Dr. Zachary Law, DDS
1337 Hardy Road | Vinton, VA 24179
Creating Healthy Smiles
& Happy Families

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

At the Vinton, VA dental office of Dr. Zachary Law, we strive to keep our patients educated and informed about the importance of proper oral health habits. We've found that patients who are well-informed and feel confident in their knowledge about their oral health have better outcomes, and we know that you want the best results possible from your dental care.

Your questions are important to us, and no question is ever too small. We are happy to answer your questions about our practice, the services we provide, your home-care routine, or dentistry in general. 

We will take the time to explain the benefits of our services to help you make appropriate decisions about your oral health care. For your convenience, we've listed a few of the questions we hear most often from our patients, but please don't hesitate to contact our office at (540) 342-4945 if your question isn't listed here or you would like more information. A helpful member of our team will be happy to help you get the answers you need.

We are here to help, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Deep Cleanings

As we all know, proper oral hygiene is essential if you want to keep your teeth healthy and your smile beautiful. Brushing and flossing twice a day is also one of the best ways to avoid developing gum disease.

At-home oral hygiene is important, but regular professional dental cleanings at our Vinton dental office are the key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Only a trained dental hygienist can remove all the plaque and tartar that routinely build up on your teeth.

There are several stages of gum disease, and deep cleanings are necessary when gum disease has advanced to a critical level. Only your hygienist can determine if you need a deep cleaning, but here are some symptoms you should look out for:

  • Bleeding gums when you brush and floss
  • Sensitive or inflamed gums
  • Receding gums
  • The sensation that your teeth are coming loose

We want to help you achieve the best possible oral health so that your teeth and gums stay in good condition for many years. An important part of achieving this goal is scheduling regular visits for dental cleanings. Please contact our Vinton dental office, and we will be happy to arrange a convenient appointment.

Gum disease is a major oral health problem that affects millions of people. It can progress rapidly, so it needs to be treated as quickly as possible to prevent significant damage to your teeth, gums, and general oral health.

During your regular dental cleaning at our Vinton dental office, our hygienist will examine your teeth to determine if gum disease is present. Once you are diagnosed, we need to use procedures other than regular cleaning to treat the disease.

During a procedure known as a deep cleaning, our hygienist will remove plaque and tartar from under the gumline. Root planing is another type of special cleaning that smoothes the root surfaces to promote healing. A deep cleaning treatment is the only way to remove tartar from this area.

Depending on the extent of periodontal infection, we may also prescribe antibiotics to supplement the effects the deep cleaning. In the case of early gum disease, periodic deep cleanings, combined with proper at-home oral hygiene will be sufficient to eliminate gum disease and restore your oral health.

Gum disease is reversible in its earliest stages, but it becomes more complicated to treat if the infection is not addressed as quickly as possible. We strongly advocate regular exams, cleanings, and other treatments to prevent gum disease from developing in the first place.

 Please contact our Vinton dental office, and we will be happy to arrange an appointment for your professional dental cleaning.

Dental Bridges

Dental bridges and crowns actually perform two very different jobs. A dental bridge involves several teeth and is used to fill the empty space left by a missing tooth. Dental crowns are used on one tooth for added strength and protection.

A dental bridge is a single unit made up of two different types of restorations. Since the main function of a bridge is to fill an empty space, it contains an artificial tooth. But this tooth cannot stand on its own – it needs to be attached to your natural teeth for support and to hold it in place.

So the second type of restoration we use in a bridge is dental crowns that are attached to the artificial tooth, and then secured to your teeth on either side. In this way, dental crowns and bridges work together to form a single, stable unit. A dental bridge solves the problem of your missing tooth and allows you to eat normally.

Now that you understand the design of a bridge, you know that it is only used if you have a missing tooth. On the other hand, dental crowns can be used to support the bridge, protect a damaged tooth, or even correct cosmetic flaws like chipped or stained teeth.

At our Vinton dental office, Dr. Law performs many dental restorations, including crowns and bridges. Please give us a call – we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have about dental bridges and crowns.

We do have options for replacing missing teeth such as dental bridges and dentures. The option we recommend will depend on your individual needs and desired results.

Dental bridges work very well when you need only one or two teeth replaced. A bridge is made up of an artificial tooth (known as a pontic) and dental crowns that secure the pontic to your natural teeth on either side.

Partial dentures are used when you have several teeth missing; full dentures are used when all your teeth are missing or have been extracted. Modern dentures are much more comfortable than those made in the past. The material does not irritate your mouth, and today’s dentures can be created to form a very snug fit, reducing the risk of slipping and sliding.

A missing tooth is unattractive and can lead to other serious oral health problems, so replacing missing teeth as soon as possible is very important. Over time, a missing tooth permits surrounding teeth to move into the empty space. The result is that the rest of your teeth begin to shift out of their proper position, causing your teeth to become misaligned, which can lead to pain, loose teeth, grinding, and even fractures.

A bridge is a type of dental restoration that is used to fill the space left by a missing tooth and to return your teeth to full function so you can speak and eat normally.

In most cases, we use a ‘fixed bridge’ that is permanently attached to adjacent teeth with dental crowns. This type of bridge is made up of an artificial tooth, or pontic, that is secured to a dental crown on either side. Dr. Law will prepare the adjacent teeth for the crowns, and then the whole unit will be cemented in place.

Dental bridges also provide a cosmetic solution, because they replace the missing tooth, greatly improving your appearance. But the bridge also serves the purpose of stabilizing surrounding teeth.

This is important because, without a placeholder for the missing tooth, nearby teeth will gradually shift and move into the empty space. This will create misalignment of your teeth, which can eventually lead to other problems like teeth grinding and premature wearing of your teeth.

It is always a good idea to replace a missing tooth as soon as possible to prevent these other problems from occurring. Please contact our Vinton dental office for more information about dental bridges.

Dental Crowns

In the majority of cases, a dental crown can be placed in just two visits. But it may be necessary for another follow-up visit to our Vinton dental office just to be sure the crown fits perfectly.

Once Dr. Law determines that a crown is the best solution for your needs, he will prepare your tooth as needed. Next, we take highly accurate impressions of your teeth. These will be used to create a mold that is then sent to our dental lab so that we can create a custom-fit, permanent crown. Before you leave our office, we will fit you with a temporary crown to protect your tooth while your new crown is made.

It usually takes about two weeks for a dental crown to be created, and once we receive the permanent restoration back from the lab, we will arrange another appointment. During this appointment, Dr. Law will carefully adjust the crown for proper fit and to make sure that your dental bite is in perfect alignment. Finally, the crown will be cemented in place using a strong and durable dental adhesive.

After you live with your new crown for a few days, you may feel that it is hitting too high or too low when you bite down. Simply return to our Vinton dental office, and Dr. Law will make any further adjustments necessary until your bite is perfect.

Dental crowns play an important part in restoring a tooth and making it completely functional. A tooth may become weakened for a number of reasons, and a dental crown is designed to strengthen and protect the tooth. At our Vinton dental office, we believe in preserving teeth whenever possible, and dental crowns allow us to do just that.

It’s important for all your teeth to function properly, because a damaged tooth can lead to problems like difficulty with speaking and chewing properly. If the tooth is not protected, the damage will become worse and the tooth may eventually be lost.

Many crowns used today are made of porcelain, which is a perfect material because it looks just like your natural teeth. Crowns made of porcelain are also very durable and, with proper care, can last for many years.

Dental crowns are often used to support dental bridges or strengthen a tooth after a root canal treatment. Because crowns completely cover your natural tooth, they can also be used to restore the appearance of your teeth if you have cosmetic problems like severe staining and chipped or broken teeth.

If you’re not sure a crown will solve your problem, please contact our Vinton dental office, and we’ll be happy to schedule an appointment so we can talk to you about your options.

Will people notice my new crown?

You don’t have to worry about people noticing a dental restoration like a crown. Dental materials and methods have changed significantly over the years, allowing us to create restorations that blend perfectly with your own teeth. At our Vinton dental office, we use only the most up-to-date materials available.

Dr. Law is an expert at placing dental restorations that look natural and beautiful. The materials we use to create dental crowns have very similar qualities to your own tooth enamel. They never have a flat appearance – they actually reflect light just like your teeth. This means that they are not obvious and look just like surrounding teeth.

After Dr. Law prepares your tooth for a dental crown, he takes very accurate impressions, which will be used to produce your permanent crown. After the finished crown comes back from our dental lab, Dr. Law will make any adjustments necessary to make sure that it sits perfectly on your teeth.

Dental crowns are a very important and effective restoration that returns your tooth to full function, allowing you to eat and chew normally. At our Vinton dental office, our goal is to provide results that meet and exceed your expectations. Please give us a call to schedule an appointment so Dr. Law can help you decide if a dental crown is the right solution for you.

Dental Exams & Cleanings

We suggest that you schedule dental cleanings twice a year. If you have a history of periodontal disease, our dental hygienist will most likely recommend more frequent cleanings.

During a dental cleaning, our hygienist will start by clearing away plaque and tartar that has built up on the surface of your teeth. It is important to get rid of this buildup because tartar left on your teeth will eventually harden, allowing the acids produced by bacteria to eat away at healthy dental enamel.

If these bacteria are not removed from your teeth and around your gum line, you can develop gum disease. Without proper treatment, gum disease can lead to serious oral health problems, including possible tooth loss.

It’s more important than ever to avoid gum disease because research has shown that there is a strong connection between the health of our mouth and our physical health. We have a much greater chance of eliminating the dangers of gum disease and associated problems with early detection and regular professional dental cleanings.

As part of every dental cleaning, our hygienist will carefully examine your teeth to look for signs of other problems that may be developing. When caught early, we can treat these concerns before they become serious and difficult to treat.
 

We recommend twice-yearly checkups because we want to try to stay a step ahead of any problems that may be developing with your teeth and gums. In many cases, decay can be present without you even being aware of it until you get a toothache. The sooner we find a cavity, the sooner we can remove decay and prevent it from spreading and causing pain and more damage to your tooth.

During the exam you will most likely see the dentist and hygienist. This allows us to do a thorough check of all aspects of your oral health, including teeth and gums. We will start with a visual check of your mouth, and note any changes that have occurred since your last exam. It’s important to take your overall health into account when updating your dental history. We will talk to you about changes to your physical health, including new medications you’re taking that may affect your oral health.

It may or may not be necessary for us to take x-rays during the checkup. This decision will be made based on your oral health history and changes noted during the exam.

Once the exam is complete, the dentist and hygienist will develop a treatment plan to address any problems that we find. If you have not had a professional dental cleaning, we will make an appointment for you and also schedule your next dental checkup.

We are a Delta Dental Premier Provider, and we participate in all 50 states. Here is a listing of the insurance plans we work with. If you don’t see yours listed here, please contact our office for more information.

AARP Delta

ACS Benefit Services

AFLAC

Aetna

Ameritas

Anthem

Assurant

BC/BS of Alabama

BC/BS of Illinois

BC/BS of North Carolina

Blue Care Dental Guardian

Cigna

Delta Individual Plans

Eastern Life

MetLife

Northeast Delta NEI Health Benefit Plan

Premier Access

Principal

Securian

Sun Life

Wellpoint

Bleeding gums are a sign that you may not be brushing and flossing properly and may also indicate that you already have some degree of periodontal disease. Your teeth bleed when you brush because the gum tissue around your teeth is inflamed and swollen and brushing irritates it. Brushing and flossing are the best ways to get mild gum disease under control, however, so we'll discuss ways to make this important health routine easier and more comfortable for you.

As you go through your day, bacteria build up on your teeth and around the gums and allow plaque to develop. Plaque is a sticky substance that coats the surface of your teeth. When you brush and floss, you can remove a certain amount of plaque, but even the most diligent at-home oral hygiene is unlikely to remove it all.

When plaque is allowed to remain on your teeth, bacteria can spread beneath your gums. This causes an infection to develop. It is important to catch this infection early because it can do serious damage to your teeth and may even result in tooth loss.

It's important to schedule regular professional cleanings with a dental hygienist. If your teeth are bleeding when you brush, we recommend that you make an appointment for a professional dental cleaning as soon as possible to prevent gum disease from spreading.

Fillings

More and more people are concerned about the use of amalgam (silver) fillings. There has been some debate recently about the safety of amalgam because it contains several metals, one of which is mercury. At our Vinton dental office, we understand your concerns, and we want to put your mind to rest about these claims.

The truth is that amalgam fillings have been used for over 100 years because they are very strong and long-lasting. Several major health organizations have determined that there is no danger associated with the mercury in amalgam fillings.

Silver fillings have been around for so long because they are very durable. This makes them a good choice for use in molars that have to withstand a lot of force as we chew and bite down. Because of their strength, amalgam fillings are also appropriate for filling teeth with large cavities.

At our Vinton dental office, Dr. Law uses only the safest, most effective materials available to protect your oral health. If you feel strongly about the use of amalgam fillings, we will explain why we believe they’re appropriate. But ultimately, it is your decision, and we can use composite material instead.

Please contact our office if you have questions about amalgam fillings.

Yes, we are pleased to offer tooth-colored fillings at our Vinton dental office. Also known as composite fillings, they are a versatile restorative treatment that can be used for many purposes.

One of the advantages of tooth-colored fillings is that they blend in perfectly with the tooth being filled. The composite material can be colored to match your natural teeth, and it can also be shaped to blend with the contours of your tooth. Once Dr. Law is finished, you will not be able to detect where the filling and tooth meet – it simply looks like a completely natural tooth.

Since tooth-colored fillings are so close in appearance to natural teeth, they can also be used for dental bonding. We can composites to cover a stained tooth, fill cracks and chips, or reshape an irregular tooth, by forming the material as needed, then bonding the composite securely to your tooth. Just like fillings, you will not be able to see where the repair was made.

Since tooth-colored composites have so many uses, you may wonder if they are appropriate for fixing your particular problem. Please remember that you are welcome to call our Vinton dental office if you have questions and would like to schedule a convenient appointment with Dr. Law.

We all want to present a smile to the world that looks beautiful and natural. Many dentists like Dr. Law use tooth-colored fillings – also referred to as composites - when appropriate, because they not only blend so perfectly with natural teeth, but they also react more like a natural tooth.

Years ago, we didn’t have a lot of choices when it came to material for dental fillings. Fortunately, advances in dentistry provide us with options that make it possible for us to choose specific materials that are good for your oral health and also enhance your appearance.

Composite material is a good aesthetic choice for filling teeth that are visible when you smile. Restoring teeth effectively depends on a strong, durable bond between your dental enamel and the filling material, making composite fillings a perfect choice for certain types of repairs. This characteristic also makes tooth-colored composites perfect for dental bonding to fix chipped, cracked, or severely stained teeth.

If you’re interested in learning more about tooth-colored fillings and how they can benefit you, please contact our Vinton dental office. We will be happy to make an appointment to discuss this versatile treatment as well as your other options for restoring your teeth.

We are a Delta Dental Premier Provider, and we participate in all 50 states. Here is a listing of the insurance plans we work with. If you don’t see yours listed here, please contact our office for more information.

AARP Delta

ACS Benefit Services

AFLAC

Aetna

Ameritas

Anthem

Assurant

BC/BS of Alabama

BC/BS of Illinois

BC/BS of North Carolina

Blue Care Dental Guardian

Cigna

Delta Individual Plans

Eastern Life

MetLife

Northeast Delta NEI Health Benefit Plan

Premier Access

Principal

Securian

Sun Life

Wellpoint

Kids' Dentistry

Yes, we see children of any age. Our whole team enjoys working with children and making sure that they get off to a positive start with their dental care. We know that kids are not “little adults” and that they need to be treated with gentle care and understanding.

We recommend that you schedule your child’s first visit to our office around the age of two or three, or when all their baby teeth have come in. We will do a visual exam at that time, but the main purpose of the first visit is to get your child used to being around our team and to experience being in our office environment.

As your child gets older, we recommend that you schedule regular appointments so that we can make sure their teeth are developing properly. Scheduling regular dental exams and cleanings also helps to get your child used to the idea that visiting the dentist is not something to be afraid of.

As parents, you should also feel confident knowing that your kids are getting the highest-quality care available. We will always discuss any recommended treatment with you and answer your questions so that you know exactly what to expect.
 

It is very important to preserve your child’s baby teeth whenever possible. This may come as a surprise since you know the teeth will eventually be lost anyway.

Of course, baby teeth help your child speak and chew properly, but they are also essential for the proper development of your child’s permanent teeth. If a cavity develops in a baby tooth, we need to fill it to keep it healthy until the tooth falls out naturally.

Think of baby teeth as placeholders that hold a space in the gum so that permanent teeth can develop properly. So, losing a baby tooth before it’s time can affect permanent teeth that are already growing in the gums.

When the tooth is gone, surrounding baby teeth will begin to drift into the empty space. You can imagine that when this occurs, the second teeth have nowhere to erupt properly. This can lead to misaligned or crowded teeth, and the potential for costly orthodontic treatment in the future.

The best approach is to make sure your child has a healthy diet and to schedule exams at our Vinton dental office as soon as your child has all their baby teeth. That way we can keep an eye on their development and detect problems while they’re still easy to fix.

Fluoride is essential for helping to protect your child’s teeth and keeping them healthy. While fluoride treatments alone are not enough to provide your child with complete protection from cavities, they are an important part of the service we provide at our dental office in Vinton.

Most of us get enough fluoride from public water supplies and the foods we eat. But sometimes the amounts available are not sufficient to protect your child’s teeth from decay. Only Dr. Law or one of our hygienists can determine if your child needs additional fluoride treatments.

It is very important to be proactive with your child’s oral health care. Baby teeth are critical for the development of healthy permanent teeth, and we need to do everything we can to protect them. If your child loses a tooth too early, it can affect the development of permanent teeth.

That is why we recommend regular dental visits, even when your child only has their baby teeth. After all, what better gift can you give your child than a head start on a lifetime of good oral health?

We’re here to help make sure that happens, and we look forward to working with your child. Dr. Law and our team are parents, too, and you can be sure we will keep your child feeling happy and secure during treatment. Please phone our dental office in Vinton to arrange a convenient appointment for your child.

We recommend that you bring your child’s first visit to our Vinton dental office occur by age three, or as soon as they have all their baby teeth.

It is critical to your child’s future oral health that we start them off with regular dental visits. We want your child to have a positive feeling about seeing the dentist, and the purpose of the first few visits is to allow your child get used to us and their new surroundings.

Once we’ve established a friendly relationship with your child, we will start to perform more in-depth exams. This lets us monitor the progress of their development and also helps us detect any small problems. The sooner we catch and correct these problems, the better your child’s chance of having healthy teeth.

We know that your child’s dental visits can be stressful as you worry about how they’re going to respond. You can rest assured that Dr. Law and our entire dental team are sensitive to your child’s unique needs. We will do everything possible to put you and your child both at ease during your visit.

If you would like to get your child started on the road to excellent oral health, please contact our Vinton dental office. We will be happy to help you schedule that all-important first visit.

We recommend scheduling your child’s first visit to our Vinton dental office as soon as their baby teeth start to erupt, on or before their first birthday. If this seems too soon to you, you should know that the reason is that we need to start their oral health care as soon as possible to avoid problems in the future.

Your children’s baby teeth may not seem very important since they will lose them eventually anyway. But it’s their first teeth act as placeholders for the child’s permanent teeth. It is essential to your child’s oral health that baby teeth are strong and healthy.

If your child does develop a cavity in a baby tooth, Dr. Law needs to fill it as soon as possible to prevent further decay and possible tooth loss. Losing a baby tooth prematurely can put your child’s future oral health at risk because the proper development of their permanent teeth depends on healthy baby teeth.

Dr. Law knows that your child needs specialized care, and will do everything necessary to put you and your child at ease. It’s important that your child learn to view dental visits as a positive event. We want your child to learn to enjoy dental visits so that they feel good about seeing the dentist and taking care of their teeth.

Please contact our Vinton dental office, and a member of our caring professional team will be happy to make an appointment for your child’s very important first visit!

When treating children at our dental office in Vinton, Dr. Law’s goal is to use every preventive treatment at his disposal to protect their teeth from decay. Dental sealants are one of the important services we offer that help us make sure that your child’s teeth start off healthy and stay that way.

A dental sealant is a thin coating of plastic that is applied to the chewing surfaces of your child’s teeth. Sealants are predominantly used on molars or teeth that have deep pits, grooves, and fissures (small cracks.) The sealant acts as a protective barrier from bacteria that can collect on your child’s teeth and cause cavities.

We need to be proactive with your child’s oral health from an early age. This is the best way to help them enjoy the benefit of strong, healthy teeth that last a lifetime. Our kids are truly lucky to have been born at a time when we can combine our wealth of knowledge with dental treatments that prevent serious oral health problems from developing in the future.

If you would like more information about the benefits of dental sealants or other preventive treatments, please contact our Vinton dental office to arrange a convenient appointment.

                                                                    

Root Canal Treatment

If you or a member of your family are having a dental emergency, we will be happy to get you in for an appointment the same day. Few things are worse than experiencing sudden severe dental pain and not being able to get immediate help. We will make a same-day appointment for you so that you can get the prompt relief you need to protect your oral health.

Experiencing severe toothache pain is usually a sign that a serious problem is developing. Seeking prompt attention from your dentist is important to prevent continued pain and the risk of further damage to the tooth.

If you are not sure whether the problem is an actual dental emergency or not, we’ve provided a list of some of the more common dental emergencies our patients experience. Please note that if you experience any trauma to your face, neck, or head, you should call 911 or visit your local emergency room immediately.

Common Dental Emergencies:

  • You have experienced dental trauma like an accident or damage to the tooth that has caused it to fracture or break.
  • An unexplained bump or pimple on your gums.
  • Severe tooth pain that includes sudden swelling.
  • Pain so severe that you can’t tell which tooth it’s coming from.
  • Dental trauma caused by an accident or sports injury.
  • You've lost or damaged a restoration such as a filling, dental crown, bridge, or veneer.

Our priority is to protect your oral health, and a dental emergency can often mean serious trouble is developing. Please don’t ever hesitate to contact our office if you are concerned or have any questions about discomfort you are experiencing.
 

We know that no one looks forward to having a root canal. In fact, root canals are unfortunately one of the most dreaded of all dental procedures.

This reputation is unwarranted, because techniques and instruments used for root canals today have improved significantly in recent years. In the hands of a competent dentist like Dr. Law, a root canal does not need to be any more stressful than having a tooth filled.

However, we do understand that this fact alone may not be enough to lessen your fears. In that case, we can offer effective sedation to help you stay comfortable during the procedure.

Nitrous oxide is a safe and mild sedation method that is very effective for reducing anxiety and creating a calm, relaxed feeling. It is also a great choice because it does not have any lingering after-effects. You will be able to return to your normal activities as soon as treatment is finished.

Oral sedation is helpful for those who have greater anxiety. When used in combination with nitrous oxide, we can provide a truly comfortable, stress-free experience.

If you would like to learn more about root canal treatment and they ways we can help you relax, please contact our Vinton dental office.

If severe decay or periodontal disease occurs deep within your tooth, a root canal is probably needed. This area within your tooth houses the nerves and pulp that keep your tooth alive.

If infection reaches this space in your tooth, a root canal is often the only way to preserve the tooth. Without root canal treatment, you face the risk of having the infection spread, and you may eventually need to have your tooth pulled.

Usually, the first indication of root canal infection is tenderness around the tooth and severe toothache pain that won’t go away. Most people have a negative reaction to the idea of a root canal, but if the infection is not removed, the pain will get worse and potentially result in loss of the tooth. The reason for root canal therapy is to eliminate the infection and the source of your pain.

Dr. Law has extensive experience in performing root canals, and he knows that many people get nervous when they think about having root canal treatment. Sedation options can work wonders in helping to keep you relaxed, and Dr. Law’s experience and training enables him to perform root canals that are comfortable, safe, and efficient.

Root canals have earned a very bad reputation, but most of that has to do with lack of understanding or disinformation. Knowing why you need a root canal and how the process works can go a long way toward putting you at ease about this important procedure.

The inner core of your tooth contains an area known as your root canal. This is the portion of the tooth that holds nerves, tissue, and other material. If periodontal infection or severe decay penetrates this space, you will need a root canal procedure.

We need to remove any infection and decay to provide relief and save your tooth from further damage. Without a root canal, you will face continued pain and potential loss of the tooth.

The procedure involves making a tiny hole in your tooth to access the root canal. Then, using special instruments, Dr. Law carefully removes any infected material. Once this is thoroughly cleared away, the tooth is filled and sealed. In most cases, we will need to further protect the tooth by placing a dental crown.

Root canals are an important dental treatment, and essential for saving a tooth damaged by decay or disease. Please contact our Vinton dental office if you would like more information about the root canal procedure.

Partial & Complete Dentures

Getting new dentures is a big event in your life! Whether, you’ve lived with the problem of missing teeth or older dentures that don’t fit properly, a new set of dentures can give you the confidence you need to smile and interact socially again.

But it does take some time to get used to the feeling of new dentures, particularly if you’ve never worn them before. Here are a few basic tips to help you adjust:

Speaking – Practice helps a lot! When you’re at home, try reading out loud to get used to the way your mouth and lips move when you speak. Talk to yourself, your partner, or even your dog!

Eating – It’s not uncommon to have difficulty eating when you first get dentures. Practice with soft foods and cutting your food into very small pieces.

Getting used to new dentures is different for everyone, and the most important thing to remember is to be patient with yourself! Dr. Law works with experienced technicians to create dentures that are comfortable and fit perfectly, so remember that adjusting to the fit and feel is just another step in the process.

If you ever have any questions about adjusting to your new dentures, please do not hesitate to contact our Vinton dental office.

Dentures are certainly a big investment! You invested a lot to enjoy new teeth that help you eat, speak and smile with ease confidence, and we want you to keep them in good shape for many years.

The team at our Vinton dental office can give you some handy guidelines, but listed below are a few basic tips for caring for your dentures properly:

  • Brush Every Day: Your dentures need to be brushed and rinsed every day to remove food and plaque buildup. There are toothbrushes available that are specifically designed for dentures. These brushes remove stains, but are gentle on your dentures and won’t cause damage or excess wear. Brush your dentures twice a day, and remember to rinse them after every meal.
  • Use a Cleaner Made for Dentures:  Always use a gentle cleaner for your dentures. Any product that has the American Dental Association (ADA) seal of approval is a good choice.
  • Soak Overnight:  Whenever you remove your dentures, you should keep them moist so that they hold their shape and don’t dry out. At night, soak your dentures in warm (not hot) water. 
  • Handle Carefully:  When handling your dentures, hold them over a sink full of water, or cover your counter with a soft towel. Dropping your dentures on a hard surface can cause them to crack or break.

Taking care of your new dentures does not require a lot of effort, but it’s always better to take any extra steps you can to keep them in the best shape. If you still have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our Vinton dental office.

It’s very common for patients to be worried or concerned about the comfort of their new dentures. Many of us knew older people who constantly complained about pain and soreness while wearing their dentures.

If you have old dentures that were made many years ago, you may find that they have become worn-out over time. The reason is that our jaws change shape as we age, and dentures that once fit perfectly may now feel loose and cause irritation.

When your dentures no longer fit properly, it results in constant discomfort when speaking and chewing and can also lead to painful sores on your gums. Besides the discomfort, your old dentures probably look unattractive and detract from your appearance.

Fortunately, significant advances in dental technology and improvements in materials used have brought about amazing changes in techniques in the way dentures are made. Dentures today are made of acrylic material that is custom-made to fit your jaw perfectly. Unlike older dentures, today’s dentures form a snug fit that is actually comfortable and eliminates the constant worry about slippage.

We can create beautiful, natural-looking dentures that give you more freedom to eat all the foods you enjoy without embarrassment. Our dentures are created using state-of-the-art materials and technology, and you can be sure that they will last a long time.

Teeth Whitening

We offer both customized take-home kits and professional in-office teeth whitening treatment. Depending on your needs, it may also be appropriate to combine both methods. Which approach we choose depends a lot on your whitening goals and timeframe.

Professional teeth whitening at our Vinton dental office can provide results in just one office visit. But the advantage of a take-home kit is that you can control the amount of time you devote to whitening and the results you’d like to achieve.

Whitening at home with a professional kit is easy. First, we will spend a little time talking to you about your goals so that we can be sure a take-home kit will provide the results you’re looking for.

Once we decide that this type of whitening will work best for you, we will take impressions of your teeth and create custom-made whitening trays. The advantage of professional take-home kits is that a custom whitening tray is designed to fit your teeth perfectly, permitting the whitening gel to cover all surfaces of your teeth evenly.

Your first step is to schedule a dental cleaning and exam at our Vinton dental office. Starting off with clean, healthy teeth can make a big difference in the results of your whitening treatment. Please give us a call, and we will be happy to arrange an appointment.

There are two basic types of teeth whitening. How they work depends on whether you use a professional take-home kit or choose a professional cleaning done right here in our Vinton dental office.

Professional Take-Home Whitening Kits – As the name implies, professional take-home whitening kits can be used at your pace in your own home. Simply place the prescribed whitening gel in the custom-made trays for the required time each day.

Take-home whitening kits supplied by your dentist provide whitening results far superior to those achieved using kits purchased at your local grocery store. The professional kit your dentist supplies contains bleaching gel with a higher concentration of whitening agent than that found in over-the-counter kits. A professional take-home whitening kit also includes a custom-made tray that ensures complete contact with all surfaces of your teeth for even and consistent results.

Normally the trays are worn for 15 or 20 minutes a day for about two weeks for best results. Your Vinton dentist will instruct you on the proper way to use the kit to achieve the desired results.

Professional Teeth Whitening – The main advantage of professional whitening done here at the office is that it can be done in one appointment in less than an hour. Your dentist applies a special gel to your gums to protect them from the whitening agent.

A special light is then used to "cure" the gel to achieve the best results. Professional teeth whitening can lighten your teeth by about six to eight shades. Results with home whitening are comparable, but take longer to achieve.

If your teeth have started to become dull and discolored over time, you are not alone! This is a question we hear a lot at our Vinton dental office. The short answer is that, as we age, it is natural for our teeth to lose the youthful brightness we used to enjoy.

This happens for a number of reasons. A lifetime of poor oral health care can definitely take its toll on the brightness of your smile. Brushing and flossing is not just important for your oral health, it also helps to keep your teeth looking clean and fresh.

Tobacco use is one of the worst things for your teeth (in addition to all its other dangers.) Prolonged use of tobacco over many years will cause your teeth to become stained and yellow.

The aging process affects a lot of things, and your teeth are no exception. Over time, your tooth enamel starts to become porous, developing microscopic holes that attract food debris, which can cause your teeth to look dull and discolored.

Certain food and drink like coffee, tea, red wine, cola drinks, and dark foods like berries can all seep into your dental enamel. The result is teeth with stains that are impossible to remove by brushing alone.

However, at our Vinton dental office we have teeth whitening options that can restore your beautiful smile. Please contact us for more information.

Tooth Extraction

First, you should know that we are very sensitive to your anxiety! You are probably already upset about the prospect of losing a tooth, which is compounded by the fear of the procedure itself.

Dr. Law and our entire professional team are very caring and compassionate with all our patients, and especially those undergoing a complex procedure like tooth extraction. Feeling anxious is completely normal, and we’ve helped many patients like you get through the procedure with a minimum of stress and discomfort.

Before we schedule your extraction, Dr. Law will sit down with you to discuss your concerns. This way, he can better understand your anxiety and plan your treatment accordingly.

At that time, he will also discuss types of sedation we offer so that he can choose the one that will be most effective for you. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and oral sedation are both effective methods, and we can often combine both for a totally stress-free experience.

Putting off tooth extraction because of fear and anxiety will only lead to worse problems with your oral health. Please contact our dental office in Vinton for more information about the ways we can help you get past your anxiety.

There are a number of reasons why it may be necessary to extract a tooth. In most cases, a tooth needs to be removed because decay has become so severe that extraction is the only option available to prevent you from experiencing acute pain.

It is our primary goal to preserve teeth whenever possible. Treatments like root canal therapy are one example of ways in which we can save a severely damaged tooth. When you have a root canal infection, you most likely experience a lot of pain. The only way to eliminate the pain and save the tooth is with a root canal.

But if you put off having a root canal, the pain will worsen as decay continues to work its way into the root and nerves of your tooth. When this happens, a root canal may no longer be an option, and extraction of the tooth may be the only way to eliminate your pain.

Other instances where tooth extraction is necessary are breaks or fractures in your tooth that extend beneath your gum line and wisdom teeth that have developed improperly and are causing crowding, which can lead to more serious oral health problems.

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