Monday, April 24, 2017

Preventive Dental Care and Treatment Options

“Live Mouth Smart” is a theme for world oral health day which aims to highlight the importance of oral health for a healthy body. Dentistry now a day has taken up by leaps and bounds. Advances in clinical care in dentistry have been vivid, but the profession for decades has strived to outline its more general relationship to patient health, specifically the importance of oral health to general health.  Preventive approach in dental practice has been cited as a reason for caries decline in recent decades and as a major part of the service-mix of dental practices in the future.

Preventive dental care is the key goal of your oral health care and should be performed on a regular basis to ensure a lifelong healthy smile. The goal of Woodbridge Smiles is to help patients maintain their oral health, as well as to help avoid dental problems in the future. Preventive dental care is an important part of an excellent quality of life, now and as you age and negligence of these will leads to disastrous outcomes such as gums diseases, dental caries etc. We at Woodbridge Smiles provide preventive treatment in three categories i.e. primary, secondary and tertiary prevention techniques, which can involve patient- or professionally applied methods. These include: oral hygiene (instruction), pit and fissure sealants (‘temporary’ or ‘permanent’), fluoride applications (patient- or professionally applied), dietary assessment and advice (modification), other measures to help remineralize demineralized tissue and other measures to help modify the biofilm to reduce the cariogenic challenge.

Primary prevention consists of measures which prevent the development of the clinical signs of caries in the absence of disease, i.e. prevent the initiation of the disease. Secondary prevention focuses on the rapid and effective treatment of disease at an early stage and includes measures which arrest and reverse and both the progression of caries after initiation of clinical signs. Tertiary prevention includes measures which remove the irreversible tooth damage and replace it in such a way as to prevent further caries progression.

Visiting our Woodbridge Smiles, for clinical examination and professional dental cleaning twice a year gives us the opportunity to spot dental problems early on and screen for caries, gum disease and dietary advice. Highlighting problems early can save time and money down the road.

Woodbridge Smiles
14904 Jefferson Davis Hwy Suite 304
Woodbridge, VA 22191
Phone: 703-910-4805

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

New year, New you: New Year’s Resolutions for a Healthy Smile

With the new year approaching, you may have already begun to think about your New Year’s resolutions. You may be considering resolving to save money, get a better job or lose weight. Many people set new goals about having a healthier lifestyle in the new year. Why not make one of your New Year’s resolutions improving your dental health?
Healthy resolutions can keep your teeth healthy, and any of the following strategies will go a long way toward giving you a brighter, healthier smile in the coming year:

Eat Plenty of Fruits and Vegetables
Eating well is important for your dental health. Poor nutrition can affect the entire immune system, increasing susceptibility to many common oral disorders, including gum (periodontal) disease. Antioxidants and other nutrients found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts improve your body’s ability to fight bacteria and inflammation, helping to protect your teeth and gums. In addition, crisp fruits and raw vegetables like apples, carrots and celery help clean plaque from teeth and freshen breath.

Quit Smoking or Using Other Tobacco Products

Using tobacco can harm your mouth in a number of ways, increasing your risk for tooth discoloration, cavities, gum recession, gum disease and throat, lung and oral cancer. Smokers are about twice as likely to lose their teeth as non-smokers. It’s not just smoking tobacco that has negative effects on your oral health: use of smokeless tobacco can be just as harmful to your oral health. The good news is that the risk of tooth loss decreases after you quit smoking or using smokeless tobacco.

Limit Your Alcohol Intake

You may already know that excessive alcohol intake can have an effect on your overall health, but did you know that it may also affect your oral health? According to the Academy of General Dentistry, those who smoke, eat poorly and consume excessive alcohol also have increased gum recession (periodontal pocketing). Their studies show that smokers who regularly consume alcohol are less likely to brush their teeth on a regular basis and are less concerned about their basic health than nonsmokers.

Brush at Least Twice a Day and Floss at Least Once a Day

Brushing and flossing protect your teeth from decay and gum disease, which is caused by your teeth’s most persistent enemy, plaque – a sticky, colorless, invisible film of harmful bacteria that builds up on your teeth every day. Both brushing and flossing are equally important for good oral health: according to the Academy of General Dentistry, only flossing can remove plaque from between teeth and below the gum line, where decay and gum disease often begins.
Without proper brushing and flossing, you may develop bleeding gums, which may worsen to severely swollen, red, bleeding gums (gingivitis) and, eventually, gum disease. Because diseases of the mouth can affect the rest of your body, it is especially important to maintain good oral health.

See Your Dentist for Regular Checkups

By seeing your dentist at least twice a year, you can help prevent any dental health problems before they cause discomfort or require more comprehensive or expensive treatment. Regular visits allow your dentist to monitor your oral health and recommend a dental health regimen to address areas of concern.
For this new year, resolve to treat your mouth right: improve your diet, quit smoking and improve your oral hygiene habits – your teeth and your body will thank you for it!
Some information courtesy of the Academy of General Dentistry and Delta Dental Insurance.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Tips to Keep Your Mouth Healthy This Halloween

Happy Halloween

Halloween is the one time of year when kids are allowed to devour as much candy as their stomachs can handle.Halloween doesn't have to be your mouth’s worst enemy. You can indulge and keep your teeth taken care of with these helpful steps:
Moderation. With candy and festive treats all around, it can be tempting to snack all day. Instead, let yourself enjoy a candy bar after lunch or dinner to satisfy your sweet tooth. 
Rinse and Brush. Rinsing your mouth with water while and after you eat will help loosen food particles and dissolve any sticky sugars on and around your teeth. Brushing at least twice a day will also help ensure that you are keeping your pearly whites safe from plaque buildup. 
Sub Your Sweets. Keep healthier or less sugary sweets around to curb your cravings instead of candy. Dark chocolate and fruit can be great alternatives to that chewy, sticky sour candy!
The Less Time The Better. If you’re going to eat candy, choose a kind that isn’t terribly chewy or hard. The reason being that these types of sweets take longer to eat and are therefore exposing your mouth to harmful sugars longer. 

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Connection between Mouth-Body

Most of us do things that are recommended to keep our bodies healthy. Ranging from lower cholesterol diets and exercising to medications and supplements. Unfortunately, many of us don't know how the health of our mouths can be contributing to many undesirable health conditions. A healthy mouth should be free of bleeding of any sort. Bleeding is a sign of infection, which is free flowing through our entire body. Current evidence based studies report that inflammatory effects from periodontal (gum) disease could cause oral bacterial byproducts to enter the bloodstream and trigger the liver to make proteins such as CRP that inflame arteries. In addition, these effects may cause blood clots that contribute to clogged arteries leading to heart attacks or strokes. Considering that heart disease is the leading cause of death, while stroke is the third, this isn't something that should be taken lightly.

Diabetes, the sixth leading cause of death, is also something that is complicated by periodontal disease. It is nearly impossible to get an individual's blood sugar controlled if there is infection in the oral cavity. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered the sixth complication of diabetes. Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts diabetics at increased risk for diabetic complications.

There are many other serious health issues that have been linked to periodontal disease as well including, pre-term low birth weights and miscarriages, Alzheimer's disease, pancreatic cancer and obesity. All of these conditions are related to the amount of inflammation present in our bodies. Each and every one of us has a different level of health in our mouths, but all of us have the control to achieve the highest level of health.

At woodbridge Smiles we offer the latest technology to help get your mouth as healthy as possible. Please call today (703)-910-4805 if you are not scheduled for your continuing dental care so that we can find a plan that is tailored to your specific needs, and hopefully add years to your life.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

What is Root Canal Treatment?

What is a Root Canal?

Root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth's pulp, a small, thread-like tissue in the center of the tooth. Once the damaged, diseased or dead pulp is removed, the remaining space is cleaned, shaped and filled. This procedure seals off the root canal. Years ago, teeth with diseased or injured pulps were removed. Today, root canal treatment saves many teeth that would otherwise be lost.
The most common causes of pulp damage or death are:
  • A cracked tooth
  • A deep cavity
  • An injury to a tooth, such as a severe knock to the tooth, either recent or in the past
Once the pulp is infected or dead, if left untreated, pus can build up at the root tip in the jawbone, forming an abscess. An abscess can destroy the bone surrounding the tooth and cause pain
Tooth pulp damaged by a deep cavity.

How is a Root Canal Done?
Root canal treatment consists of several steps that take place over several office visits, depending on the situation. These steps are:
  • First, an opening is made through the back of a front tooth or the crown of a molar or pre-molar.
  • After the diseased pulp is removed (a pulpectomy), the pulp chamber and root canals are cleaned, enlarged and shaped in preparation for being filled.
  • If more than one visit is needed, a temporary filling is placed in the crown opening to protect the tooth between dental visits.
  • The temporary filling is removed and the pulp chamber and root canal permanently filled. A tapered, rubbery material called gutta-percha is inserted into each of the canals and is often sealed into place with cement. Sometimes a metal or plastic rod is placed in the canal for structural support.
  • In the final step, a crown is usually placed over the tooth to restore its natural shape and appearance. If the tooth is very broken down, a post may be required to build it up prior to placing a crown.
    The pulp is removed and the root canals cleaned before filling.
How Long Will the Restored Tooth Last?
Your treated and restored tooth/teeth can last a lifetime with proper care. Because tooth decay can still occur in treated teeth, good oral hygiene and regular dental exams are necessary to prevent further problems.
As there is no longer a pulp keeping the tooth alive, root-treated teeth can become brittle and are more prone to fracture. This is an important consideration when deciding whether to crown or fill a tooth after root canal treatment.
To determine the success or failure of root canal treatment, the most relied-upon method is to compare new X-rays with those taken prior to treatment. This comparison will show whether bone continues to be lost or is being regenerated.
The chamber is filled and sealed.

 How do i know if i need a Root Canal Treatment ? 

You may need a root canal if you have a severe toothache, usually along with swelling in your jaw around your    tooth. When the pulp (the soft tissue inside the roots and center of a tooth) is damaged from a cracked tooth or other injury, or from a deep cavity, it can get infected. This can cause pain, swelling, and even an abscess in the bone around the tooth. To treat the damage, your dentist can do a root canal to remove the pulp from the tooth's roots and pulp chamber, treat any infection, and fill the tooth. You will then need a crown over the repaired tooth.The most common symptoms are pain to hot and cold liquids. When you bite on the tooth and it elicits  discomfort. Sometimes mild sensitivity is a symptom, although it may be from other causes such as recession  or hard tooth brushing that removes enamel.

  There are instances where there are no symptoms but your dentist sees infection on the x-ray.

If you have any of the symptoms outlined above or believe you are candidate for Root Canal...please call us today at (703)-910-4805 and our experienced team of dentists at Woodbridge Smiles can perform full evaluation and recommend right course of action for you.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

All You Want to Know About Tooth Crowns

What Are Dental Crowns?
A dental crown is a prosthetic that fits over your tooth, or a over a dental implant post. It is often referred to as a “cap.” Custom-made to blend with the rest of your teeth, this restorative piece acts as a new top piece of your tooth.

When do I need a Crown on my Tooth?
The foremost indication to crown your tooth would be to restore an extensively damaged tooth i.e. the tooth which has had a very large cavity, a missing cusp, a missing portion or a highly attritioned (worn out) tooth and definitely a posterior tooth which has been root-canal-treated. Most of the above indications do apply aptly to back tooth.

Issues such as a broken tooth (front) edge or a front teeth discoloration can be easily and effectively treated with a composite build up or composite lamination. Even in some situations when the tooth material is not strong enough a root-canal treated front tooth will not require a crown.

Types of Crown 
Crown material could be either metal such as a gold platinum alloy, non-precious alloy made of chrome, cobalt, chromium, nickel combinations or metal fused to porcelain, or zirconia. Of all gold still remains the gold standard for posterior teeth while for front teeth, esthetics is of prime importance and recently the zirconia crowns have overtaken the metal fused to porcelain crowns in popularity, because they are so much like natural teeth in appearance. Zirconia crowns offer best in class esthetics and durability.

Reasons why Crown Comes Off the Tooth?
·         Tooth Decay. A tooth that has a dental crown needs to be kept clean through brushing, flossing and rinsing.
·         Sticky, Chewy Foods. Intake of sticky, chewy foods can slowly break the cement seal and work a dental crown loose.
·         Crown Damage. Our teeth absorb extreme amounts of force on a daily basis. The metal or porcelain on a crown can wear through, chip, or fracture.
·         Oral Habits. Bad habits include teeth grinding, clenching, nail biting, ice chewing, using teeth to open packages and bottles, chewing on pens, etc.. These forces will break porcelain, wear metal, and stress the adhesive bond causing the dental crown to loosen over time,.
·         Small/Short Teeth. The shortness is directly related to a decrease in retentiveness. This creates an issue over time, as the crown adhesive is working doubly hard to maintain its place on the tooth.
·         Cement Breakdown. If there is any moisture (saliva or blood) on the tooth upon cementation this can cause a weaker bond to develop for the cement. This will lead to a loosening of the crown over time.
·         Poor Fit. Sometimes a tooth is not prepared ideally, an impression of the tooth is distorted, the lab creates a poor fit to the tooth, or it is not completely seated on the tooth during cementation.
What to do when a Crown loosens or comes off?
Dental crown coming off is a routine dental emergency but usually not a painful one. As immediate action patients can try to temporarily re-cement by using Fixodent (denture adhesive), toothpaste, or temporary dental cement from the local drug store. The best course of action is to see your dentist as soon as you can to ensure you do not experience any discomfort. Make sure not to swallow the dental crown, or permanently damage the tooth or crown.

Want to know more on tooth crowns or have questions not answered in this article, give us a call at (703)-910-4805 and your dentist at woodbridge smiles will be happy to answer/address your concerns.