We’ve all heard of dental bridges, but what exactly are they? Funny enough, they are literally what they sound like; they bridge gaps between missing teeth. The “bridge” is made up of two or more crowns that are placed on the teeth that are on either side of the gap that needs to be spanned. These teeth that serve as the base of the bridge are called “abutment teeth”, think of them as anchors. The actual bridge span is called the “pontics” and is made of ceramic and porcelain.
Bridges have several benefits:
- They restore smiles;
- They restore the ability to speak and talk;
- They restore the shape of your face;
- They redistribute your bite force evenly;
- They prevent your existing teeth from drifting around.
There are also three different and distinct types of bridges:
- Traditional: The most common form. A crown is put on each tooth on either side of the gap and a Pontic spans the gap.
- Cantilever: This is when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. Not recommended as excessive bite force can break the bridge.
- Maryland Bond: are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework.
During your first visit, the abutment teeth, anchor and base of the bridge, are prepared; this involves removing portions of the crown to recontour the tooth so as a crown will fit on it. Following that, a mold is made of your mouth; this serves as a model of the mouth, so the crowns and bridge can be made precisely. During this process, you will have a temporary bridge to protect your teeth and gums.
During your second visit, your doctor will remove the temporary bridge and check the fitment of the permanent one. Once a proper fit is made, it will be chemically bonded to your teeth, becoming a permanent part of your mouth.
If you have missing teeth that effect your speech, ability to properly chew, or ruins your smile; call us today to set up a consultation appointment at 571-455-0466 and let’s put a smile back on your face!
After a long day at work, taking care of the kids, school, or whatever drains you throughout your day, a good night’s sleep is exactly what the doctor ordered. A good night’s sleep has the power to fully restore both mind and body. But for 18 million Americans who suffer symptoms of sleep apnea, a good night’s sleep has the power to save lives. Obstructive sleep apnea is a serious, life-threatening disorder who’s symptoms are a series of episodes where you stop breathing for more than 10 seconds as you sleep.
With sleep apnea, snoring is a major indicator of it; but not all symptoms are easily recognized. Your dentist has the ability to detect less evident symptoms; through an interview, as well as an exam, and reports of any recent pains or discomforts. Your dentist may suspect you suffer from this disorder if you suffer from lethargy, headaches, or a dry mouth.
Treatments very depending on the severity of the disorder. An individual with mild sleep apnea may have to make minor changes in life; sleeping position, exercise more, lose weight, or even to give up smoking, as well as wearing a dental appliance. A dental appliance resembles a mouth guard for sports, only it shifts the jaw to allow better airflow.
Treatments for severe cases of sleep apnea are a bit more excessive and require the use of a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) system; this is a machine that is worn during sleep to create positive pressure that keeps the airway always open. The most aggressive solution is surgery.
If you or a loved one feels like they aren’t getting the sleep that they need, call us today at 571-455-0466 for a consultation.
Preventative maintenance is a common phrase, but have you ever thought about applying it to your mouth? In order to identify and treat different dental diseases, regular dental exams are highly recommended. This process includes a periodontal evaluation, cancer screening, and diagnostic radiographs. We recommend you have these performed every 6 months, but that depends on the current state of our health.
The periodontal exam checks the relative health of your gums. As plaque and calcus builds around the teeth, your body will react to this build up by inflaming your gums. If this infection is not cleaned properly, or there are other mitigating health factors that affect your inflammatory response, your body will continue to fight the build up like an infected cut. This response will ultimately lead to your gums and bone to recede, giving bacteria an open door for further infection.
The other process used, includes an oral cancer screening. Oral cancer screenings are an exam performed by Dr. Talwar to look for signs of cancer or precancerous cells in your mouth.
The goal of oral cancer screenings are to identify different forms of mouth cancer early, where there is the highest chance of a cure. Most dentists will perform an exam of your mouth during your routine dental visit to screen for cancerous cells. Even if it isn’t visible, your dentist may use additional tests to help in ID’ing problem areas.
The last screening that will be performed are x-rays, or radiographs. This is where you will have a series of x-rays taken of your mouth to see if there are any underlying issues that the naked eye can’t see. These can range from bone loss to cancer growth. Often, an oral disease can take hold and begin to spread, all while not showing symptoms. This is why regular screenings are vital.
If it has been longer than 6 months, call us today at 571-455-0466 to schedule a screening and cleaning!
Chances are, you have heard of “tooth staining” before, but what exactly is it? How can teeth change color? And why are there different shades of discoloration? Your teeth can become stained from the surface or by changes that are actually inside the tooth. Discoloration is broken down into three separate causation’s:
- Extrinsic= This happens when the enamel, outer layer of the tooth, becomes stained. This is typically caused by your diet. Liquids such as wine, cola, and coffee as well as some foods can stain the surface. Smoking also falls under this category.
- Intrinsic= This happens when the dentin, inner part of the tooth, turns yellow or darkens. There are several reasons this can happen:
- You had too much exposure to fluoride as a child
- You had trauma to the tooth as a child, such as a fall that damages the developing permanent tooth.
- You had damage to an existing permanent tooth which caused internal bleeding
- Certain antibiotics as a child will have an effect too
- Age-Related= This is a combination of both intrinsic and extrinsic factors. Over time, dentin inside our teeth will naturally darken and yellow, and the enamel on your teeth will also naturally begin to thin which allows dentin to become more visible and allows for easier staining.
Preventing staining is relatively easy. Brushing your teeth after each meal will help prevent staining. Dentist also recommend that you rinse your mouth out with water after drinking coffee, wine, or other foods and drinks that have the ability to stain.
Intrinsic stains are hard to prevent, however a root canal treatment to remove the inner pulp of the tooth will prevent it from decaying and darkening. However teeth that have had a root canal may still darken anyway.
Reversing these effects is easy and very common. Discoloration can often be removed by applying a whitening agent to the tooth enamel. A very common technique is called powder bleaching. With this method, a dentist applies a light-activated bleaching agent, and within about 30-45 minutes the tooth will have become significantly whiter.
If you have stained teeth and want a pearly white smile, call our office today and set up an appointment at 571-455-0466 and get your smile back!
For any adult, having a lost tooth can be a very embarrassing situation. Luckily, there is a treatment that can replace missing teeth. Within cosmetic dentistry, there is a procedure called dental implants. This is used to replace missing or severely damaged teeth in order to look and feel as if they are natural. This procedure will permanently attach an implant to the jaw bone just below the gums to become a stable platform which an artificial tooth, also known as a crown, will be attached to.
Not everyone is a candidate for dental implants, most people until their early twenties are not suitable as they are still growing. Some of the conditions that will benefit from implants are:
- Existing Conditions – Diabetes and high blood pressure can lead to tooth loss
- Gum Disease – Gum disease can result in tooth loss; restorative implants can give back what was lost.
- Dentures – People who wear dentures can be eligible to for this permanent solution. This way they don’t have to worry about their dentures moving around or what foods they can eat.
- Smokers – Although smoking can lessen the chances of a successful implant, tooth loss from the habit can be fixed with implants.
- Bone Loss – Bone loss is a common problem for people who have lost teeth or have periodontal disease. However experienced cosmetic dentists are experienced in grafting bone to permanently secure implants.
Implants can be put in, in one sitting. However; it can take up to half a year for the bone to fuse itself to the titanium screws that are planted in the jaw. For the first step, the dentist will surgically place the implant in the jaw. After the healing process, the dentist installs the extension portion, the “post”. Once placed, the crown will be affixed on the post which will look and feel like a natural tooth that had once been there.
Implants have an extremely high success rate, in fact one of the highest in dentistry. Smokers do have a lower success rate. To curb this, you will be asked to give up smoking all together in order for the bone to have a healthy and complete fusion. When taken care of, these implants can last for up to four decades!
If you have missing teeth and are interested in a permanent solution, call us today at 571-455-0466 to set up an appointment to get your smile back!
The term Root Canal seems to frighten and scare people, as it sounds invasive. In reality, it’s the most common dental procedure performed each year. In fact, according to the American Association of Endontists, there are over 40,000 performed every day; that’s 15 million procedures every single year!
It helps to know why this procedure is necessary in the first place. Every one of our teeth has a chamber that holds a network of blood vessels in a pulp. This is commonly referred to as the “nerve”. The pulp in the tooth provides it with nourishment, creates dentin, and provides the tooth with sensitivity.
Deep cavities, cracks, or even excessive dental treatment can cause trauma to the tooth; this in turn causes the pulp to become infected. The infection itself can be very painful; this can cause the tooth to have extreme sensitivity to hot and cold, as well as sensitivity to pressure.
Fixing the infected tooth is straight forward and relatively simple. First, a local anesthetic is used in order to numb not just the tooth, but the surrounding area. Then, a small window is made on the top of the tooth in the crown; this is so the pulp chamber can be accessed. The infected pulp is removed and the chamber is flushed repeatedly to ensure the infection is in fact gone. Finally, permanent fill is inserted in the tooth to ensure no infection can happen again. Finally, the crown is filled and has the appearance of a normal tooth.
Recovery time for most adults is only one to two days. During this time, it is not uncommon for there to be sensitivity around the tooth. After the recovery, all pain and extreme sensitivity will be gone. Most root canal treatments are an in and out procedure in one day, however it is not uncommon to have a follow up appointment to ensure that healing is normal. If you are having tooth pain, call us today at 571-455-0466 to set up an appointment.
Baby teeth, everyone gets them! If you find yourself reading this, then you yourself went through the process of growing them and then shedding them for the ones that you have now. When we enter this world, we already have all twenty of our primary teeth below our gums. These begin to push out around the six to twelve months of age. Every child is a little different, but they will typically have all twenty teeth by their third birthday.
Baby teeth are very important for your child’s health and development. These teeth help your child to speak, smile, and most importantly the ability to eat food. They are also place holders, as they hold space in the jaw for the permanent teeth to grow in. If a baby tooth is lost to early, there is a chance that the underlying tooth can drift causing overcrowding. This can cause crooked teeth, so it’s very important to take good care of your child’s oral health.
Once their first tooth comes in and no later than the first birthday, your child should have their very first visit to the dentist. Here are some helpful tips for caring for your child’s teeth:
- Begin cleaning your baby’s mouth the first couple days after birth. Use a clean, moist gauze or washcloth.
- As soon as the first tooth appears, decay can begin to occur, so a visit to your dentist is very very important.
- For children under the age of three, begin brushing their teeth as soon as the first one comes in with fluoride toothpaste in the amount no bigger than a grain of rice twice a day.
- For children three to six years old, increase the amount of fluoride from the size of a grain of rice to the size of a pea.
- As soon as the teeth start to touch, it’s time to start flossing!
Until you are comfortable that your child can brush their teeth on their own, supervise them and remind them not to swallow the tooth paste.
If your baby just got their first tooth or just turned one-year old, we would love to meet them! Your child’s oral health is very important, so let us help you give them decades of smiles! Call us to set up an appointment at 571-455-0466, we look forward to seeing those baby smiles!
Wisdom teeth are the third and last set of molars that come in. Most people get them in their late teens or even in early twenties. These teeth can be a great asset to the mouth when they are healthy and properly aligned. However, more often than not, they are misaligned and require removal.
When the wisdom teeth come in at the wrong angle, they can position themselves horizontally either pushing towards or away from the neighboring teeth; or worse, inward or outward from the jaw. This can crowd or damage nearby teeth, the jawbone, or nerves. This can create extreme pain.
Wisdom teeth can also become impacted. This is when they are enclosed within the soft tissue or the jawbone and only partially break through the gum. This can allow an opening for bacteria to enter in and cause an infection around the tooth. This can lead to extreme pain, swelling, the jaw becoming stiff, and lead to illness. This has the potential to lead to rapid tooth decay and gum disease. This is caused by their location, they are very hard to reach with a tooth brush and flossing is challenging as well.
Your dentist may recommend that you have your wisdom teeth extracted before problems develop. This is done to avoid a much more painful or complicated extraction that may have to be done further down the road. The younger you are, the easier the removal; this is because the roots are not yet fully developed and the bone is much less dense. Healing time is also a huge factor, the older you are the longer the recovery.
It’s a scary concept, but everyone has wisdom teeth and extractions are extremely common. It is a topic your dentist will bring up and create a “game plan”. They will take a multitude of x-rays to track the teeth to better know how to approach them. If you have yet to have your wisdom teeth removed, call us for a consultation today at 571-455-0466.
At some point, everyone will need dental work. Now this can range from a simple filling, to a routine root canal, all the way to a crown. Some of these procedures require the need of a “temporary” which means a follow up appointment is mandatory for the permanent crown/tooth to be put in. In a world that is forever getting busier, it is hard to take the time off work.
As times change, so do procedures and advancement in the dental field. With these advances comes CEREC, which is used worldwide by dentists to not only replace fillings, but also weakened and broken teeth to their natural strength and beauty in only one treatment!
CEREC is actually an acronym:
- Chairside – The whole operation can be performed in the chair
- Economical – It is economically efficient for both patient and dentist
- Restorations – Restores tooth to its natural beauty and strength
- Of Esthetic – Looks natural
- Ceramic – High strength ceramic is used.
How CEREC works is a far cry from old procedures. First, your dentist will take what is known as an “optical impression” of your mouth. He uses a special camera that takes a 3D image of the tooth. So this means you don’t have to bite down on a goopy tray and hold it until it hardens. The 3D image is then uploaded into the software that turns it into a digital model and your dentist can make changes depending on the procedure. After that the final model is sent to a milling machine which will cut your tooth out of a block of ceramic.
Once the tooth is milled, your dentist will check the fit in your mouth; ensuring that you have the correct bite and there are no obstructions. The ceramic tooth is then polished to look natural and permanently put in with no “temporary” that would require a second visit.
Do you have a problem tooth that needs to be corrected? Make an appointment with Dr. Mikhail. Call us today at 571-455-0466. No matter how long it may have been, we look forward to seeing you!
There are many of us who simply don’t floss, whether it’s because we view it as a long process and we don’t have the time, or we simply don’t know the importance of it. Regardless as to why many of us don’t floss, its crucial to remember why it is so important in the first place.
When you don’t floss, you put yourself at risk for two major dental issues; Gingivitis and cavities between your teeth. Without flossing you are unable to remove the buildup of dental plaque that forms between the teeth. Why is this an issue? There are hundreds of types of bacteria that grow and live in the plaque. These bacteria can irritate the gum which makes it swollen, red, and bleeds easily. This creates an environment that bacteria thrive in which can turn into Gingivitis.
Gingivitis, if left unchecked, can progress to periodontal disease. This is the formation of bacteria has enter the bloodstream and travel to other parts of the body like our respiratory tract and even your heart. Periodontal disease has also been linked to diabetes and even low birth weight of newborns.
The second risk of not flossing is the formation of cavities between your teeth. The same plaque that can lead to Gingivitis can also grow bacteria that breaks down the enamel of the tooth. Once this starts the tooth begins to decay and a cavity is formed. Without proper attention this could lead to even further issues like an infection in the pulp, “nerve”, of your tooth.
If you’ve noticed swelling and bleeding of your gums, don’t hesitate; call us today to set up an appointment at 571-455-0466. We look forward to seeing you!