The History Of Dentistry – Winchester, VA

The advances and technology of modern day dentistry are astounding. What’s even more astounding is how long dentistry has been practiced. Dentistry is actually one of the oldest medical professions to date. It dates back to 7,000 BC with the Indus Valley Civilization.  However, it wasn’t until 5,000 BC that descriptions and text about tooth decay were recorded.

In ancient Greece, the minds of Hippocrates and Aristotle actually wrote about dentistry. To be more specific they wrote about preventative measures against tooth decay. It wasn’t until 1530 that the first book entirely devoted to dentistry was written!

It wasn’t until the 1700’s that dentistry became a more defined profession. In 1723, Pierre Fauchard, who was a French surgeon and credited as being the “Father” of dentistry, published a book titled The Surgeon Dentist, a Treatise on Teeth. This book defined a comprehensive system for caring for teeth.

In 1840 the very first Dental College, Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, was opened. In the United States, Alabama led the way by enacting the first dental practice act in 1841, and nearly 20 years later, the American Dental Association (ADA) was formed. The first university-affiliated dental institution, the Harvard University Dental School, was founded in 1867.

Over the years, advances in dentistry took leaps and bounds. We are at the pinnacle now of dentistry, and these advances and practices can be seen at Cedar Creek Dental. Call us today at 540-486-5111.

What Are Dentures? Dentist Winchester, PA

Dentures are removable appliances that can replace lost and missing teeth and help to give you back a bright smile. If you have lost all of your natural teeth, whether from gum disease, injury or decay, replacing your missing teeth will benefit your appearance and health. This is because dentures help you speak and eat, thing that we take for granted.

Once all your teeth are lost, facial muscles begin to sag which gives you the appearance of someone older. Dentures will help to fill your face profile and appearance. They can be made to closely resemble your natural teeth so that your appearance does not change much. Dentures may even improve the look of your smile.

There are three different types of dentures:

  • Conventional: This full and removable denture is made and placed in your mouth once your remaining teeth and tissue have healed.
  • Immediate: A removeable denture that is inserted the same day that your teeth are removed. These are used so you don’t have to be without teeth as your mouth heals up.
  • Overdentures: Sometimes some of your teeth can be saved to preserve the jawbone and provide support for the dentures. An overdenture fits over a small number of remaining natural teeth.

Until you become accustomed to them, they may feel awkward at first. The dentures may feel loose while the muscles of your cheek and tongue learn to keep them in place. It is not unusual to experience minor irritation or soreness. You may find that saliva flow temporarily increases. As your mouth gets used to them, all these issues will go away.

If you have missing teeth or need teeth removed, dentures may be right for you. Call us today at 540-486-5111 to set up an appointment!

What Exactly Is Plaque? Winchester, VA

We’ve all heard of it, we have all experienced it, and we have all brushed it off; but what exactly IS dental plaque? Plaque is a soft and sticky film that builds up on your teeth, an it actually contains millions of little bacteria in it. This bacteria is bad news in plaque because it creates tooth decay and gum disease if not removed regularly.

Every time you eat, the bacteria in the plaque use sugars in your food to produce acids that eat away at the tooth’s enamel. Ongoing and repeated attacks will eventually cause the enamel to break down, resulting in a cavity if unchecked.

Plaque that is not removed daily by brushing and flossing can harden into tartar, making it more difficult to remove as it collects by the gum line. This can cause the gums to become inflamed and red, swollen, and even bleed. This is an early stage of gum disease.

Plaque is colorless and very difficult to see. Heavy plaque deposits can be easier to see and may look like thick white deposits or food that is stuck between your teeth. Since plaque is constantly growing in your mouth, the best way to remove it and prevent tartar build up is to brush and floss twice a day.

Even with good dental health practices, plaque and tartar can still build up so routine cleanings every six months are the best way to prevent it. Call us today at 540-486-5111 to set up an appointment for a routine cleaning to remove all that bad tartar and plaque!

What Causes Bad Breath? Winchester, VA

We’ve all experienced it, we’ve all hated it, but what is bad breath and what causes it? Oral malodor and halitosis, also known is bad breath, is very common and easily treatable condition that effects millions of Americans. It can be caused by something you’ve eaten, or more seriously it can signify a deeper oral health or serious medical conditions.

Of the many causes; below is a list of common causes and conditions that can lead to bad breath:

  • General Health: Most bad breath is caused by poor oral hygiene. If you don’t clean your mouth regularly and thoroughly, food particles can remain in your mouth and bacteria can create a buildup of plaque on your teeth. Poor oral hygiene also causes other oral health conditions such as cavities and gum disease which are also associated with bad breath.
  • Eating Flavorful Foods and Drinks: After eating very strong foods such as garlic, onion, certain vegetables and spices have odor causing chemicals that enter the blood stream and into the lungs where they effect the odor of your breath every time you exhale.
  • Coffee: Everyone loves a nice strong cup of coffee in the morning. Apart from the strong flavors that can cause bad breath, the caffeine in coffee also has an effect on you. Caffeine has the ability to reduce the production of saliva, which can cause an increase in the amount of bacteria in your mouth causing bad breath.
  • Alcohol: Similar to caffeine in coffee, drinking alcohol in excess can lead to a reduction in saliva which allows bacteria to flourish, causing once again bad breath.
  • High-Sugar Diets: A diet that is high in sugar can lead to bad breath due to how the sugar reacts with the existing bacteria in your mouth. The bacteria that naturally exist in your mouth feed on sugars turning sweet treats in to sour smells.
  • Low-Carb Diets: Carbohydrates serve crucial functions in our bodies, and if your diet is low enough in carbs, it can lead to bad breath. When the body doesn’t get enough carbs due to an extreme diet, this can cause changes to your body’s metabolism which can lead to bad breath.
  • Smoking: All tobacco products cause bad breath and can lead to severe oral health issues. Apart from making you smell like an ashtray, the smoke can severely damage your gums causing an increase in bacteria.
  • Digestive Problems: Poor digestion, constipation, or bowel disorders can all cause unfortunate odor on the breath. If you frequently experience acid reflux, the odors from recently consumed foods may easily make their way back up the esophagus and out the mouth.

Although most bad breath is caused by odor-causing bacteria, there are a number of other health conditions that may be contributing to the problem. Bad breath can be a warning sign that other diseases or illnesses are present. Postnasal drip, respiratory and tonsil infections, sinus problems, diabetes, liver and kidney issues, as well as certain blood disorders can all cause bad breath.

If you have bad breath, call us at 540-486-5111 to set up an appointment today to see how severe the issue is.

The Cedar Creek Dental Experience – Winchester VA

When you come to Cedar Creek Dental, located in beautiful Winchester Virginia, the very first thing you will notice is our personal touch. You by no means will you ever feel like a patient, but more like family. Every member of our team has more than experience, knowledge, or the latest training; they have passion. The passion to improve your dental health, the passion to educate you on dental health, and the passion to provide not just a “dental appointment”; but a memorable experience.

This couldn’t be truer than with our very own Dr. Alexis Mierwza. Dr. Alexis grew up just outside Buffalo in a city called Getzille, New York. Through schooling, she received her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the Niagara University, and later her Doctor of Dental Surgery from SUNY Buffalo School of Dental Medicine.

Following that, Dr. Alexis moved to sunny Los Angeles, CA where she did a General Practice Residency at MLK Hospital. She excelled so much, she was awarded the coveted Resident of the Year award. Following that, Dr. Alexis moved back to Buffalo where she practiced for four years before moving to Winchester in 2009. Her life long dream was to open her own practice, so she could better help others. So she opened Cedar Creek Dental after practicing as an associate in Winchester for six years.

Dr. Alexis not only believes in providing the best care available, but she has a pure passion to provide that to her patients. This is why she is committed to taking 100 hours of continuing education every year, which far exceeds requirements. But her passion doesn’t stop there!

Dr. Alexis also sees the importance of giving back to the community she loves so much. She regularly volunteers at the Winchester Free Medical Clinic as well as being a member of the Sacred Heart Church of Winchester.

The passion and care you will find at Cedar Creek Dental, simply can’t be found elsewhere. We encourage you to experience what sets us apart from the rest. Call us today at 540-486-5111 to set up an appointment, and come meet Dr. Alexis!

Use Your Insurance Before the End of The Year! Winchester, VA

The holiday seasons are here, and all of our calendars are sure to fill up fast!  Even though our time is limited during this short season, it may be worth your while to schedule dental appointments to give yourself the gift of oral health. It’s also a good idea to maximize your health insurance, just like the old “use it before you lose it!” saying.

Listed below are six (6) reasons as to why you should use your insurance before the years end:

  1. Save Money! Did you know that you could actually save hundreds of dollars by using your dental benefits before the end of the year? While some dental insurance plans run on a fiscal year, most run on a calendar year. Many dental insurance plans are just sitting there with benefits unused and go to waste as soon as the clock strikes midnight December 31!
  2. Get Treatment Before You Deductible Resets: The deductible is the amount of money that you must pay to your dentist out of pocket before your insurance company will pay for any services. This fee varies from one plan to another and could be higher if you choose an out-of-network dentist. However, the average deductible for a dental insurance plan is usually around $50 per year. Your deductible also starts again when your plan rolls over.
  3. Use up Annual Maximums: With dental insurance, the annual maximum is the limit on how much the dental insurance plan will pay for your dental work within one full year. This amount varies by insurance company, but the average is around $1,000 per year, per person. The yearly maximum usually renews every year (on January 1 if your plan is on a calendar year). If you have unused benefits, these will not rollover.
  4. Monthly Premiums: If you are paying your dental insurance premiums monthly, then you should be using your benefits. Even if you don’t need any dental treatment, you should always have your regular dental cleanings for preventative maintenance.
  5. Dental Problems Can Worsen! Addressing dental problems now rather than later can save you money as dental issues can worsen over time. A simple cavity now can turn into a root canal later.
  6. Use Up Your Existing FSA Contributions: Another good reason to take care of medical and dental work now is to spend any remaining balance in your flexible spending account (FSA). This is an account that you establish through your employer, and that you may have elected to have some of your pre-tax pay put into. If you don’t use all of your FSA contributions by the end of the year, you lose them.

So as the year comes to a close, make sure to take full advantage of your insurance! Call us today at 540-486-5111 to set up an appointment at Cedar Creek Dental.

Fluoride Varnish. Winchester, VA Dentist

Healthy teeth and gums are crucial for your child’s overall health. When your child’s first tooth comes in, you may want to consider fluoride varnish treatments in order to fight tooth decay early on. Fluoride is a common mineral, and when applied to teeth, actually helps to strengthen the enamel.

Fluoride treatments aren’t just for children either. Dental sensitivity is reported in 20 to 30 percent of adults with exposed dentin. This type of sensitivity is described as the short, exaggerated, painful response elicited when exposed dentin is subjected to certain thermal, mechanical, or chemical stimuli. Sensitivity is caused due to exposure of dentin gingival recession, abrasion, erosion, periodontal therapy, and/or defective restorations. A fluoride varnish creates a barrier and will help prevent sensitivity.

The “varnish” is painted directly onto the tooth. It has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for dentinal sensitivity, as well as for use as a cavity liner. Only a small amount is used, and hardly any fluoride is swallowed. It is quickly applied and hardens. Then it is brushed off after 4 to 12 hours.

Whether it’s for your child’s first teeth or sensitivity in your teeth, call our office today to set up an appointment for a fluoride varnish at 540-486-5111. The process only takes several minutes and the protection lasts for months.

What Are Dental Bridges? Winchester, VA

Dental bridges are quite literally exactly what they sound like, they bridge the gap created by one or more missing teeth. A bridge is made up of two or more crowns for the teeth that are on either side of the gap that needs to be spanned. These two or more teeth are called “abutment teeth”; abutment teeth serve as the anchors for the bridge. The bridge itself is called “pontics” and are made of porcelain and ceramic materials.

There are several benefits of bridges:

  • They can restore a smile;
  • They can restore the ability to chew and properly speak;
  • They can help maintain the shape of your face;
  • They can restore the distribution of your bite force;
  • They can prevent your remaining teeth from drifting out of place

There are also three different types of bridges that can be put in place:

  1. Traditional Bridges: This is where a crown is made for teeth on either side of the gap with the pontic in between. This is the most common type.
  2. Cantilever Bridges: This is when there are adjacent teeth on only one side of the missing tooth or teeth. This is not very common any more as excessive force can cause it to break.
  3. Maryland Bonded Bridges: are made of porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or plastic teeth and gums supported by a metal or porcelain framework.

At your first visit, the abutment teeth are prepared; this involves recontouring them by removing portions of enamel to allow room for a crown to be placed over them. Then, impressions of the teeth are made, which serves as a model from which the bridge and crowns will be made. You will have a temporary bridge installed to protect the exposed teeth and gums while the real bridge is made.

At the second visit, the temporary bridge is removed and the new, permanent one is checked and adjusted, as necessary, to achieve a proper fit. Once the fit is achieved, it will be permanently set in place.

If you have missing teeth that effect your speech, ability to properly chew, or ruins your smile; contact us today at 540-486-5111 to set up an appointment!

The Advantages of Flossing in Winchester, VA

A large majority of Americans simply do not floss; this may because we view it as long and tedious process that we don’t want to waste time on, or they simply do not understand how tremendously important it is. Regardless, it is important to remember why it is so important to begin doing daily.

When you opt to skip flossing, you are putting your health at risk for creating cavities between your teeth and Gingivitis. When you skip flossing, you are unable to remove the buildup of plaque that forms between your teeth.

This plaque has a tremendous amount of bacteria in it that has the power to erode the enamel of your tooth. Once this starts the tooth will begin to decay and cavities begin to form. Without attention, this could lead to other issues such as infection of the pulp (nerve) of the tooth in which a root canal would be needed.

This plaque that is between your teeth can irritate the gums with the hundreds of types of bacteria that live there. This causes your gums to become inflamed, swollen, and bleed easily. This creates an environment that bacteria can thrive in causing Gingivitis.

If left unchecked, Gingivitis can progress into what is called periodontal disease. This is the formation of bacteria that enters the bloodstream and can travel to your heart, as well as the respiratory tract causing serious complications. It has been linked to diabetes and other medical issues.

If you have noticed pain in your gums with swelling and bleeding, call us today at 540-486-5111 to set up a time for us to check it out.

Oral Cancer Screenings, Exams, And Diagnostic Radiographs in Winchester, VA.

Regular dental exams are recommended to identify dental disease promptly, and initiate treatment as soon as possible for the best possible outcome. This process includes an oral cancer screening, periodontal (gum) evaluation, and the use of diagnostic radiographs to identify dental disease. We usually recommend an exam at least every 6 months, but that may depend on your oral condition.

One of these processes includes an oral cancer screening. Oral cancer screening is an exam that is performed by Dr. Alexis to look for signs of cancer or precancerous conditions in your mouth.

The goal of oral cancer screening is to identify mouth cancer early, when there is a greater chance for a cure. Most dentists perform an examination of your mouth during a routine dental visit to screen for oral cancer. Some dentists may use additional tests to aid in identifying areas of abnormal cell growth in your mouth.

Following the cancer screening, you will have a periodontal evaluation. As plaque and calculus builds on the teeth, your body reacts to this by having inflamed gums.  If the plaque and calculus is not cleaned off regularly, or there are other health factors affecting someone’s inflammatory response, the body will continue to fight the calculus build up like dirt in an unwashed cut. This inflammatory response will ultimately lead to the gum and bone pulling back, giving bacteria deeper pockets to hold up in.

The final screening are radiographs. This is where a series of x-rays are taken of the mouth to see if any issues may be laying underneath. These issues can be bone loss to cancer. Often times, a disease can take hold and begin to spread even without any symptoms being present. This is why screenings are vital and incredibly important.

If you haven’t had a screening recently, call us today 540-486-5111 to set up a screening today!