Our Services

 
 
Implants | Porcelain Crowns | Porcelain Veneers | Extractions 
Tooth Whitening | Opalescence Whitening | Laser Cavity Detection
Root Canals | Bridges | Bonding |
 Filling Restorations
Dental Hygiene &  Preventative Care

General & Family Dentistry

At Gentle Dental Care of Northern VA, we are devoted to the dental care of the entire family. Whether your dental needs are a complete exam and cleaning, a full-mouth restoration, or anything in between, we promise to provide you with exceptional care as we enhance the natural beauty of your smile. Below are just some of the many procedures and services we regularly provide to our patients. 

Implants

 

If you have missing teeth, you shouldn't be embarrassed about your smile. We offer a wide range of options for you to correct your smile. The best option, especially if the missing tooth space has no surrounding teeth, is a dental implant. A dental implant will give you optimum functionality as well as an aesthetic solution.

Dental implants are artificial tooth replacements that were first developed half a century ago by a Swedish scientist named Per-Ingvar Branemark. Implants arose from the patient's need to secure loose-fitting dentures. Since the advent of the implant, engineering and enhancements to the implant have enabled dentists to expand the implant's usefulness, including the replacement of missing or lost teeth. Today, implant techniques provide a wide range of tooth replacement solutions including:

  • Single Tooth Replacement
  • Anterior Replacement
  • Posterior Replacement
  • Full Upper Replacement

Types of Implants

There are three main types of implants:

  • The root implant
  • The plate form implant
  • The subperiosteal implant

The root implant—by far, the most popular—is the most effective because it mirrors the size and shape of a patient's natural tooth. This implant is often as strong as the patient's original tooth. The implant or artificial root is placed into the jawbone under local anesthesia, then allowed to heal and integrate with the bone. Once the healing process is completed and the jawbone is attached to the implant, the patient returns to the dental office where the implant is fitted with the new tooth. This process generally takes anywhere from three to eight months.

The plate form implant is ideal in situations where the jawbone is not wide enough to properly support a root implant. The plate form implant is long and thin, unlike the root implant, and anchors into thin jawbones. It is inserted the same way as a root implant. In certain cases, the plate form implant is immediately fitted with the restoration without waiting for the healing process to run its course.

The subperiosteal implant is used when the jawbone has receded to the point where it can no longer support a permanent implant.

Post Implant Care

Although proper oral hygiene is always recommended for maintaining good dental health, it is especially important when a patient has received a dental implant. Bacteria can attack sensitive areas in the mouth when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned, thus causing gums to swell and jaw bones to gradually recede. Recession of the jawbone will weaken implants and eventually make it necessary for the implant to be removed. Patients are advised to visit their dentists at least twice a year to ensure the health of their teeth and implants. Dental implants can last for decades when given proper care.

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Porcelain Crowns

 

A crown is a custom-made covering that fits over an original tooth that is either decayed, damaged or cracked. Though crowns can be made from a variety of materials, our office uses only porcelain crowns to provide our patients with the most natural appearance.

The treatment plan for a patient receiving a crown involves:

  1. Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
  2. Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
  3. Making an impression of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown (usually takes one to two weeks).
  4. Making a temporary crown out of acrylic resin and fitting it onto the tooth during the interim period when the custom-made crown is being created.
  5. Applying the custom-made crown (when received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the custom-made one onto the tooth.
  6. After ensuring that the crown has the proper look and fit, the dentist cements it into place.

This process generally consists of a minimum of two to three visits over a three to four week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum disease. Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.

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Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are thin, semi-translucent "shells" typically attached to your front teeth. They are customized from porcelain material that is bonded to your teeth. Porcelain veneers are a great alternative to otherwise painful dental procedures to improve the appearance of your smile.

Common problems that porcelain veneers are used for:

  • Spaces between the teeth
  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Unsightly, stained or discolored teeth
  • Permanently stained or discolored teeth
  • Crooked or misshapen teeth

Porcelain veneers are a great aesthetic solution to your smile that may even help you avoid orthodontic treatment. Subtle changes to your smile can be achieved with veneers, and in most cases, veneer application is completed in only two office visits.

Please contact our office if you have any further questions on porcelain veneers.

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Extractions

General Extractions

An extraction is the complete removal of a tooth. Extractions are sometimes necessary if a primary tooth is preventing the normal eruption of a permanent tooth, if the tooth has suffered extensive tooth decay or trauma that cannot be repaired, if the patient has gum disease, or if the tooth is impacted (usually the wisdom teeth). Depending on the complexity of the case, an extraction can be performed surgically or non-surgically. A mild anesthesia is used to ensure your child is as comfortable as possible throughout the procedure.

Wisdom Teeth

 

Your third molars are more commonly called "wisdom teeth." Usually appearing in the late teens or early twenties, third molars often lack the proper space in the jaw to erupt fully or even at all. This common condition is called impaction. When any tooth lacks the space to come through or simply develops in the wrong place of your jaw and becomes impacted, problems can arise. Primarily, damage to adjacent teeth and crowding occur.

In certain cases, the wisdom tooth that cannot come through becomes inflamed under the gums and in the jawbone, causing a sac to develop around the root of the tooth that then fills with liquid. This can cause a cyst or an abscess if it becomes infected. If either of these situations goes untreated, serious damage to the underlying bone and surrounding teeth and tissues can result.

To potentially stave off this result, an extraction of one, several or all of the wisdom teeth may be advised. If that is the case, we have the equipment and training needed to perform such extractions, with an absolute minimum of discomfort. Ask our staff for more information regarding tooth extractions if you feel you may need one.

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Tooth Whitening

Everyone wants a bright, white smile. Teeth whitening services are growing in popularity, and it's one of the most requested services offered by our practice. Everyone sees the growing consumer market focused on whiter teeth. The reality is that over-the-counter, "too good to be true" solutions typically don't work.

Unfortunately, your teeth will darken over time. We offer a variety of options to whiten your teeth to combat the changes in the color of your teeth. This discoloration can be caused by factors such as the food and beverages you consume, like coffee, tea and soda. Other known factors for discoloration may include childhood medications or illnesses, tobacco use or improper oral hygiene. Restoring your natural white smile is a priority for our dental whitening team.

We are trained professionals using industry-approved methods. Our goal is to meet the needs of every patient, and every patient's needs are different.

One of the methods we use to whiten teeth is a gentle hydrogen-peroxide gel-activated solution. In one visit, we will apply the solution, wait for the allotted time and reveal your brighter, whiter smile! If you want to boost your self-confidence with a more pleasing smile, call us today for a whitening evaluation. We will help you choose the best whitening option for you.

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Opalescence Whitening

One of the methods we use to whiten teeth is Opalescence Whitening. This method involves applying a gentle, carbamide peroxide gel either in our office or at home using special, custom-made trays. The gel comes in three different flavors: mint, melon or regular. In one visit, we will apply the solution, wait for the allotted time and reveal your brighter, whiter smile!

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Laser Cavity Detection

Early detection is the key to preventing severe dental complications so we utilize the most advanced technology available to assist us in detecting cavities at their earliest stages. Conventional methods for detecting cavities are helpful, but often times only 50 to 75 percent successful. This method of detection is often limited based on the location and depth of the cavity. To increase our patients' possibility of keeping a beautiful, healthy smile for a lifetime, we utilize DIAGNOdent Cavity Detection technology – a innovative dental laser that recognizes decay and cavities at the earliest stages.

Using laser diode technology, DIAGNOdent is able to compare the reflection wavelength of a tooth against a healthy baseline wavelength to reveal decay. DIAGNOdent has proven to be over 90% successful in detecting even the smallest lesions that aren't even noticed on X-rays!

This procedure is simple, quick and pain free, and most of all, it helps preserve the overall health of your smile!

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Root Canals

 

A root canal is a procedure that extracts decayed pulp from the central part of the tooth, reshapes the canal and replaces it with strengthening filler.

A cavity is the result of superficial decay of the enamel of the tooth. Left long enough, this decay can burrow into the deeper reaches of the tooth, causing extensive damage to tooth structure. When the damage goes beyond what can be treated with a filling, dentists can perform a root canal (or endodontics), preserving the tooth and retaining its original integrity; thereby, saving a tooth that in the past would have to have been pulled.

Procedure:

  • The patient undergoes anesthesia.
  • A dental dam is used to isolate the tooth.
  • The tooth is opened to allow for removal of infected or dead dental pulp.
  • The tooth is comprehensively cleaned, including any cracks and canals.
  • With special tools, the doctor reshapes the canals.
  • The tooth is filled again with cutting edge biocompatible filling material.
  • A temporary covering is used to cover the access opening.
  • Patients MUST see their regular dentist quickly for a permanent restoration of the tooth.

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Bridges

A bridge is a dental device that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge may be necessary to prevent:

  • Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems and resultant periodontal disease.
  • Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.

There are three main types of bridges, namely:

  • A fixed bridge is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the existing teeth and hold the bridge in place.
  • The "Maryland" bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the abutment teeth. The metal bands consist of a white-colored composite resin that matches existing tooth color.
  • The cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.
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Bonding

Bonding is a common solution for:

  • Fixing or repairing chipped or cracked teeth
  • Reducing unsightly gaps or spaces between teeth
  • Hiding discoloration or faded areas on the tooth's surface

Often, composite bonding is used to improve the appearance of your teeth and enhance your smile. As the name indicates, composite material, either a plastic or resin, is bonded to an existing tooth. Unlike veneers or crowns, composite bonding removes little, if any, of the original tooth.

Composite bonding has many advantages:

  • It is a quick process, which typically lasts less than one hour.
  • It does not reduce the tooth's original structure and is relatively inexpensive.
  • Composite resins come in many different shades and provide better matching of shades to the natural color of your teeth.
  • Composite bonds, however, are not as durable and long-lasting as veneers and crowns and may need to be re-touched or replaced in the future.

Composite bonds stain more easily and therefore require proper care and regular cleaning. In order to ensure the longest possible duration of the bonding, composites should be brushed and flossed daily. Common staining elements include coffee, tea, tobacco, foods and candy.

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Digital Imaging

We are proud to utilize the latest technology available to ensure our patients enjoy the best results! We use high-resolution digital imaging to capture detailed images of your mouth, thus enabling us to maintain accurate records and keep you thoroughly informed of your treatment progress.

The digital radiography machine we use to take X-rays of your mouth releases up to 90% less radiation than traditional X-ray machines while providing crisp, clear images for more efficient diagnoses and treatment. We feel our modern practice and cutting-edge techniques ensure you are receiving the quality care you deserve!

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Implants | Porcelain Crowns | Porcelain Veneers | Extractions 
Tooth Whitening | Opalescence Whitening | Laser Cavity Detection
Root Canals | Bridges | Bonding 
 | Filling Restorations
Dental Hygiene &  Preventative Care