Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Cent

Beware of These 4 Dental Fads

Charlottesville dentalIt seems that there’s a new article on the web each day detailing some easy, do-it-yourself method for improving health or hygiene. Similarly, our culture is inundated with fads from the entertainment industry – many of them impractical and dated. Not all fads are worth trying, especially fads that can negatively affect oral health.

Dental Fads to Avoid


The “grills” to which we are referring are not the kind used for cooking out in the summer. In this instance, the term “grill” refers to removable appliances or permanent alterations to teeth with compounds made of metals like gold and even platinum. Grills cover the outer surface of teeth to produce the appearance of a gold or platinum smile and sometimes teeth are adorned with diamonds.

While grills have cultural significance to some, they can be bad for one’s oral health. Bacteria and debris can easily become trapped behind grills. People who wear grills have increased risks for tooth decay, periodontal disease, and abscesses.

Toothpaste Without Fluoride

In recent years, we have seen an increase in fluoride-free toothpaste available to consumers. The general public, unless otherwise directed by a health professional, should not avoid fluoridated toothpaste.

Fluoride is a naturally-occurring mineral that is scientifically proven to strengthen tooth enamel. Be sure to choose fluoridated toothpaste that has the American Dental Association’s seal of approval and use it exactly as directed.

DIY Whitening Products

The ads section of any website and even most social media sites circulate recipes for do-it-yourself (DIY) teeth whitening products. Many of these DIY “dental hacks” contain ingredients such as activated charcoal, vinegar, and lemon juice that are harmful to teeth because they can permanently damage tooth enamel.

Oil Pulling

Oil pulling is an ancient practice where a person swishes around a small amount of food-grade oil like olive or coconut oil to clean one’s mouth and whiten one’s teeth. If this practice seems too good to be true, it is. There is no scientific evidence to back up claims that oil pulling is beneficial to a person’s oral health or the long-term appearance of their teeth.

When it comes to health fads of any kind, it’s important to consult with professionals as there is an abundance of bad advice circulating on the internet and in the media.

Take the Edge Off With Oral Sedation

oral sedation CharlottesvilleDo you suffer with anxiety when it comes to receiving dental or medical care? You’re not alone; estimates indicate that up to 50% of the adult population can suffer with situational anxiety related to dental and/or medical treatments. One way that dental professionals combat dental anxiety and phobia is through oral sedation. This treatment option helps patients maintain a relaxed state of mind and body, even in situations where one would normally be very nervous or panicked.

Oral sedation is also beneficial for increasing comfort during procedures like dental implant placement and wisdom teeth removal. The medications used for oral sedation help control discomfort and increase the efficacy of anesthetics or analgesics.

How Oral Sedation Works

Oral sedation involves taking prescription medication. This medication is a mild sedative and normally comes from the benzodiazepine class of drugs.

Patients receiving oral sedation are not permitted to drive themselves to and from their appointments. This is because this medication can impair motor and cognitive function. Benzodiazepines are formulated specifically to control feelings of anxiety, panic, and intense worry. While these medications relieve anxiety, they can make patients feel sleepy and groggy as well.

Those receiving oral sedation will normally take their prescription one hour before their appointments. By the time a person arrives, his or her medication will have already taken effect. As the medication continues to work, patients can relax in our comfortable treatment chairs without oppressive feelings of panic and worry.

For those with severe dental phobia and anxiety, a tablet may be taken then night before one’s treatment to ensure that a person receives a good night’s rest. Dosages are carefully determined by our oral surgeon so that medication is effective but not too strong.

If you have questions about procedures like dental implants placement, wisdom teeth extractions, or jaw surgery, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center to schedule a consultation with our oral surgeon.

Don’t Let Missing Teeth Affect Your Ability to Eat

missing teeth CharlottesvilleLife with missing teeth is cumbersome. If you have lost teeth, you can attest to the difficulties you face eating meals comfortably. Many people with tooth loss develop malnutrition as a result of dietary limitations caused by losing teeth. Fortunately, dental implants can restore oral function and improve the appearance of your smile.

Dental implants are long-lasting, durable replacements for teeth. An implant is used to replace the missing roots of a tooth and hold a restoration to restore biting surfaces above the gums. These prosthetics can treat single tooth loss or multiple implants can be used to support a large prosthetic such as a full denture. Our oral surgeon has expert education and training to administer implant dentistry services.

Tooth Loss and Your Emotional Wellbeing

Tooth loss has profound effects on our emotional wellbeing. Sometimes, patients liken losing a tooth to losing a limb. Tooth loss often leaves us feeling incomplete, self-conscious, and helpless. Many people who have missing teeth develop depression and social anxiety out of embarrassment of their smiles and fear of social rejection.

Oral Health Effects of Tooth Loss

Beyond the obvious issues presented by tooth loss – aesthetic concerns and diminished oral function – losing teeth can drastically impact your oral health. One major issue tooth loss sufferers need to be aware of is bone atrophy.

When the roots of our teeth are no longer present in the jaw, inactive bone will be resorbed by the body. Losing bone contributes to additional tooth loss as bone deterioration can affect the security of other teeth. Bone deterioration also changes the shape of one’s face, normally causing a person to look older because their faces appear “sunken in”.

Hope with Dental Implants

While those suffering with tooth loss might feel hopeless, dental implants will likely give you something to be excited for. Implants are easy to maintain, long lasting, and very lifelike. With dental implants, a person can enjoy a wide range of foods, including items that are tough or chewy.

If dental implants interest you, we invite you to schedule a tooth replacement consultation with our oral surgery team at Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center.

Where Does Bone Grafting Material for Dental Implants Come From?

bone grafting CharlottesvilleBone grafting sometimes accompanies implant dentistry procedures to help facilitate a dental implant’s stabilization in the jaw. Patients receiving a graft may have bone taken from another part of their bodies such as their chins or hips. Some may choose to have bone sourced from tissue banks where bone might originate from cadavers or certain animals.

An oral surgeon may recommend bone grafting when a person has sustained bone atrophy or if an implant is going to be placed in an area of the mouth with bone that is thin and narrow. Bone grafts are helpful because they thicken and widen the bone where implants are embedded. This assists with implant stabilization by providing more tissue that can integrate to the dental implant.

How Does Bone Integrate to a Dental Implant?

Dental implants stabilize when bone integrates to their structure. The process of bone integrating to dental implants is possible because the material used to make dental implants, titanium, is biocompatible. This means that the body will not reject this metal as a foreign object. Instead, bone will integrate to implants the way it does with the roots of biological teeth.

Will I Need a Bone Graft?

The only way to be certain whether bone grafting is necessary is to schedule an appointment with our surgeon. During dental implants consultations, we take diagnostic images to evaluate a patient’s bone health. These images will help our team determine whether you will need a bone graft prior to receiving an implant.

Are Dental Implants Difficult to Care For?

Implants are considered very low maintenance when compared to other tooth replacement options. This is because dental implants are cleaned the same way that biological teeth are, with brushing and flossing.

Will I Be Comfortable During my Procedure?

We place a high priority on the comfort of our patients. During surgical treatments, we administer anesthetic and sedating medication, which will prevent sensations of discomfort and promote a relaxed state of mind.

We are accepting new patients. Call our practice to reserve a dental implant consultation.

Dental Implants: Is sedation dentistry an option?

sedation dentistry CharlottesvilleAre you looking into dental implants as a tooth replacement option? If so, you probably have questions about the procedure. Many patients wonder what they will experience during treatment and if they will be comfortable throughout their procedures. One way that we can ensure a positive experience for our patients is with sedation dentistry.

Sedation is used in various medical and dental procedures to increase physical and emotional comfort. When it comes to placing dental implants, our oral surgeon may administer sedation in the form of nitrous oxide or with prescription medication. Sedation dentistry will calm the mind, relax the body, and enhance the potency of analgesic medication.

If you have questions about your treatment and what to expect, call our office to speak with a member of our team.

Why Should I Choose Dental Implants?

There are plenty of reasons to consider dental implants for replacement teeth. These lifelike and biocompatible prosthetics are unique because they replace the lost root structure of teeth. Other prosthetics only address the loss of visible tooth structure.

By replacing the roots of teeth, the restorations or prosthetics attached to dental implants are secured by the jawbone. This means that a person’s replacement tooth will not move during oral function. It also means that neighboring teeth will be supported by the dental implant and its restoration.

An additional benefit to choosing implants is the fact that dental implants keep the jawbone stimulated. Many patients who have endured tooth loss develop bone loss. Bone deterioration occurs after losing teeth because the roots are no longer present to keep bone active.

Will My New Teeth Look Natural?

Dental implants can look exactly like biological teeth. In fact, a dental implant with a tooth-colored restoration can look better than your biological tooth. The restorations attached to dental implants can be made from a variety of materials including porcelain and porcelain fused to metal. Restorations made from porcelain perfectly mimic natural tooth structure while providing a durable biting surface for optimal oral function.

Call us at Charlottesville Oral Surgery and Dental Implant Center for questions about sedation dentistry or to reserve a tooth loss consultation with our oral surgeon.


Are there food restrictions with dental implants?

dental implants CharlottesvilleAre you considering dental implants for tooth replacement? If so, you might have questions. Dental implants are a unique treatment option that present distinct advantages when compared to other tooth replacement options. Once dental implants are stable and their permanent restorations are attached, people can enjoy a durable, lifelike replacement tooth that can withstand the forces associated with chewing and biting food. Dental implants allow people to enjoy a variety of foods without discomfort or prosthetics moving.

What is a dental implant made from?

A dental implant is made from titanium. This metal is used because it is biocompatible with the body. When a dental implant is embedded into the bone, it will eventually be stabilized when bone integrates around the implant’s structure. Bone will support the dental implant the same way it supports the roots of teeth.

What type of restoration is attached to implants?

The most common restoration attached to dental implant is a dental crown. A crown is the perfect restoration for single tooth replacement. This is because a crown is tooth-shaped and made to accommodate the unique oral anatomy of a patient so that his or her replacement tooth looks and feels natural. A dental bridge can also be attached to dental implants to replace a few missing consecutive teeth. Restorations attached to dental implants can be made from different kinds of materials including porcelain and metal. White restorations made from porcelain or porcelain fused to metal make for beautiful replacement teeth.

How do I care for dental implants?

Implants are considered easy to care for because they are treated the same way one would treat his or her natural teeth. Dental implants are brushed and flossed just like biological teeth. Those with implants should keep regular appointments for checkups and cleanings.

If you are interested in implant dentistry, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center to reserve a consultation with our oral surgeon.

Is flossing really that important?

dentist CharlottesvilleMany people feel like brushing is all that is needed to keep a clean, healthy mouth. This is a dangerous misconception. If a person skips flossing on a regular basis, he or she will develop an increased risk for periodontal (gum) disease and tooth loss. Oral hygiene, in addition to visiting the dentist for routine checkups and cleanings, is necessary for preventing common oral health conditions.

Why is flossing necessary?

While a toothbrush can clean the biting surfaces and front and back sides of teeth, it cannot reach deep within teeth. Flossing is necessary to clean along the gum line and in between teeth. Bits of food and bacteria can easily collect between teeth. Without flossing, the areas between teeth will develop tartar accumulation as well as the gum line. Tartar buildup is a primary contributor to periodontal disease because it causes an inflammatory response in the gums. As tartar accumulates, the gums pull away (recede) from teeth leaving the roots of teeth exposed to debris and harmful bacteria.

Flossing thoroughly and properly can greatly reduce the risk for gum disease by preventing the accumulation of tartar in between teeth. Floss is thin enough to clean gently without cutting into the gingiva.

How often should I floss?

You should floss once every day. Flossing properly takes a couple minutes. Be sure to purchase floss with the American Dental Association’s (ADA) seal of approval. As you floss, curve the floss around the base of each tooth and thread it through teeth in back and forth motions to remove debris and bacteria wedged deep within teeth.

What happens if I have blood on my floss or toothbrush?

If you notice bleeding during your oral hygiene routine, you should make an appointment with your dentist for a checkup. Continue brushing and flossing as normal until your appointment. Be sure to floss and brush gently but thoroughly.

Flossing helps prevent periodontal disease, which is a condition that contributes to the majority of tooth loss in adulthood. Untreated gum disease can advance into a progressive condition that may require surgical treatment.

How does sedation dentistry work?

sedation dentist CharlottesvilleSedation dentistry encompasses different methods for producing a calm and relaxing state for dental and medical procedures. Since there are different types and methods for sedation, it is a good idea for patients to have a general understanding of what their upcoming treatment might involve.

There are a number of procedures where our sedation dentist might utilize nitrous oxide, prescription tablets, or intravenous medication to achieve the desired effect. For example, some patients receiving dental implants stay comfortable with local anesthetics and sedatives in tablet form. Patients receiving reconstructive or corrective surgeries to the jaw, for instance, will likely require intravenous medication to maintain comfort.

Why is sedation used?

Sedation is used to increase a person’s physical and emotional comfort. Mild forms of sedation are used for procedures that are not overly invasive but could produce discomfort when dealing with sensitive tissue and nerve endings. Sometimes, a sedation dentist might prescribe tablets to be taken about an hour before one’s appointment to assuage anxiety and nervousness. Since many people suffer from dental anxiety and phobia, oral tablets are beneficial for helping patients achieve and maintain a relaxed, comfortable state.

Invasive procedures that involve surgically altering the position of the jaws, the joints (TMJs) connecting the lower jaw to the skull, require intravenous sedation. IV sedation can be used to produce a medically unconscious state if necessary, but it can also be used for “twilight” sedation, which means that a patient will rest peacefully but is conscious enough to respond to questions or instructions.

Is sedation dentistry safe?

Our practice administers sedatives and analgesics in adherence with FDA guidelines and industry treatment protocols. Medication types and dosages are carefully determined so that those receiving treatment are comfortable and safe. Moreover, our team closely monitors the vitals of those receiving strong medications during treatment. IV sedation is beneficial for producing desired effects without overmedicating. This is because the dosage is adjustable throughout treatment.

If you have questions about our services, call Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center to speak with a friendly member of our team.

How does tooth loss lead to bone resorption?

missing teeth CharlottesvilleJawbone resorption can be a consequence of tooth loss if the absent tooth’s root is not replaced. This occurs because that root structure holds the bone tissue in place. When the tooth’s root is no longer available for this function, the bone tissue slowly erodes. As the jawbone atrophy progresses, it may affect the attachment of nearby biological teeth.

For this reason, missing teeth can put the remaining teeth at risk if they are not replaced or if they are replaced with a prosthetic that doesn’t include a root-like structure. Dental implants help to prevent this outcome. Dental implants are small titanium cylinders that an oral surgeon inserts in the patient’s jaw at the site of missing teeth. Titanium is biocompatible, so the surrounding bone forms a strong bond with the dental implant. Eventually, the dental implant becomes a permanent part of the patient’s jaw and functions quite similarly to the absent biological tooth’s root.

Because the jawbone’s shape remains constant when dental implants are placed by an oral surgeon, an appliance supported by these devices will retain its fit. In contrast, conventional appliances that lack a root-like structure can lose their fit over time as the shape of the jaw changes due to bone loss.

Jawbone preservation is just one benefit of choosing dental implants for missing teeth. The root-like qualities of dental implants allow these prosthetics to chew a wider variety of foods because they can withstand fairly strong chewing forces.

Dental implants also stand alone without support, which means that surrounding teeth don’t need to be compromised for the tooth replacement. When used to support a single crown, dental implants also allow access to the gumline, which can be restricted by appliances like fixed dental bridges.

Dental implants can prevent the jawbone resorption that typically occurs after tooth loss, along with the other benefits they provide. To learn more about this treatment option and how it can strengthen your smile, schedule a consultation with our team at Charlottesville Oral Surgery & Dental Implant Center.

Is oral sedation effective at calming dental fears?

oral sedation CharlottesvilleMany patients are fearful about dental procedures, and such anxiety can be amplified at the prospect of oral surgery. Fortunately, oral sedation can be an effective solution for calming your dental fears and helping you get the treatment that you need.

Oral sedation involves taking an anti-anxiety medication prior to your surgery. This medication will help you to relax deeply during the procedure. Patients remain conscious, although they often feel like they are in a sleep-like state. Because they remain conscious, oral sedation is considered to be safer than other choices, such as general anesthesia. Patients can continue to respond to commands from the oral surgeon, and their airways are not compromised.

Patients who choose oral sedation also benefit from the amnestic effects of the medications. That is, patients will have no recollection of the procedure while under sedation. This also helps to avoid reinforcing dental fear with a negative experience.

At your initial consultation, your oral surgeon will discuss your oral sedation options with you. Some preparation is needed. Your oral surgeon will give you a prescription for the sedative medication, which you will need to have filled before your appointment. You will also be instructed to take the medication a certain amount of time before your appointment. This will give the medication enough time to take effect. However, it also means that you will not be able to drive safely to the appointment. Therefore, you must arrange for a responsible adult to bring you to the office.

The effects of the sedation also may not be completely reversed by the time you leave the office after your procedure. Someone will need to drive you home after the surgery and remain with you until the medication has worn off completely.

Don’t let dental fears stand in the way of oral surgery that could improve your oral health. Ask our team about oral sedation and whether it can be used in your case.