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Posts for: November, 2016

By Alexandria Smiles Dentistry
November 26, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

When the multi-platinum recording artist, songwriter and TV personality Jason Derulo was recently asked about his ideal woman, his answer covered a remarkably broad spectrum. "There’s no specific thing," he said, "so I think it’s unfair to say what my ‘type’ is." But it turns out that there is one thing the So You Think You Can Dance judge considers essential: A beautiful smile.

"I’m not into messy teeth," Derulo said. "If the grill has spaces and different colors, it’s not my vibe."

As it turns out, he may be on to something: A number of surveys have indicated that a bright, healthy smile is often the first thing people notice when meeting someone new. Yet many are reluctant to open up that big grin because they aren’t satisfied with the way their teeth look. If you’re one of them, consider this: Modern cosmetic dentistry offers a variety of ways to improve your smile — and it may be easier and more affordable than you think.

For example, if your smile isn’t as bright as you would like it to be, teeth whitening is an effective and economical way to lighten it up. If you opt for in-office treatments, you can expect a lightening effect of up to 10 shades in a single one-hour treatment! Or, you can achieve the same effect in a week or two with a take-home kit we can custom-make for you. Either way, you’ll be safe and comfortable being treated under the supervision of a dental professional — and the results can be expected to last for up to two years, or perhaps more.

If your teeth have minor spacing irregularities, small chips or cracks, it may be possible to repair them in a single office visit via cosmetic bonding. In this process, a liquid composite resin is applied to the teeth and cured (hardened) with a special light. This high-tech material, which comes in colors to match your teeth, can be built up in layers and shaped with dental instruments to create a pleasing, natural effect.

If your smile needs more than just a touch-up, dental veneers may be the answer. These wafer-thin coverings, placed right on top of your natural teeth, can be made in a variety of shapes and colors — from a natural pearly luster to a brilliant "Hollywood white." Custom-made veneers typically involve the removal of a few millimeters of tooth enamel, making them a permanent — and irreversible — treatment. However, by making teeth look more even, closing up spaces and providing dazzling whiteness, veneers just might give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

If you would like more information about cosmetic dental treatments, please call our office to arrange a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Cosmetic Dentistry — A Time for Change.”

November 15, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Dental implants from Alexandria, Virginia, can restore your smile.

When you are missing teeth, it affects the beauty of your smile, and it also affects your ability to chew and eat the foods you love. There is dental implantsa modern, revolutionary method to keep your smile strong. It’s called dental implants! Dental implants are the permanent solution to give you a strong, beautiful, natural-looking smile. Dr. Moutaz Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, Virginia, wants to help you discover how dental implants can give you a strong smile for life!

There are many reasons why people are choosing dental implants as an alternative to dental bridges, partials or dentures. The truth is dental implants are a much better choice for just about everyone. Consider that dental implants:

  • Look totally natural and beautiful, just like your natural teeth
  • Are very convenient, because you don’t have to take them out at night
  • Are permanent and don’t move around because they are embedded in bone
  • Are a healthy solution because you brush and floss them just like your teeth

Dental implants are also highly successful, with a success rate of 98 percent, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. When you choose dental implants from Alexandria, you are choosing a conservative dental treatment. That’s because unlike dental bridgework, Dr. Abdeen doesn’t have to restore the teeth next to the implant.

Dental implants keep your smile strong because implants are made of titanium, a strong, yet biocompatible material. The bone in your jaw actually fuses to the implant, locking the implant in place.

Dental implants allow you to form more bone to surround the implant, and also to maintain the bone that you have. This helps you to retain your firm jawline and the youthful appearance of your face. You can actually look younger with dental implants! In contrast, dental appliances, like partials or dentures, put pressure on the bone, causing the bone to diminish over time, a process called resorption.

If you want a strong, beautiful smile, dental implants are the state-of-the-art solution custom-made for you. A strong smile is a great smile! Don’t live with an incomplete smile; consider dental implants to restore your smile and your confidence. Call Dr. Abdeen at Alexandria Smiles Dentistry in Alexandria, VA. Find out how dental implants keep your smile strong by calling today!

By Alexandria Smiles Dentistry
November 11, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral cancer  

A third of people treated for cancer develop adverse side effects within their mouth. But while these effects can be devastating to teeth and gums, there are ways to minimize the damage.

Treatments like chemotherapy and radiation work by destroying cancer cells. Unfortunately, they may also destroy normal cells. The accumulation of this “collateral damage” ultimately affects uninvolved areas and organ systems of the body. Chemotherapy, for example, can interrupt bone marrow blood cell formation and decrease the body's ability to fight infection.

These ripple effects can eventually reach the mouth. It's not uncommon for cancer patients to develop mouth sores or see an increase in tooth decay or periodontal (gum) disease. The treatments may also inhibit saliva flow: because saliva neutralizes acid and provides other benefits that lower disease risk, dental disease is more likely to develop when the salivary flow is reduced.

The first step to minimizing these effects is to improve oral health before cancer treatment begins. An unhealthy mouth vastly increases the chances for problems during treatment. Cooperating with your cancer physicians, we should attempt to treat any diseases present as soon as possible.

During cancer treatment we should also monitor your oral health and intervene when appropriate. If at all possible, you should continue regular dental visits for cleaning and checkups, and more so if conditions warrant. We can also protect your teeth and gums with protective measures like antibacterial mouth rinses, saliva stimulation or high-potency fluoride applications for your enamel.

What's most important, though, is what you can do for yourself to care for your mouth during the treatment period. Be sure to brush daily with a soft-bristle brush and fluoride toothpaste. You can use a weak solution of one-quarter teaspoon each of salt and baking soda to a quart of warm water to rinse your mouth and soothe any sores. And be sure to drink plenty of water to reduce dry mouth.

While you're waging your battle against cancer, stay vigilant about your teeth and gums. Taking care of them will ensure that after you've won your war against this malignant foe your mouth will be healthy too.

If you would like more information on taking care of your teeth and gums during cancer treatment, 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 “Oral Health During Cancer Treatment.”