The Dentist Vs the Endodontist

An endodontist is a specialized surgeon who works specifically on performing root canal treatments. You might wonder why this is necessary. Isn’t your normal dentist more than qualified to perform a root canal? The answer is a resounding yes. In fact, the majority of root canals are done my regular dentists. So what sets an endodontist apart and why would you choose him or her?

Education and Experience
Both dentists and endodontists go to dental school, but endodontists stay an extra few years in order to receive specialized training and certification. Not only did they have more supervised training, they also perform more regularly. Dentists perform the major of root canals, but on average they perform only 2 a week. In contrast, there are so few endodontists that an endodontist will complete about 25 treatments a week. They are fast. They just do this one thing, but they do it well. When it comes to the best education and the best experience, this is a win-win combo for the endodontist.

Technology
Here is a situation where the specialty of a field comes in handy: there are fewer toys to buy. A dentist has so many different methods and machines, it is very hard for him to take the time and money to purchase a specific niche machine that he will rarely use. An endodontist, on the other hand, will have money to invest in very unique technology, as he will be using it constantly.

Flexibility
Again, because an endodontist only has one type of patient, chances are that their schedule will not be crammed full. You can have your choice of treatment days, along with speedy processing of emergencies.

The main idea is that you have the choice about who does the procedures. If the above are important factors, then you might want to go with an endodontist. If you, however, are more focused on feeling comfortable, staying with your dentist in an already-familiar office is a good move. In the long run, both a dentist and an endodontist are fully qualified to perform your root canal, so it just depends on your personal preference.

Preventive Dentistry: More Than Just Brushing and Flossing

Preventive dentistry is the systematic care of your teeth to keep them healthy. If you really apply the principles of preventive dentistry to your life, you will save yourself and your family a lot of time, pain, and money. You will be happier and more confident as your smile shines bright! But the problem is that most people think of preventive dentistry as including only brushing and flossing. It’s actually so much more, and if you aren’t practicing full preventive techniques, your teeth might be missing out.

Visit the Dentist Regularly
It is recommended that you visit the dentist at least twice a year. While sometimes you might be able to push it to only once a year, you should really visit your dentist as much as needed and as much as possible. And this should be started at a very early age. Preventive dentistry can start before baby even has her first teeth. Your child should have her first dentist appointment before the age of 1.

Fluoride
Although public water is contains fluoride now, you should make sure you’re getting enough fluoride via water, food, dental treatments, and toothpastes and mouth washes.

Take Advantage of Technology
New technological advancements have made dentists even better at detecting and preventing dental problems. New x-rays combined with digital imaging is a great way to view your mouth. While sealants are necessarily “technology,” they are definitely a resource from the dentist. Put a sealant on a back tooth and you just bought that person years of cavity-free back teeth that would otherwise be riddled with decay from the bacteria that hang out in the tooth crevices.

Mouth Devices and Braces
Whether you suffer from snoring, TMJ, bruxism, or just a really bad bite, using orthodontics and mouth guards to protect and reorganize your teeth are important. Having straight teeth actually limits future dental problems, whereas a bad bite can really put a damper of the activity.

Most preventive dentistry is stuff you are already doing. Keep on asking your dentist for more ideas as to how to make preventive dentistry more fun!

avoid these dental habits

Three Dental Habits That Can Ruin Your Smile

Your smile can be your biggest asset. Through proper oral care and regular dental checkups, you can keep a beautiful and complete smile for life. At Marshall Dental, we know how important it is for our patients in Fredericksburg to have an attractive smile. We help them achieve this goal not just by offering cosmetic dentistry procedures, but also by encouraging them to stay away from habits that can wreck their teeth. Here are three habits you need to break today.

Chewing on ice

Many people love to chew on ice. If you think that ice will not harm your teeth just because it is natural and does notavoid these dental habits have sugar, you’re wrong. Chewing on frozen ice cubes can cause your teeth to chip or crack. If you continue this habit, the soft tissue inside your teeth can get irritated leading to a toothache. So when you feel like chewing some ice, go for sugarless gum instead.

Making use of your teeth when opening stuff

Some of you use your teeth to open plastic packaging or bottles. Admit it. It can seem more convenient than having to find a pair of scissors or a bottle opener. However, this habit would instantly make any dentist cringe. Only use your teeth when eating.

Chewing on pencils

Some people chew their pencils mindlessly while they are studying or concentrating on one thing. This habit is similar to chewing ice and can lead to cracked or chipped teeth. Rather than chewing on pencils, chew a piece of sugarless gum instead. Doing so triggers the flow of saliva, which in turn makes your teeth stronger and protects teeth from acids that ruin tooth enamel.

For more information on how to maintain your great smile or how to improve it, call us today at 540-373-2273 to book an appointment with Dr. Marshall. We look forward to hearing from you!

Good Dental Habits Start at Home

As early as possible, it is best for children to learn proper oral habits and proper methods to take care of their teeth. It is the responsibility of parents to teach their kids proper dental hygiene and enlighten them on the importance of keeping the teeth healthy. Habits that are deep rooted from childhood are likely to become permanent, which is why it is important to teach your children about brushing and flossing at an early age.

Let’s talk about brushing

Brushing the teeth may seem like a simple task, yet it is vital in maintaining the cleanliness of the teeth and theoral hygiene entire mouth. For your child, choose a toothbrush that is small or child-sized and soft-bristled. The technique is to soak the brush in warm water for a couple of minutes before use. This can soften up the bristles a bit more.

Teach your child to brush his or her teeth two times a day: in the morning after breakfast or upon waking up, and in the evening just before going to bed. Brushing should be done for two minutes, making sure to include the back molars. Remember to replace your child’s toothbrush every three to four months.

Floss once a day

Flossing is not only for adults. In fact, flossing is recommended as early as when your child has two teeth that touch each other. To make it easier for you and your child, you can use floss picks or sticks.

Let your child know the importance of good oral hygiene and dental visits as early as possible. Share this wonderful experience with your little one by calling us at (540) 373-2273 to book an appointment with Dr. Marshall today.

Porcelain Veneers: How Will They Benefit Me?

Your smile is your most effective tool for charming people. Do you want to catch the eye of the attractive girl across the room or flirt with that cute boy at the party? Flash them a smile! However, misshapen or yellow teeth can seriously disfigure your smile. No one wants to kiss someone with gross or pointy teeth. But the good news is you can gain greater self-confidence—whether in dating or generally—by fixing your teeth through porcelain veneers.

Damaged teeth can be caused by almost anything. Usually yellow or decaying teeth are a sign that you have not takenporcelain veneers proper care of your oral health; that’s a huge turn-off socially. If you want to prevent yellowing, make sure you are brushing and flossing every day. However, there are other activities that can damage your teeth, too, such as grinding your teeth, chewing on objects, or hitting your teeth on something hard. Whether your teeth are yellow, chipped, or cracked, there are many treatments available to fix the appearance of your teeth.

Crowns and porcelain veneers are considered among the best treatments for restoring a person’s smile. Both crowns and veneers work on the same principle of covering the tooth, the difference in their coverage. The crowns cover the entire tooth while the veneers simply cover the front part of the teeth which becomes visible when one smiles.

At Marshall Dental, we provide you the best porcelain veneers to fix your cosmetic dental problems. Your new veneers will give you the desired results and drastically enhance your smile. Getting your veneers will require two different appointments. During the first, the first layer of tooth will be removed to prepare the teeth for the veneers. The dentist will also take an impression in order to create a mold for the veneers. During the second appointment, the veneer will be placed on the tooth. After the dentist checks for a proper fit, the veneers will be bonded to the tooth, giving you a new, permanent smile.

Having fractured or pale teeth can mar your smile. If you want to restore the whiteness or shape of your original smile, talk to your dentist about porcelain veneers.

More Good Reasons to Avoid Smoking from Your Dentist

Oral HealthIf you are a smoker, chances are very good that someone has told you quitting would be good for your health. Someone may have even told you that your teeth are being affected by your smoking. That is something a dentist or dental hygienist would say. Most people don’t really think about the effect smoking has on their mouth, tongue, throat, teeth, or gums, but the effects are real.

Your mouth is an important part of your overall physical health. Smoking stains the teeth and increases your risk of gum disease. It will be difficult to have dental implants in the future if your gums have been stricken with gum disease. In addition, while teeth that have been stained by coffee and tobacco can be whitened through a teeth whitening procedure, those that are discolored due to gum disease are less likely to respond to treatment. Smoking contributes to problems with sleep apnea and snoring, as well.

Some people are blessed with the ability to quit “cold turkey” or with no assistance whatsoever. Unfortunately, that is not the majority. Most people require both a length of time and plenty of assistance. There are cessation drugs available that can raise the quitting success rate from 7% to about 25%. Attending counseling sessions raises that rate even higher.

You may need a dentist to help resolve issues that have come up due to smoking. You should ask any questions you might have about smoking and your mouth. Your family dentist wants you and your whole family to be educated in the ways of proper dental hygiene.

Brighten Up Your Smile with Teeth Whitening

slider_mirrorFor most people, the smile is an important asset that brings up a person’s natural beauty. But even when you have a complete set of teeth and a beautiful smile, nothing is more of a turnoff than having yellowed or discolored teeth to ruin a good selfie. However, you have a choice: that is to put an end to this mayhem through a teeth whitening procedure.

Cause of Discolored or Stained Teeth

We may notice that when we were much younger, our deciduous, primary teeth were much whiter than adult teeth. It is a normal occurrence for the whiteness of the teeth to fade as we age. As a result, teeth become yellower, darker, or stained — especially when a patient frequently consumes particular staining substances.

Why Our Teeth Change Color Internally

There are a lot of factors that discolor the teeth. In the case of darkened teeth, the condition could be due to heredity, frequent intake of antibiotics, frequent ingestion of staining food, and the natural process of aging. The tooth becomes discolored when the enamel in the dental surface starts to erode, revealing the natural yellow color of the tooth’s dentin structure.

Causes of External Discoloration of the Teeth

External factors can affect the teeth’s degree of whiteness as well. Changes in the natural color of the teeth may be due to lifestyle habits, particularly the ingestion of tobacco and certain foods. In fact, smoking is one factor that can easily cause the teeth to turn yellow. Foods such as carrots, coffee, and tea can cause dental staining too.

Cosmetic Dentistry in Fredericksburg, VA

Show your friends and followers a dazzling smile by getting a teeth whitening treatment here at Marshall Dental. Call us today at (540) 373-2273 to request an appointment with Dr. Marshall. We look forward to meeting you!

When to Place Sedation in the Picture

shutterstock_96792142Some people cannot tolerate pain or discomfort as much as others do. Not all of us can withstand the sound of drills and whatnot during a trip to the dentist’s chair. For those of you who belong to this bunch, there’s a thing called sedation dentistry. This is where you don’t have to worry about all the horror that comes with your dental treatment.

Sedation could be a useful add-on if:

  • You are usually anxious during dental treatments and you want to relax throughout the whole thing. The “laughing gas” or nitrous oxide can provide you with this pleasant feeling.
  • You feel like your fear of dental procedures, especially those that include extractions or needles, can interfere with the entire treatment even when there is adequate pain control or an emphatic dentist to help you.
  • You want to have your teeth fixed as quickly as possible to adjust to your strict and busy schedule, especially if you have an important event coming up.
  • You have existing emotional issues that may hinder the success of the process and you feel that sedation can prevent that from happening.
  • You have had previous dental procedures that turned out bad since you found it difficult to tolerate such situations.
  • The procedure is invasive or complex that it requires a lot of time and effort from you.

Sedation dentistry in Fredericksburg can make your dental experience a wonderful one. To learn more about sedation dentistry, give us a call today at (540) 373-2273 to book an appointment with Dr. Marshall. We look forward to hearing from you!

Throw Away Your TMJ Woes

shutterstock_127623920The TMJ or the temporomandibular joint is a part of our body that connects the jawbone to the skull. However, the term TMJ is often referred to today as disorders that involve the jaw, jaw joint, and the surrounding muscles of the face used for moving the jaw. TMJ disorders can cause a great amount of pain and can hinder the joint’s proper functioning.

What causes TMJ disorders?

Although the exact cause of a TMJ disorder is still unknown, many dentists and experts believe that the symptoms are caused by a problem in the jaw muscles and on the joint parts themselves. It is also commonly caused by an injury to the jaw, the TMJ, or the head and neck muscles, such as during a whiplash. It can also be caused by:

  • Clenching or grinding the teeth too much, putting a lot of pressure on the joint
  • Presence of a condition called rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis in the TMJ
  • A dislocation in the disc or the soft cushion found between the ball and socket
  • Stress, causing one to tighten his facial and jaw muscles or to clench the teeth tightly

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

Watch out for the signs and symptoms that are associated with the disorder. It may include pain on the face, jaw area, or on the neck and shoulders. The pain can also be felt inside or around the ear during speaking or chewing. At times, the patient could find it difficult to open the mouth widely; the mouth even gets “locked” in a certain position.

TMJ/TMD Treatment in Fredericksburg, VA

Call us today at (540) 373-2273 or fill out this online form to have your TMJ problem checked and treated by our TMJ experts here at Marshall Dental. We look forward to hearing from you!

Fight Tooth Decay Before It Gets to You

slider_flossOur teeth’s structure can be easily destroyed by harmful substances especially when we are not keen in keeping their defenses up. By taking adequate preventive measures and developing good oral care habits, you can stay away from tooth decay. Here are some tips that can help you fight tooth decay and maintain good dental health.

  • Proper toothbrushing. A lot of people just brush their teeth for the heck of it, but this practice is really important that it needs to be done in a correct manner and at the right times. It is vital to brush before going to bed and after every meal, using an effective fluoride toothpaste.
  • Regular flossing. Toothbrushing alone does not completely get rid of the plaque and food debris that are lost and stuck somewhere in between your teeth. Flossing daily greatly helps in keeping your teeth free from any unwanted residents. Ask your dentist for the right dental floss to use.
  • Avoid snacking. Aside from eating well-balanced and nutritious meals every day, you also have to avoid snacking too much — especially if they contain carbohydrates and sweets like candy, chips, and pretzels. Not only do they provide little nutrition, they also tend to remain on the tooth’s surface.
  • Dental sealants. Dental sealants can help in protecting your teeth, especially the molars, from tooth decay. Ask your dentist if you are eligible for these dental treatments.
  • Regular dental visits. Visit your dentist every six months. Professional cleanings help in getting rid of accumulated plaque in the corners of your teeth.

For more information on how to maintain good oral health and stay away from tooth decay, call us today at (540) 373-2273 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Marshall and get advice from the expert.