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

Attractive smiling woman with gap between her front teeth

Gapped Teeth

While some gaps in your smile are a harmless cosmetic quirk, larger spaces can cause issues such as inefficient chewing.

If you are self-conscious about gapped teeth or need treatment to improve your oral health, your dentist can recommend a solution.

Do I need to worry about gaps?

Attractive smiling woman with gap between her front teeth

Gaps Are Common for Children and Usually Harmless, But Sometimes Require Treatment

Gaps between Baby Teeth

Known as diastema, gaps between teeth are especially common in kids. As children grow up, these spaces tend to close naturally when the adult teeth erupt.

Permanent Diastema

If gaps remain after all the adult teeth erupt, they become permanent and will require professional diastema treatment.

Gaps from Missing Teeth

Another common type of gap is caused when teeth fall out or require extraction. These types of gaps require prompt treatment to prevent serious side effects, such as shifting teeth.

Three types of gaps between teeth Three types of gaps between teeth

Different Types of Gaps Require Different Treatments

A gap left by an extracted tooth will involve a different treatment process – such as a dental bridge – than gaps caused by natural jaw development or childhood habits.

Genetics and Childhood Habits Can Increase the Chance of Diastema

Many of the factors which cause gaps and other types of misalignment are genetic, including the size of your teeth and jaw. Often, gapped teeth run in families.

Certain bad habits which are common in childhood can also lead to the development of gaps, including thumbsucking.

There Are Many Reasons You May Develop Gaps in Your Smile

Large Frenulum

A frenulum or frenum refers to the band of tissue under the top lip, underneath the tongue, and inside the cheeks. If the tissue is longer than normal, it can cause gaps between the front teeth, either in the top or bottom jaw.

Extra Teeth or Small Teeth

Smaller than average teeth or extra teeth that block others from coming in can leave gaps in your smile.

Large Jaws

In some cases, the jaw is relatively large compared to the size of the teeth.

Missing Teeth

You may have been born without certain teeth, which leaves a space behind in the jaw.

Diastema Are Very Common in Young Children

50% of kids ages 6-8 have gaps between their front teeth

However, this percentage decreases dramatically with age. Most childhood gaps will close on their own as permanent teeth erupt.

*According to a study by the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

Your Doctor Can Tell You If Your Gaps Need Treatment or Not

For many patients, gaps are simply a cosmetic concern but some diastema can affect your oral health. Leaving large gaps untreated can cause other teeth to shift or increase your risk of gum disease. It is important to ask your doctor about gaps in your smile.

During your appointment, the doctor will examine your smile to assess the health of your teeth and gums. They may also take an x-ray or another type of scan to examine the tooth roots and see if any teeth are trapped below the gums, causing gaps. Be ready to discuss your medical and dental history so your doctor can determine the cause of your diastema.

Dental x-ray

While Most Diastema Are Hereditary, Early Evaluation May Help Prevent Issues

Minimize Bad Habits in Childhood

If you are concerned about your child developing gaps, you can help their jaw develop properly by stopping thumb sucking and pacifier use at an appropriate age. Ask your doctor about the best time to wean children off of these habits.

Consult an Orthodontist Early

The American Association of Orthodontists (AAO) recommends all children see an orthodontist by the age of seven. This early evaluation can help identify potential problems and implement strategies to ensure teeth erupt properly.

Maintain Good Oral Health

Since issues such as periodontal disease can cause gaps to form between teeth, proper brushing and flossing can help prevent gaps from forming. You should also attend regular cleanings and exams to ensure your gums remain healthy.

Preventing Gaps Requires Early Intervention

"Not all diastemas can be treated the same... Timing is often important to achieve satisfactory results." Wen-Jeng Huang, DDS and Curtis J. Creath, DMD, MS

Orthodontic Treatment Is a Common Way to Correct Gaps

Braces and other orthodontic treatments, such as Invisalign®, are commonly used to fix diastema. Orthodontics can adjust teeth to close gaps and create a healthier, more comfortable bite.

Illustration of braces Illustration of braces

Contact a Doctor Today

If you feel self-conscious about gapped or missing teeth, you have many options to improve the health and appearance of your smile. Find out more about your next steps by contacting a doctor today.

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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