Dear patients.

We are happy to say that we are planning to reopen our office for patient treatment on Monday, May 4th. Initially we will be open from 8am til 2pm though we will expand those hours as needed.

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 are ONLY opening because we have carefully planned and revised our 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 will be 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

Amalgam Fillings

Dental fillings can repair teeth that have been compromised by mild to moderate tooth decay. For decades, amalgam has been used to strengthen and protect weakened teeth. Amalgam restorations are durable and long lasting, and they provide an affordable alternative to composite resin fillings. With proper care, amalgam fillings can last up to 15 years.

What Are Cavities?

Each tooth is made up of several layers: the enamel, dentin, and inner pulp chamber. Although enamel is the hardest tissue in the body, it is not invincible. Acid from plaque can erode enamel, and over time, small holes can develop. These are otherwise known as cavities.

Amalgam restorations are durable and long lasting, and they provide an affordable alternative to composite resin fillings.

Plaque is a combination of debris from food, bacteria, and saliva. Sugary foods and carbohydrates can encourage the growth of bacteria and cause more plaque to develop. As a result, it is important to maintain a healthy diet and a diligent oral hygiene regimen to reduce your risk of developing decay.

Types of Cavities

Types of Cavities
Cavities result from a buildup of plaque on the surface of the teeth.

Who Can Develop Cavities?

Chances are high that you will need a dental filling at least once in your lifetime. The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research has estimated that 92 percent of adults between the ages of 20 and 64 have at least one cavity. Over time, wear and tear can result in chips or cracks in the teeth, which can weaken their structural integrity and harbor bacteria. However, cavities can also affect children. Primary teeth are more susceptible to decay, as the enamel is softer than that of adult teeth.

Detecting Cavities

Early stages of tooth decay are difficult to detect with the unaided eye. However, x-rays enable your dentist to identify even the smallest areas of concern. Signs of more advanced tooth decay include:

  • Ongoing dental sensitivity or pain
  • Discomfort when consuming hot or cold items
  • Visible holes on the surface of teeth
  • Areas of discoloration

Treating cavities in a timely fashion can protect you from more serious oral health issues, such as tooth loss.

Amalgam Fillings: The Basics

Amalgam fillings have been around for over a century. They are comprised of a mixture of silver, tin, copper, and mercury. This metal alloy is highly durable and can withstand the constant bite force of chewing. Amalgam fillings are more affordable than composite resin material and typically offer longer-lasting results.  However, it is important to note that metal fillings are highly visible. As a result, dentists typically use amalgam on molars.

A Comparison

amalgam vs. composite
Amalgam fillings are more durable than composite material, but they are also more visible.

Keep in mind that fillings are appropriate in cases of mild to moderate dental decay. More extensive tooth decay may require an inlay or onlay or a dental crown. If decay has penetrated to the innermost portion of the tooth, you may require root canal therapy to restore the remaining structure.

The Treatment Process

During the examination, your dentist can use special dental tools to locate soft spots in the enamel. Your dentist may also request x-rays to identify early stages of decay. These images can also reveal the severity and extent of any decay that is present.

Typically, the procedure can be performed on the same day as a consultation. The doctor can begin by administering a local anesthetic to numb the teeth and surrounding tissues. The compromised tissue will then be removed and the tooth will be carefully reshaped to accommodate the amalgam material. The dentist can then fill the cavity with amalgam. Once complete, you may be asked to bite down to ensure the material does not disrupt your occlusion. If necessary, your dentist can trim and re-contour the material.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Amalgam

Affordability and longevity are perhaps two of the greatest advantages of amalgam fillings. In addition, they are easy to maintain and can withstand the constant pressure of biting and chewing.  While amalgam fillings offer many great benefits, there are a few risks and disadvantages to consider. Amalgam:

  • Does not blend with natural enamel
  • Can cause the tooth to appear darker or gray
  • Does not bond as tightly to the tooth as composite resin
  • Can expand and contract under drastic temperature changes
  • Requires more tooth preparation and a larger amount of enamel removal
  • Can cause health concerns for patients with metal allergies

If you have concerns about amalgam material, you may wish to speak with your dentist about tooth-colored fillings.

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Virginia Beach Office

200 Grayson Rd
Ste 100
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

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