Burke, VA Dentist
Our team of dental professionals provides a full spectrum of treatment. No matter what your dental needs, Dr. Willis and his team at Burke Dental are able to help you and will be with you every step of the way, from your initial consultation to final restoration.
Our dental professionals work along with you as a team to maintain the highest level of health for your mouth. While your personal home care is the absolute most critical factor in your oral health, regular professional cleanings are an integral part of ensuring that your mouth is as healthy as possible. Even the most attentive and disciplined home care does not guarantee that all plaque and biofilm is removed. Burke Dental hygiene appointments are designed to remove the biofilm and debris that builds up between dental visits.
We start our appointments by reviewing your health history and making sure that you do not have any health issues or conditions that would compromise your safety during a dental appointment. In addition to cleaning your teeth, we examine your mouth for areas of decay and periodontal concerns (bone, gums and soft tissue around your teeth). We also take digital diagnostic images as needed. To provide you with a thorough assessment, Dr. Willis conducts an overall health assessment and cancer screening by examining your lymph nodes and an oral cancer screening by examining the soft tissue of your mouth. If, during either of those portions of the exam, we find anything out of the ordinary, we simply ask you to see the right sort of doctor for further investigation.
Through regularly-scheduled professional dental cleanings, you can help prevent cavities, gingivitis, and periodontal disease. Even patients with partial or full dentures should be examined on a regular basis to maintain optimal oral health. We at Burke Dental recommend dental cleanings and checkups at least twice a year, and many of our patients benefit from more frequent visits. We customize our recommendations based on the needs of each individual patient. Please call Burke Dental today at 703-978-6000 to schedule your next cleaning and checkup appointment.
We strive to perform all of our high-quality dental procedures in a safe and clean environment. We provide protective covering and use only digital diagnostic imaging, which has been shown to reduce radiation by as much as 90% compared to traditional x-rays. When areas of concern are discovered, we take the time to explain our findings, health risks associated with those findings, and treatment options available. After we have fully addressed any questions you may have, we are able to safely remove bacteria and other potentially toxic material and debris from your oral cavity and restore your healthy, beautiful smile.
Tooth whitening has become increasingly popular and is one of the most commonly sought-after dental treatments. Teeth become stained over time due to two major factors: diet and age. Dark foods and drinks can stain enamel. Drinks such as coffee, tea, cola, and red wine are responsible for the majority of staining. Also, as we age, our enamel gets thinner and more translucent, allowing more of the yellow color of underlying dentin to be visible. We can help you overcome this problem by providing you with customized whitening trays, fit specifically to your mouth. We will show you how to use the trays to deliver a whitening agent to your teeth. Most people will notice a change in shade within just a few applications. Our trays are reusable and can last several years, so if you want to whiten your teeth again in the future, we can simply provide you with additional whitening agent.
At Burke Dental, we have the expertise and technology to restore broken or decayed teeth to ideal integrity, morphology, function, and appearance. We use modern, resin-based composite material that blends with the color of your natural teeth. Composite restorations eliminate unsightly silver fillings and the stain they leave behind.
In order to restore a tooth, we remove any decayed portions along with the bacteria that caused the decay. Once we have ensured that only clean, healthy tooth structure is in your mouth, we place the composite material and shape it to follow the morphology of your natural tooth—or even make improvements to its natural morphology, as needed. Finally, we smooth and polish your restoration to a glassy finish. A properly-contoured, smooth tooth surface not only feels natural against your tongue, cheeks, and lips, but also guards against food, plaque, and bacteria building up on the tooth, thereby reducing the likelihood of future cavities.
A veneer is a thin layer of material designed to cover the front surface of a tooth to improve the appearance, size, shape, and function of the tooth. Veneers are typically made of either composite or porcelain, and can be as thin as a contact lens. In general, porcelain veneers are considered better able to resist staining and to more closely mimic the light-reflecting properties of natural teeth as compared to veneers made of composite material. Composite veneers, however, may be less invasive and require only one visit to the dentist, while porcelain veneers often require two visits.
Veneers are widely used to treat teeth that have been discolored as a result of root canal therapy, tetracycline staining, unsightly restorations (fillings), or other causes. They can also be used to correct excessive spacing between teeth or even teeth that are over-worn, chipped, misaligned, or misshaped.
If the structural integrity of one of your teeth is compromised due to infection, decay, or trauma, it must be restored to proper form. When the amount of healthy tooth structure remaining is insufficient to retain a filling, we may recommend a crown. Posterior teeth are intended to absorb the force from chewing and thus often require a crown after receiving root canal therapy, since the structural integrity may be inadequate without a crown.
A crown is a restoration that fits around a prepared tooth much like a cap fits on your head. The crown restores the tooth to full form, contour, and function. To begin the procedure, we remove all decay and compromised tooth structure. A crown gains much of its retention from the precise shape of the tooth structure over which it is placed. Thus, we prepare the tooth with a design that facilitates retention of the crown. In some cases, especially when a significant amount of natural tooth structure has been compromised, we will need to place a buildup material which will provide proper shape and contour to the prepared tooth.
Once the tooth is prepared, we will take an impression of the prepared tooth which will be used to build a model of your teeth. The model will be used to fabricate your crown in a dental laboratory. This process is customized and requires multiple steps, so it may take several days or even weeks to complete. As a result, on the day your tooth is prepared for the crown, we will place a temporary crown on the prepared tooth for the interim.
Crowns can be made of a variety of materials. As the name suggests, a full gold crown (FGC) is made of gold. You may prefer your crown to blend with the shade of your natural teeth. In that case, we may suggest a crown made with ceramic. Some crowns are a hybrid, being fabricated with porcelain on the outside of a metal core. This type of crown is called a porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crown or a metal ceramic crown (MCC).
The root canal is a hollow passage in the root (the portion of the tooth below the gums), through which nerves and blood vessels travel to an area at the center of the crown, called the pulp chamber. When a root canal or pulp chamber is compromised due to infection, decay, or trauma, the nerve becomes irritated. The soft tissue within the root canal and pulp chamber may become inflamed and tend to swell. Since the internal anatomy of a tooth offers little space for expansion during swelling, pressure builds up within the tooth and can lead to intense pain. Often the pressure forces the byproducts of the infection out the apex of the root and into the surrounding soft tissue and bone. This often causes an abscess in the bone around the root (called an apical abscess, or a periradicular abscess).
Root Canal Therapy (RCT) is a procedure in which a dentist cleans the infection out of the pulp chamber and root canal, and seals the canal to guard against recurrent infection. Many teeth have more than one canal. In fact, some teeth have 3, 4, 5, or even more canals which must be treated.
We begin the procedure by acquiring access to the pulp chamber, usually through the occlusal (biting) surface of the tooth. We then carefully remove all debris and soft tissue from the pulp chamber and root canal. When the root canal and pulp chamber have been fully cleaned and shaped, the canal is filled with Gutta Percha, a natural material derived from tropical trees and specifically designed to seal the root canal from the apex of the root to the opening into the pulp chamber. After the root canal is filled, we fill the chamber with another material, usually a resin-based composite. To protect the tooth from fracture, it may be necessary to restore the tooth with a crown.
Replacing Missing Teeth
Sometimes, despite our very best efforts, we are faced with losing a tooth. There are many reasons for replacing the missing tooth, including aesthetics, functionality, and the preservation of healthy bones and surrounding teeth. When teeth are missing or severely damaged, Burke Dental offers several tooth replacement options, comprising: Implants, Bridges, and Removable Devices (Dentures).
If you are missing a tooth or have a tooth that is non-restorable due to infection, decay, or trauma, we may recommend an implant for you. Strictly speaking, the term “implant” does not refer to the entire restoration but to the portion which is placed in your bone and which acts as a replacement root. The portion above your gums is an implant-supported crown. The success of an implant depends on several factors, including your type and quality of bone, your oral hygiene habits, and your overall health. Thus, we may recommend a pre-implant consultation to determine if you are a candidate for a dental implant.
The procedure begins by inserting the implant into your bone. Dental implants are usually made of titanium, which is extremely biocompatible. In fact, in the overwhelming majority of cases, the bone fully integrates with the implant, essentially making the implant part of your bone. This is a natural process and normally requires approximately three to four months. During this time, there will be a healing abutment covering the implant. The healing abutment is a thin, flat cover which is used to keep debris out of the implant and to ensure proper approximation of gum tissue.
After full integration between your bone and the implant, we remove the healing abutment and take an impression of the implant area. That impression will be used to build a model of your teeth. The model will be used to fabricate your crown in a dental laboratory. This process is customized and requires multiple steps, so it may take several days or even weeks to complete. We will place the healing abutment back in place for the interim. Once the crown is fabricated, we will remove the healing abutment and place the final implant-supported crown in place.
A bridge, or Fixed Partial Denture (FPD), is almost exactly what it sounds like: a bridge across the open space left when a tooth is removed. Essentially, the teeth immediately adjacent to the open space are prepared much as they would be for crowns, but instead of fabricating individual crowns, a single unit is fabricated and made to look like three individual teeth. As with crowns, a bridge may have an underlying metal framework, or may be made entirely of porcelain or gold. The teeth to which the bridge is anchored are called abutments and the portion of the bridge between the abutments is called the pontic. Abutments can be natural teeth, or can be implants. If implants are used, we call the restoration an “implant-supported bridge” or “implant-supported FPD”.
Once the teeth are prepared, we will take an impression of them which will be used to build a model of your teeth. The model will be used to fabricate your bridge in a dental laboratory. This process is customized and requires multiple steps, so it may take several days or even weeks to complete. As a result, on the day your teeth are prepared for the bridge, we will place a temporary bridge on them.
Once we position your final bridge, it remains in place all the time. It is important to remember that bacteria can attack teeth even if the teeth are covered by crowns or bridges, so proper homecare and regular checkups are critical to maintaining your restorations.
Removable Devices (Dentures)
While a restoration that is fixed in place is most widely preferred, in certain situations a patient may prefer a removable solution. We offer two types of removable devices: removable partial dentures and full dentures.
Removable Partial Dentures (RPDs)
A Removable Partial Denture (RPD) is one of the oldest methods for replacing missing teeth. RPDs are usually used when multiple teeth are missing and implants or bridges are either not options for technical or medical reasons, or not preferred by the patient. RPDs are customized to fit precisely around your existing teeth and over your gums where you have teeth missing. RPDs are made with a variety of materials, but usually with a metal frame and acrylic overlaying the frame. We carefully select the artificial teeth to be used on your RPD so they will blend well with your natural teeth. Since precision and comfort are absolute priorities when making RPDs, the entire process may take several visits.
Just as the name would imply, a full denture is a removable device which is used in situations when a patient is missing all teeth on an arch (either upper or lower). Most full dentures are made with artificial teeth mounted onto an acrylic base. We are very particular when selecting teeth, ensuring that your new dentures complement your facial features, including the shape of your face and fullness of your lips and cheeks. We believe dentures should be comfortable and that they should feel, look, and function as close to natural as possible. Full dentures have traditionally been supported by your natural soft tissue and bone structure. However, a more modern approach is to support full dentures with implants. Implant-supported dentures provide more stability and may even be designed to stay in your mouth at all times, day and night.
If you have questions about our services, or have reason to believe you need any of them, please contact our office today so we can schedule an appointment for you.