My Blog

Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Old Town Dentistry
March 12, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
BobbyBonesDancesHisWaytoDentalDamage

The long-running hit show Dancing with the Stars has had its share of memorable moments, including a wedding proposal, a wardrobe malfunction, and lots of sharp dance moves. But just recently, one DWTS contestant had the bad luck of taking an elbow to the mouth on two separate occasions—one of which resulted in some serious dental damage.

Nationally syndicated radio personality Bobby Bones received the accidental blows while practicing with his partner, professional dancer Sharna Burgess. “I got hit really hard,” he said. “There was blood and a tooth. [My partner] was doing what she was supposed to do, and my face was not doing what it was supposed to do.”

Accidents like this can happen at any time—especially when people take part in activities where there’s a risk of dental trauma. Fortunately, dentists have many ways to treat oral injuries and restore damaged teeth. How do we do it?

It all depends on how much of the tooth is missing, whether the damage extends to the soft tissue in the tooth’s pulp, and whether the tooth’s roots are intact. If the roots are broken or seriously damaged, the tooth may need to be extracted (removed). It can then generally be replaced with a dental bridge or a state-of-the-art dental implant.

If the roots are healthy but the pulp is exposed, the tooth may become infected—a painful and potentially serious condition. A root canal is needed. In this procedure, the infected pulp tissue is removed and the “canals” (hollow spaces deep inside the tooth) are disinfected and sealed up. The tooth is then restored: A crown (cap) is generally used to replace the visible part above the gum line. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise be lost.

For moderate cracks and chips, dental veneers may be an option. Veneers are wafer-thin shells made of translucent material that go over the front surfaces of teeth. Custom-made from a model of your smile, veneers are securely cemented on to give you a restoration that looks natural and lasts for a long time.

It’s often possible to fix minor chips with dental bonding—and this type of restoration can frequently be done in just one office visit. In this procedure, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to fill in the parts of the tooth that are missing, and then hardened by a special light. While it may not be as long-lasting as some other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can produce good results.

If you would like more information about emergency dental treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor articles “The Field-Side Guide to Dental Injuries” and “Knocked Out Tooth.”

ATraditionalBridgeMightbetheRightSolutionforYourMissingTeeth

We can do a great many things to preserve diseased teeth, from filling cavities to crowning damaged but still viable teeth to protect them and restore their attractiveness. But there may come a point where continued treatment just isn't worth it, and it may be time to remove and replace your troubled teeth.

Dental implants have become the premier restoration for missing teeth. But they have some anatomical limitations and may not work for some situations like excessive bone loss or close nerve proximity. And while a removable partial denture is a solid option, perhaps you'd rather have a fixed solution.

You might then want to consider a fixed bridge to replace one or more missing teeth. This tried and true option has been a mainstay in dentistry for several decades; and while implants may have surpassed them in popularity, they're still available and effective as a restorative option.

A traditional fixed bridge is composed of three or more life-like crowns that are fused together like pickets in a fence. The crown or crowns in the middle fill the empty tooth space; the outside crowns fit over and are bonded to the natural teeth on either side of the empty space to support the bridge. These natural teeth must be reduced in size to accommodate the crowns to fit over them.

Depending on how many teeth are missing, fixed bridges can be a more affordable alternative to dental implants and can achieve life-like results in both form and dental function. But the alterations required for the supporting teeth are permanent and can weaken them. The interface between the natural teeth and the bridge crowns has a higher risk of decay and periodontal disease, so you'll need to be extra vigilant with daily hygiene and regular dental cleanings and checkups.

And even though implants can be more expensive in the short-term, they typically have better durability and less maintenance costs than other restorations. Over the long-term, an implant restoration might actually incur less cost than a fixed bridge.

Still, a fixed bridge can be an effective way to replace missing teeth. Depending on your finances and your overall dental health, a bridge could help you regain an attractive smile.

If you would like more information on options for replacing missing teeth, 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 “Crowns & Bridgework.”

By OLD TOWN DENTISTRY
January 24, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

How veneers from your dentists at Old Town Dentistry in Alexandria, Virginia, can enhance your smile

You’ve probably heard about veneers, as they have become one of the most popular cosmetic dentistry procedures patients choose to veneersenhance their smiles. Veneers are popular for good reason, but are veneers right for you? Dr. Frinet Kasper at Old Town Dentistry in Alexandria, VA, offers veneers that can give you a beautiful, healthy smile.

Veneers are thin laminates of exquisite porcelain that are permanently bonded to the front surfaces of your teeth. Veneers are the right treatment for you if you want:

  • A spectacular white smile, because veneers will hide cracks, fracture lines, chips, tooth wear, discolorations, and other major and minor aesthetic issues on your teeth; that means you can recreate your smile!
  • Conservative treatment, because your dentist removes little to no tooth structure—just enough to accommodate the thickness of the veneers. This means more vital tooth structure is preserved.
  • A lasting, beautiful smile, because porcelain resists staining; that means even if you drink coffee or smoke, you can still maintain a brilliant white smile for years.

The truth is, porcelain veneers are the right choice for just about anyone who wants to enjoy a beautiful smile. You can have a new, beautiful smile in just two to three appointments! 

It all begins with a consultation appointment, which is the perfect opportunity for you to decide how you want your new smile to look.  Then, your teeth will be prepared and molds will be taken, which are sent off to a dental lab.  There, the skilled dental laboratory technicians create your new veneers.  At your final appointment, your custom veneers are permanently cemented in place.  After this simple process, you will have a brand new smile!

Interested? Contact us today!

Don’t wait to get the smile you deserve—take action by contacting Dr. Kasper at Old Town Dentistry. Enhance your smile by calling (703) 683-0800, or email us at [email protected].  Learn more about us on the web at www.oldtowndentistry.com

TreatingaBabyToothwithInnerDecaycanbeComplicated-butStillNecessary

Even though a child’s primary (“baby”) teeth eventually give way, it’s still important to treat them if they become decayed. Primary teeth serve as guides for the emerging permanent teeth — if they’re lost prematurely, the permanent tooth may come in misaligned.

If the decay, however, affects the tooth’s inner pulp, it poses complications. A similarly decayed adult tooth would be treated with a root canal in which all the pulp tissue, including nerve fibers and blood vessels, are removed before filling and sealing. Primary teeth, however, are more dependent on these nerves and blood vessels, and conventional filling materials can impede the tooth’s natural loss process. It’s better to use more conservative treatments with primary teeth depending on the degree of decay and how much of the pulp may be affected.

If the decay is near or just at the pulp, it’s possible to use an indirect pulp treatment to remove as much of the softer decay as possible while leaving harder remnants in place: this will help keep the pulp from exposure. This is then followed with an antibacterial agent and a filling to seal the tooth.

If the pulp is partially exposed but doesn’t appear infected, a technique called direct pulp capping could be used to cover or “cap” the exposed pulp with filling material, which creates a protective barrier against decay. If decay in a portion of the pulp is present, a pulpotomy can be performed to remove the infected pulp portion. It’s important with a pulpotomy to minimize the spread of further infection by appropriately dressing the wound and sealing the tooth during and after the procedure.

A pulpectomy to completely remove pulp tissue may be necessary if in the worst case scenario the pulp is completely infected. While this closely resembles a traditional root canal treatment, we must use sealant material that can be absorbed by the body. Using other sealants could inhibit the natural process when the primary tooth’s roots begin to dissolve (resorb) to allow it to eventually give way.

These all may seem like extraordinary efforts to save a tooth with such a short lifespan. But by giving primary teeth a second chance, their permanent successors will have a better chance of future good health.

If you would like more information on treating decay in primary teeth, 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 “Root Canal Treatment for Children’s Teeth.”

By OLD TOWN DENTISTRY
November 21, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: invisalign  

Find out how Invisalign can finally give you the perfect smile no matter your age.

Perhaps you already had braces as a child so you’re more than a little dismayed to discover that you will need to get them again as aninvisalign adult if you want a completely straight smile. Luckily, dental technology has come a long way over the decades and now our Old Town Alexandria, VA, dentists Dr. Frinet Kasper and Dr. Joseph Nassif offer a nearly invisible way to fix misaligned smiles for teens and adults.

What is Invisalign?

Move over metal brackets and wires, it’s time to say hello to a clear system that uses transparent, custom-molded aligners instead. Aligners, which look similar to mouthguards, are designed to completely cover your teeth. When you get Invisalign treatment in our Old Town Alexandria office, you will receive a series of aligners that you will wear for about two weeks at a time. After those two weeks, you will replace them for the next set of aligners in your treatment. Over time, you will begin to see subtle changes in the shape and alignment of your smile.

What are the benefits of Invisalign?

The most obvious benefit is that Invisalign aligners are made from clear, thermoplastic material, which fits tightly around your teeth and is less visible to those around you. We understand being discreet is important for teens and adults who want to fix their smiles but don’t want their colleagues or fellow students to notice. This is a major reason people choose Invisalign.

Another benefit is that Invisalign treatment fits into your lifestyle. Instead of having braces bonded to your teeth, these aligners are removable. This means that nothing has to change in terms of what foods you are allowed to eat or how you brush your teeth. Your daily routine stays the same. Of course, it’s still important that when you aren’t eating or caring for your teeth that you are wearing your aligners.

Most Invisalign cases can be treated within a shorter time span than with traditional braces. This is usually the case for adults (for teens, the length of treatment for Invisalign is comparable to regular braces), with most treatments lasting anywhere from 6 months to 1 year.

Are you an older teen or adult living in Old Town Alexandria, VA, who wants to get Invisalign? Are you ready to find out if you are an ideal candidate for this clear orthodontic system? Then the next step is to go through an initial consultation. Call Old Town Dentistry today.