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Alexandria Art of Dentistry

Common Procedures

Topics on this page

Regular Exams and Cleanings | Bonding | Bridges | Crowns | Dentures | Extractions | Fillings | Implant Restoration | Fluoride | Mouthguards | Nightguards | Root Canals | Sealants | Veneers | Wisdom Teeth

Everyone wants a beautiful smile. We are here to help!

We understand your needs, and work with you to learn more about your condition, and how we can improve it. Our dentists recommend the right dental procedure according to your lifestyle and personal choices.

To give you an idea of what different procedures entail, we provide an overview of most common procedures and dental services. While this is a basic guide, if you have any more questions, please feel free to get in touch with us to discuss your individual case.

See what regular visits, bonding, implants, crowns and veneers can do for your smile!

1.Regular Exams and Cleanings

Regular dental exams are necessary to maintain your oral health. During the exam, we

  • Look for dental problems
  • Check for cavities and other signs of tooth decay
  • Examine your teeth and gums, looking for signs of gingivitis and periodontal disease
  • Perform a thorough dental cleaning

Regular exams usually take about 45 minutes. Each exam includes a detailed dental cleaning. This typically involves cleaning, polishing, and rinsing teeth to remove tartar or plaque (If any) built up on a tooth’s surface.

We recommend a dental visit once every six months. It will give you a chance to talk to the dentist and ask any questions you may have regarding oral hygiene or your dental health.

Please understand that regular dental exams are offered by appointment. Contact our facility today so we can confirm an appointment at a time that fits your schedule best.

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2.Bonding

Bonding is a method to repair slightly chipped, crooked or discolored teeth. During the bonding process, we place a ‘white filling’ over your teeth to improve their appearance. This white filling will bond with the teeth while closely matching to the color of your natural teeth.

Previously, ‘amalgam fillings’ were used for the purpose. These are silver fillings that are very noticeable. However, most patients now prefer the white fillings. Also, bonding fillings can be used on both, front and back teeth.

Tooth bonding is one of the least costly cosmetic treatments. It can usually be completed in a single visit to our dental facility. Keep in mind that bonding can sometimes break or get stained. In case of a break or chip, let the dentist know. We can easily have it fixed, and give you that million dollar smile you deserve.

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3.Bridges

Dental bridges are typically used to replace one or more missing teeth, help relieve stress on biting, and maintain the overall shape of your face.

Missing teeth are replaced by artificial ones, bridging the gap left in between. The bridge can be made of gold, alloy, porcelain, or a mixture of these materials. It is bonded on the two surround teeth for support.

This support is important to maintain the bridge for a long time. The teeth, gums, and the bone to which these bridges are attached must be strong enough.

We work with you to create a plan that will keep your teeth and gums healthy with the help of good oral hygiene practice!

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4.Crowns

It is a restorative procedure, making your teeth stronger and improving their shape. Most often, the process is used for broken, worn or partly decayed teeth.

A crown is basically a cap that is cemented over an existing tooth. Usually, the tooth surface from right above the gum line is covered. So, the crown becomes the tooth’s outer surface.

Crowns can be made of a metal, porcelain or both. Porcelain crowns are preferred as they mimic the natural translucency of teeth and are stronger.

Crowns (and partial crowns: onlays) are essential if the tooth is not strong enough to hold the filling. Fillings are applied directly to your tooth, but crowns are first prepared outside.

These crowns are fabricated in a lab, using your unique tooth impression. The dental technician learns about your potential jaw movements and molds the crown accordingly. This ensures the crown works well once it’s placed on your tooth.

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5.Dentures

These are removable, natural looking teeth replacements. You can choose either a full or a partial denture.

  • Full dentures – This is an option for patients if all their teeth have been removed. This is quite comfortable.
  • Partial dentures – Attached to a metal frame, partial dentures are bridged with the remaining natural teeth. These are used as replacements, filling the space left behind after the removal of your natural tooth.

Dentures require proper care just like the natural teeth. We’ll guide you on how to go about this. It is recommended that you use a gentle cleanser for brushing dentures. Also, keep them moist when they’re not in use.

Maintain a good oral hygiene, keeping the gums and tongue clean.

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6.Extractions

Sometimes, it becomes necessary to extract a tooth. For instance, baby tooth might have longer roots, preventing their falling out. In this case, we may need to remove the tooth so that permanent ones can come up.

Tooth decay can put the surrounding teeth at risk of damage too. When this happens, most dentists recommend removing the affected tooth. We can replace it with a bridge or an implant. We’ll of course walk you through this process.

Infection, problems with wisdom tooth and orthodontic corrections are some of the other cases where tooth removal becomes necessary.

After determining if a tooth must be removed, our dentist will either perform the extraction during a routine visit, or request a separate visit.

Each tooth has its roots encased in the jawbone within a ‘tooth socket’. A ligament holds the tooth in place. To extract the tooth, we must first expand the socket. Then, it is separated from the ligament. This procedure is quick, but you should discuss sedation options or your preferences with the dentist.

Following the tooth removal, neighboring teeth may shift positions. This can cause problems when chewing and in other jaw joint functions. Dentists often recommend replacing the extracted tooth to avoid these complications.

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7.Fillings

Gold or porcelain fillings have been traditionally used.

Newer filling materials include plastic and porcelain compounds that mimic natural teeth in their appearance. You can feel comfortable in the fact that you will receive a natural, and beautiful smile! These materials are referred to as composite resins and are typically used for the front teeth, since that is where the natural appearance is more important.

There are two types of fillings you can opt for:

  • Direct dental fillings – This is applied in a single visit, directly into a prepared cavity.
  • Indirect dental fillings – This requires two or more visits; it includes inlays and veneers that are fabricated with materials such as ceramic or composites.

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8.Implant restoration

Replacing missing teeth is crucial to avoid complications. Chewing and eating can become difficult and increase jaw discomfort if teeth are missing. Also, the remaining teeth may shift slightly, making your face look slightly older. If this has happened, we work with you to come up with a solution.

Implants offer a feasible solution, replacing the missing teeth and lasting a lifetime, if properly maintained.

You may be wondering what an implant really is. It is an artificial tooth made with metal and porcelain, mimicking the appearance of a natural tooth.

An implant has two parts; titanium body that replaces the missing root and a tooth colored crown cemented on the top. With implants in place, you can smile confidently without worrying about the missing tooth.

Apart from tooth replacements, implants are also used to anchor dentures. Lower dentures are particularly prone to shift when a person talks or chews.

If you’re using removable partial dentures, implants may be a good solution for a more natural-looking smile.

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9.Fluoride

Fluoride can effectively prevent cavities and tooth decay. It can also prevent plaque and tartar from building up and hardening over the tooth surface.

Fluoride treatment at our dental clinic only takes a few minutes. We often ask patients to not eat, drink or rinse their teeth for at least 30 minutes. This allows your teeth to sufficiently absorb fluoride.

Our dentist may recommend fluoride treatment once every three, six or twelve months. We decide the time intervals according to your dental health.

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10.Mouthguards

If you play sports, protecting your smile is important.

Whether or not you wear braces, mouthguards can prevent tooth and gum injury. The American Dental Association recommends wearing a mouthguard if participating in a full-contact sport.

You must choose the right mouthguard. Typically, you’ll find three types of mouthguards; pre-made, fitted style ‘boil-and-bite’ and custom-made mouthguards.

Make sure to pick a tear-resistant mouthguard which is also comfortable and fits well in your mouth. It should also be easy to clean and should not affect your breathing.

Our dentist will help you pick the right one and show you how to wear it right.

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11.Nightguards

Do you often wake up with earaches, jaw pain or headaches? Do you find yourself often clenching the jaw or grinding teeth?

This is a common condition referred to as ‘bruxism’.

Since many people only grind their teeth when they’re asleep, they’re often not aware of it. If not corrected, the condition can lead to broken or cracked teeth. In severe cases, it can also lead to tooth loss.

Instead of taking your risk, opt for a simple, non-invasive treatment: nightguards.

Wearing nightguards can easily protect your teeth from wear and damage caused by continuous teeth grinding. These are custom-made by the dentist, using a soft material that can fit your teeth naturally. A nightguard is placed on either the top or the bottom arch, preventing contact with the other arch.

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12.Root canals

People often lost their teeth if they had a diseased nerve in the past. Today, we can save your tooth with the root canal treatment.

Typically, if a tooth is cracked or develops a deep cavity, it exposes the pulp tissue to bacterial attack. This can cause an infection.

An abscess forms if the infection is left untreated. Pain and swelling will follow too. It can injure your jaw bone and affect your overall health.

Root canal treatment requires between one to three visits. Our dentist will remove the infected tissue during the procedure. Next, we clean and seal the interior of the tooth. In the final step, dental composites will be used to fill the tooth.

For extensive tooth decays, dentists often suggest placing a crown over the tooth. This will strengthen the tooth and protect it from breaking.

The restored tooth can last a lifetime if you brush regularly and keep the teeth and gums clean. Flossing and regular checkups also help.

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13.Sealants

Brushing the teeth may not be enough sometimes. Hard-to-reach spots in the mouth are often left unclean, because the toothbrush can’t get between the small cracks and grooves. This can result in tooth decay.

Dental sealants offer extra protection to your teeth, helping prevent cavities and tooth decay.

Sealants are made from plastic resins that can bond and harden in the cracks and deep grooves. After sealing, the grooves become smoother and less likely to build up plaque. Brushing your teeth also becomes easier as well as more effective.

Typically, sealants are applied to children’s teeth. This is done after eruption of permanent teeth, as a preventive measure to protect against tooth decay. Adults may also receive sealants for healthy teeth. Dentists often recommend sealants according to particular dental cases.

Sealants usually last for three to five years. In some cases, it may last longer. There are adults who have sealants intact from their childhood.

It is important to note that the sealant will only protect the cracks when fully intact. If the sealant comes off, you should let the dentist know. Schedule an appointment for resealing.

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14.Veneers

Chips, gaps, stains and irregularly shaped teeth are all too common. This may affect your self-esteem. It is possible to correct them with veneers. Removing these imperfections, you can feel more confident in your beautiful smile.

Veneers have a natural appearance, making them the perfect option if you don’t want minor adjustments to look out of place. They are designed as thin, custom-made shells, using tooth-colored materials (e.g. porcelain).

Veneers cover the front side of a tooth. They are molded according to a model of your teeth prepared by the dentist. It is sent to the technician to prepare the veneers.

The dentist may need to prepare your teeth for veneers before the veneers are placed. It will help improve their aesthetic appearance.

You’ll be pleased to see the final result, as the veneers give a natural appearance to your teeth. Although they are stain-resistant, your dentist may still recommend avoiding coffee, red wine, tea and tobacco.

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15.Wisdom teeth

These are molars found on the back end of your mouth. They start appearing in late teenage years or early twenties. However, their eruption may be affected due to lack of space in your jaw.

If impacted, the wisdom tooth must be removed. Otherwise, you’ll develop swelling, tenderness and severe pain. If these are allowed to erupt partially or fully, it will be difficult to clean them. This will make them susceptible to decay, infections, and gum disease.

In teen age, there’s a high chance that the roots have not fully formed. The surrounding bone is also less dense. This is the best time to remove the impacted wisdom teeth.

Removing a wisdom tooth necessitates numbing the jaw region around the tooth. Your dentist will use a local anesthesia for this. The tooth may still be imbedded in the jaw bone. So, the dentist will first extract the covering bone to remove the tooth.

Dentists often section the tooth so that minimum amount of bone needs to be removed. It allows pieces of the tooth to be extracted from a small opening in your bone.

Healing begins right after the extraction. This varies with every extraction, depending on the difficulty of the procedure. Our dentist will advise you about what to expect, and will provide guidance to ensure efficient healing.

 

You may have dozens of questions. We have all the answers. We work with you, recommending solutions that can help bring change in your life.

According to the American Association of Endodontists, it is estimated that up to 15.1 million root canal treatments are performed annually. This means that a rising number of people are suffering tremendously from a range of dental complications and disorders.

This is why we at Alexandria Art of Dentistry provide premium dental practice to patients of all ages, urging them to seek urgent treatment to avoid potential surgery.

We specialize in common dental procedures, including, but not limited to non-braces treatment, root canals and crowding teeth, delivering premium solutions through AAD certified treatment.



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703.299.9899
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