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Posts for: May, 2016

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
May 29, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   crowns  

You might think David Copperfield leads a charmed life:  He can escape from ropes, chains, and prison cells, make a Learjet or a railroad car disappear, and even appear to fly above the stage. But the illustrious illusionist will be the first to admit that making all that magic takes a lot of hard work. And he recently told Dear Doctor magazine that his brilliant smile has benefitted from plenty of behind-the-scenes dental work as well.

“When I was a kid, I had every kind of [treatment]. I had braces, I had headgear, I had rubber bands, and a retainer afterward,” Copperfield said. And then, just when his orthodontic treatment was finally complete, disaster struck. “I was at a mall, running down this concrete alleyway, and there was a little ledge… and I went BOOM!”

Copperfield’s two front teeth were badly injured by the impact. “My front teeth became nice little points,” he said. Yet, although they had lost a great deal of their structure, his dentist was able to restore those damaged teeth in a very natural-looking way. What kind of “magic” did the dentist use?

In Copperfield’s case, the teeth were repaired using crown restorations. Crowns (also called caps) are suitable when a tooth has lost part of its visible structure, but still has healthy roots beneath the gum line. To perform a crown restoration, the first step is to make a precise model of your teeth, often called an impression. This allows a replacement for the visible part of the tooth to be fabricated, and ensures it will fit precisely into your smile. In its exact shape and shade, a well-made crown matches your natural teeth so well that it’s virtually impossible to tell them apart. Subsequently, the crown restoration is permanently attached to the damaged tooth.

There’s a blend of technology and art in making high quality crowns — just as there is in some stage-crafted illusions. But the difference is that the replacement tooth is not just an illusion: It looks, functions and “feels” like your natural teeth… and with proper care it can last for many years to come.  Besides crowns, there are several other types of tooth restorations that are suitable in different situations. We can recommend the right kind of “magic” for you.

If you would like more information about crowns, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Crowns & Bridgework” and “Porcelain Crowns & Veneers.”

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
May 14, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: medication  

For most dental procedures you’re usually back to your regular routine in no more than a day or two (or even hours) afterward. For the most part, the mouth heals rather quickly.

But there may still be a short period of discomfort after tooth extraction, gum surgery or similar invasive procedures. The good news is you will most likely have no need for strong narcotic painkillers — milder, over-the-counter pain relievers are usually sufficient to manage your discomfort.

The most common of these are known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). This group of pain relievers — which include aspirin and ibuprofen — block the release of substances in the body known as prostaglandins that stimulate inflammation that increases pain in damaged tissues. They’re much preferred for mild to moderate pain because they don’t have the side effects of steroids or narcotics like morphine or codeine. They also tend to be less costly than these other prescription drugs.

But while they’re reasonably safe, they can cause problems if you exceed the recommended dosage or use them for prolonged periods. Their blockage of certain chemicals reduces the clotting mechanism in blood leading to a blood-thinning effect. Not only will this increase bleeding, it can also damage the stomach lining and cause ulcers if used over a period of weeks. Improper dosage of NSAIDs has also been linked to miscarriages and repeat heart attacks, which is why they’re not recommended for use during pregnancy or with patients with a history of heart or intestinal problems.

But if taken as directed by your physician or dentist — usually no more than 2,400 milligrams a day and only for a few days — such side effects are quite rare. The benefit is much more common: about five hours of pain relief from a single dose for most people. With the help of ibuprofen or similar drugs, you’ll be on your feet after your dental work in no time. 

If you would like more information on managing pain after a procedure, 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 “Treating Pain with Ibuprofen.”

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
May 06, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Smoking  

How smoking affects your teeth and oral health

Smoking is dangerous to the health of your body and the health of your mouth. It is very addictive and can be fatal. You need to know the dangers of smoking and what your dentist can do to help. Dr. Charles Sours in Woodbridge, Virginia wants you to know all the facts Smokingabout how smoking affects your teeth and your oral health.

You should try to quit smoking as soon as you can to protect your body and your teeth. Dr. Sours wants you to know while you are trying to quit, you can do a few simple things to help how your smile looks.

You already know how smoking stains your teeth, but you can minimize stains by brushing your teeth after you smoke. If you don’t have toothpaste, just use the toothbrush. You can also rinse your mouth with water. You can try over-the-counter whitening products, but a better solution is a professional whitening treatment provided by Dr. Sours. You can select:

  • In-office teeth whitening which only takes about an hour and is a great choice for people with a busy lifestyle
  • Take-home whitening kits, which are convenient and you can use them in your home when you wish

Smoking doesn’t just stain your teeth; it also drastically affects the health of your gums and bone support of your teeth. It weakens your immunity and ability to fight off diseases like gum and periodontal disease caused by bacterial plaque accumulation. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) smokers are twice as likely to have gum disease.

Untreated gum disease can progress to periodontal disease when the bone supporting your teeth becomes infected. Periodontal disease is far more likely to develop in smokers and treatment is less likely to help if you continue smoking.

Oral and throat cancer is much more likely to occur in smokers and the results can be disfiguring and fatal. It can also be difficult to detect and can go unnoticed for a long period of time. That’s why it’s a good reason to visit Dr. Sours regularly for a comprehensive dental exam and oral cancer screening.

You don’t have to deal with the dangers of smoking alone when help is just a phone call away. It’s time to call Dr. Charles Sours in Woodbridge, Virginia and find out more about how smoking affects your body and your smile. Call today and get the help you need!