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Posts for category: Dental Procedures

By Alexandria Smiles Dentistry
December 09, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crown lengthening  
CrownLengtheningMightbeNecessaryforSeniorswithToothDecay

While tooth decay is a potential problem at any age, the risk increases as you grow older. Not only are senior adults more susceptible, decay is often more difficult to treat. That’s because cavities can occur at or below the gum line, often due to gum recession.

If that’s the case, we won’t be able to fill the cavity in the usual way because the gum tissue is in the way. To make it possible to treat, we may need to perform a minor surgical procedure known as crown lengthening.

As the name implies, the procedure helps expose more of the crown, the tooth’s visible part, from the surrounding gum tissue. In basic terms, we’re repositioning the gum tissue away from the biting surface of a tooth to make room for a filling. It’s also useful for improving a tooth’s appearance by making it look longer, or creating room for a crown or other dental restoration.

After applying a local anesthesia, the dentist (or periodontist, a specialist in the gums) creates a tiny flap of gum tissue with a series of incisions. This allows the dentist to move the affected gums out of the way to access the underlying bone. The dentist then reshapes the bone to adequately support the gum tissue when it’s finally repositioned to expose the crown. In its new and improved position, the dentist sutures the gum tissue in place.

For a few days afterward, the patient will need to restrict their diet to soft foods, avoid strenuous activities and apply an ice pack to help reduce swelling the day of surgery. They will also prescribe a pain reliever and possibly an antibiotic to reduce the chances of infection.

While most people return to normal activities a few days later, you’ll usually have to wait a few weeks for the gums to heal before undergoing any further treatments for the affected teeth. But even with the wait, crown lengthening could make it possible to not only save your tooth but improve your smile as well.

If you would like more information on treating tooth decay, 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 “Crown Lengthening: This Common Surgical Procedure Restores Function and Improves Appearance.”

By ALEXANDRIA SMILES DENTISTRY
November 09, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Dental ImplantDental implants from your dentist in Alexandria, VA, can remake your smile

Dental implants can help remake your smile and restore your full chewing ability so you can enjoy the foods you love. Dental implants can also give you a beautiful smile you will want to show off. Dental implants are right for you if you want to replace one or more missing teeth.

Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry can help you get the smile you deserve. He proudly serves residents of Alexandria, Alexandria West, Shirlington, and Bailey’s Crossroads, VA, and he can help you and your smile too!

Dental implants are a great choice for healthy people, however if you smoke, drink alcohol excessively, are diabetic, or have a history of radiation to your jaws or face, be sure and let Dr. Abdeen know. These factors can affect how well the implants fuse with your bone and heal.

Dental implants also require excellent oral hygiene habits including brushing after meals and before bed, and flossing at least once each day. Everyday maintenance of implants is easy because you can brush and floss them right along with your natural teeth. There is no need for special tools or devices to keep your implants clean.

You will love the benefits of dental implants. When you choose dental implants, you can count on:

  • Natural-looking beauty, because implant crowns are made of lifelike materials like porcelain which mimic the look of tooth enamel
  • Stability, because dental implants fuse with the bone in your jaw, becoming firmly embedded so they will never move around
  • Permanence, because dental implants are a permanent part of your smile that you never have to remove

Dental implants also boast a success rate of over 95 percent, according to the American Academy of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons. You want the most successful surgical implant; you want dental implants! For more information about why dental implants are right for you, call Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry today!

By Alexandria Smiles Dentistry
October 20, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
ADifferentKindofChipShotforProGolferDanielleKang

While the sport of golf may not look too dangerous from the sidelines, players know it can sometimes lead to mishaps. There are accidents involving golf carts and clubs, painful muscle and back injuries, and even the threat of lightning strikes on the greens. Yet it wasn’t any of these things that caused professional golfer Danielle Kang’s broken tooth on the opening day of the LPGA Singapore tournament.

“I was eating and it broke,” explained Kang. “My dentist told me, I've chipped another one before, and he said, you don't break it at that moment. It's been broken and it just chips off.” Fortunately, the winner of the 2017 Women’s PGA championship got immediate dental treatment, and went right back on the course to play a solid round, shooting 68.

Kang’s unlucky “chip shot” is far from a rare occurrence. In fact, chipped, fractured and broken teeth are among the most common dental injuries. The cause can be crunching too hard on a piece of ice or hard candy, a sudden accident or a blow to the face, or a tooth that’s weakened by decay or repetitive stress from a habit like nail biting. Feeling a broken tooth in your mouth can cause surprise and worry—but luckily, dentists have many ways of restoring the tooth’s appearance and function.

Exactly how a broken tooth is treated depends on how much of its structure is missing, and whether the soft tissue deep inside of it has been compromised. When a fracture exposes the tooth’s soft pulp it can easily become infected, which may lead to serious problems. In this situation, a root canal or extraction will likely be needed. This involves carefully removing the infected pulp tissue and disinfecting and sealing the “canals” (hollow spaces inside the tooth) to prevent further infection. The tooth can then be restored, often with a crown (cap) to replace the entire visible part. A timely root canal procedure can often save a tooth that would otherwise need to be extracted (removed).

For less serious chips, dental veneers may be an option. Made of durable and lifelike porcelain, veneers are translucent shells that go over the front surfaces of teeth. They can cover minor to moderate chips and cracks, and even correct size and spacing irregularities and discoloration. Veneers can be custom-made in a dental laboratory from a model of your teeth, and are cemented to teeth for a long-lasting and natural-looking restoration.

Minor chips can often be remedied via dental bonding. Here, layers of tooth-colored resin are applied to the surfaces being restored. The resin is shaped to fill in the missing structure and hardened by a special light. While not as long-lasting as other restoration methods, bonding is a relatively simple and inexpensive technique that can often be completed in just one office visit.

If you have questions about restoring chipped teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Porcelain Veneers” and “Artistic Repair of Chipped Teeth With Composite Resin.”

By ALEXANDRIA SMILES DENTISTRY
September 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: root canal   Tooth Pain  

Root Canal DiagramIf your dentist suggests root canal therapy, your first reaction may not be one of excitement. However, this necessary and highly-effective procedure cleans your damaged tooth from decay, helping save the natural structure of the tooth and eliminate the need for tooth extraction. Find out more about root canal therapy and why it is nothing to fear with Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, VA.

What is a root canal? 
A root canal is a dental procedure which removes the soft tissues of the tooth located within its inner pulp chamber, cleans the inside of the tooth and its roots, then rebuilds the tooth using composite resin materials and, often, a dental crown. The procedure tends to have a bad reputation, but is actually painless, relatively fast, and often your only option to save your tooth from extraction and the side effects that come with it.

What can I expect during my root canal procedure? 
Though many people believe the opposite, a root canal does not hurt. Before your procedure, your dentist will use a local anesthetic to numb the area of the procedure to ensure you feel no discomfort during your treatment. Then, your dentist will access the tooth’s inner pulp chamber via a small hole in the crown of the tooth. They will remove the decayed or damaged tissues and nerves from inside the tooth, instantly eliminating its ability to feel pain and curing an existing toothache. Your dentist uses a composite resin material to fill the tooth after thoroughly scrubbing it of infected tissue indenturing none is left behind. After the procedure, your dentist may fit you for a dental crown, which will fit over the tooth to protect and stabilize it from daily use.

Root Canal Therapy in Alexandria, VA
If you have a broken, damaged, or painful tooth, chances are you could benefit from a root canal. Consulting with your dentist will help you determine which is your best next step moving forward.

For more information on root canal therapy or dental anxiety, please contact Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, VA. Call (703) 671-0626 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Abdeen today!

By Alexandria Smiles Dentistry
September 10, 2018
Category: Dental Procedures
WhyemBigBangTheoryemActressMayimBialikCouldntHaveBraces

Mayim Bialik has spent a good part of her life in front of TV cameras: first as the child star of the hit comedy series Blossom, and more recently as Sheldon Cooper’s love interest — a nerdy neuroscientist — on The Big Bang Theory. (In between, she actually earned a PhD in neuroscience from UCLA…but that’s another story.) As a child, Bialik had a serious overbite — but with all her time on camera, braces were just not an option.

“I never had braces,” she recently told Dear Doctor – Dentistry & Oral Health magazine. “I was on TV at the time, and there weren’t a lot of creative solutions for kids who were on TV.” Instead, her orthodontist managed to straighten her teeth using retainers and headgear worn only at night.

Today, there are several virtually invisible options available to fix orthodontic issues — and you don’t have to be a child star to take advantage of them. In fact, both children and adults can benefit from these unobtrusive appliances.

Tooth colored braces are just like traditional metal braces, with one big difference: The brackets attached to teeth are made from a ceramic material that blends in with the natural color of teeth. All that’s visible is the thin archwire that runs horizontally across the teeth — and from a distance it’s hard to notice. Celebs like Tom Cruise and Faith Hill opted for this type of appliance.

Clear aligners are custom-made plastic trays that fit over the teeth. Each one, worn for about two weeks, moves the teeth just a bit; after several months, you’ll see a big change for the better in your smile. Best of all, clear aligners are virtually impossible to notice while you’re wearing them — which you’ll need to do for 22 hours each day. But you can remove them to eat, or for special occasions. Zac Efron and Katherine Heigl, among others, chose to wear clear aligners.

Lingual braces really are invisible. That’s because they go behind your teeth (on the tongue side), where they can’t be seen; otherwise they are similar to traditional metal braces. Lingual braces are placed on teeth differently, and wearing them often takes some getting used to at first. But those trade-offs are worth it for plenty of people. Which celebs wore lingual braces? Rumor has it that the list includes some top models, a well-known pop singer, and at least one British royal.

So what’s the best way to straighten your teeth and keep the orthodontic appliances unnoticeable? Just ask us! We’d be happy to help you choose the option that’s just right for you. You’ll get an individualized evaluation, a solution that fits your lifestyle — and a great-looking smile!

For more information about hard-to-see (or truly invisible) orthodontics, please contact our office or schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Orthodontics for the Older Adult” and “Clear Aligners for Teenagers.”