Invisalign, Lumineers, Crowns, Bridges, & More - Great Falls, VA
From routine cleanings and fillings to a wide array of cosmetic procedures equipped to handle all your dental needs. To help you understand your options, we've included descriptions of some of our leading services on this page.
- Smile Design / Cosmetic Dentistry
- Tooth Whitening
- Tooth Colored Fillings
- Inlays / Onlays
- Children's Dentistry
- Root Canal Therapy
- TMJ Disorder Treatment
Smile Design / Cosmetic Dentistry
Common aesthetic dental procedures can be performed to correct misshaped, discolored, chipped or missing teeth. They also can be used to change the overall shape of teeth-from teeth that are too long or short, have gaps, or simply need to be reshaped. Teeth can become crooked, chipped, cracked, and even overlap as a result of many factors, including traumatic injury, bruxism (grinding) or even heredity. Cosmetic contouring and reshaping procedures can remedy, and in many cases, greatly improve these conditions.
Some of the more common procedures involve:
Whitening and bleaching
This is the procedure of making teeth whiter, and therefore more attractive. This involves having impressions taken from which laboratory fabricated custom vinyl trays are made. A carbamide peroxide gel is placed in these trays and the trays with gel are worn for about 3 hours, or overnight. The entire process takes 3-4 weeks of daily use. Three different strengths of gel may be used, however the higher the strength the greater the likelihood of reactions or tooth sensitivity. The tray method is recommended for badly stained teeth, such as tetracycline staining, and it may take several months of use to see significant color improvement. For maintenance of whitened teeth the trays should be used every several months.
Dental veneers are conservative, all-porcelain, metal-free restorations that protect and restore the front side of your teeth giving you a high degree of well-being, confidence, and beauty. Porcelain veneers are ideal for individuals who seek to repair cavities, cracks, wear, fractures, over-crowded conditions, unsightly teeth gaps, alteration and disharmony in tooth sizes, colors, forms, and more.
LUMINEERS™ by Cerinate® will give you stronger, more beautiful teeth – without the painful experience of having dental enamel removed. Like porcelain veneers, LUMINEERS™ are thin shells bonded onto the front of your teeth. Both strengthen teeth and conceal imperfections such as crooked, gapped or stained teeth. But LUMINEERS™ are significantly thinner – as thin as a contact lens, which means we don't have to remove any dental enamel to apply them. As a result, you will not experience any pain or sensitivity after the procedure. In fact, you don't even need anesthesia during the placement of LUMINEERS™, which are made over the course of two dentist visits, without the need for temporary teeth.
Despite being extremely thin, LUMINEERS™ are strong. They will not crack, chip, or become discolored with age. They can last as long as 20 years, and yet they can be safely removed anytime.
If you have crowded or shifted teeth, Invisalign may be for you. Invisalign is a way to straighten teeth using a series of invisible or undetectable aligners. An impression of your teeth is made. Using 3-D computer technology, Invisalign makes a series of customized aligners, according to Dr. Costa's instructions. Each set of aligners is worn for about two weeks, gradually moving your teeth millimeter by millimeter until the end result of straighter teeth is obtained. Invisalign does not use metal wires and brackets, so it is comfortable. Brushing and flossing are also easy because Invisalign is removable. Consult Dr. Shane Costa an Invisalign-trained doctor, if you are interested in Invisalign.
Click here to visit Invisalign's website
Tooth Colored Fillings
For years, silver fillings or amalgams were used to restore teeth that had sustained minimal decay or small fractures. Today, patients are electing tooth-colored fillings to improve esthetics, replace amalgam fillings that have failed, and to address their concerns about the mercury content of metal fillings. Advances in composite resins allow for tooth-colored fillings to serve the same purpose as the metal fillings and are virtually undetectable.
Inlays / Onlays
If the tooth's biting surface is damaged a dentist will often use an inlay or onlay. This is a more conservative treatment versus a crown. Inlays and onlays can be made of porcelain, gold, or composite resin. These pieces are bonded to the damaged area of the tooth. An inlay, which is similar to a filling, is used inside the cusp tips of the tooth; an onlay is a more substantial reconstruction, similar to the inlay but extending out over one or more of the cusps of the tooth. Traditionally, gold has been the material of choice for inlays and onlays. In recent years, however, porcelain has become increasingly popular due to its strength and color, which can potentially match the natural color of your teeth.
Crowns are full coverage restorations that are used to cover a tooth that is likely to break, or is too broken down to be restored with a filling. They are most commonly done after root canal treatment, or when a large filling wears out. The larger the hole made by a cavity that has to be treated, the more likely a crown will be needed. Even after a filling is put in a large cavity, a tooth is more likely to break. Keep in mind that the jaw muscles are the strongest in the human body. Teeth are subjected to tremendous pressures. Crowns ride over the weakened tooth, providing strength and protecting the tooth against breakage. A broken or cracked tooth is a far more serious matter and much more difficult to treat. Crowns prevent this, as well as making for a nice smile.
This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. It is formed to look like the missing tooth, and it takes its place in the mouth. The sides of a bridge use the two surrounding teeth for support, hence the name. A bridge replaces the missing tooth, both functionally and cosmetically. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to metal alloy, or all ceramic material. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and/or esthetics.
If you tend to hide your smile because of missing teeth, dental implants can help. Teeth lost due to injury, disease, or infection can make speaking and eating difficult. You may feel self-conscious and uncomfortable with your appearance. Dental implants are the most durable way of replacing missing teeth. An implant, essentially an artificial tooth root to which a new crown can be attached, can successfully replace a single tooth or all of your natural teeth. The dental implant procedure involves three phases. During the first phase, the titanium implant is placed into your jawbone. It then requires a period of healing, known as osseointegration, that lasts for several months. Finally, a new crown is attached to the implant, giving you a strong, natural-looking new tooth.
Dr. Costa treats patients from the age of 3. Through his extensive training and experience in private practice, Dr. Costa provides both preventative and therapeutic dental care for children and adolescents.
Both natural teeth and teeth with restorations survive best in an oral environment that is clean and where the intake of harmful foods is controlled. Our program is designed to help prevent new cavities, preserve teeth that have been restored and manage periodontal disease. At the initial visit oral hygiene instructions are reviewed and are reinforced at subsequent recall visits.
A sealant is a clear shaded plastic material that is applied to the chewing surfaces of the back teeth (premolars and molars), where decay occurs most often. This sealant acts as a barrier, protecting the decay-prone areas of the teeth from plaque and acid.
Root Canal Therapy
Root Canal Therapy is the removal of the pulp tissue from the tooth. The pulp tissue refers to the nerve and blood vessels of the tooth. Root Canal Therapy may be necessary to save your natural tooth if the pulp tissue is irreversibly damaged by bacteria associated with decay, very deep fillings, tooth fracture or trauma, or periodontal disease. Using the latest technology Dr. Costa is able to complete root canal treatment comfortably and in much less time than previously possible.
TMJ Disorder Treatment
People who grind their teeth can sometimes develop a serious problem with their jaw, which left untreated, can adversely affect the teeth, gums and bone structures of the mouth.
One of the most common jaw disorders is related to a problem with the temporomandibular joint, the joint that connects your lower jaw to your skull, and allows your upper and lower jaw to open and close and facilitates chewing and speaking.
People with temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) often have a clicking or popping sound when opening and closing their mouths. Such disorders are often accompanied by frequent headaches, neck aches, and in some cases, tooth sensitivity.
Some treatments for TMD include muscle relaxants, aspirin, biofeedback, or wearing a small plastic appliance in the mouth during sleep.
Minor cases of TMD involve discomfort or pain in the jaw muscles. More serious conditions involve improperly aligned joints or dislocated jaws. The most extreme form of TMD involves an arthritic condition of the jaw joint.