General Treatment

Our practice can provide a wide range of dental services. Our emphasis is on total preventive care for our patients. Total care begins with your regular hygiene visits with thorough examinations, our monitoring your oral health indicators, and continues with consistent effective home care routines.

Our practice delivers uncompromising services to restore mouths that have been damaged by dental disease, injury, old fillings or substandard dental care.  Tooth shape, color, or spacing corrections can be addressed through cosmetic dentistry. Our primary goal for our patients is to achieve and maintain optimum oral health through advances in techniques, technologies, and materials and by consistently scheduling visits for dental examinations.

We provide many dental services, but if the problem is severe enough, we will refer you to another specialist. We can refer you to oral surgeons, periodontists, orthodontists, pediatric dentists and endodontists.

Routine Teeth Cleanings  |   Dental Exams  |  Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings |
Crowns & Bridges   |   Air Abrasion   |   Fluoride   |   Sealants   |   Bruxism Treatment   |   Mouthguards


Exceptional Teeth Cleanings

Every six months, you should have a thorough dental cleaning and examination. During this visit, one of our dental hygienists will remove plaque from your teeth, especially from places where your brush can’t reach, such as underneath the gum line and in-between teeth. We will then polish your teeth and can apply fluoride to help protect your teeth.

Application of fluoride is a relatively recent but important advancement in dental and oral health. Studies consistently show that a  consistent exposure to moderate concentrations of fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure, helping to prevent future decay.

If you are due for your dental cleaning, please call our office to schedule an appointment.

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Dental Exams

Your initial exam will last approximately one hour. Dr Muller, with his assistant or hygienist, will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums.  A detailed list will be made of current conditions; what appears to be good, and what does not.  An oral cancer screening will be performed.  Depending on your history, X-rays may be taken. If there are any signs of decay or other problems, Dr Muller will recommend treatment options and make notes of any conditions that warrant future observation. Oral hygiene instructions will also be provided along with suggestions to help you care for your teeth. 

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Tooth-Colored Composite Fillings

The concept of a “filling” means replacing and restoring your tooth structure that is damaged due to decay, fracture or substandard dental care.  We can safely remove old or broken-down amalgam/metal fillings that may contain traces of mercury.  In place of the old metal fillings, we can bond the white fillings (composites) to the tooth, transforming your teeth and smile to a more natural look and feel.  This is truly esthetic dentistry.

With today’s advanced materials and techniques, you no longer have to feel discomfort or be self-conscious about unsightly dark areas associated with the metal fillings of the past.  Eliminate the dark appearance in your teeth with new-age, state-of-the-art, tooth-colored resin composites or porcelain materials.

White (composite) Fillings versus Silver Amalgam Fillings:

  • White fillings bond to the tooth; they strengthen the tooth by restoring most of its original shape. Silver amalgam fillings, on the other hand, weaken the teeth and make them more susceptible to breaking. Broken teeth can be very expensive to replace; white fillings can actually save time and money in the long run.
  • White, or composite fillings are preferred by most patients. This is due to the natural color, strength and overall appearance and feel. Composites are invisible and naturally more comfortable.
  • Hot and cold sensitivity is greatly reduced with composite material compared to the silver/mercury amalgams.
  • Restorating a tooth with composite requires less removal of tooth and less drilling compared to the techniques used to place metal fillings.  Dramatically smaller holes are filled during treatment with composites. 
  • White fillings are considered by some to be healthier because no traces of mercury are used, unlike silver amalgams. White fillings do not expand and contract with temperature changes.  Metal fillings expand and contract enough to cause tooth pain when exposed to temperature extremes.  Metal fillings can actually crack the tooth due to expansion over time.

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Crowns and Bridges

Crowns

A crown is a permanent covering that fits over a tooth that is decayed, damaged, cracked, or has had a root canal. Crowns are made of a variety of different materials such as porcelain, gold, acrylic resin or a mix of these materials. Porcelain generally has the most natural appearance, and can be made to mimic the natural color and shape of the surrounding teeth.

The treatment for a patient receiving a crown involves:

  1. Numbing the tooth to remove the decay in or around it.
  2. Re-sculpturing the tooth to provide an ideal fit for the crown.
  3. Making an impression or mold of your teeth in order to create a custom-made crown.
  4. A temporary crown is made from acrylic resin and fitted onto the tooth at this first appointment and remains in place during the interim period (approx 2 weeks) while the permanent custom-made crown is being created.
  5. Applying the permanent crown (once received from the lab) by removing the temporary crown and fitting the permanent one onto the tooth.
  6. After ensuring that the crown has the proper color, form, fit and function, the dentist cements it into place.

This process generally consists of two visits over a two to three week period. Once the procedure is completed, proper dental hygiene, including daily brushing and flossing, is required to maintain healthy, bacteria-free teeth, gums and crowns. This helps in the prevention of gum infection and recurring decay.  Given proper care, your crowns can last a lifetime.

Bridges

A bridge is a restoration that fills a space that a tooth previously occupied. A bridge is needed to prevent:

  • Shifting of the teeth that can lead to bite problems (occlusion) and/or jaw problems (TMJ) and periodontal disease.
  • Bridges safeguard the integrity of existing teeth and help maintain a healthy, vibrant smile.

There are three main types of bridges, namely:

  • A fixed bridge is the most popular and consists of a filler tooth that is attached to two crowns, which fit over the teeth adjacent to the space to hold the bridge in place.
  • The “Maryland” bridge is commonly used to replace missing front teeth and consists of a filler that is attached to metal bands that are bonded to the adjacent teeth. These are rarely done.
  • The cantilever bridge is often used when there are teeth on only one side of the span. A typical three-unit cantilever bridge consists of two crowned teeth positioned next to each other on the same side of the missing tooth space. The filler tooth is then connected to the two crowned teeth, which extend into the missing tooth space or end.
BEFORE AFTER

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Air Abrasion

For many patients, anxiety associated with dental visits can be traced to injections or the drill used to treat tooth decay. If we find decay in the earliest stages, we can use the gentle process known as air abrasion, using a particle beam device to remove decay.  Through a 0.3 mm nozzle, a miniature beam of pressurized air and abrasive particles is directed precisely at the area to be treated.  This decay-removing process is pain-free. The dentist can control the air/powder mix as well as the intensity. There is generally no need for shots with this new technology. It's also free of the noise and vibration associated with the old drill.

After the decay is removed, the dentist places a very small white filling that is invisible! The process allows us to treat the decay immediately and restore your tooth before more damage can be done. Air abrasion technology can also be used to repair fractured teeth, old fillings, sealants or broken restorations.

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Fluoride

Fluoride is a relatively recent but important advance in dental and oral health. Studies consistently show that a moderate but consistent exposure of teeth to fluoride helps strengthen and rebuild tooth structure, and helps prevent future decay.  The important concept is this: Fluoride is most effective when it is (1) The right concentration, (2) Placed in the right spot(on clean teeth), and (3) left in place for the correct duration.

It is important to note, however, that like any medical treatment, fluoride should be used in moderation. Overexposure to fluoride can result in a cosmetic condition known as fluorosis: thin white lines, streaks or spots caused by fluorosis usually darken later. The risk of fluorosis is most pronounced in infants and children whose teeth have not yet fully developed and erupted from the gum line, which is why extra care must be taken to monitor how much fluoride a child ingests. Many, if not most, public water sources contain fluoridated water, and a common cause of fluorosis in children is powdered formula prepared that is prepared with fluoridated water. There are also many kinds of toothpaste, mouthwashes and even some flosses that contain fluoride.

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Sealants

The grooves and depressions that form the chewing surfaces of the back teeth are extremely difficult (if not impossible) to clean, and microscopic amounts of bacteria and food remain.  As the bacteria react with the food, acids form and break down the tooth enamel, causing cavities. Recent studies indicate that 88 percent of total cavities in American school children are caused this way.

Tooth sealants protect these susceptible areas by sealing the grooves and depressions, preventing bacteria and food particles from residing in these areas. Sealant material is a resin typically applied to the back teeth, molars and premolars and areas prone to cavities. Using our air abrasion technology has allowed our office to see sealants lasting up to 20 years.  We check their integrity during examinations.

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Bruxism Treatment

Teeth grinding or bruxism, is the habit of grinding, gnashing or clenching the teeth. Occasional teeth grinding may do no harm. However, severe teeth grinding that occurs on a daily basis, can lead to tooth fracture or loss. Other health complications as a result of severe and frequent teeth grinding include jaw disorders, such as TMJ, and headaches.

While some people unconsciously clench their teeth during the day, teeth grinding most often occurs during sleep. This means most people are unaware that they are grinding their teeth.

Signs and symptoms of teeth grinding include:

  • A dull headache
  • Sore jaw
  • Worn tooth enamel
  • Fractured, flattened or chipped teeth
  • Chronic facial pain
  • Tightness in the jaw muscles or jaw pain

Although doctors do not completely understand what causes teeth grinding, possible causes include stress, anxiety or the misalignment of the upper and lower teeth. Both children and adults can experience teeth grinding.

During follow up visits and examinations, Dr. Muller­­­­­­­­­­­­­ can check for the physical signs of teeth grinding. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms, call us.
If you notice that your child is grinding his/her teeth or is displaying any of the symptoms, please inform us at their next appointment. In most cases, no treatment may be necessary. Most children simply “outgrow” the condition, and many adults do not experience the severe teeth grinding that requires therapy.

If the problem becomes severe, we can fit you with a nightguard or splint to prevent further damage to your teeth. In some cases, correction of misaligned teeth is the answer.  Some grinding is so extreme that the clenching muscles get Botox injections to lower the biting force that a patient is experiencing.  If stress is to blame, you need to find a way to relax. (Easy to say, right?)

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Mouthguards

We are pleased to offer our patients custom-fabricated mouthguards for sports activities. Unlike stock mouthguards, which fit loosely because they are designed to accommodate many possible wearers, our sports mouthguards are tailored to fit your exact dental profile, providing a better fit and the highest attainable level of comfort and security in a mouthguard.

The first step in fabricating these mouthguards is to take an impression of your teeth, just like the orthodontist does for braces.   We then use that impression and fabricate the mouthguard using special professional-grade materials. The perfect fit of these custom-fabricated mouthguards ensures that not only will your mouthguard fit comfortably, it will also offer the most protection and will interfere the least with speech or breathing.

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3302 Old Bridge Rd., Suite F
Lake Ridge, VA 22192
Phone: 703.497.9709
Fax: 703.497.2715
lakeridgedentist@gmail.com

Office hours

Mon-Thu 7:00 AM to 3:00 PM.