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: September, 2015

By The Dental Spa
September 28, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: Sensitive Teeth  

If you have a tooth that hurts when you eat something cold or sweet, you may have sensitive teeth. So what's causing this issue, and what can be done to treat it?

What causes sensitivity?
Your teeth are covered by a hard outer layer of enamel, and they are covered by a similar protective layer under the gumline. Under thisTooth Sensitivity protective layer is a softer, more porous material called "dentin". Dentin is filled with microscopic tubes, as well as nerve endings.

If your teeth are sensitive, something has caused your teeth to lose enamel. This exposes the dentin, leaving the nerve endings vulnerable to heat, cold, or other painful stimuli.

How Cam I Find Out What Caused My Sensitivity?

Many conditions can cause the wearing down of enamel, resulting in sensitive teeth. To pinpoint the cause, please come into one of our Woodbridge, VA dental offices for an evaluation.

These are some of the conditions that can cause sensitivity:

  • Damage to teeth such as chips or cracks can expose the dentin.
  • Tooth decay can also result in enamel damage.
  • Gum disease can cause the gums to pull back, exposing the roots of the teeth.
  • Dental work like cleaning or crowns may temporarily perturb the dentin, leaving it sensitive.
  • Acidic foods can eat away at enamel, exposing dentin.
  • Buildup of plaque can lead to bacteria that attack your tooth enamel.
  • Clenching or grinding of teeth can wear down your tooth enamel.
  • Overly aggressive or frequent brushing can also damage tooth enamel.

What can a dentist do?
The dentists at The Dental Spa of Woodbridge, VA will first find the cause of your pain, then determine the best course of treatment. If a tooth is damaged or decayed, they can repair the tooth. If you have gum disease, they can perform cleanings and other treatments as necessary. If you're grinding your teeth, they can give you a night guard. Your dentists can also recommend special toothpaste, and give you advice on oral hygiene to help maintain your teeth in the best shape possible.

Tired of having to avoid cold ice cream or hot coffee? Let your Woodbridge dentists at The Dental Spa in Virginia restore your teeth. Call (703) 580-1443 or (703) 580-8288 today!

By The Dental Spa
September 21, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dentures  

You probably can’t remember a time without your teeth — and can’t imagine life without them. But now it’s a reality: one by one your teeth have become casualties in a long-standing war with dental disease until now they’re all lost.

Total tooth loss (edentulism) can be difficult in more ways than the loss of function — it can be psychologically traumatic as you must now transition from natural teeth to dentures or other restorations. To add to the stress, you probably won’t be able to obtain your permanent restoration immediately because the extraction sites must heal.

To help you with this transition and provide a means for you to have teeth during the healing period, we may fit you with an appliance known as an immediate denture. With these temporary teeth replacements, you can maintain your smile appearance, chew food and speak unimpaired.

Initially, immediate dentures should fit well, but over time your gums will tend to shrink as they heal. This can loosen the dentures’ fit and make them uncomfortable to wear. If the healing process is still ongoing and you still need to wear the immediate dentures, they can be relined with more denture material to fine-tune the fit.

At some point, though, we must consider creating a new, permanent set of dentures. When your mouth is fully healed, we can make a more accurate impression that we can then use to construct your new set. There are also other options, such as using dental implants to support a denture or a fixed bridge. This option will only be possible, however, if you have sufficient bone available to fully support it, which we might also be able to augment with grafting.

Immediate dentures serve a worthwhile purpose, but only for a temporary period. We’ll be happy to discuss all your options with you to help you find the right permanent solution that fits both your mouth’s condition and your financial ability.

If you would like more information on transitioning to teeth replacement, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Immediate Dentures.”

By The Dental Spa
September 13, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures

Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!

If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.

If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?

As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.

And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!

If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?

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

Phone (703) 580-8288