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

Socket Preservation

Socket preservation, also known as alveolar ridge preservation, is a common dental procedure designed to preserve the empty space left following an extraction. After a tooth has been removed, the bone that supported the tooth will eventually resorb, or deteriorate. In pronounced cases, this can lead to further tooth loss and visible changes in the cheeks and lips that result in a prematurely aged appearance. The empty space can also cause surrounding teeth to shift out of alignment. Shifting teeth compromise a balanced bite, which can result in the development of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, teeth grinding, and enamel erosion, fractures, or breakage. The main purposes of socket preservation are to minimize the potential for shifting teeth and to preserve the integrity of the bone tissue for future dental implant placement.

Who Should Undergo Socket Preservation?

Anyone who has a permanent tooth extracted should consider socket preservation. The procedure can preserve healthy bone density and quality, as well as proper dental occlusion. If the patient undergoes dental implant surgery in the future, prerequisite bone grafting will likely not be necessary. Patients who choose a traditional restoration can also benefit. Retaining proper bone mass in the jaw can ensure proper dental function and health, as well as a more youthful appearance.

tooth socket
Socket preservation can protect the health of your jaw and your entire smile following the extraction of a permanent tooth.

Techniques and Procedures

Several techniques and types of grafts can be used during the socket preservation procedure.  To begin, a dentist or specialist will administer local anesthesia. When the procedure is performed in conjunction with an extraction, the area will already be numbed. Once the socket is exposed and cleaned, a membrane will be inserted to isolate the treatment area. This will prevent surrounding tissue from adhering to the site and generating new gum tissue. The barrier also prevents bacteria from spreading to the area, which could cause infection. The membrane may be derived from animal sources, which is then used to make collagen, or it may be made of a synthetic material.

Socket preservation can prevent shifting teeth and further tooth loss, and preserve the integrity of the bone tissue for future dental implant placement. 

Following placement of the membrane, the dentist will insert a bone graft into the socket. There are many graft types, including:

  • Autograft: Bone from the patient’s own body
  • Xenograft: Bone from an animal source
  • Allograft: Donor bone
  • Alloplast: A synthetic material that resembles bone, such as tricalcium phosphate

Lastly, the graft is covered either directly by existing gum tissue, or with a resorbable membrane or protective material. Then the area is sutured closed.

bone grafting
Bone grafting can replace receded jawbone tissue in preparation for dental implants.

Aftercare and Preparing for Restoration

Immediately following tooth extraction and socket preservation, you should avoid brushing the surgical site for at least 24 hours. Cold packs can be applied to the cheek to minimize swelling in the area. You may be provided with prescription medication or advised to use over-the-counter anti-inflammatories to help manage any pain. Before leaving the office, you should receive detailed after-care instructions concerning foods to avoid and other tips.

Reducing the Risk of Dry Socket

After tooth extraction, a blood clot will form at the site which protects the nerve and promotes healing. If the clot becomes displaced by chewing, brushing, suction, or trauma of any kind, a dry socket can develop. To reduce the risk of dry socket, the patient should avoid smoking, drinking from a straw, drinking carbonated beverages, and swishing fluids around the mouth. Apart from a change in the appearance of the surgical site, dry socket can be accompanied by pain, bad breath, and an unpleasant taste in the mouth. If dry socket does occur, contact your dentist immediately.

Implant Placement

As the socket and jaw heal, new bone will regenerate and create a solid foundation for a dental implant. Generally, the dentist will allow at least four months for healing before placing a restoration. In rare instances, an implant may be placed at the same time the socket is preserved. Even a preserved socket will not last indefinitely. Without stimulation from dental roots or an implant, the bone will continue to atrophy. The dentist will usually place the restoration within 12 months of socket preservation for the best possible outcome. Once one or more implants have been placed, the area will typically need to heal for another four to six months before a permanent crown, bridge, or denture can be attached.

Protect and Restore Your Smile

Performed by a skilled dentist or oral surgeon, socket preservation is typically an effective procedure. Although your doctor will always try to save a natural tooth, in some cases, extraction is the best way to restore your oral health. Timely extraction, socket preservation, and implant placement can protect the health and appearance of your smile for years to come. 

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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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