Dental FAQs Northern VA
Below are some of the most commonly asked dental questions. If you don't see your question below, please don't hesitate to give us a call!
Dentistry, or dental medicine, consists of the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of diseases and conditions of your oral cavity including your teeth, mouth, gums, and jaw. To maintain excellent oral health, scheduling regular dental checkups are a necessity in addition to routine daily brushing and flossing. As poor dental health not only affects your teeth and gums but your entire body as well, so book an appointment with your dentist today to get an overview of your teeth’s current health.
There are a variety of dental specialists that can provide the treatment you need most to obtain a confident smile. Here are the different types of dentists that you might encounter throughout your dental experience:
Pediatric Dentist (Children’s Dental Specialist)
A pediatric dentist specializes in providing diagnoses and dental treatment for children and making sure that oral development is progressing as it should from infancy through their teens. Pediatric routine exams are consistent of regular dental cleanings, habit counseling, fillings for cavities, diagnosis of oral conditions, and referrals for other dental specialists as necessary.
Endodontist (Root Canal Therapy Specialist)
Within every tooth, there is a canal or space that contains sensitive tissues including the pulp, blood vessels, and nerves. An endodontists’ main focus is providing diagnoses and proper treatment internal tooth problems before they worsen. In a case where the pulp is infected by exposure to bacteria and germs, your dentist may recommend you schedule an appointment with an endodontist.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon (Oral Surgery Specialist)
Oral and maxillofacial surgeon take part in complex dental treatments that requires tooth extractions, jaw surgery, cleft palate surgery, or any level of sedation.
Orthodontist (Alignment Specialist)
Orthodontists correct the alignment of teeth and jaws, especially when they are out of position. If your teeth are crooked, out of position, you have an overbite, underbite, or crossbite, your dentist may refer you to an orthodontist for specialized care. Your orthodontist may use braces, clear aligners, palatal expanders, or even headgear to move your teeth or jaw to correct their alignment.
Keep in mind that some insurance plans do not cover orthodontist treatment. If you need extra financing assistance, contact us for more information on our membership plan!
Periodontist (Gum Specialist)
The central focus of periodontal dentistry is providing preventative treatment, diagnoses, and treatment of affect gums. Periodontists specialize in identifying the specific stage of gum disease and providing minor surgery as a necessary solution to severe gum disease, which will allow you to reclaim your smile’s natural beauty.
Prosthodontist (Replacement Specialist)
Prosthodontists are dental specialists in restoring and replacing missing or severely damaged teeth. A prosthodontists’ reconstructive dental procedures include porcelain veneers, crowns, dental implants, bridges, dentures. If you are missing any teeth or have damaged teeth that need replacing, your dentist will suggest that you schedule a visit with a prosthodontist.
Regular dental checkups will help prevent cavities and other dental problems from occurring as well as keep current issues from worsening. Smile Reston Heights understands that your smile is important and our dentists will provide the dental treatment plan that best suits the needs of your teeth. Why settle for stained, chipped, missing, and misshapen teeth when you can schedule dentist appointments to get a smile that will give you the confidence to lead a successful life?
It is recommended that you schedule a visit with your dentist at least twice a year. However, the current state of your oral health will determine how often you should see your dentist. Even if your teeth feel fine, your teeth and gums may be experiencing issues without you being aware of it. Don’t wait to find out your teeth and gums are in poor health. Schedule an appointment with your dentist today!
Before you search for a dentist that is right for you, here is what you should keep in mind before and during your first appointment.
- Check your insurance plan to see whether dental care is covered. This way, your search for dentists will narrow down a bit more.
- Make sure you have at least several dentist options to compare and that they are members of the American Dental Association (ADA).
- Is the appointment scheduling process convenient for you?
- Does the dental office appear to be well-maintained and clean?
- Did your medical and dental history get recorded in a permanent file?
- Was the dentist articulate about the dental techniques and procedures applied to your visit?
- Did the dentist provide specific oral health techniques you can start to help you maintain healthy teeth and gums?
- How transparent is the dental facility on procedure costs and do they present it to you before your appointment?
- Brush your teeth at least two times every day and floss at least once as well!
- When picking out toothpaste, make sure it contains fluoride to ensure cavity prevention.
- Limit foods that contain large amounts of sugar since sugar increases the growth of bacteria and plaque in your mouth, which will also increase your chances of getting cavities.
- Keep away from tobacco or smoking as this can lead to teeth stains, gum disease, and even oral cancer.
- Brush your tongue! Brushing your tongue often will significantly reduce food debris and bacteria while keeping your breath smelling fresh.
- Don’t forget to schedule your next routine dental checkup once every six months!
The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) states that children should see their dentist as early as six months of age. This allows the dentist to make sure your child’s primary teeth are in the proper position and fall out naturally. With your child’s primary teeth in the right position, this will help them chew properly, allow space for permanent teeth, boost their confidence and much more so be sure to schedule regular dental checkups once every six months!
Cavities or little holes on your teeth may arise due to a combination of plaque build-up, sugary and starchy foods you eat, and tooth decay. If the cavity is left untreated for too long, then this could lead to major dental issues. You can prevent cavities from forming by brushing and flossing regularly.
After tooth decay has been removed from your cavity, fillings are used to fill the cavity. During a filling procedure, your dentist will issue you an anesthetic to numb your mouth so you won’t experience any pain. You also have the option to choose from a variety of fillings including composites, gold, or ceramic, in which you can consult with your doctor to determine the filling best for you.
The American Dental Association (ADA) highly recommends that you brush your teeth at least two times a day and floss once a day. Brushing with a soft-bristled toothbrush and flossing every day will help you maintain good oral hygiene by helping you reduce bacteria in your mouth. Brushing for one minute each on your top and bottom teeth, your tongue, and flossing is a standard cleaning routine that will ensure you maintain a bright smile and fresh breath!
Toothbrushes don’t last forever and need to be changed out every three months as recommended by your dentist. However, if you are using an electric toothbrush, you may not need to change it as often so be sure to check the direction label.
For patients that currently have gum disease, it is recommended that you change your toothbrush every four to six weeks to prevent the growth of bacteria. After you are done brushing your teeth, rinse your toothbrush with hot water to keep the bristles free from germs, and if you were sick, dispose of your toothbrush and replace it right away.
Gum disease is also known as periodontal disease and is caused by the excessive buildup of plaque and bacteria, tobacco usage, teeth grinding, certain medications, and even genetics. Gingivitis is just the beginning of gum disease and is treatable if detected earlier on. If it’s neglected for too long, gum disease can advance quickly and result in permanent tooth and bone loss. Routine dental visits, regular brushing, and flossing will help keep your teeth and gums in good health while preventing gingivitis. Here are some of the common signs of gum disease:
- Gum discomfort, redness, irritation, and swelling
- Chronic bad breath
- Loose teeth or tooth loss
- Severe tooth sensitivity
- Receding gum line
- Abscessed teeth
If you are experiencing any of the above, schedule an appointment with your dentist today to see what treatments you need to treat your gum disease.
Yes, even if you are receiving orthodontic treatment with your braces, you should still visit your dentist for regular checkups every six months. You might not think it now but food debris may get trapped in places your toothbrush is unable to reach, which may cause bacteria to build up, cavities, gingivitis, and gum disease. Your dentist and orthodontist will work together to ensure your teeth and braces are in great condition throughout your treatment!