My Blog

Posts for: January, 2017

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
January 19, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cosmetic dentistry   veneers  

Do you have a few minor dental flaws that keep your smile from being perfect? Improving your smile has never been easier, thanks to veneersdental veneers. Dr. Charles Sours, Jr., your Woodbridge, VA, dentist, shares information about veneers and explains how they can help you.

Thin but tough

Wafer-thin veneers offer the ideal way to hide imperfections in your smile. The tooth-shaped shells are bonded to the fronts of your teeth only, dramatically improving your smile. They're made from porcelain, a durable material that looks like natural tooth enamel.

Veneers address multiple issues

Veneers are a good choice for many cosmetic dental issues, including:

  • Gaps: Do you have a slight gap between your front teeth? Veneers easily cover small gaps that can make you feel self-conscious about your smile. If your gap is large, your Woodbridge dentist may recommend orthodontic treatment instead.
  • Imperfections: Veneers conceal chips, cracks, pits and other imperfections that can affect the appearance of your teeth.
  • Short Teeth: If one of your teeth is a little shorter than the others, it's easy to lengthen it with a veneer.
  • Oddly Shaped Teeth: Twisted, crooked, pointy or other oddly shaped teeth disappear from sight behind your new veneer.
  • Whitening: Since veneers are available in many shades of white, they're often used to whiten teeth. Because veneers are resistant to staining, your smile with stay bright and white for years.

No extensive dental procedures are required

Before you receive your veneers, your dentist will lightly file the surface of your teeth. Filing ensures that the veneers fit comfortably and aren't bulky. After filing the teeth, an impression will be made, which a dental laboratory will use to create your veneers. You'll receive temporary veneers, which you'll wear until your permanent veneers are ready in about two or three weeks. It's not unusual to need a few minor adjustments to your new veneers. After ensuring that they fit perfectly, your dentist will bond them to your teeth.

Transform your smile with dental veneers! Call Dr. Sours, your Woodbridge, VA, dentist, at (703) 491-2131 to schedule an appointment to improve your smile.

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
January 18, 2017
Category: Oral Health
Tags: oral health  

There's more to your dental visit than preventing or treating teeth or gum problems. We're also on the lookout for a number of potential soft tissue problems that could occur in or around your mouth.

Here are 4 examples of such problems we can detect and help you manage.

Lumps. Whenever you accidentally bite the inside of your mouth, the wound you create forms a protective layer of hard collagen. Unfortunately, the “callous” can rise higher than the surrounding cheek surface and easily get in the way of your teeth again. With successive bites and more scar tissue you'll soon notice a prominent lump. Although not a health danger, it becomes annoying with each successive bite. We can surgically remove the lump and flatten out the mouth surface.

Canker sores. Known as aphthous ulcers, these round sores with a yellow-gray center and a red “halo” can break out on the inside cheeks, tongue or back of the throat. Unless they don't heal within a couple of weeks or seem to be increasing in frequency, they're nothing to worry about. They can, however, cause a burning or stinging sensation. We can reduce this discomfort and speed healing with over-the-counter ointments or prescription options like topical or injected steroids.

Cracked mouth corners. Also known as perleche (from the French lecher, meaning “to lick”), your mouth corners can become dry and irritated and you may begin licking them to soothe the discomfort. Accumulated saliva can trigger a yeast infection, which can spread to other parts of your mouth. We can usually prevent this by prescribing antifungal ointments, and a steroid ointment to control inflammation.

Mouth rash. Peri-oral dermatitis is a red, scaly rash that appears around the outside of the mouth. Because it's often mistaken for acne or other conditions, it's often treated with topical steroids. This actually suppresses the skin's normal healing effects and can actually make the rash worse. The best way to treat it is to stop using any kind of ointment or cream and use only mild soap to wash the area. We can also prescribe antibiotics to help speed the healing process.

If you would like more information on these and other soft tissue problems, 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 “Common Lumps and Bumps in the Mouth,” “Mouth Sores,” and “Cracked Corners of the Mouth.”

By Charles L. Sours, Jr. D.D.S.
January 03, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures

Academy Award-winning actress Kathy Bates knows how important it is to present your best face to the world — and one of the most important features of that face is a beaming smile. But there came a point when she noticed something was a little off. “I've always had good teeth, but it seemed to me as I was getting older that they weren't looking as good,” Kathy explained in a recent interview with Dear Doctor magazine.

That's when she decided it was time to take action. Kathy had orthodontic treatment when she was in her fifties, and she keeps her smile bright with tooth whitening treatments. She uses a kit provided by her dentist with a safe, effective whitening solution.

Of course, a bright, healthy smile looks great anywhere — whether you're on the red carpet or “off the grid.” And you don't have to be a Hollywood star to have professional whitening treatments. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most popular and affordable cosmetic treatments modern dentistry offers.

The basic options for professional teeth whitening include in-office bleaching or take-home kits. Both types of dentist-supervised treatments offer a safe and effective means of getting a brighter smile; the main difference is how long they take to produce results. A single one-hour treatment in the office can make your teeth up to ten shades lighter — a big difference! To get that same lightening with at-home trays, it would take several days. On the plus side, the take-home kit is less expensive, and can achieve the same results in a bit more time.

It's important to note that not all teeth can be whitened with these treatments. Some teeth have intrinsic (internal) stains that aren't affected by external agents like bleaches. Also, teeth that have been restored (with bonding or veneers, for example) generally won't change color. And you can't necessarily whiten your teeth to any degree: Every tooth has a maximum whiteness, and adding more bleach won't lighten it beyond that level. Most people, however, find that teeth whitening treatments produce noticeable and pleasing results.

What about those off-the-shelf kits or in-the-mall kiosks? They might work… or they might not. But one thing's for sure: Without a dentist's supervision, you're on your own. That's the main reason why you should go with a pro if you're considering teeth whitening. We not only ensure that your treatment is safe — we can also give you a realistic idea of what results to expect, and we will make sure that other dental problems aren't keeping you from having a great-looking smile.

How often does Kathy Bates see her dentist for a checkup and cleaning? “I go about every four months,” she noted. “I'm pretty careful about it.” And if you've seen her smile, you can tell that it pays off. If you would like more information about teeth whitening, please contact us or schedule an appointment. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Important Teeth Whitening Questions Answered” and “Teeth Whitening.”