We have added additional time between appointments for thorough cleaning and sterilization, including replacing our PPE. We ask all patients to social distance and wear a mask in our waiting areas. All patients and staff are being pre-screened for COVID-19 upon arrival.

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Monday - Friday ( 7.50am - 5.00pm ) | We Accept Most Insurance plans.
Note: We do not accept Medicaid / Medicare plans.

Is Tooth Extraction Aftercare as Important as Tooth Care?  Here's What You Need to Know.

Many patients tend to avoid getting a tooth extraction and if it is necessary, we generally recommend saving the biological tooth. However, in some situations, the alternative may be dental extraction or tooth removal. Several potential causes for dental extraction exist, such as serious damage to the tooth, orthodontic treatment, some serious gum infection and irregular tooth growth.  All of these prompts the more important aspect of tooth removal, i.e. tooth extraction aftercare and its significance in curbing further damage or reoccurrence of tooth related issues. 

Tooth extraction aftercare and its importance 

Depending on a few variables, aftercare can differ slightly for an extracted tooth. These include which tooth the dentist has taken out as some teeth have deeper roots and take longer to recover than others. Most individuals find, however, that pain decreases after about 3 days. Maintaining the blood clot that occurs in the socket where the tooth used to be is one of the most significant aspects of aftercare. It is necessary for the healing process to take care of this blood clot and it helps avoid painful complications, such as dry sockets. 

First couple of days care 

Most of the tooth extraction care focuses on allowing a blood clot to form and caring for the mouth in general in the first couple of days after an extraction. 

Low level bleeding for up to 24 hours after extraction is perfectly common, as some experts note. Active bleeding after this stage, however, requires care. 

For the first 2 days of aftercare, here are a few additional tips: 

  • Get plenty of rest: wait for at least the first 24 hours after the extraction to rest.
  • Change the gauze as necessary: To allow the clot to form, it is vital to leave the first gauze in the mouth for at least a few hours. It is fine to adjust the gauze as much as appropriate after this.
  • Stop rinsing: Avoid rinsing, swishing or gargling anything in the mouth while the region is still coagulating, as tempting as it may be. Such acts can dislodge any clot that is forming and affect the time of healing.
  • Do not spit: spitting often causes pressure in the mouth, which can make the blood clot dislodge.
  • Avoid blowing the nose or sneezing: If we remove a tooth from the upper half of the mouth, blowing the nose or sneezing may create pressure in the head that may dislodge the blood clot that is forming.
  • Do not smoke: smoking produces the same pressure in your mouth as using a straw. Although it is best to stop smoking during the whole healing process it is important not to smoke during the first few days as the blood clot is formed.
  • Take pain relievers: over-the-counter pain relievers can help to reduce pain and inflammation.
  • Use cold compresses: placing an ice pack or a towel-wrapped bag of ice in the area for 10–20 minutes at a time can help to dull pain and reduce the swelling after tooth extraction.
  • Take medications that we recommend: we can order prescription medications for complex removals as it is highly recommended to complete the full treatment process. 

Days 3 to 10 

After the clot has developed, it is important to keep it safely in place and to take some additional precautions for oral hygiene to help avoid further problems. 

Aftercare tips between the third and the 10th day include: 

  • Salt rinse: When the clot is safely in place, gently rinse the mouth with a hot salt solution or a pinch of salt in warm water. This mixture helps destroy bacteria in the mouth that can avoid infection when the mouth heals.
  • Wash and floss as usual: brush and floss your teeth as usual, but be careful not to extract the tooth. The saline solution and any medicated mouthwash recommended by us should be sufficient to clean this area.
  • Eat soft food: During the healing process, people can eat soft foods that do not need a lot of chewing and are unlikely to be stuck in an empty socket which could bring back memories of the tooth extraction pain. Try sticking to soups, yoghurt, apple sauce and similar food. Stop hard bread, chips, and food containing seed. 

When to visit us? 

Depending on a number of factors such as the age of a person and if they smoke, the usual healing process can take up to 10 days. 

Signs that a dentist should be seen by an individual include: 

  • Pressure and swelling, which over time gets worse
  • Bleeding, which over time does not change
  • An elevated fever
  • Sickness or vomiting
  • Extreme discomfort that spreads to the ear
  • Drainage from a wound which smells or tastes foul 

Main reason for tooth extraction is to remove a problematic tooth entirely to avoid potential problems. Proper aftercare is important after a tooth extraction, as it helps to facilitate clotting and protect the extraction area during the tooth extraction healing process. Within 7 to 10 days, most simple extractions can heal. After a tooth extraction, anyone having deteriorating symptoms should visit us at the earliest or call us on (434) 799-0120!

TMJ Headache: Causes, Symptoms and Treatments

Headaches are one of the most common symptoms people have if they suffer from TMJ. These headaches may cause considerable pain, leading to decreased productivity and a lack of work time. Headaches can be hard to handle, and they can be caused by a variety of different factors. 

If it is a TMJ headache, we can help. But how do you know that the TMJ is the source of your headache? First let us understand what TMJ is.

Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome is a condition of the jaw muscles and nerves caused by damage or inflammation of the temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint is the bridge between the jawbone and the skull. Injured or swollen temporomandibular joints lead to pain with chewing, clicking, cracking and popping of the jaw; swelling on the sides of the face; nerve inflammation; headaches, including migraine headaches; tooth grinding (bruxism); eustachian tube dysfunction; and occasionally dislocation of the temporomandibular joint. Temporomandibular joint disorder is another name for temporomandibular joint syndrome

What causes TMJ and can it happen to anyone?

Health practitioners do not fully understand the causes of TMJ disorders. Multiple factors contribute to the tightness and dysfunction of the muscles that characterize this condition. It is not clear whether any of these factors contribute directly to TMJ syndrome, or whether they are the consequence of the condition. Causes can include:

  • Misalignment (malocclusion) or damage to the teeth or jaws;
  • Grinding of teeth (bruxism),
  • Weak postures,
  • Stress or agony,
  • Arthritis and other musculoskeletal inflammatory conditions,
  • Orthodontic braces,
  • Excessive gum chewing.

What are its symptoms? 

The key symptom of TMD is pain in the jaw joint. This joint is located just in front of the ear, and TMJ pain can include the face, eye, forehead, ear, or neck. Signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint dysfunction include:

Headaches observed immediately after jaw activities

One of the most important signs relating headaches to TMJ is the fact that severe jaw movement triggers headaches. This could involve chewing hard foods, opening your mouth wide, talking for a long time, and other movement and activities that bring your jaw muscles to the test.

This is not to suggest that only migraines are related to TMJ, but it seems that TMJ appears to exacerbate migraines than other forms of headaches.

Clenching the teeth before, during, or after headaches

One kind of jaw operation worth singling out is teeth grinding or bruxism. Bruxism is a parafunction – something you're doing with your jaw that you're not supposed to do – also associated with TMJ and TMJ-related headaches. Bruxism may occur during the day or night, so it may be responsible for your morning headaches.

You also have Jaw Pain, Click or Limited Movement

If you have jaw pain and headache that follows, this is an indication that you have a TMJ that can worsen your headaches. Jaw sounds like clicking or popping happen because the cushioning disc in the temporomandibular joint is out of place, but may move back into place – which creates the echo. Restricted movement of the jaw occurs when the disc does not fall back into position, but rather interferes with the motion of the jaw.

Other Symptoms include

  • Tinnitus (ringing in the ears), swelling of the ear, or pain in the ear
  • Dizzy spells or vertigo
  • Damaged tooth or wear
  • Color, elbow, or upper back pain
  • Tingling or numbness in your fingertips

How do you treat TMJ?

At Perfect Smiles Dental, depending on the cause of your TMJ and the severity of your symptoms, your TMJ treatment is always customized.

To relax your muscles and relieve symptoms, lifestyle changes may be enough. We can teach you how to stretch and massage your muscles, for instance, and help you identify movements or activities that make the problem worse, such as chewing gum.

We recognize that reducing daily stress is easier said than done, but for our patients who are so stressed that they constantly clench their teeth, it's an important part of treatment.

Your TMJ may need an oral appliance to be treated. As you sleep, you will wear the device like a mouth guard. If that's the cause of your TMJ pain, it prevents teeth grinding, but oral appliances are also used to reposition a misaligned jaw gently.

You may need to consider oral surgery to remove excess joint fluid or to repair a damaged or degenerated joint if all conservative treatments fail.

You do not need to continue to suffer from TMJ migraine or pain in the jaw or face. Call Perfect Smiles Dental on (434) 799-0120) today or book an online appointment so that we can find the care you need to relieve your pain.

What is a Root Canal Treatment & What are the Symptoms That You Need One?

 

A root canal is not the name of any remedy or a treatment, factually speaking, it is  just a portion of your tooth. It  is a hollow part of your  tooth that includes nerve tissues, blood vessels, and other cells, also known as the pulp. As you may be aware a tooth is made up of a crown and roots. The crown is largely above the gum, while the roots are below it. The roots are attached to the jawbone. The pulp is within the crown and the root, or the root canal. The pulp nourishes the tooth and moisturizes the surrounding material. The nerves in the pulp feel hot and cold temperatures as pain. 

Our root canal treatment is mostly a simple procedure to alleviate oral discomfort and preserve the teeth. Our patients generally require a root canal when the root of a tooth is inflamed or infected. During root canal treatment, our endodontist who specializes in such treatment carefully removes the pulp inside the tooth, cleans, disinfects and forms the root canals, and positions a filler to close the cavity.

Dental pulp inside the root canal may be contaminated due to untreated tooth decay, broken or chipped teeth, repetitive dental procedures, damaged crowns, or injuries caused by accidental fall. 

What are the signs of root canal damage?

Signs of damage include discomfort and irritation when eating hot or cold food and drinks, a sharp bite, and loosening of the tooth. If left untreated, the weakened dental pulp can fully kill the oral nerves resulting in swollen gums, pus oozing from the infected tooth, and tooth discoloration. 

What are the steps in the root canal procedure? 

Root canal procedure is administered in three stages, and it takes between one and three sessions to get rid of the problem completely. 

Cleaning the root canal 

As with any other treatment or procedure, cleaning the affected area takes the center stage, the dentist cleans everything inside the root canal.

The patient is first administered a local anesthesia, then our dentist makes a small opening on the surface of the tooth and extracts the diseased and dead pulp tissue with very small files.

Filling the root canal 

Using small files and irrigation solutions the dentist then cleans, forms and decontaminates the hollow area. The tooth is then filled with rubber-like material, using adhesive cement to fully seal the canals.

The tooth is dead following root canal surgery. The patient will no longer experience any discomfort in the tooth because the nerve tissue has been replaced and the infection has been eliminated.

Adding or filling a crown 

The tooth is going to be more delicate and fragile than it was before. A tooth without a pulp must be fed by the ligament that connects the tooth to the bone. This supply is sufficient, but the tooth can become more vulnerable in time, so a crown or filling is necessary to provide protection.

The patient does not chew or bite on the tooth until the crown or filling is complete. When the crown is in place or the filling is finished, the person may use the tooth as before.

These root canal treatment steps typically require just one appointment, but if there are curved canals, multi-channels, or broad infections, it can take one or two additional appointments.

Expedite Your Root Canal Recovery Post The Procedure

Manage the way you treat your mouth

Immediately after surgery, pay careful attention to your mouth and how it feels. There's some pain and swelling although it's evident. Wait until you're no longer numb before you want to eat something. You risk biting your tongue or injuring yourself if you do. Since swelling is normal after a root canal process, use an ice pack to minimize it.

Stop exercise for a few days 

Exercise is something that might be a part of your daily routine but, when you have just had surgery, even if it's a mouth surgery, you need to be patient. Take some time off for the first few days.

Get the rest that you need

Make an effort to get as much sleep as you can, so you'll experience a fast recovery and get back to feeling better again. If you can take a day or two off work after your root canal procedure, you would possibly experience a faster root canal surgery recovery.

Note if your Crown has issues

After the root canal is full, most people have put on the crown. Sometimes the crown is temporary, while a permanent crown is produced. See if you feel discomfort or annoyance when you eat or bite.

Prevention of The Root Canal

There are steps that you can take to help you stop the root canal:

  • Brush your teeth regularly and twice a day
  • Ensure to floss your teeth at least once a day
  • Wear a mouthguard if you indulge in sports activity
  • Visit your dentist at regular intervals.

If you have severe tooth pain or other signs, visit us at the earliest for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible.

Although the word "root canal" appears to cause fear in many people, the dental operation does not involve any special pain. Almost all people will feel better soon after treatment. So, call us on (434) 799-0120 or book an appointment today if you want more information on how a root canal is done.

How Does Professional Teeth Whitening Work?

An Overview from Perfect Smiles Dental, Danville, VA

With 2020 just around the corner, a brighter smile may be just the right gift to give yourself for the New Year. Professional teeth whitening from Perfect Smiles Dental isn’t a complicated process, but it does require expertise for best results. Our team has the knowledge and experience to complete the process in about 60 to 90 minutes for qualified patients.

Are You an Ideal Candidate for Professional Teeth Whitening?

We recommend professional teeth whitening to interested patients who have:

  • excellent oral health
  • their permanent teeth
  • stubborn or yellow-colored stains
  • no dental work on their front teeth such as fillings, crowns, or caps

If you have healthy teeth and gums, we’ll talk with you about our process.

The Standard Steps for In-Office Teeth Whitening

The team at Perfect Smiles Dental in Danville, VA, will adjust the teeth whitening process to fit each patient's individualized condition. In general, however, we follow these steps:

  • We record the current color of your teeth.
  • Our team polishes your teeth to remove surface plaque.
  • We insert gauze and retractors into your mouth to isolate your cheeks, lips, and tongue from the whitening solution.
  • We put an additional barrier along your gum line to protect it.
  • Our staff applies a whitening solution to the front of your teeth. This solution includes peroxide as the primary bleaching ingredient.
  • A curing light or laser shone on your teeth will activate the process.
  • We leave the solution on your teeth for 30 to 60 minutes.
  • If necessary, we may reapply the whitening liquid to reach the optimum whitening level (or maximum time).
  • We rinse your teeth and may apply fluoride to minimize tooth sensitivity.
  • We’ll take photos of the results to show the improvement in your smile.

Because your smile and the color and condition of the enamel on your teeth is unique, the results of in-office teeth whitening will vary, too. We’ll talk with you about what to expect for your smile and decide if further treatment makes sense.

If you have sensitive gums or a receding gum line, professional teeth whitening treatments may be too harsh for you. The whitening process doesn't work well with some tooth restorations and may not be useful if you have brown or grey stains. 

Fortunately, alternatives exist to professional bleaching that help us address most types of tooth discoloration.

Whitening Your Smile: Alternatives to Professional Bleaching

For patients with minor discoloration on their teeth, we recommend scheduling an appointment for professional cleaning, then using a whitening toothpaste between visits. You can also talk with our team about how to get a sparkling smile with over-the-counter teeth whitening kits.

If you’ve had restorative work on your front teeth and want a more brilliant smile, we’ll talk with you about whether veneers or bonding would be a solution.

  • Veneers are thin layers of material that fit onto the front surface of your teeth.
  • With bonding, we apply a small amount of resin to the surface of your teeth and seal it with light.

Remember, keeping your smile bright includes avoiding smoking or consuming large amounts of colored foods or drinks like:

  • coffee, tea, tomato juice, red wine, and dark grapes.

Are you ready to get the beautiful smile you deserve in 2020? Contact our office or call us at (434) 799-0120 to schedule your consultation.

How often should you go to the dentist?

Advice from Perfect Smiles Dental Danville, VA

Most of us know to schedule an annual physical with our doctor or an eye exam with an optometrist. But what about dental visits? Is visiting your Danville, VA dentist once each year enough, or should you go more often? The team at Perfect Smiles Dental compiled their recommendations for you and your family.

When to Schedule Dental Visits for Children

If you have children, we recommend following the American Academy of Pediatric Dentists’ guidelines. Plan a visit to your dentist after your child’s first tooth appears or by age 1. You'll learn how to care for your children's baby teeth and teach them how to brush as they get older. Your dentist will let you know how often to schedule checkups based on your child's needs. Most dentists encourage parents to schedule visits every six months to monitor your child's dental health and prevent any problems.

When to Visit a Dentist as an Adult

The frequency of visiting a dentist as an adult will reflect your dental condition, overall health, and insurance coverage. As with your children, your dentist will suggest a schedule of visits after reviewing your situation and needs. Those who are healthy with good dental practices may have a checkup once or twice annually, getting full benefits by following insurance guidelines. If, however, you are prone to tartar buildup on your teeth or struggle with cavities, we may suggest teeth cleaning and checkups more often.

Other circumstances that could require more frequent dental checks include:

  • pregnancy, since hormones can contribute to gingivitis, an inflammation of gums
  • smoking, because tobacco increases your risk of oral cancer and periodontitis, a gum disease
  • cancer treatment which has side effects like mouth infections and dryness
  • diabetes which increases your risk of fungal and gum diseases
  • heart disease, since maintaining dental health can reduce your risk of strokes or heart attacks
  • HIV because this auto-immune disease affects your ability to fight infections and tooth decay.

When to Call for Additional Dental Treatment

While regular checkups are essential for preventing dental problems and treating issues your dental team discovers, call for an appointment if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • you have any pain in a tooth or your gums that gets worse
  • you notice your gums have become inflamed (red), seem swollen, and bleed
  • you develop an abrasion or sore in your mouth that won’t heal
  • you have a tooth or teeth become sensitive to cold or hot foods and beverages
  • one of your earlier dental restorative treatments, like an implant, crown or dentures becomes troublesome
  • a filling falls out of one of your teeth
  • your mouth stays dry without relief
  • you notice a clicking noise or have pain when you move your jaw

Schedule Your Next Checkup with Perfect Smiles Dental in Danville, VA

The professionals at Perfect Smiles Dental provide more than expert dental cleanings. We also help maintain your overall health by including checks for gum disease, tooth decay, and oral cancer. We listen to your concerns for yourself and your family and partner with you to create positive, successful outcomes for your dental health.

Contact us online or call our office at (434) 799-0120 to schedule your appointment. We’ll welcome you with warm smiles and ensure you leave our office smiling just as broadly.

About US

Dentistry With A Gentle Touch

Preventive Dentistry

Cosmetic Dentistry

Restorative Dentistry

568 West Main Street Danville, VA 

 

We Accept Most Insurance plans, Note: We do not accept Medicaid / Medicare plans