. It involves surgically removing tissue from another area of the mouth and grafting it onto the receded area. Another issue might be a gum abscess, which requires deep cleaning to remove diseased tissue and any pus that is present. Antibiotics will likely be needed for the infection. Once the abscess is cleared, further treatment may be needed to avoid a recurrence.

As you can see, there are a variety of possible treatments depending upon the severity of your gum problems. Of course the best solution is to avoid gum issues in the first place by maintaining good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups.


If you have gum problems and you live in the Richmond VA area our dentists have over 20 years of experience in helping patients regain there smile.

Examining Amalgam Fillings

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

The traditional silver fillings that patients have been getting for many years have come into the spotlight in recent years. Some people wonder if these silver, or amalgam, fillings are safe because they contain small amounts of mercury.

Background
Amalgam fillings contain a mixture of half liquid mercury and half a blend of silver, copper, and tin. This material is soft and malleable, which makes it easy to be sculpted to fit well into the tooth and not affect the patient’s bite. Amalgam fillings have been used to fill cavities for over 150 years.

Risks
The concern about mercury as an ingredient in amalgam fillings is due to the health risks of toxicity or allergies associated with exposure. Significant mercury exposure can cause chronic illnesses, autoimmune disorders, birth defects, oral lesions, and mental disorders. The FDA has investigated the safety of amalgam fillings, however, and determined that the mercury levels are too low to present adverse health risks for adults or children over age six. It has also been deemed safe for nursing mothers to have amalgam fillings. Both the FDA and the American Dental Association maintain that these types of fillings are safe.

Alternatives
Patients who are uncomfortable with amalgam fillings may choose composite resin material instead. This newer type of filling is used in about 70 percent of fillings performed today, and many patients prefer the tooth-colored resin because it is less noticeable in the mouth than silver fillings. Patients who have concerns about amalgam fillings already in place may ask the dentist about switching to composite resin instead.

If you live in the Richmond VA area and you need a filling, contact our office today.

Porcelain and Composite Dental Veneers

Friday, August 29th, 2014

Having a beautiful smile is possible with dental veneers. Broken, stained, chipped, gapped, and crooked teeth can all be hidden with this restoration. There are two primary types of materials that are used to create veneers. These are composite resin and porcelain.

Porcelain is the most popular material used for veneers. These are usually made at a separate lab from the dental office, created by lab technicians based upon a model of the patient’s mouth. When the veneers are complete, they are sent to the dental office so the dentist can bond them to the patient’s teeth to complete the process. One reason that porcelain is especially popular is that the material resists stains and looks like natural teeth.

The other most common option for creating veneers is composite resin. These are typically made by the dentist in the office, so there is no delay in getting the veneers made at a lab. A benefit of composite veneers is that they require minimal tooth surface and are thinner than veneers made of porcelain.

No matter which type of material you choose for your dental veneers, you’ll need to have a consultation with your dentist to make sure you are a good candidate. Patients who grind their teeth are not suitable for veneers because they can be broken with this type of pressure. Also, patients who are unable break habits like chewing hard items like ice, pencils, or fingernails may not be suitable for veneers.

If you are a good candidate for dental veneers, remember that they are a permanent restoration. This means that you will need to have your veneers replaced if they ever wear out, because once your teeth have had veneers you’ll need to continue wearing them. If you take good care of your veneers by practicing proper oral hygiene, your veneers should last a long time before replacement might be necessary. In the meantime, you’ll be able to enjoy your appealing smile.

BRS Dentistry is a cosmetic dentistry office in Richmond Virginia that does veneers

Avoiding Common Oral Health Problems

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Lots of things can go wrong with your oral health if you aren’t aware of potential problems and how to avoid them. There are some simple ways that can help you maintain good oral health and steer clear of sometimes painful problems.

Cavities
Your first line of defense against cavities is good oral care, including regular and thorough brushing and flossing. Reducing your consumption of sugary and acidic foods and drinks will also help. Ask your dentist about fluoride treatments and dental sealants, both of which can provide extra protection against cavities. Quitting smoking is another good way to avoid problems, since the habit makes your teeth sticky and more prone to allowing bacteria to cling to your tooth enamel.

Gum disease
Practicing good oral hygiene is the best way to fight gum disease, also called gingivitis. Once you develop gingivitis, it can develop into the more serious periodontitis if you’re not careful. Brush at least twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and a soft toothbrush, which can be manual or powered. Floss every single day, and you may also rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash. Professional teeth cleanings and checkups twice a year, eating a balanced diet, and quitting smoking are also helpful in preventing gum disease.

TMJ
Temperomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is an increasingly common problem. It causes chronic jaw pain, popping, headaches, and neck problems. Teeth grinding or clenching are leading causes of TMJ, but it can also result from arthritis or trauma. If you suspect you are grinding or clenching your teeth, or are experiencing pain consistent with TMJ symptoms, visit your dentist. Some treatments include sleeping with a custom mouth guard, applying a warm washcloth to relax your jaw muscles, and practicing stress-reducing techniques like meditation.

Family and general dentist in Richmond VA

Root Canal Treatment: The Truth

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

There are many misconceptions about root canal treatment. This process is recommended when your tooth pulp is infected or damaged, and the treatment is needed to save your tooth. The damaged pulp is removed from your tooth and filled with a material that prevents future infections. A crown is often recommended to be placed over the tooth to complete the procedure and preserve the tooth. If your dentist recommends this treatment for you, it may save you some worry if you know the truth about the procedure.

Truth about the pain
Root canal treatment has advanced over the years, making it much less painful than its previous reputation. Anesthesia is used during the procedure, and most patients say it is no worse than getting a filling.

Truth about office visits
The procedure can usually be completed in just one or two office visits. Several factors impact the number of appointments, such as the extent of infection, complexity of the procedure, and need for referral to a different health care professional. Your dentist will be able to advise how many office visits are needed for your treatment.

Truth about symptoms
Your tooth does not absolutely have to be painful to indicate the need for a root canal. A dentist may diagnose a serious problem even when you don’t feel discomfort. That’s one reason regular checkups are important, so that issues can be caught.

Truth about cause
It is a myth that root canal treatment is caused by illnesses like heart disease, arthritis, or kidney disease. Medical research has proven these long-time myths to be untrue.

Truth about success
The benefits of root canal treatment can last a long time, even permanently. Sometimes patients experience broken teeth after treatment, but dentists attribute this to failure in the restoration or tooth construction instead of the root canal treatment itself. Patients who do not opt to get crowns tend to experience tooth breakage more often.

If you need a root canal dentist in Richmond VA, schedule your consultation today.

Restoring Confidence with a Smile Makeover

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

An unattractive smile can make you feel uncomfortable and lower your self-esteem. Being embarrassed about the appearance of your mouth can make social and professional situations difficult. This calls for a smile makeover. Cosmetic dentists can help you transform your look and give you back the confidence you’ve lost due to a lackluster smile. A smile makeover offers many ways to help you achieve your goals.

Whitening teeth
Aging combined with certain habits can take a toll on your teeth, leaving them dingy and yellow. Drinking coffee or red wine and maintaining habits like smoking all can be culprits of an embarrassing smile. Professional teeth whitening methods provide a fast and effective way to turn your smile around.

Eliminating gaps
Although some celebrities embrace gaps in their smiles, many people consider them a reason to hide their teeth. Traditional braces, clear aligners, and veneers are each effective ways to get rid of gaps that you don’t like.

Repairing decay
Not only is tooth decay unattractive, it can be painful and negatively impact your overall health. Treatment may involve fillings, crowns, root canal therapy, or even tooth extraction. If removal of the tooth is necessary, dental implants are a popular restoration choice.

Repairing chips and cavities
Chips in your teeth may be easily repaired using techniques like contouring or bonding. Cavities can also be attractively filled using white composite material that is not noticeable in your smile, yet effectively takes care of cavities.

If you are looking for a smile makeover dentist in Richmond Virginia, contact our office today to schedule a consultation.

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Cosmetic Dentistry

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804.684.8517

6901 Patterson Ave.
(Patterson at Three Chopt)
Richmond , VA 23226

804.886.3316

10410 Ridgefield Pkwy
(Ridgefield at Pump)
Richmond, VA 23233


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Patient Testimonial

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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