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: November, 2016

By The Dental Spa
November 28, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Implants  

It's amazing how fast your self-confidence can drop after you lose a tooth. Fortunately, you don't have to live with a gap in your smile forever. Dr. Marv Thomas, your Lake Ridge and Woodbridge, VA dentist at The Dental Spa, explains how dental implants can help you.

Implants are forever

Unlike other tooth replacement options, your dental implant can last forever, as long as you practice good oral hygiene. The implant, which takes the place of tooth roots, actually becomes part of your jawbone during a process called osseointegration. Once the titanium implant bonds to your bone, it's just as strong and stable as your original tooth roots.

Unseen implants play an important role in supporting your new tooth

Since dental implants are placed in your jawbone, they aren't visible when you smile, but they play a pivotal role in supporting your new artificial tooth. It usually takes about three to six months for implants to bond to your jawbone. Once the process is finished, an artificial tooth adds the crowning touch. Although the artificial tooth will be the only structure visible in your mouth, your implant will be hard at work supporting the tooth and absorbing the intense forces generated by biting and chewing.

Dental implants offer more than just cosmetic benefits in Lake Ridge and Woodbridge

Dental implants don't just improve your appearance but also make it easier to bite and chew. You'll be able to eat anything you want without a problem and will no longer have to clean out pieces of food debris from the gap in your smile. You may have noticed that it's harder to pronounce words since you lost your tooth, particularly if you've lost multiple teeth. Implants restore your ability to speak easily and clearly.

One of the most beneficial aspects of implants is their ability to keep your jawbone strong by providing the stimulation the bone needs. Without that stimulation, your jawbone begins to weaken. Once your jawbone starts to shrink, facial sagging and tooth loss can eventually occur.

Would you like to improve your smile with dental implants? Call Dr. Thomas, your Lake Ridge and Woodbridge, VA dentist at The Dental Spa, to schedule an appointment.


By The Dental Spa
November 15, 2016
Category: Oral Health
LifeIsSometimesaGrindforBrookeShields

Ever since childhood, when her career as a model and actress took off, Brooke Shields has enjoyed worldwide recognition — through advertisements for designer jeans, appearances on The Muppet Show, and starring roles in big-screen films. But not long ago, that familiar face was spotted in an unusual place: wearing a nasal anesthesia mask at the dentist's office. In fact, Shields posted the photo to her own Instagram account, with the caption “More dental surgery! I grind my teeth!” And judging by the number of comments the post received, she's far from alone.

In fact, researchers estimate that around one in ten adults have dental issues that stem from teeth grinding, which is also called bruxism. (Many children also grind their teeth, but it rarely causes serious problems, and is often outgrown.) About half of the people who are teeth grinders report problems like persistent headaches, jaw tenderness and sore teeth. Bruxism may also result in excessive tooth wear, and may damage dental work like crowns and bridges; in severe cases, loosened or fractured teeth have been reported.

Researchers have been studying teeth grinding for many years; their findings seem to indicate that it has no single cause. However, there are a number of factors that play a significant role in this condition. One is the anatomy of the jaw itself, and the effect of worn or misaligned teeth on the bite. Another factor relates to changes in brain activity that occur during the sleep cycle. In fact, nocturnal (nighttime) bruxism is now classified as a sleep-related movement disorder. Still other factors, such as the use of tobacco, alcohol and drugs, and a high level of stress or anxiety, can make an individual more likely to experience bruxism.

What can be done for people whose teeth grinding is causing problems? Since this condition may have many causes, a number of different treatments are available. Successful management of bruxism often begins by striving to eliminate the factors that may cause problems — for example, making lifestyle changes to improve your health, creating a soothing nighttime environment, and trying stress-reduction techniques; these may include anything from warm baths and soft music at bedtime, to meditation and mindfulness exercises.

Several dental treatments are also available, including a custom-made occlusal guard (night guard) that can keep your teeth from being damaged by grinding. In some cases, a bite adjustment may also be recommended: In this procedure, a small amount of enamel is removed from a tooth to change the way it contacts the opposite tooth, thereby lessening the biting force on it. More invasive techniques (such as surgery) are rarely needed.

A little tooth grinding once in a while can be a normal response to stress; in fact, becoming aware of the condition is often the first step to controlling it. But if you begin to notice issues that could stem from bruxism — or if the loud grinding sounds cause problems for your sleeping partner — it may be time to contact us or schedule an appointment. You can read more about bruxism in the Dear Doctor magazine article “Stress and Tooth Habits.”




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