Dear patients.

We are happy to say that we are now open and operating under our full schedule.

COVID-19 has been a very difficult time for all of us. Many of you have been forced to wait for dental care, and we deeply appreciate your understanding while we kept our office closed to help control the spread of the coronavirus.

Your health and well-being continue to be our highest priority, and we opened with carefully planned and revised office procedures to greatly minimize the risk of infection for our patients and our team members. Our own families are also patients here, so you can be assured that we’ll be taking care of you just as well as we’ll be taking care of them.

For your peace of mind, the measures we are taking to provide a safe dental treatment experience include, but are not limited to, the following:

Upon Your Arrival at the Office

●     Patients will be screened BEFORE treatment and temperatures will be checked. Any patients showing signs of a fever or other symptoms of illness will be asked to reschedule their appointment.

●     ONLY patients will be allowed entry into the office. Parents and other family members will be asked to wait outside whenever possible.

●     Patients are asked to wait in their cars or outside the office until their scheduled appointment time.

●     The waiting area chairs will be spaced apart to allow for 6 feet of distancing.

●     We will ask that you continue to practice social distancing measures in common areas of the office, including the front desk.

●     The front door and the door between the waiting area and operatories will be propped open all day.

●     There will be no physical contact with patients with the exception of treatment.

During Treatment

●     All rooms will be COMPLETELY sterilized before each patient is seated, and public areas, including restrooms, will be cleaned and sterilized frequently throughout the day.

●     All operatories have high-volume air filtration and we have installed a whole office purification system. This system will kill the Covid virus along with other contaminates

●     Our team will STRICTLY follow guidelines set forth by the CDC, OSHA, and ADA in regards to personal protective equipment (PPE) and office sterilization.

●     During patient care, goggles or face shields will be worn by everyone and changed between patients.

●     All surfaces that came in contact with the patient will be wiped with disinfectant including the patient chair.

Checking Out After Your Appointment

●    We will be requesting prepayments when we know the amount of payment which will expidite your visit 

●     All efforts will be made to complete scheduling in the back of the office so you can leave without stopping at the front desk

We are proceeding with an abundance of caution, but we want you to feel as confident as we do that any visit you make to our office will be a safe one.

We also realize that many of you have been impacted financially during this outbreak, and we have solutions to keep dental care affordable for you and your family.

To discuss these payment options, schedule an appointment, or ask us any questions you may have about your next visit, please don’t hesitate to contact us at 757-473-8482

We look forward to seeing you soon!

Dr. Parr, Dr. Frey and the Smile Center Team

illustration of decayed tooth

Cavities

Dental cavities are a common issue, which often go unnoticed until they begin to cause real damage to the tooth.

A cavity is a hole in the tooth caused by decay. In advanced stages, cavities can cause pain, sensitivity, or infection.

I’m worried about cavities. Are there any signs?

illustration of decayed tooth

Cavities Often Exist without Symptoms, Until They Become Serious

Toothache

A large cavity may be accompanied by tooth pain. Rather than a continuous ache, pain from a cavity is typically spontaneous and may occur without an apparent cause. Sometimes, biting down can cause pain.

Sensitivity to Cold, Hot, or Sweet Foods

Decay can spread from the enamel to the inner portion of the tooth, exposing the nerves. This can make you more sensitive to fluctuations in temperature and certain foods.

Staining on the Tooth Surface

Changes in the appearance of your tooth can also indicate an issue. Brown, black, or white staining on the surface of any tooth may signify a cavity. 

Your Diet and Brushing Habits Can Increase Your Risk for Cavities

Everyone is at risk for developing cavities. However, there are certain factors that can increase the chance of tooth decay, including:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Dry mouth
  • Frequent snacking throughout the day
  • A lack of fluoride
  • Heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Eating disorders

Cavities are also common in young children and teenagers because their teeth are still developing. Older adults are also at a higher risk, as normal wear and tear makes teeth more vulnerable to decay. 

So what actually causes cavities?

Bacteria Eats Away at Teeth and Causes Cavities

Plaque Forms

There are millions of bacteria in your mouth which thrive on sugary foods and drinks. When teeth are left unbrushed, bacteria can feed on leftover sugar, producing acid. The acid and bacteria then combine to form plaque.

Acid Erodes the Enamel

Plaque sticks to teeth and the acids within begin to wear away at the outer surface of teeth, called enamel. Over time, small openings begin to appear in the enamel, and these openings are the first stage of a cavity.

Decay Spreads

The longer plaque and bacteria are left on teeth, the larger the cavity can become. Decay can reach the deeper layers of the tooth, causing irritation, sensitivity, and pain. Extensive decay can eventually cause tooth loss.

"Even though they’re preventable, cavities are the most common chronic disease in children and adolescents. If you’re an adult, it doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods. 9 out of 10 adults over the age of 20 have had one or more cavities, according to the CDC." Mark Burhenne, DDS

Properly Caring for Your Teeth Can Prevent Cavities

Good Oral Hygiene

Brushing and flossing your teeth regularly is a great way to prevent cavities, especially if you use fluoride toothpaste. Routine visits to the dentist for cleanings and exams can also help prevent tooth decay.

Healthy Foods

Some foods and beverages are healthier for your teeth than others. Avoid sugary foods high in carbohydrates and focus on fresh, whole fruits and vegetables

Preventive Dental Treatments

Your dentist can provide fluoride treatments or dental sealants to protect your teeth against decay. Fluoride can help strengthen your enamel, while sealants cover chewing surfaces to reduce the risk of cavities.

Regular Dental Exams Can Reveal Even Small Cavities

Your dentist can usually detect areas of decay during a routine exam. They will examine your teeth and probe the surfaces with a dental instrument to look for soft spots. An x-ray can reveal cavities below the surface.

Attending regular, biannual dental exams can help your dentist identify signs of tooth decay early. Small cavities are easier to treat. When you leave a cavity untreated, it can continue to grow and cause more extensive damage to your smile.

The Size of Your Cavity Will Determine Treatment

Fluoride Treatments

In the early stages of a cavity, your dentist may be able to repair damaged tooth enamel and reverse the effects of erosion. Professional-strength fluoride treatments contain higher concentrations of fluoride and can encourage your tooth to remineralize.

Dental Fillings

The most common treatment for a dental cavity is a filling. Your dentist will remove the damaged tissue and renew the strength of your tooth with a dental filling, made from composite resin, porcelain, or amalgam. 

Dental Crowns

In some cases, your dentist may need to place a dental crown to restore a tooth affected by a large cavity. During this treatment, they will remove decayed tissue and shape your tooth to accommodate the crown. 

Root Canal Therapy

If decay has spread to the internal layers of your tooth, your dentist may need to perform root canal therapy to remove infected tissue and protect your tooth from otherwise necessary extraction. 

Schedule an Appointment with Your Dentist

While brushing and flossing at home can reduce your risk for cavities, visiting the dentist regularly is the best way to protect your smile. Schedule an appointment with your dentist for an exam and professional cleaning to keep your smile healthy.

The Smile Center

The Smile Center

The Smile Center in Virginia Beach has been providing high-quality dental care since 1988. We are proud to be affiliated with:

  • American Academy of Facial Esthetics
  • The American Orthodontic Society
  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry

For more information about our services, contact us online or call (757) 473-8482 today.

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Virginia Beach Office

200 Grayson Rd
Ste 100
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

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