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COVID-19 Updates

Patient safety is always our top priority at Fredericksburg Smile Center. Information regarding COVID-19 is changing daily and we are continually reassessing how our practice can best respond to these risks. 

To help you stay informed, patients can also access real-time information on COVID-19 from the Virginia Department of Health.

At this time, our practice is remaining open for emergency and critical dental care. If you need to schedule an emergency or critical care appointment or have general questions concerning your oral health, please contact us at 540-899-7791. To better serve all our patients, we now offer TeleDentistry video services available at this time. Please refer here.

TeleDentistry at Fredericksburg Smile Center

To help us connect and provide dental consultations for our patients from the safety of their own homes, we are happy to now provide TeleDentistry services. To learn more about these services and how to get started, please visit our TeleDentistry page.

Dental Implants Explained

If you are in need of replacement teeth and are looking for a safe way to get a healthy smile while also being able to confidently eat, laugh, and be active, you may want to consider dental implants

What Are Dental Implants

Dental implant surgery is a procedure that replaces tooth roots with metal, screw-like posts and replaces damaged or missing teeth that look and function much like real ones. Dental implants are those small screw-shaped artificial teeth roots that are able to integrate with your jaw bone so that they become a naturally strong base for crowns once they are inserted. 

In addition to the dental implant and crown, you will also have an abutment, which connects the crown to the dental implant. This helps ensure that dental implants and crowns continue to be the strongest option for replacement teeth. 

How Do Dental Implants Work

Those considering dental implants may wonder how they work. As mentioned above, dental implants are meant to help attach artificial teeth. To do so, the dental implants are surgically placed into one’s jaw bone so that they can support a crown and act as an artificial root.

Once the implant has been placed into the jaw bone and the gums have healed, a customized crown is placed onto the dental implant so that your tooth both looks and feels natural!

Why Dental Implants

People who choose to use dental implants do so because they want new teeth that look, function, and feel natural. Dental implants are also one of the sturdiest methods for supporting artificial teeth as the titanium in the implants fuse with one’s jaw bone, do not cause bone damage, and do not decay over time. In fact, they have been trusted and used by the dental industry for over 30 years now.

What Do Dental Implants Look Like

Dental implants consist of a screw-like cylinder that is made out of metal, such as titanium. However, since the dental implant acts as a root for crowns, the dental implant itself is not seen as the crown is what others will see. The crown looks like a real tooth, so no one will know the difference!

Types of Dental Implants

When patients choose to get dental implants, they are usually provided with four different dental implant type options. Those four are listed below.

  1. Endosteal/Endosseous Dental Implants
    This type of dental implants involves placing the implant into the jaw bone. It is often used as a substitute for dentures or a bridge.
  2. Subperiosteal Dental Implants
    A subperiosteal dental implant is also placed into the jaw bone, but the metal implant is left exposed to hold the restoration.

  3. Two-Stage Dental Implants
    This implant uses surgery to place the implant into the jaw bone and is left to heal for a time. Once healed, another minor surgery is required to expose the implant and attach the crown.

  4. Single-Stage Dental Implants
    This type of dental implant uses a lengthier implant so that the top stays exposed once placed into the jaw. Once healed, no surgery is then required to go back in and attach the crown.

Who Does Dental Implants

Dental implants are usually provided by dental health specialists, such as oral surgeons. If you are looking to get dental implants, it is worth checking around your local area for those who offer dental implant services. Most general dentists can place implants, as it is a standard of care for tooth replacement. Fredericksburg Smile Center’s Dr. Butterworth has had extensive training in implant dentistry.

Are Dental Implants Safe

While some may worry, dental implants are a well-known and reliable treatment for teeth replacement. Contemporary dental implants have been well-used throughout the dental community for over 30 years. The metal that they are typically made from, titanium, is biocompatible with human bodies. This procedure is also very popular as it has the highest level of comfort with the lowest level of risk for patients.

If you are interested in dental implants and want to learn more, please reach out to Fredericksburg Smile Center for more information.

Invisalign vs. Braces: What’s the Difference?

Invisalign or braces? That is one of the frequently asked questions among those who are looking for the best option to straighten their teeth or their children’s teeth. Many people want the option that best fits their individual situation to ensure their money will help deliver the best results. So, which is better? Braces or Invisalign? Let’s learn more about the differences!

Braces vs Invisalign: What You Need to Know

So, the overall goal for both braces and Invisalign is the same. They are designed to help straighten teeth, improve one’s smile, and better your overall oral health. Invisalign just happens to be a newer, less conspicuous way of achieving this goal.

How Do Braces Work?

Metal braces normally include metal brackets that are glued to your teeth and are connected by rubber bands and metal wires. These then help guide your teeth into a better position over time. 

How Does Invisalign Work?

Unlike braces, Invisalign uses trays made with BPA-free clear plastic that are designed to be worn overtop your teeth throughout the day and at night. Since these trays use plastic, they are nearly invisible when wearing them — hence the name, Invisalign! These trays gently move one’s teeth into the desired position. As your teeth move, you switch trays to continue that movement. 

Invisalign vs Braces: Which Is Better?

Now that you know how these two options generally work, you should make a few comparisons to see which of these best fits your situation. A few examples would be the Invisalign vs braces effectiveness, the cost, the speed of the option, or even wondering if Invisalign is faster than braces. Below we will get into more specific benefits of each.

Benefits of Braces

There are a number of benefits to braces that will depend on one’s personality. For instance, braces are unable to be removed so there are no temptations to leave them out so less self-discipline is needed. Braces can also tackle more complex oral issues, but they do take more time to achieve the desired results.

Benefits of Invisalign

With Invisalign, one major benefit is that they are removable and are clear. This makes it so patients are not embarrassed wearing these out in public and can easily remove them when they want to have a meal. There are no issues with getting food caught in the Invisalign trays since there are no wires. Also, with no wires, there is no discomfort from wires or brackets rubbing against the inside of your mouth. Lastly, Invisalign tends to reach results 2~3 times faster than traditional metal braces!

Which Should You Choose?

In the end, it will really depend on your specific situation. If you value ease, speed, and having the freedom to remove your trays, then Invisalign is for you. If hygiene is also important to you, then you may want to reconsider braces as they are harder to clean than Invisalign trays. Since every patient’s situation is different, it is always best to consult your oral health specialist when making a decision such as this. 

If you live in the Fredericksburg, VA area and are wondering, “Is there Invisalign near me?”, then reach out to us Fredericksburg Smile Center to set an appointment for a consultation.

All You Need to Know About Invisalign Attachments


Invisalign is a great option for teenagers, young adults, and older adults who want straighter teeth but want to get them in a discrete way. Many people who are beginning to research Invisalign have the impression that Invisalign consists of simple trays that you slip in and out of your mouth. While this is true, there is also a lesser-known aspect of Invisalign that people should keep in mind. This is the Invisalign attachment, which are small buttons placed on oddly shaped, angled, or sized teeth to help with alignment correction. 


Invisalign Attachment Types

There are a number of Invisalign attachment types. Attachments generally come as a triangular, square, or circular shape depending on the type and purpose of the attachment. These attachments are usually placed on the middle of the tooth and are tooth-colored to help keep them as invisible as possible. The type of attachment you receive will depend on if your goal is fixing a tooth extrusion, intrusion, or rotation.


What do Invisalign Attachments do?

Attachments are used as anchors for the Invisalign aligners so that your Invisalign fits better and works more effectively as you wear them. This will result in straighter teeth with a faster, smoother process.  

Not every person will require attachments, as it varies per person and per plan, but attachments do allow more people access to Invisalign. This is because attachments allow more tooth movements that would be impossible without them.


Invisalign Attachment Tips

As attachments are a lesser-known aspect of the Invisalign process, so to help you learn more about attachments below are a few tips to keep in mind about these attachments. 

  • The attachments are usually tiny.
  • Not every tooth requires an attachment. 
  • Depending on the location of the attachment, they can be more or less visible to others.
  • It is easy to add and remove attachments.
  • Oral cleanliness will be even more important when you have attachments. 


Invisalign Attachments Staining

If patients adhere to the rules surrounding Invisalign, they should not worry about attachment staining. However, those who continue to drink darker beverages, such as dark sodas, red wine, black teas, and coffee, may experience some staining. But not to worry, this staining can be removed by your hygienist at your routine cleaning appointments. 

To help prevent stains, anytime that one chooses to drink a darker beverage, using a straw should help prevent any stain. If the attachments become visibly stained, it is recommended to discuss this with your dentist to see if they have any solution to help whiten the stain. They are able to assist with this whitening. 


Want to Learn More?

If you want to learn more about Invisalign options in Fredericksburg, VA, contact us to schedule a consultation to see how Invisalign can help you.


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