Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Types of Professional Teeth Whitening

Sunday, June 28th, 2015

By far, the best way to brighten and whiten your smile is through an in-office treatment performed by your dentist. The concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the whitening gel used by your dentist is much higher than that which can be obtained over-the-counter by you in a drugstore. Lasers or special lights are employed by many dentists to achieve the best results.

With the rise in popularity of in-office teeth whitening, some specialty brands have emerged that offer different methods and ingredient strengths to address even the most stubborn stains.

  • BriteSmile also uses whitening gel and a blue light, but their gel has a concentration of 15 percent hydrogen peroxide and a nearly neutral pH level, a mix that is easier on sensitive gum tissue.
  • Lumbrite employs a custom light, known as the Sapphire Plasma Arc Curing and Whitening Light. This light has no destructive UV rays, although the gel is so strong it can work without the light. Lumbrite also has a desensitizing agent in its gel to reduce problems with sensitivity.
  • GLO Science Professional has a specialized mouthpiece that employs Guided Light Optics (GLO) that works in tangent with a whitening gel, delivering light and heat to the tooth surfaces. The mouthpiece prevents oxygen from leaving the treatment area, giving optimal whitening results.
  • Philips Zoom! is one of the most popular and well-known of the teeth whitening brands available at the dentist’s office. Their whitening gel uses a 25 percent concentration of peroxide which is stimulated by a proprietary blue light to achieve maximum whitening and is said to provide a more sparkling look to your enamel.
  • Opalescence uses one of the most powerful gels available, utilizing a 40 percent concentration of hydrogen peroxide as well as potassium nitrate to reduce gum and tooth sensitivity after treatment. It also contains fluoride which strengthens the tooth enamel and reduces decay.

Contact the Richmond dentists at BRS dentistry today to determine which of these or any other professional whitening methods is best for you and your teeth whitening needs.

How to Prevent the Need For Root Canal Treatment

Sunday, June 21st, 2015

The desire for a beautiful, healthy, natural smile is universal. Dental procedures such as root canal treatments aren’t something people aspire to have, and there are things you can do personally that can reduce your risk of having a root canal procedure.

Prevention is the best step you can take to avoid root canal therapy, and it all begins with you at home. If you didn’t grow up with good oral hygiene habits, now is the time to develop them. This simple step can lead directly to good oral health. Be sure you are brushing your teeth at least twice a day, following each meal if possible, and absolutely before sleeping. If you don’t brush your teeth before bedtime, you’re providing a robust breeding ground for bacteria to grow and degrade your teeth while you’re sleeping. Floss daily to reach the places between teeth and beneath the gum line that brushing can’t reach.

Fluoride in your toothpaste and in mouthwash can keep your tooth enamel strong and durable. Never give fluoridated toothpastes to children under the age of two years and avoid fluoridated mouthwash until the child is more than six years old.

Maintaining a proper diet ensures that your body is receiving all of the nutrients it needs for health, both orally and elsewhere in the body. Chewing crunchy foods like raw vegetables and hard fruits can help keep your teeth bright and clean, scraping away debris while you chew.

If you are a smoker, you should stop immediately. Not only is it a huge factor in your oral health, but also for your overall health. Smoking contributes directly to lung disease, cancer and heart disease, as well as other health issues. Your dentist or doctor can give you excellent advice about quitting.

Stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and avoiding sugared drinks. Rinse your mouth after consuming soda, coffee, tea or a sports drink.

Be sure to see your dentist in Richmond twice a year for regular check-ups and cleanings, and keep your risk of a root canal treatment low.

When Are Removable Prosthodontics Recommended?

Sunday, June 14th, 2015

If your teeth are badly damaged from decay or facial trauma, or if you have several missing teeth, your dentist may recommend removable prosthodontics to solve your dental problems. Periodontitis (advanced gum disease), bone loss or serious tooth decay can leave you as a poor candidate for restorative options such as dental crowns, dental bridges or dental implants. Removable prosthodontics can restore your smile so that it looks and functions as it should and can restore your confidence as you eat, smile and laugh.

Just hearing the word “dentures” might give you pause, reminding you of your older relatives, but achievements in dental restorative therapies enable your dentist to craft a removable prosthodontic for you that will not only look, but will feel like your natural smile.

Removable prosthodontics include:

Partial dentures correct gaps when only a few of your natural teeth are missing. A partial denture may be the best choice if your remaining teeth aren’t strong enough to support a dental bridge.

Overdentures provide restorations when one or more of your natural teeth are in place in an arch – typically two teeth for a bottom overdenture and four teeth for an upper overdenture.

Immediate dentures are put in place following an extraction, allowing the bone and gums to recover following an extraction procedure. They prevent the adjacent teeth from collapsing upon the empty space and affecting your bite.

Complete dentures are for edentulous patients (patients with no teeth at all) and are designed to replace all of the teeth in one or both arches of your mouth, restoring your smile and your ability to eat and speak clearly.

Because of advancements in materials and techniques, many dentures can be mistaken for natural teeth. Only you – and your prosthodontist in Richmond VA – will know your secret. Talk to your prosthodontist today to see what removable prosthodontics can do for you. Don’t wait to begin enjoying your life with your new, healthy smile.

Types of Dental Crown and Bridge Materials Available

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Restorative dentistry has made incredible advancements in the technology of restorative dental materials, and there are more options than ever today for your dental crown or dental bridge. Zirconium and porcelain have proven to provide lasting strength and durability, exhibiting the most natural cosmetic dental restorations available today. Each tooth in each mouth is different, however, and in some cases, resin composite or metal alloy might be the choice recommended for you.

Metals are a common choice for dental crowns and dental bridges. Gold or palladium alloys, as well as chromium or nickel (base-metal) alloys can be excellent choices. Metal alloy crowns show the least “wear down” over years of use. They almost never chip, break or wear down opposing teeth. The primary complaint about metal alloy materials is that their color is metallic and thereby unnatural. They will not blend with the surrounding teeth, and as such, they are chosen more for back molars where they won’t draw attention.

Dental composite/resin materials are a popular choice that can be made to blend with the surrounding teeth, but they’ve been shown to wear down over time and are more prone to fractures and breaking than other materials.

Porcelain can be fused to metal to form a natural-appearing crown or bridge, and because of their appearance, are a good choice for front or back teeth. Over time, however, discoloration can appear along the gum line as the porcelain wears away, leaving a dark, unsightly line. The porcelain can be fused to zirconium, however, which eliminates the dark line and is a good cosmetic choice for front teeth.

Crowns and bridges can also be made from all-porcelain or all-ceramic materials. These materials are the best choice for natural-looking teeth of the types of dental crown and dental bridge materials available in restorative dentistry today. Because they contain no metal, they are excellent choices for patients with metal allergies. They tend to be weaker and less durable than materials containing metals, however.

Talk to the cosmetic dentists at BRS dentistry in Richmond VA today with any questions you have regarding what type of dental crown or bridge material is best for your smile needs.

Diabetic Dental Care

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

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.

Look Years Younger with a Smile Makeover

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Wrinkles and gray hair are not the only clues to your true age. As you age, so does your smile. Tooth enamel wears down, gums recede, and lips thin. Old, worn, chipped or discolored teeth are dead giveaways to your advancing years. Other problems that may be aging your smile include old silver fillings, missing teeth, or a gummy smile line. Thankfully, restoring the youthful appearance of your smile is easily achieved with a smile makeover. Modern techniques in cosmetic dentistry can make great strides towards improving the appearance of your smile, instantly taking years off your looks.

A smile makeover is a customized treatment plan with the goal of improving the esthetics of your smile. Your smile makeover may include one or more cosmetic dentistry procedures such as teeth whitening, dental veneers, tooth implants, tooth-colored fillings, orthodontics, gum reshaping, or composite bonding. Consulting with a qualified cosmetic dentist to find out which procedures would suit your needs is the first step towards projecting a more youthful image. In cooperation with your dental professional, you may choose a combination of treatments to be completed to ultimately achieve the younger smile you desire.

While you can’t stop aging, you can stop your smile from aging you. Most smile makeover procedures are non-invasive, and many can be completed in as a little as one dental visit. If you feel your smile is showing your age, it is easy to improve your self-confidence and feel younger and healthier with a smile makeover. Contact a cosmetic dentist to find out how a smile makeover can help you face the world with a youthful, new smile.

Is Teeth Whitening Safe?

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Teeth whitening has never been more popular than it is today, and people are willing to try many methods in the attempt to brighten their smiles. Whether it be professional or at-home methods, people desire a beautiful smile but also a healthy one.

What is teeth whitening?
Aging, consuming dark foods and drinks, and smoking all contribute to stained or yellowed teeth. No matter how much brushing is done, it can be very difficult to get the white smile of your youth back. Discolored teeth can be embarrassing and bring down your self-esteem, but regaining a bright smile conveys beauty and health. That’s why teeth whitening has become such a popular cosmetic dental procedure.

How does it work?
The hard outside layer of your teeth called enamel is there to protect them. As you age and eat, a film forms on your teeth that eventually penetrates your tooth enamel and leads to hard-to-remove stains. The process of teeth whitening involves creating a chemical reaction to break down stains, breaking through the porous tooth enamel and brightening the teeth. Most whitening solutions contains hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide, which are proven to be effective and safe for stain removal.

What is professional whitening?
Professional whitening methods use stronger whitening solutions and often high-intensity light to speed up the chemical reaction and produce more dramatic results. The whitening solution is applied for several minutes, exposed to special light, rinsed, and then the process may be repeated several times to produce desired results. It is common for teeth to be lightened up to six shades brighter in only an hour.

What about whitening at home?
Over-the-counter products contain milder whitening agents, so it takes longer to achieve desired results. It usually takes at least a few weeks of consistent use to lighten teeth up to four shades. Some products for home use are more effective than others, so it may take some experimentation to find what works best for you.

What is the best method?
Consulting your dentist is the best way to develop a whitening plan for your specific smile. Severe stains might only be improved with professional methods, as they provide the quickest and most dramatic results. However, at-home methods are often simple and affordable. It all depends on your expectations for your own smile.

Family Dentists: Experts in Caring for All Ages

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Family dentists are experts in treating patients no matter what their age or oral health. The goal of a family dentist is to care for every family member in one convenient location, so that each patient is comfortable and confident about visiting the dentist.

Young members of a family present unique issues when it comes to dentistry. Many children find dental offices scary and parents struggle to get necessary dental care for their kids. Family dentistry offers a calming and welcoming environment for children, often providing distractions like videos and games. Having the flexibility and expertise to work with kids is a great advantage of family dentistry, because learning to handle dental visits at a young age is a good start to a lifetime of dental success.

Dental professionals suggest that children begin seeing the dentist around their first birthday. Not only will the dentist check and treat the child’s oral health, the parents will be educated on proper dental care. They will learn how to help their children avoid cavities, gum disease, and other issues as more teeth erupt and the child’s mouth grows.

Family dentists treat pediatric patients, but they are also skilled in the oral health needs of adolescents. If kids grow up going to the dentist, they won’t be as nervous or frightened about instruments and procedures as they become more aware of treatment. Comfortable patients are much more likely to sit still during procedures. Also, family dentists are trained to recognize issues related to orthodontics as older children reach the age that orthodontic intervention might be necessary. Some family dentists practice orthodontics, and others refer patients to specialists.

Family dentists take care of mom and dad, and even grandma and grandpa, too. The whole family can enjoy seeing the same dental professionals in one office location, and establish a long-lasting relationship for everyone with their healthcare provider. Family dentists perform all sorts of dental procedures, so no one is left out in the specific needs that might affect certain age groups. Oral health should never be neglected, and family dentistry is a step in the right direction.

Preparing for Root Canal Therapy

Tuesday, April 28th, 2015

Are you dreading an upcoming root canal treatment? With so many myths prevalent about the horrors of root canal therapy, it would be no surprise if you are not looking forward to the procedure. First of all, you should know that the goal of root canal therapy is to relieve you of pain, not to cause it. There are also several tips you can follow to make the experience easier and more successful:

  • Find out from your dentist if an antibiotic prescription will be necessary. Treating the infection around the tooth with an antibiotic can help rid the tissue of infection, which will also reduce potential swelling and improve healing after the procedure. Make sure you notify your dentist if you are allergic to any medications.
  • With your dentist’s consent, start taking a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication such as ibuprofen or naproxen several days prior to your root canal therapy. Continue the medication in the days following the procedure to help reduce pain and swelling.
  • If you are experiencing mild to severe anxiety, consult with your dentist about options for sedation during your root canal therapy. While mild anxiety is easily addressed with nitrous oxide, more severe cases may be helped by conscious or IV sedation.
  • Eat a healthy meal at least one hour prior to your root canal procedure. Treatment can take as long as three hours, followed by numbness that makes eating difficult, so eating a good meal prior to the procedure will make you feel more comfortable both during and after your root canal.
  • Follow-up with your dentist to schedule necessary restorative dental work in a timely manner. Your root canal treated tooth will require a crown or filling to ensure the treated tooth does not fracture.

Fortunately, with today’s dental technology, diseased and damaged teeth can be saved with root canal therapy. Following these simple tips will help you get through your root canal successfully and with minimal discomfort.

Interesting Dental Tidbits

Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

While most people know the basics about dental health, like brush twice daily and schedule routine checkups, those facts may be all they know. You can expand your dental knowledge to learn more information about dentistry. Modern dental care has helped protect our oral health and smiles, but these little factoids will impress your friends and family!

  • Before anyone invented toothpaste, people used mixtures of lemon juice, charcoal, ashes or even a mixture of tobacco and honey to clean their teeth.
  • In China, September 20th is Love Your Teeth day.
  • At one time, people used twigs or their fingers to brush their teeth.
  • Years ago, bad teeth were considered an issue for rich people because only individuals with money could afford sweets, which created cavities and rotted teeth.
  • One poll found that 73 percent of people would rather grocery shop than floss their teeth.
  • The Ancient Greeks were the first to use pliers to extract teeth.
  • During the 1600s, Japanese women made their teeth black as a sign of loyalty to their husbands.
  • Blue toothbrushes are more popular than red ones.
  • A beautiful smile can make you seem more attractive, intelligent, and successful to people you meet.
  • On average, women smile 62 times a day, and men smile just 15.
  • George Washington’s famous dentures were constructed from ivory, gold, lead and a mixture of human, donkey and hippopotamus teeth.
  • Your tooth prints are just as unique as your fingerprints, even for identical twins.
  • In 1866, Lucy Hobbs became the first woman to earn a D.D.S. degree, graduating from the Ohio College of Dental Surgery in Cincinnati, OH.

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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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