General Dentistry: Keeping Your Teeth Healthy

Our general and preventative dental treatments ensure the continued good health of your gums and teeth. We’ll also take special care of existing dental work and any implants or prostheses you may have. In the process, we develop customized dental treatments for children and adults alike.

Dental Cleanings

 

Frequent scheduled cleanings are the best way to ensure good oral health. Twice a year dental cleanings are recommended for most people, although those with gum disease or a genetic disposition toward plaque build up should visit more. Cleanings are essential to the continued  health and development of your teeth. While most home based tooth brushing and flossing help remove plaque, it cannot remove the hardened plaque, also referred to as calculus or tarter. If left untreated the calculus build up can go on to cause a variety of other tooth related problems from decay to gum disease and root canal infection.


When you visit, our dental hygienists will conduct an oral examination of your mouth to determine if any further treatment is necessary. They will then provide a thorough cleaning of your mouth followed by an extensive polishing to remove surface stains and to ensure the plaque has been removed. This is also a preventative measure to make it more difficult for plaque to resurface.

 

Some patients, for various reasons, will require a "deep cleaning" or scaling and root planing. This is necessary when the calculus has migrated below the gum tissue where the patient is unable the reach. Such a situation results in an infection of the gums and requires special attention. We will numb the area and clean the root surfaces, restoring the teeth and surrounding gum tissue to a healthy state. 

Composite Fillings

 

A composite (tooth colored) filling is used to repair a tooth that is affected by decay, cracks, fractures or wear. The decayed or affected portion of the tooth will be removed and then filled with a composite filling.

 

Because composite fillings are tooth colored, they can be closely matched to the color of existing teeth, and are more aesthetically suited for use in front teeth or the more visible areas of the mouth. As with most dental restorations, composite fillings are not permanent and may someday have to be replaced. They are very durable, and will last many years, giving you a long lasting, beautiful smile.

 

Composite fillings are usually placed in one appointment. Once numb, your dentist will remove decay as necessary. The space will then be thoroughly cleaned and carefully prepared before the new filling is placed. The composite filling will then be precisely placed, shaped, and polished, restoring your tooth to its original shape and function.

 

Because they are mechanically and chemically bonded to the tooth, leakage, a common problem with silver amalgam fillings, is less likely to occur. It is common for your dentist to recommend replacement of leaking or failing, older metal fillings. 

Crowns

 

A dental crown is a tooth shaped cap that fits over your tooth, covering the exposed portion and providing lasting stability. If you suffer from a broken tooth or one with severe decay, a crown strengthens your weak or damaged tooth while also restoing it to its natural beauty. 

 

Crowns can be used to:

  • Restore a broken tooth
  • Support a tooth that has extensive decay
  • Beautify a discolored or misshappen tooth
  • Cover a previously root canaled tooth
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Stabilize a dental bridge

 

Preparing your tooth for a crown generally takes two visits. On the first visit, xrays of your teeth are taken to examine the roots and to determine if any other preemptive measure must be taken before the crown is applied. Depending on the condition of the tooth in question, the dentist will either build up or file down the tooth so that the crown can be put into place. The entire process is painless and comfortable. 

 

Once the tooth is reshaped, an impression is taken to ensure the crown will fit precisely onto the prepared tooth. A laboratory designs and manufacturs the crown to our exact specifications. A temporary crown will be fabricated and will be in place for 2 weeks while the crown is processed. 

 

On your second visit, the temporary is removed and the permenant tried in. If the patient and doctor are satisfied with fit, shade, and contour, the crown is cemented into place and your tooth is back to a healthy state. 

Radiographs (X-Rays)

 

Dental x-rays are used to help identify potential problems in the oral cavity and surrounding structures. They provide a clear picture of the teeth, bone, and surrounding soft tissue allowing our specialists to see cavities that are beginning to form, hidden pathology, tooth decay, and bone loss that cannot be seen purely with a physical examination. This knowledge allows us to combat potential oral problems before they become more serious and require a greater level of treatment.


Having dental x-rays taken is a quick and painless procedure. It is recommended that adults have bitewing x-rays taken once a year to ensure good oral health. Panoramic x-rays, that show a larger spectrum of the oral cavity, are taken every 3-5 years. Because we use all digital x-ray systems, the radiation you recieve is minimized and clarity maximized. X-rays are a necessary tool for our diagnosis and treatment planning of dental issues.

Root Canals

 

Root canal therapy is a technique used to save a diseased or damaged tooth. Treatment requires that the nerve inside the tooth be removed and replaced with a solid filling material that is resistant to infection. The alternative to a root canal would be an extraction or removal of the tooth. 

 

A small opening is made into the top of the tooth and any decayed tooth structure is removed. A small instrument, known as a dental file, is used to remove the infected nerve and clean the root canals. Finally, a sterile filling material is used to seal the roots off from further infection. The tooth is then built up to replace lost structure from the decay and a crown placed to fully support the now fragile tooth. 

 

Root canal therapy generally takes between one and three appointments to complete depending on location of the tooth, the number of nerve canals in the tooth, and how much infection is present. 

 

Are root canals painful?

 

Since you’re numb when a root canal is performed, you probably won’t feel anything during the procedure. Most people experience no discomfort after this procedure. The discomfort experienced by the remaining portion of patients is usually caused by the infection that made the root canal necessary, not by the root canal. You should receive medication to stop the infection and relieve any associated discomfort.

Dentures

 

Dentures are another solution for missing teeth or those deemed necessary for removal. Either partial or full dentures can be fabricated to fill in empty spaces and still look and feel natural. Recent technological advancements give us a wider array of material choices for better fit, feel and appearance of the appliances.

 

Even with such advancements, dentures can sometimes still be a hassle to patients. Many denture wearers are looking for a better solution and dental implants may be just the answer. 

 

Dental implants can be placed in conjunction with dentures in order to get better stability and fit. They can even be placed and retrofitted to your existing denture to improve your quality of life. The dentures feel more comfortable and secure with the added implant support. They allow you eat the foods you want to eat and allow you to speak clearly and with more confidence.

CALL US TODAY!

Midlothian Office

14269 Midlothian Tpke

Midlothian, VA 23113

(804) 379-7677 

 

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Powhatan Office

3250 Anderson Hwy

Powhatan, VA 23139

(804)598-2600 

 

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Chester Office

6600 Courtyard Road

Chester, VA 23831

(804)796-9500 

 

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Office Hours

Midlothian: Mon-Fri 8-5

Powhatan: Mon-Fri 8-5

Chester: Mon-Thurs 8-5

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