Marv Thomas, DDS

Marv Thomas, DDS is a member of many dental assocations including the American Dental Association.

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The Dental Spa

12351 Dillingham Square
Woodbridge, VA 22192
(703) 580-8288

 

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Posts for: October, 2016

By The Dental Spa
October 23, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
JohnnysTeethArentRottenAnyMore

Everyone has to face the music at some time — even John Lydon, former lead singer of The Sex Pistols, arguably England’s best known punk rock band. The 59-year old musician was once better known by his stage name, Johnny Rotten — a brash reference to the visibly degraded state of his teeth. But in the decades since his band broke up, Lydon’s lifelong deficiency in dental hygiene had begun to cause him serious problems.

In recent years, Lydon has had several dental surgeries — including one to resolve two serious abscesses in his mouth, which left him with stitches in his gums and a temporary speech impediment. Photos show that he also had missing teeth, which, sources say, he opted to replace with dental implants.

For Lydon (and many others in the same situation) that’s likely to be an excellent choice. Dental implants are the gold standard for tooth replacement today, for some very good reasons. The most natural-looking of all tooth replacements, implants also have a higher success rate than any other method: over 95 percent. They can be used to replace one tooth, several teeth, or an entire arch (top or bottom row) of teeth. And with only routine care, they can last for the rest of your life.

Like natural teeth, dental implants get support from the bone in your jaw. The implant itself — a screw-like titanium post — is inserted into the jaw in a minor surgical operation. The lifelike, visible part of the tooth — the crown — is attached to the implant by a sturdy connector called an abutment. In time, the titanium metal of the implant actually becomes fused with the living bone tissue. This not only provides a solid anchorage for the prosthetic, but it also prevents bone loss at the site of the missing tooth — which is something neither bridgework nor dentures can do.

It’s true that implants may have a higher initial cost than other tooth replacement methods; in the long run, however, they may prove more economical. Over time, the cost of repeated dental treatments and periodic replacement of shorter-lived tooth restorations (not to mention lost time and discomfort) can easily exceed the expense of implants.

That’s a lesson John Lydon has learned. “A lot of ill health came from neglecting my teeth,” he told a newspaper reporter. “I felt sick all the time, and I decided to do something about it… I’ve had all kinds of abscesses, jaw surgery. It costs money and is very painful. So Johnny says: ‘Get your brush!’”

We couldn’t agree more. But if brushing isn’t enough, it may be time to consider dental implants. If you would like more information about dental implants, please call our office to schedule a consultation. You can read more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Dental Implants” and “Save a Tooth or Get an Implant?


By The Dental Spa
October 08, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: cleft lip  
CleftRepaircanRestoreaSmileChangeaLife

Oral and facial clefts are among the most common and heartbreaking of birth defects. Clefts make feeding or even breathing difficult and can affect speech development.

But there's one other profound effect: an “abnormal” face caused by a cleft can have devastating consequences for a person's self-image and social relationships.

About 1 in 700 U.S. babies are born with some type of visible gap or “cleft.” It can occur in their upper lip, soft and hard palate, nose or occasionally extending to the cheek or eye region. We typically classify clefts as “unilateral” (affecting only one side of the face) or “bilateral” (affecting both sides).  We're not completely sure on the root causes, but research so far has uncovered links with the mother's possible exposure to toxic substances, nutrient or vitamin deficiencies, or infections during fetal development.

Taking steps during pregnancy to minimize these exposures is certainly helpful. But what can be done for children born with a cleft?

A great deal, thanks to the development of surgical repair techniques over the last century. The surgical approach relies on the fact that the tissues required to repair the cleft already exist. They're simply distorted by the cleft break.

Even so, the road to restoration is a long and arduous one. Lip repairs usually take place at 3-6 months of age; palate (roof of the mouth) clefts are undertaken at 6-12 months. As the child's jaw and mouth structure develops, further surgeries may be needed to match earlier repairs with development.

Cleft repairs also require a team of specialists including a maxillofacial (oral) surgeon, orthodontist and general dentist. The latter plays an important role during the process, ensuring the child maintains good dental health through prevention and treatment of disease and dental work for at risk teeth.

The road to a normal life is difficult — but well worth it. A repaired cleft vastly improves a child's health and well-being. Moreover, it restores to them something the rest of us might take for granted — a normal face and smile.

If you would like more information on cleft defects and how to treat them, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


By The Dental Spa
October 06, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Braces   orthodontics  

Once you get your braces you obviously want to do whatever you possibly can to keep them free of damage. Since damaged braces will bracesprevent them from working, it’s important that you take proper precautions for the health of your smile and your braces. Our Woodbridge, VA dentist, Dr. Marv Thomas, is here to tell you it’s important that you know how to care for your braces if you want to maintain a healthy smile throughout your orthodontic treatment.

Your Oral Routine

If you’ve never really valued the importance of brushing and flossing, it’s time you did now that you have braces. Now it’s even more important that you care for your teeth and gums the right way to prevent decay or gum disease from affecting your smile. After all, with wires and brackets to try and maneuver around it’s now easier to miss plaque and food particles that are trapped between teeth.

As our Woodbridge general dentist has probably already mentioned, it’s important to brush your teeth at least twice a day but better to brush after every meal so food is less likely to be trapped between braces throughout the day.

Flossing is also crucial, as it’s the best way to remove plaque and food stuck between teeth. While flossing may seem nearly impossible with traditional braces, opt for threader floss, which is ideal for braces wearers who need to get around braces to clean in between teeth.

Your Diet

We will also provide you with a list of foods that you’ll want to stay away from throughout your dental treatment. Any foods that are hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy should be off limits. This includes things like gum, popcorn, pretzels or gummy bears. And if you are a nail biter or pen chewer, these habits are ones you will want to break before you break your braces.

Keeping Braces Damage-Free

Besides following the tips mentioned above, if you are playing a sport you may be worried about the safety of your braces. Fortunately, you’ll be happy to hear that you can continue to play sports throughout your orthodontic treatment but you have to take safety precautions. You should always wear a mouth guard to prevent damage during a game or even practice. A custom-made mouth guard from your dentist is often the best option for protecting your teeth.

The Dental Spa is happy to provide not only braces but also a comprehensive list of dental services to the Woodbridge, VA area. Whether you want to find out which braces are right for you or you have questions about the braces you have now, it’s never too late to turn to our dental professionals.




Questions or Comments?
We encourage you to contact us whenever you have an interest or concern about our services.

Phone (703) 580-8288