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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Old Town Dentistry
June 30, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crown  

Modern restorations for severely damaged or missing teeth are truly remarkable. Although the type of restoration may differ — dental implant, bridge, or veneer — the end result is a life-like facsimile that matches the shape and color of your natural teeth.

To achieve this result, though, the new crown or veneer requires fabrication in a dental laboratory, a meticulous process that may take a few weeks. In the interim, we often install temporary crowns. These help in a number of ways: because we’ve prepared the teeth for final restoration by removing some of the tooth structure, the temporary crown protects and stabilizes the teeth, reduces sensitivity and helps maintain gum health. Temporary crowns also enable the patient to present a more natural smile while waiting for the permanent restoration.

Temporary crowns are typically manufactured to fit a wide range of patients, similar to an “off-the-rack” suit from a clothing store. In recent years, though, customized “tailored” temporary crowns designed specifically for an individual patient have grown in popularity among dental professionals as well as patients.

In creating a customized temporary crown, we first perform a smile analysis similar to one used for a permanent restoration. After a careful assessment of your mouth, we would then make recommendations about the elements to include in the temporary crown, including shape and color. We would also factor in your desires and concerns into the final design. Working together with the dental laboratory, we would then have the temporary crowns produced and ready to apply as soon as we complete the preparatory work.

Customized temporary crowns also serve another important purpose as a kind of “dress rehearsal” for the permanent restoration. This gives you an opportunity to “try out” the smile you’ll have with the permanent restoration in your daily life. We can then use your experience to make adjustments to the permanent crowns before final production.

While customized temporary crowns involve more effort and expense than the traditional, the benefits are worth the added cost, especially if you’re involved with an extensive “smile makeover” procedure. Not only will you look better while your permanent restoration is under construction, your temporary look will give you added confidence that your future smile is right for you.

If you would like more information on temporary and permanent dental restorations, 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 “Concepts of Temporary Restorations.”

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.


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.


The dental implant is the closest thing in modern dentistry to a natural tooth. This is because an implant replaces more than the visible crown — it also replaces the root, thanks to a metal post imbedded in the bone.

But what if you have a metal allergy — are you out of luck replacing a tooth with an implant? Before answering this question, let's take a closer look at metal allergies.

An allergy is an overreaction of the body's immune system to a particular foreign substance. This response can be as inconsequential as a minor rash or as life-threatening as a shutdown of the body's organ systems. You can be allergic to anything, including metals.

Usually, these allergies are to specific kinds of metals. For example, about 17% of women and 3% of men are allergic to nickel, while smaller percentages are allergic to cobalt or chromium. Most allergic reactions to metal occur from external contact with jewelry or similar metal items that create rashes or other anomalies on the skin. On a more serious note, an allergy to metal in a body replacement part could result in the body rejecting it.

Metals have also played an important role in dental care, particularly dental amalgam used for tooth fillings. Dental amalgam is a mixture of a precious metal like gold or silver with other metals like copper, tin and, in small amounts, mercury. While dental amalgam has been used safely for decades, there have been rare cases of inflammation or rashes.

This brings us to dental implants and the most common metal used in them, titanium. The commercial version of this metal is highly prized in medical and dental applications because it has a special affinity with bone. Bone cells readily grow and adhere to the metal, which strengthens the bond between the implant and the jawbone.

Even if you have a rare allergy to certain metals, it's even rarer that would include titanium. In one particular study of 1,500 implant patients less than 1% reported any reaction at all.

If you're concerned, you can undergo testing to see if you react to titanium. More than likely, though, you'll be able to join the millions of other patients who have successfully restored their smiles with dental implants.

If you would like more information on dental implants as a tooth replacement option, 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 “Metal Allergies to Dental implants.”