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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.

Education
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.

Treatments
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

Diabetic Dental Care

Friday, March 28th, 2014

People with diabetes are more likely to have oral health problems. Infections and gum irritations are harder to treat in diabetics, and can more easily progress into advanced stages. Therefore, if you have diabetes, it’s vital to be extra careful about practicing good dental hygiene and maintaining optimum oral health.

Some of the dental issues that diabetic patients face include:

  • Higher risk of gum disease like gingivitis and periodontitis
  • Increased risk of cavities
  • Trouble fighting bacteria, allowing increased plaque buildup on teeth
  • More tartar, which irritates the gums
  • Higher risk of tooth loss if gum disease reaches advanced stages
  • More susceptible to bacterial infections, which can delay the healing process
  • Higher risk of dry mouth, which often causes cavities

Unfortunately, oral health problems can also affect your overall health. If you have diabetes and also gum disease, it is harder to control your diabetes. Severe gum disease elevates blood sugar, which in turn puts you at higher risk of diabetic complications.

As a diabetic, follow these recommendations for dental care:

  • Visit the dentist at least every six months, and discuss any changes in your condition or medications.
  • Brush a minimum of twice daily, and floss every day.
  • Consider using an anti-bacterial toothpaste or mouthwash to prevent gum disease.
  • If you wear dentures, properly care for them to avoid oral thrush.
  • Discuss scaling and root planning procedures with your dentist, which can clean your teeth better so that bacteria can’t cling to them as well.

Another thing to remember is to report any health issues to your dentist if you have any dental procedures scheduled. Complications like trouble regulating your blood sugar level can impact the safety of certain procedures, such as oral surgery or implant placement. It can also affect your ability to heal properly.

BRS Dentistry – Dental office in Richmond VA.

Ouch! I Have a Mouth Sore!

Friday, March 14th, 2014

There are few things more irritating than having a painful, swollen sore in your mouth. It bothers you while eating, talking, and even just sitting around. There are a number of types of mouth sores with different causes. Some are infections from bacteria, viruses, or fungus. Or they can be a result of an ill-fitting denture, broken tooth or filling, or loose orthodontic wire. Mouth sores can also be a symptom of a medical condition. Here are some details about common mouth sores.

Canker sore
These small sores occur inside your mouth, and are white or gray with a red outline. They aren’t contagious, but are recurring and can happen one-at-a-time or several at once. Experts believe that lowered immune systems, bacteria, or viruses are risk factors. Canker sores often heal by themselves in about a week, and topical anesthetics or antibacterial mouthwashes may provide relief.

Cold sore
Also called fever blisters, these sores occur outside of your mouth around your lips, nose, or chin. These blisters filled with fluid are caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1, and are extremely contagious. Once you have been infected with the herpes virus, it remains in your body and occasionally flares up. Cold sores usually heal in about a week on their own. Topical anesthetics may help, and your dentist might prescribe antiviral medications to reduce outbreaks.

Candidiasis
Also called oral thrush, candidiasis is a result of the yeast Candida albicans reproducing in large quantities. It usually happens to those with weakened immune systems, and is common with people wearing dentures or with dry mouth syndrome. Candidiasis is also linked to taking antibiotics. Controlling candidiasis is done by preventing or controlling the cause of the outbreak. Ask your dentist for advice.

Leukoplakia
Common with tobacco users, leukoplakia are thick white patches on the inside of your cheeks, gums, or tongue. In addition to tobacco use, they can also be caused by ill-fitting dentures or continual chewing on the inside of your cheek. Leukoplakia is linked with oral cancer, so your dentist may advise a biopsy if the patch looks suspicious.

 

 

Schedule a dental check up visit today at BRS Dentistry in Richmond VA.

Are Oral Piercings Dangerous?

Friday, February 21st, 2014

You may like the way oral piercings look, but you might not like the dangerous risks that come with them. Because your mouth contains millions of bacteria, infection and swelling often accompany oral piercings. It can really take the fun out of this popular way to express yourself. Make sure you think it through before getting a piercing, to make sure you’re ready for the responsibility and willing to perform tasks to keep the area healthy. This information will help educate you about what oral piercings involve.

What kinds of things can an oral piercing cause?
Piercing your lips, tongue, cheeks, or uvula can interfere with speaking, swallowing, or chewing. It can also cause:

  • Infection – the moisture in your mouth is home to lots of active bacteria, so it’s a perfect place for infection. Infections can be life-threatening if untreated, and associated swelling can block your airway.
  • Nerve damage – your tongue may be numb after piercing, which may be temporary or permanent. It can affect your ability to taste and move your mouth.
  • Gum, teeth, and fillings damage – biting or playing with your piercing can harm your gums and crack or scratch your teeth. Piercings can also damage fillings, and cause tooth sensitivity.
  • Allergic reactions – some people are allergic to metals and have reactions at the piercing site.
  • Drooling – tongue piercings can increase saliva production and cause drooling.
  • Dental care problems – oral jewelry can hamper dental care and block X-rays.

What should I do if I already have piercings?
If you have any oral piercings, contact your dentist or doctor right away if you have signs of infection. These include swelling, pain, fever, chills, or red streaks near the piercing site. Always keep the piercing area clean and use a mouth rinse after meals. Avoid clicking the jewelry against your teeth and gums, and remove it before participating in sports. See your dentist regularly for checkups.

BRS Dentistry is a general dentistry practice in Richmond VA

Teaching your Child about Oral Health

Friday, February 7th, 2014

The sad statistic about children’s teeth is that tooth decay is a widespread disease among kids today. Dental problems are reported to be five times more likely in kids than asthma. Because of this disturbing trend, dentists are stressing the important role that parents play in teaching their children about oral health.

Parents should begin taking their children to the dentist much earlier than many believe. It is recommended to take kids for their first dental checkup around the first birthday. Even though it may be a challenge, it is the best way to ensure optimum oral health, learn hygiene tips, and help get your child accustomed to visiting the dentist. Most children are more relaxed and cooperative in the morning hours, and can pick up on anxiety in parents. Show your ease at the appointment, and don’t use a dental visit as a bribe or punishment. It is better to have your child buy into the importance of good oral care as early as possible. Then maintain dental checkups each year for the best results.

Your dentist will explain how to help your child properly brush and floss. It will be a number of years before you can expect kids to perform dental hygiene tasks on their own. Even after your child is old enough to brush alone, it’s important to check the teeth and gums to make sure they are being cleaned well enough. If not, step in and help until you are certain your child can consistently do a better job.

Why is good dental care important for your child? Oral health not only affects the mouth, but also overall health. Infections can cause various health problems, and decay can lead to teasing and low self-esteem related to an unsightly smile. Poor dental hygiene may ultimately cause tooth loss if it is not addressed. If your child is already showing signs of poor oral health, it’s not too late. Consult your dentist immediately to learn about treatment options, and make sure your child understands the consequences of poor dental care. Hopefully you’ll be able to turn your child’s dental habits around so that a lifetime of good oral health will be in the future.

 

 

BRS Dentistry – Kids dentist in Richmond VA – Pediatric dentistry Richmond Virginia

Finding the Right Endodontist

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Hearing the news that you need a root canal procedure may not be the most welcome turn of events. Your dentist will examine your tooth and let you know if this treatment is the best way to correct the problem and save your tooth. With a procedure like this, you need to seek the help of an endodontist. This type of dentist specializes in the pulp and tissue that surrounds the roots of your teeth. An endodontist is the most qualified and experienced professional to perform root canal treatment.

Finding the right endodontist may seem overwhelming, especially when you might be experiencing pain and discomfort associated with a damaged or infected tooth. Here are some tips to help you in your search:

  • Ask your general dentist for recommendations of a reputable endodontist. This should not be an unusual request, so it is likely that your dentist’s office has that type of information readily available.
  • Don’t feel like you are locked into using your dentist’s recommendation, however. Find the right endodontist for you.
  • Ask family, friends, and coworkers for recommendations. You might be surprised about how many people you know have gone through root canal treatment. Their first-hand experience with the endodontist will provide you with helpful details.
  • Research on the internet to locate endodontists near you. Read the reviews and look for medical credentials.
  • Select an endodontist with experience so that you don’t feel like you are providing practice for a new doctor, but another case for someone who has performed many procedures like yours.
  • Schedule a consultation to make sure you feel comfortable and confident with the endodontist and staff. If you aren’t, you can always visit another endodontist until you find the one you like best.

Schedule your appointment today to learn more about root canal options at BRS Dentistry in Richmond Virginia

Understanding the Limitations of Teeth Whitening

Tuesday, January 21st, 2014

Whitening your teeth to improve your smile is a popular cosmetic treatment, but you should understand that it does have some limitations to consider. If products are used correctly or if you seek the professional help from a qualified dentist, you can usually achieve a bright and appealing smile. Here are some things to think about when it comes to teeth whitening.

Methods
You should not expect over-the-counter methods to whiten your teeth more than a couple of shades. The whitening ingredients available in products at your drugstore are not as strong as those used at your dentist’s office. Consistent and correct use of over-the-counter options can help whiten your teeth, but it may not be as much as some patients hope will occur. On the other hand, professional methods can produce dramatic and quick improvements to the color of your teeth.

Habits
Certain habits contribute to stains on your teeth and if you don’t limit or stop activities prone to discoloring teeth, your newly whitened teeth may become discolored again. Foods like berries and curry, drinks such as coffee and red wine, and habits like smoking will all likely negatively affect your tooth color.

Restorations
Bridges, crowns, and laminates might not respond in the same way to whitening agents as your natural teeth do. Ask your dentist about how your restorations might react to teeth whitening.

Side effects
Tooth sensitivity is the most common side effect of whitening procedures, causing some patients to be unable to handle some methods of treatment. Gum sensitivity is another potential problem, but usually dissipates soon after the whitening procedure. Weakening of a restoration may also occur during whitening treatment, sometimes making it necessary to replace them.

Expectations
Teeth whitening must be occasionally repeated if you want your bright smile to remain for a lifetime. The effects do not last indefinitely, because aging and activities can stain your teeth. Excessive bleaching may damage your teeth though, so be sure to discuss your whitening treatment with your dentist.

Teeth whitening dentist in Richmond VA

The Types of Dental Fillings

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Maintaining good oral health is possible when you brush and floss properly, eat right, and visit your dentist regularly. However, even the most dedicated dental hygiene sometimes isn’t enough to completely avoid tooth decay and cavities. If you see your dentist every six months, problems can be caught and treated early. This may include dental fillings. Your dentist will help you decide which kind of filling material is right for you, most likely among the following options.

Amalgam
Traditional silver-colored fillings made up of a combination of metals like silver, copper, mercury, and tin have been around for many years. They are strong, durable, and can withstand intense chewing demands in your back teeth. They are usually the least expensive option, but can corrode and discolor as they age.

Composite resin
A mixture of plastic and glass particles, composite resin is a white material that has become a very popular choice for fillings. Also called white fillings, composite is nearly invisible in your tooth.

Gold
A more expensive option for fillings is gold, even though they are not made of pure gold. These fillings usually cannot be placed in a single dental visit, but they are very durable and will not corrode with time.

Ceramic
Ceramic fillings are made of porcelain and can be created to closely match your tooth color. One benefit of ceramic fillings is that the material is stain resistant.

Glass ionomers
Consisting of acrylic and glass components, glass ionomer fillings are not as durable as some of the other materials. One benefit is that fluoride is released from the material, which can help prevent further tooth decay.

Contact our Richmond dental office for dental cleanings.

What you Need to Know about Permanent Dentures

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

Dentures have been around a long time as a way to restore smiles plagued by missing teeth. They provide a solution for people who want to smile, talk, and eat as normally as possible. Unfortunately, removable dentures aren’t without issues. They can become loose or shift, making it uncomfortable to eat and talk. Messy denture adhesives are bothersome and ineffective for some patients. Therefore, advancements in dental technology have developed the option of permanent dentures.

What are permanent dentures?
Permanent, or fixed, dentures are suitable for patients missing one, two, or more teeth. The appliance is made up of a row of crowns or artificial teeth, which are connected together and the framework is supported by dental implants. The implants act like natural tooth roots, and the permanent dentures create a bite similar to natural teeth.

What are the benefits?
Fixed dentures definitely offers some advantages to removable ones. The need for messy adhesives is eliminated, and you don’t have to worry about loose or ill-fitting dentures affecting you. The force of your bite is also improved, so you can eat all kinds of foods without concern. Because a permanent upper denture doesn’t cover the roof of your mouth, your ability to taste and enjoy food is not sacrificed. This kind of denture stays in place for normal oral hygiene, so there are no special cleaning or soaking requirements. If properly maintained, permanent dentures can last for many years or even a lifetime.

Are there any disadvantages?
Permanent dentures are susceptible to oral problems like infection or inflammation because they are not removable. Also, it is possible that the crowns may require replacement in 10 to 15 years.

Dentist for seniors in Richmond Virginia

Root Canal Myths

Saturday, December 28th, 2013

Some people have great anxiety at the thought of receiving root canal treatment. Age-old horror stories and images brought to mind may scare you away from getting a procedure that your dentist says you need. In fact, sometimes it’s the only way to save a severely infected or damaged tooth. Dispelling some of the myths associated with root canal treatment may help you get over the fear of having a root canal.

Myth: The pain is excruciating.
It is likely that you are already experiencing pain with a tooth that requires root canal treatment. A damaged tooth, infected pulp, or an exposed root or nerve can all cause pain. So the idea that treatment is painful may be associated with the anxiety and discomfort caused by the tooth before the procedure is even performed. Today’s methods for root canal treatment are much improved over past years, and most people say they didn’t feel pain during the procedure and that they feel better afterwards.

Myth: Tooth extraction is a better choice.
Saving a tooth is almost always preferred over losing it to tooth extraction. It may be a quick fix and seem less painful, but extraction can lead to problems. There will be an unattractive gap in your smile, your teeth won’t function as well, neighboring teeth may shift, and resulting crooked teeth will be hard to clean.

Myth: A root canal requires a lot of dentist appointments.
Treatment can usually be completed in just one or two office visits. It depends on the severity of your case and the difficulty of the treatment.

Myth: Root canals cause future dental problems.
This procedure used to be done without placing a crown on top, and the original tooth would sometimes break because it became brittle from treatment. Now a dental crown is placed over the tooth, ensuring that the benefits of root canal treatment will be long-lasting.

Root canal dentist in Richmond Virginia

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804.684.8517

6901 Patterson Ave.
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Richmond , VA 23226

804.886.3316

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