Periodontal disease is a long-term chronic infection of the gums. Periodontal or gum disease happens when bacteria gets below the gum line and the attachment between the gum and tooth is lost. It is caused when a person’s teeth are exposed to residual plaque and bacteria for prolonged periods. A patient with periodontal disease will have red, highly sensitive gums, with infections (pus pockets) at the base of the teeth. The patient may also have persistent bad breath or gums that bleed easily. When left untreated periodontal disease can cause teeth to become loose and fall out. If you address your gum disease before it becomes severe, scaling and root planning may be the only treatment you need. Scaling is when your dentist and or hygienist removes all the plaque and tartar (hardened plaque) above and below the gum line, making sure to clean all the way down to the bottom of the pocket. Your dentist and or hygienist will then begin root planning, smoothing out the roots of your teeth to help your gums reattach to your teeth. Scaling and root planning may take more than one visit to complete and may require local anesthetic. After a deep cleaning your dentist will schedule another visit to see how your gums have healed and measure the depth of your pockets. They will also talk to you about the importance of good dental care at home and coming to your dental checkup regularly to keep gum disease from becoming more serious or recurring.
Crowns and Bridges
Dental crowns and bridges are custom-fitted tooth prosthetics that are used to replace or restore damaged or missing teeth. Crowns-also known as caps – are fixed over the surfaces of natural teeth structures or dental implants.
Bridges are used to fill in the gaps left by missing teeth and are anchored in place by the natural teeth or crowns nearest the empty space. Both crowns and bridges are customized specifically for the patient’s bite and can usually be placed in as little as one or two dental visits. They are non-removable and must be cemented in place by a licensed dentist. With proper cleaning and regular dental check-ups, crowns and bridges can last many years. Patients who get crown or bridges to restore their smiles achieve both the function and appearance of natural, healthy teeth.
Root Canal Therapy
Root Canal Therapy is the process of cleaning a tooth’s roots and interior chamber also known as the pulp chamber. Inside of the pulp chamber are the nerves, connective tissue, and blood vessels. When a tooth is cracked or has a deep cavity, bacteria can enter the pulp tissue and germs can cause infection inside the tooth. If you are experiencing pain or swelling a root canal may have to be performed. In the earliest stages of infection, you may not feel any pain at all, but Root canals remove the infection and prevent it from spreading. The root canal is painless if done properly and sometimes several appointments are needed to properly clean and seal the roots. After root canal therapy most teeth will require a crown to effectively restore and strengthen the tooth and protect it from breaking.
Cavities or dental caries are a common form of structural tooth damage due to bacterial decay. Fillings are often necessary to repair worn, damaged or decayed teeth. The part of the affected tooth is cleaned out removed and replaced with a durable material called composite resin to prevent further damage and to restore the tooth. Composite resins have been developed to provide patients with the option of filling cavities or fixing teeth with natural-looking white, tinted material to blend in with your teeth. Patients should realize that genetics and personal hygiene also have an effect on the durability of tooth restoration.
The goal of most dentists and patients is to keep your natural teeth by offering other options to restore them and to ensure that you don’t lose any. There are times that restoration on teeth is not possible and teeth have to be removed also known as tooth extraction. There are several reasons where teeth become necessary to remove, large amounts of decay, Infection, trauma to a tooth, wisdom teeth issue, advanced gum disease, orthodontics correction or baby teeth that don’t fall out on their own. After a tooth is removed, it is possible for the surrounding teeth to shift which can result in changes with chewing and impact your jaw joint function. Your dentist will discuss replacement options that will be best suited for your care.
Dentures are removable prosthetic devices and have artificial teeth and gums which are custom designed to replace lost or removed natural teeth. Dentures are supported by the surrounding soft and hard tissues of the oral cavity. Conventional dentures are removable. However, there are many denture designs, some which rely on bonding or clasping onto teeth or dental implants.
Over time, in order to maintain the alignment of your jaw, dentures may need to be replaced or relined. Jaw alignment can gradually change over time as the bone and gum ridges recede or shrink due to missing teeth. It is important to continue to see your dentist for periodic examinations to check within the proximity of the dentures and the oral tissues for disease or changes.
Dr. Vera's Affiliations
Location4321 Ridgewood Center Dr.
Woodbridge, VA 22192
|Phone #:||(703) 590-4666|
|Monday:||8:00 am - 5:00 pm|
|Tuesday:||9:00 am - 7:00 pm|
|Wednesday:||8:00 am - 5:00 pm|
|Thursday:||7:00 am - 5:00 pm|
|Saturday:||Open once per month|