My Blog
June 20, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: invisalign  

Are clear braces what you need to get a straighter smile in Old Town Alexandria, VA?

More and people are turning to our Old Town Alexandria, VA, dentist Dr. Frinet Kasper to get Invisalign. Are you ready to improve your Invisalign smile as well? Of course, our dentists want you to be fully informed about your dental treatment options so that you know you are getting the treatment that best meets your needs. So, how do you know if Invisalign is the right way to fix your misaligned smile? Here are some factors to consider.

The Type and Severity of Your Dental Problems

This is probably the most important factor that our Old Town Alexandria, VA, general dentist will need to consider before determining whether you could benefit from Invisalign.

While Invisalign can handle a variety of mild to more severe issues, it won’t be able to handle extreme overbites or problems that require realigning or shifting of the jaws.

You could be ideal for Invisalign if you are looking to treat:

  • Overbites
  • Underbites
  • Crossbites
  • Open bites
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Crowding
  • Minor overlapping or twisted teeth

Your Age

While asking someone how old they are could be considered rude, your age is certainly something that we will need to take into consideration to determine your candidacy for Invisalign.

While there isn’t an age limit when it comes to getting these clear aligners you should be at least an older teen whose teeth have fully developed. Children and young teens are not ideal candidates for Invisalign because their teeth are still growing.

Your Dedication to Treatment

It’s also important that you are fully committed to getting a straighter smile and that you are willing to go through the entire process and follow the do’s and don’ts to ensure that you get the results you want.

While many people turn to Invisalign because these clear aligners are removable and comfortable, it’s important that you still wear your aligners as much as possible. If you think that you may be tempted to wear your aligners for less than 22 hours a day then Invisalign may not be the best orthodontic treatment option for you.

Are you an older teen or adult living in Old Town Alexandria, VA, who wants to find out if you are an ideal candidate for Invisalign? If you said “yes” then it’s time to call Old Town Dentistry to schedule your free consultation with Dr. Frinet Kasper.


Controlling discomfort during dental work is one of our top priorities. Advances in anesthesia over the last century have made that objective easier to attain, especially for routine procedures.

The term anesthesia means “without feeling or pain.” It refers to the use of substances to prevent a patient’s nervous system from sensing pain. There are two basic types: general, through intravenous injection (IV) or gas inhalation that places a patient in an unconscious state; and local, which only affects the part of the body involved in the procedure while the patient remains conscious.

The latter type has become very important in dentistry, especially for mild to moderate procedures. Because teeth and gum tissues are rich in nerves, patients can have a heightened level of sensitivity that can increase anxiety and discomfort during dental work. Local anesthesia reduces that discomfort and relaxes both patient and dental provider.

We typically administer local anesthesia in two ways: by applying the anesthetic to the outside tissue surface (with a cotton swab, patch or spray) or by injection. The first type, topical anesthesia, is most often used to eliminate the pricking discomfort of the needle used to inject the main anesthetic. Using both applications eliminates any painful sensation at all — the only thing you might feel is a slight pressure during the procedure.

As mentioned before, local anesthesia benefits us as well as you. Knowing you’re at ease and comfortable allows us to better focus on the procedure — we’re not rushed to finish to spare you further discomfort. A relaxed, unhurried atmosphere is essential to a successful outcome for any dental procedure.

We’ve also found solutions for another issue with local anesthesia that concerns patients: the length of time the numbing effect lingers after a procedure. In response, the dental profession has developed different types of anesthesia that reduce this after effect considerably. We’re also more selective about what procedures actually require anesthesia — some, like routine teeth cleaning or work on the outer enamel (which doesn’t contain nerves), can usually be performed without it.

All in all, local anesthesia reduces your level of discomfort and increases our ability to be thorough in performing your dental work. You’ll not only find the experience more pleasant, but it will also enhance the quality of your care.

If you would like more information on alleviating pain and discomfort during dental work, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Local Anesthesia for Pain-Free Dentistry.”

By Old Town Dentistry
June 10, 2019
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer   nutrition  

There are a number of lifestyle changes you can make if you want to reduce your risk of oral cancer, with quitting a tobacco habit at the top of the list. You should also moderate your alcohol consumption and practice safe sex to prevent the spread of the human papilloma virus (HPV 16) linked to oral cancer.

And there's one other area that might be ripe for change—your diet. The foods we consume can work both ways in regard to cancer: some, especially processed products with certain chemicals, increase your cancer risk; more natural foods, on the other hand, can help your body fight cancer formation.

Although how cancer forms and grows isn't fully understood, we do know some of the mechanisms involved. One major factor in cancer growth is damage to DNA, the molecule that contains all the instructions for normal cell growth. Certain chemicals called carcinogens cause much of this DNA damage.

One example of these dangerous chemicals are nitrosamines, found in substances used to preserve meats like bacon or ham. Nitrosamines also occur in beer during the brewing process, some fish and fish products, processed cheese and foods pickled with nitrite salt. It's believed long-term consumption of foods with these chemicals can increase the risk of cancer.

On the other hand, there are foods with substances called antioxidants that help our bodies resist cancer. Antioxidants protect cells from unstable molecules called free radicals that can also damage DNA. You'll find antioxidants in abundance in fresh fruits and vegetables, especially those high in fiber. Vitamins like C and E found in many natural foods also have antioxidant properties.

So, to help keep your risk of cancer and other diseases low, make sure your diet includes mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, along with plant-based fats found in nuts or olive oil.  At the same time minimize your consumption of processed foods with preservatives and other chemicals, along with animal and saturated fats.

A change in eating not only reduces your cancer risk, it can also improve your overall health and well-being. You'll also find a healthy diet can be dental-friendly—it can help keep your teeth and gums disease-free and healthy.

If you would like more information on dental-friendly nutrition practices, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Diet and Prevention of Oral Cancer.”


The 2019 Grammy Awards was a star-studded night packed with memorable performances. One standout came from the young Canadian singer Shawn Mendes, who sang a powerful duet of his hit song "In My Blood" with pop diva Miley Cyrus. But that duo's stellar smiles weren't always quite as camera-ready as they looked that night.

"I had braces for four and a half years," Mendes told an interviewer not long ago. "There's lots and lots and lots of photo evidence, I'm sure you can pull up a few." (In fact, finding one is as easy as searching "Sean Mendes braces.")

Wearing braces puts Mendes in good company: It's estimated that over 4 million people in the U.S. alone wear braces in a typical year—and about a quarter of them are adults! (And by the way: When she was a teenager, Miley Cyrus had braces, too!)

Today, there are a number of alternatives to traditional metal braces, such as tooth-colored braces, clear plastic aligners, and invisible lingual braces (the kind Cyrus wore). However, regular metal braces remain the most common choice for orthodontic treatment. They are often the most economical option, and can be used to treat a wide variety of bite problems (which dentists call malocclusions).

Having straighter teeth can boost your self-confidence—along with helping you bite, breathe, chew, and even speak more effectively. Plus, teeth that are in good alignment and have adequate space in between are easier to clean; this can help you keep your mouth free of gum disease and tooth decay for years to come.

Many people think getting braces is something that happens in adolescence—but as long as your mouth is otherwise healthy, there's no upper age limit for orthodontic treatment. In fact, many celebrities—like Lauren Hutton, Tom Cruise and Faith Hill—got braces as adults. But if traditional braces aren't a good fit with your self-image, it's possible that one of the less noticeable options, such as lingual braces or clear aligners, could work for you.

What's the first step to getting straighter teeth? Come in to the office for an evaluation! We will give you a complete oral examination to find out if there are any problems (like gum disease or tooth decay) that could interfere with orthodontic treatment. Then we will determine exactly how your teeth should be re-positioned to achieve a better smile, and recommend one or more options to get you there.

If you have questions about orthodontic treatment, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Magic of Orthodontics” and “Lingual Braces: A Truly Invisible Way to Straighten Teeth.”

May 28, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Crown  

Could a dental crown improve the health and appearance of your smile?

Whether you already know a little bit about dental crowns or you don’t really have any idea what they are and why they are used, our Old Town Alexandria, VA, dentist Dr. Frinet Kasper is happy to explain more about this commonly used restoration and how they can restore smiles.

What is a dental crown?

A crown is a restoration that is designed to look just like the real crown of a tooth. A dental crown is hollow, which allows it to encapsulate and surround the entire visible portion of a tooth to protect it.

While crowns can be made from different materials, our Old Town Alexandria, VA, restorative dentist knows how important it is to have a restoration that both looks and feels like a real tooth. Since porcelain or ceramic are known to mimic the look of real tooth enamel, these are the most commonly used materials to create dental crowns.

When is a dental crown recommended?

There are many situations in which our dentist may recommend getting a dental crown. These scenarios include:

A broken tooth: If a crack or break in your tooth hasn’t reached below the gum line or affected the dental pulp then consider yourself lucky! This is a simple fix and it only requires that our dentist shave down the damaged parts of the tooth to also make room for the dental crown. Since a broken tooth is weaker after it’s been damaged, a dental crown can protect and preserve it without having to have the tooth removed.

A large dental filling: When decay is present it is our job as your dentist to remove it. Of course, if there is extensive decay then a larger dental filling will be needed to support and fill the tooth after the decay has been removed; however, sometimes the same tooth will need to be filled more than once if more decay forms. In this case, a dental filling may not be enough to fully support the tooth and the tooth will require a dental crown.

After getting root canal therapy: If you are dealing with an infected or inflamed dental pulp then chances are good that your dentist has already told you that you require root canal treatment in order to remove the pulp and the bacteria inside the tooth. Once a root canal has been performed, more often than not a dental crown is then placed over the tooth to protect and restore it.

Old Town Dentistry in Old Town Alexandria, VA, is dedicated to restoring your smile, whether through cosmetic or restorative dentistry. We offer a full range of comprehensive dental care to patients of all ages. Find out how crowns could get you smiling again.

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