My Blog

Posts for: April, 2015

By Williamsburg Family Dentistry
April 24, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dentures  

If you are missing one or more teeth, don't feel bad. You are not alone. The American College of Prosthodontists (dentists who specialize in replacement teeth) estimates that 178 million people in the United States have lost at least one permanent tooth. That's a lot of smiles needing dental restoration.

A common option to replace one or more teeth lost to decay, injury or gum disease is the partial removable denture. Worn by millions of Americans, this appliance provides a way to have a complete smile and good ability to speak and chew.

A downside of many partial dentures, however, is the metal frame, clips and clasps which secure the false teeth to existing ones. Sometimes uncomfortable and always visible, the traditional partial denture can be tolerated but is not always loved by the individual who wears it.

Duraflex & Valplast Dentures Are a Great Alternative

Your Williamsburg, Virginia family dentist offers Duraflex and Valplast flexible dentures as good-looking, flexible and more livable alternatives to the metal frame partial. These two brands of dentures do differ a bit in what they are made of, how they are constructed, and other features, too.

Duraflex partial dentures are:

  • crafted from an impression of the patient's teeth
  • natural-looking
  • flexible and easy to wear
  • simple to put in and take out
  • made of comfortable acrylic material
  • odor and stain resistant
  • durable (practically unbreakable)
  • easy for the dentist to adjust

The dentist and lab technician work from an impression of the patient's teeth to formulate a treatment plan and to match the replacement teeth for color, size, and shape. Patients with sturdy neighboring teeth are the best candidates for Duraflex partial dentures.

Valplast partial dentures are:

  • precisely constructed and precision-fitted using digital imaging and modeling
  • placed with no grinding or prep work on the surrounding natural teeth
  • offer outstanding esthetics in terms of color and shape of the teeth
  • made of a high-quality acrylic that does not cause any allergic reactions
  • used in all areas of the mouth
  • guaranteed for life

Of course, any tooth replacement procedure must be preceded by a thorough oral examination by your Williamsburg, Virginia dentist. He or she can discuss your needs, goals and desires to formulate the treatment plan perfect for your smile.

Williamsburg Family Dentistry

Ricky J. Rubin DMD, MPA, Brett C. Dunnill DDS and Rachel M. Hubbard DDS are the skilled and compassionate family dentists in the Williamsburg, Virginia area. Their extensive list of dental services includes Duraflex and Valplast dentures. Could one of these be the tooth replacement option for you? Contact Williamsburg Family Dentistry today to find out. One of the friendly staff members will be happy to set an appointment. Call 757-345-5500.

By Williamsburg Family Dentistry
April 23, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: snoring   sleep apnea  

Daily fatigue or complaints of your snoring from family have led you to see your doctor about the problem. After an exam and a test session in a sleep lab, your problem now has a name — obstructive sleep apnea.

This common sleep-related breathing disorder (SRBD) occurs when the soft tissues in the back of the throat over-relax during sleep. The relaxed tissues obstruct air flow to the trachea (windpipe) and cause “apnea,” where you cease to breathe. The lack of oxygen causes you to wake, even for a micro-second, to begin breathing again. This may occur multiple times throughout the night, diminishing the quality of your sleep and leading not only to drowsiness and daily fatigue but also contribute to cardiovascular disease or other systemic conditions.

The most effective treatment for sleep apnea is the use of a Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine while you sleep. The machine delivers pressurized air to a face mask you wear while you sleep; the additional pressure keeps the airway open. However, a CPAP machine does have a few disadvantages, including discomfort while attached to the machine, nasal congestion and dryness, or claustrophobia. These effects can be so pronounced for some patients, they’re unable to adjust themselves to the machine.

If you have mild to moderate sleep apnea, there may be an alternative — a custom-fitted oral appliance we manufacture for you to wear in your mouth while you sleep. The appliance pulls the lower jaw forward resulting in a wider opening of the airway. In addition to being less cumbersome than a CPAP mask, an oral appliance is easier to wear, compact in size for easy travel and doesn’t require electricity.

While an oral appliance is an effective alternative to a CPAP machine for many patients, it does have a few disadvantages including problems with saliva flow (too much or too little), muscle or teeth soreness and minor tooth or jaw movement. Still, an oral appliance might be the right solution to relieve your sleep apnea over the long-term.

If you would like more information on treatments for sleep apnea, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Sleep Disorders & Dentistry” and “Sleep Apnea FAQs.”

By Williamsburg Family Dentistry
April 08, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

In his decades long career, pop-music chameleon David Bowie has gone through a dizzying series of transformations. And as he morphed from alien-inspired space oddity to fashion-forward international superstar, his smile benefited from some very dramatic ch-ch-ch-changes. While Bowie hasn't talked much about his dental treatments, a comparison of pictures from the mid 1970s to the mid '90s (not to mention a much-viewed youtube video on the subject) makes it clear: his tooth staining, misalignment and gum recession have been left behind like polyester bellbottoms.

But tooth makeovers aren't just for pop stars! Cosmetic dentistry can benefit anyone who's interested in improving their appearance, at any age. Often, treatment starts with a “smile analysis” — a review of the current aesthetics of your mouth, including the shape, spacing, color and alignment of the teeth, the appearance and general health of the gums, and the way the lips and gums frame the smile.

This analysis can help pinpoint some places where the overall look of your smile may need improvement, and it can also identify some specific treatments to make it better. It's even possible to see a simulation of what you'd look like after the treatments are complete, to help ensure that your goals are realistic and attainable. What are some of the most common cosmetic procedures?

For stained teeth, you can try in-office whitening with concentrated bleaching solutions, or professionally-supervised at-home treatments using plastic trays that are custom-made to fit your teeth. The major difference between the two is the amount of time you need — with in-office treatments, you'll see results right away, while at-home gels may require weeks.

Tooth bonding and restoration with composite resin is a relatively fast and easy way to fix minor to moderate chips, flaws and discoloration. Because the composite material bonds directly to the tooth itself, this method requires only minor tooth preparation, and is often completed in just one office visit.

If your teeth, like Bowie's, need more extensive restoration, dental veneers or crowns may be required. Veneers are super strong, wafer-thin coverings that fit over the front surface of your teeth. Besides giving you that “Hollywood white” smile, they can also lengthen teeth that are too small, correct misalignment and close gaps in your smile. To correct even more extensive problems, crowns (also called caps) can replace the entire visible portion of one or more teeth — or, if teeth are missing, a permanent, long-lasting dental implant can be placed.

Many adults are choosing orthodontics to correct problems of tooth position, alignment or spacing — in fact, some 20% of all orthodontic patients today are grown-ups! It's never too late to start treatment, and with less-noticeable appliances like clear aligners and tooth-colored braces, it's easier than ever to make those ch-ch-ch-changes.

If you would like more information about the options available in cosmetic dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics For The Older Adult” and “Cosmetic Dentistry.”