Dupont Dental - Your Washington DC Dentist

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Tooth Extraction dc

When Tooth Extraction is Necessary

Permanent, adult teeth are supposed to last a lifetime, but sometimes tooth extraction becomes necessary to maintain oral health. Thankfully, with today’s various tooth replacement options, losing a tooth doesn’t mean dealing with an uncomfortable space in your mouth. Dentists do their best to save teeth and protect your smile, but in some cases, tooth extraction is the safest and healthiest solution to a dental issue.

Reasons for tooth extractions

One of the most common reasons for tooth extraction is having a tooth that’s suffered too much damage from decay or trauma to be repairable. Additional reasons for having a tooth removed include:

  • Tooth pulp infection – When damage and decay reach the tooth’s center where the nerves and blood vessels lay, called the pulp, bacteria can invade the pulp and cause an infection. Root canal therapy may be able to treat the infection, but if it’s too severe, extraction can be required to prevent the infection from spreading.
  • Infection risk – Sometimes other health issues require that a potentially infected tooth undergo extraction to prevent further problems in a patient with a compromised immune system, such as someone undergoing chemotherapy.
  • Crowding – Sometimes orthodontia treatments require tooth extractions to eliminate overcrowding in the mouth. The purpose of orthodontia is to align a patient’s teeth properly, but when the teeth are too big for the mouth, extraction may be necessary.
  • Impacted tooth – When a tooth is impacted in the gum and hasn’t erupted because of lack of room in the mouth, the dentist may extract it to avoid damaging other teeth, infections, and crowding.
  • Gum disease – If a tooth or teeth have grown loose due to gum disease and the subsequent infection of the bones and tissue supporting the teeth, the dentist may extract the teeth to help restore oral health.

Tooth extraction procedure

The procedure for tooth extraction depends on the reason for removing the tooth or teeth. Before the extraction, the dentist administers a local anesthetic to numb the region, and if more than one tooth requires removal, the dentist may use a general anesthetic that prevents pain and sedates the patient. The dentist’s primary goal during an extraction is to make sure you remain comfortable and that the infected, impacted and damaged tooth receives safe complete removal.

Following tooth extraction

Recovery from tooth extraction usually takes a few days, and the dentist will send you home with instructions that helps reduce infection risk and discomfort while speeding recovery. If the dentist prescribes painkillers or antibiotics, make sure you take them as directed. Rest as necessary and avoid smoking, which can inhibit the healing process. The total healing time following tooth extraction can take about 1-2 weeks, during which time new gum tissue and bone will grow into the space left by the missing tooth. Without a replacement tooth option, surrounding teeth can shift into space, which is why dentists recommend a replacement such as a fixed bridge, denture or dental implant.

With today’s tooth replacement innovations, there’s no need to worry about your smile if a tooth extraction becomes necessary. If you’re suffering from a condition that requires extraction, contact Dupont Dental to discuss your treatment options and possible tooth replacement.

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Gum Disease

Treating Gum Disease with Deep Cleaning


Periodontal disease, commonly known as gum disease is any disease that affects the periodontal tissues that support and surround your teeth. Early detection and treatment of gum disease avoids the potential of more invasive surgery treatments if it progresses to later stages. Scaling and root planing, also called deep cleaning, is one of the most common non-invasive procedure for treating gum disease and can help you restore and protect your oral health.

The goal of deep cleaning

Your dentist performs a deep cleaning to remove the buildup of tartar and plaque that affect your teeth and other periodontal areas. Plaque is bacteria that has built up and attached itself to tooth surfaces, and as teeth don’t shed their surface as your skin does, this build up occurs constantly. Without removal, plaque hardens and becomes tartar, which is a cement-like buildup on your teeth that’s impossible for you to remove without professional dental help. Tartar and plaque are the biggest culprits in periodontal diseases including gingivitis and tooth decay.

Removing plaque and tartar

Scaling and root planing is an intensive cleaning performed by your dentist that removes plaque and tartar buildup on your teeth, following a deep cleaning. Scaling removes plaque and tartar from below and around the gum line and dental professional may use mechanical or ultrasonic tools to chisel off and break up the plaque and tartar. Root planing is where the dentist smooths the tooth roots, which makes it harder for bacteria to build up there and become tartar and plaque.

Benefits and drawbacks of scaling and root planing

Scaling and root planing isn’t as painful or invasive as surgical methods of removing plaque and tartar. With a deep cleaning, your dentist doesn’t have to cut or stitch your gums, and that means your mouth heals faster. However, scaling and root planing is most effective for mild cases of gum disease and won’t work well for patients with moderate to major gum disease. Following deep cleaning, you have experience short-term discomfort and your teeth may have higher sensitivity due to the removal of the plaque buildup that served as an insulating barrier.

As one of the most popular and common non-surgical treatments for treating gum disease, scaling and root planing can restore your oral health and prevent future dental issues in the future. Protecting your teeth by practicing good oral hygiene is essential for the health of your mouth, but when you encounter issues with gum disease, there are various treatments to help reverse its damaging effects. Dupont Dental wants you to have a bright, healthy smile you’re proud to share so contact our offices today to schedule an appointment.

Featured image via this dentist in NJ

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Toothaches aren’t only caused by cavities

The most common cause of a toothache is usually a cavity, but there are other lesser-known causes that patients need to know about. Along with impacted wisdom teeth, infections, and cracked or chipped teeth, gum recession can also cause a toothache. Gum recession exposes highly sensitive areas of the teeth, which can lead to pain and discomfort.

Evidence of gum recession

Gum recession occurs when the gums pull away (recede) from the enamel area of the tooth. Darker areas at the base of teeth can be evidence of gum recession as the tooth root becomes exposed. Exposed areas become sensitive without the enamel outer coat and gum recession causes aching, throbbing and/or shooting pains when consuming hot or cold food or drink. Along with sensitivity and discomfort, gum recession can increase the risk of gum disease.

Causes of gum recession

Causes of gum recession include brush too hard, eating too many sugary or acidic foods, using tobacco, and frequent use of teeth whitening products. Exposing gum tissues to irritants or treating them roughly, can cause gums to pull away. An additional cause of gum recession leading to tooth pain is teeth grinding or clenching that can move teeth out of alignment and strain gum tissue.

Gingivitis and tooth pain

The buildup of oral bacteria that occurs with gingivitis can lead to tooth pain and/or aching. This sore feeling occurs particularly around the back teeth and bleeding gums can also occur during brushing. It’s important to detect and treat gingivitis early to resolve it with a professional dental cleaning followed by guidelines for a successful at-home oral health care procedure. Without treatment, gingivitis can lead to gum disease.

Finding the cause of toothaches

The only way to know what’s causing a toothache is for the patient to visit their dentist for a thorough examination of teeth and gums. If the examination doesn’t show any visible problems with the teeth and gums, then the dentist may take X-rays to look for potential tooth damage. Once the dentist determines the exact cause of the toothache, they can treat it appropriately. In the case of gum recession, treatment can involve something simple like brushing less aggressively or require more involved procedures such as root planing and scaling, which is also a treatment used for gingivitis.

When you’re suffering tooth pain or sensitivity, it’s vital that you visit the dentist promptly to treat any oral health issues before they progress. Contact Dupont Dental today to set up an appointment and discuss treatment options.

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Sugar damages teeth

Excessive Sugar Intake Damages Healthy Smiles

Most people might not realize this, but on a worldwide scale, tooth decay is one of the most common diseases. A study of public health records from around the world conducted by London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and University College London revealed that the diet of people in the United States contains far too much sugar, which is a leading cause of tooth decay.

Starting at a young age

The London study of public health records showed that nearly 90% of school-age children in the U.S. had experienced tooth decay and 92% of adults have suffered cavities. Comparing these stats to Nigeria, where there’s barely any sugar in diets and only 2% of the population has tooth decay, uncovers the disturbing truth about American’s overly sugar-filled diets.

Consequences of excessive sugar consumption

It’s easy to blame sugar for tooth decay and view it as the main villain, but in reality, it’s the reaction sugar sets in motion in the mouth. Once a person consumes sugar, and it combines with bacteria and saliva in the mouth, it begins a destructive process. Sugar is the ideal food for oral bacteria and the acids it activates in the mouth can lead to tooth decay and cavities. Along with damaging teeth, sugar consumption helps oral bacteria reproduce and accumulate, which inflames the gums and creates the initial stages of gum disease. Gum disease is the leading cause of tooth loss in America.

Recommended sugar intake

In America, it’s common for food and drink to contain loads of sugar, and they’re all readily and easily accessible, which leads to an excess intake. The recommended total calories for a person should consist of now more than 5% sugar, according to The World Health Organization. Unfortunately, sugar is prevalent in American diets and proven to be addictive. People also build up a tolerance to sugar so the more they consume, the more they’ll crave, and this is a symptom of substance dependence.

Fighting back against sugar intake

There are numerous resources available to help people reduce their sugar consumption and quitting cold turkey may not be the best course. Finding natural sugar alternatives such as honey still gives people that sweetness without creating the high and addiction of sugar. Fluoride can help, but it’s not enough to counter continued sugar consumption in American diets. Reducing or eliminating sugar intake benefits not just oral health, but overall health as well.

Protect your smile by reducing your sugar intake, but remember that it takes time to break such an addictive habit. As you’re weaning yourself off excessive sugar, make sure you maintain great oral hygiene by brushing twice a day, flossing, drinking ample water to counter the acidic reaction of consuming sugar and keeping your regular dental check-ups on schedule.

Contact Dupont Dental to learn additional ways to protect, maintain and improve your healthy smile.

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Porcelain Veneers

Advantages of Porcelain Veneers

Porcelain veneers are a popular option for dental patients who want a subtle change or a complete smile makeover. Advances in cosmetic dentistry enable every patient to get the beautiful smile they’ve always wanted, and porcelain veneers represent a significant advance in cosmetic dentistry. Porcelain veneers repair uneven, unsightly, decayed or discolored teeth by covering them with a paper-thin porcelain material to produce stunning, natural-looking results.

Porcelain veneers correct various dental problems

Although there are different forms of veneers, porcelain veneers are a top choice because of their thinness and natural tooth appearance. Porcelain veneers can improve your smile and correct various dental problems including:

  • Broken or chipped teeth
  • Spaces between teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • Stained or discolored teeth

The dentist bonds porcelain veneers permanently to your teeth and with proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, they can last a lifetime. Made from durable translucent material and attached with a strong adhesive, porcelain veneers function and look like your natural teeth.

Porcelain veneer considerations

For the proper placement and success of porcelain veneers, you need good oral health and that means addressing any decay or other dental issues before proceeding with a cosmetic dentistry treatment. To place porcelain veneers, your dentist has to alter your natural teeth to fit them, and they’re not reversible. However, porcelain veneers are worth investigating for many patients because they offer numerous benefits including:

  • Cover nearly any imperfection such as chips, stains, and gaps
  • Long-lasting
  • Stain-resistant
  • Don’t change color with time
  • Natural appearance
  • Scratch resistant and durable

If you’re considering porcelain veneers, discuss the process with your dental professional. Before placing porcelain veneers, your dentist performs a thorough dental exam and explains the steps involved with veneers. There are several stages involved with porcelain veneers that include preparing your teeth, creating custom veneers and finally placing the veneers. The dental lab creates porcelain veneers that expertly match your other teeth to obtain a natural, beautiful appearance. Your dentist gives you advice on the long-term care of your porcelain veneers, and if teeth grinding is an issue, your dentist may recommend a night guard for you to prevent damaging the veneers.

The most important decision about porcelain veneers you have to make is choosing an experienced dentist to place them for great, lasting results. Dupont Dental offers several cosmetic dentistry services including porcelain veneers to restore, improve and maintain your beautiful smile. Contact us today to learn how we can give you the healthy, smile you’ve always wanted.


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Cosmetic Dentistry DC

Improve your Smile with Cosmetic Dentistry

These days it seems like every media personality, Hollywood star, and musician has a beautiful, flawless smile full of perfectly straight, ideally proportioned and stunningly white teeth. They smile for the camera, and their entire face seems to glow as the endless flashes from cameras amplify their bright smile.

You may think that obtaining such a smile is beyond your reach, but with today’s cosmetic dentistry, you can achieve the perfect smile you’ve always wanted. Not even celebrities are born with perfect smiles, and they’ve undoubtedly undergone one or more cosmetic procedures to obtain their perfect smiles. You don’t have to be a celebrity to have a gorgeous smile you just need to consult with your dentist about the cosmetic dentistry options that can give you a smile you’re always happy to share.

Dental “miracles.”

Cosmetic dentistry can seem like a miracle to those patients who have been embarrassed by their smiles for years. The first step toward achieving the ideal smile is having an open and honest conversation with your dentist about what areas of your smile you want to improve. The dentist can then give you treatment and procedure options specific to your unique oral structure and teeth condition, and you can begin the process of your miraculous smile transformation.

Common cosmetic dental issues and their solutions

If you have teeth that are misshapen, cracked, discolored, missing, or the wrong size, cosmetic dentistry offers various treatments that can solve those issues.

  • Veneers – correct the alignment, shape, contours and color of your teeth
  • Teeth Whitening – brightens stained, discolored or dull teeth
  • Porcelain crowns – corrects and repairs teeth that are too small or damage
  • Bonding – repairs small chips in teeth
  • Invisalign – proper teeth alignment issues
  • Dental Implants – can replace one or more missing teeth

Sometimes improving your smile is as simple as a professional dental cleaning and thorough dental exam. If you’re experiencing any pain, discomfort, or sensitivity in your teeth, your dentist can work with you to find a solution. With today’s tooth-colored composite fillings, even a cavity can’t keep you from having a beautiful smile.

Cosmetic dentistry continues to evolve with innovative techniques, materials, and treatments designed to fit any patient’s needs. Through one procedure or a combination of procedures, your dentist can help restore and improve your smile to the level of a Hollywood celebrity. Start loving your smile today by contacting Dupont Dental and asking about our cosmetic dentistry options.


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Dental Implants Washington DC

Dental Implants Washington DC – Preventing Bone Loss

There are many causes of tooth loss including periodontal disease, injury, trauma or decay and sometimes permanent teeth don’t develop where they should, which leaves gaps in your teeth. Some instances of tooth loss require immediate action and replacement such as when you lose a front tooth during a sport or accident. The lost tooth creates a noticeable gap in your smile that you want to be fixed for cosmetic reasons. Other instances of tooth loss, such as losing a back tooth that isn’t obvious, may not seem like an immediate concern, but it’s important to address all types of missing teeth promptly to prevent bone loss. So keep reading as Dupont Dental, the leader in providing the most efficient dental implants Washington DC has to offer.

Consequences of Bone Loss

When you lose a tooth, the alveolar bone that surrounds and supports your tooth atrophies (diminishes) and this leads to bone loss. People who are missing teeth and who have worn conventional dentures for years can have a sunken appearance around their mouths due to the loss of supporting teeth and facial bones. Along with losing bone when you lose a tooth, the remaining teeth in your mouth can shift resulting in jaw pain and bite problems. Loss of bone from one or more lost teeth can have detrimental cosmetic and physical consequences, even if the location isn’t in a prominent area of your smile. Fortunately, this type of bone loss is preventable with modern dental implants for tooth replacement.

Dupont’s Dental Implants Washington DC – How They Prevent Bone Loss

Tooth loss doesn’t have to lead to a bone loss when you treat the lost tooth promptly and efficiently. With advances in dental implant technology, your smile receives restoration whether you’ve lost a single tooth or many teeth. With the implant in place of the lost tooth, you’re less likely to suffer bone loss, and you maintain the facial structure. Today’s dental implants have a success rate of over 95%, have the strength of natural teeth, require regular oral hygiene for maintenance and can last a lifetime with proper care. Dental professionals also use implants to stabilize and anchor bridges or dentures, which improves comfort and function.

The fastest bone loss occurs within the first six months after you lose a tooth, so it’s important to address the issue quickly. Find out more about dental implants, what’s involved and if you’re a good candidate by contacting Dupont Dental today. We can talk about how our implants are the top dental implants Washington DC can provide! Our top priority is helping our patients achieve a healthy, beautiful smile and we offer several kinds of dental implants to suit your specific needs.

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Dental Implants DC

Advances in Dental Implants

During an experiment in 1952 that involved implanting titanium into the bones of rabbits, Per-Ingvar Branemark accidentally discovered that titanium and bone were integrated together when he tried to remove the titanium from the bones and found it difficult. This discovery led to the future development of knee replacements, hip replacements and tooth replacement with titanium dental implants. This integration of bone and titanium phenomenon received the name osseointegration from Branemark, and it opened up a world of possibilities for the medical and dental profession.

Advances in dental implant surface area

Since Branemark’s discovery of osseointegration, many technological and procedure advances have helped improve the success rate of both implants supported dentures and single dental implants. The improved finish of titanium on dental implants is one such advance. Earlier dental implant procedures used titanium screws that had a very smooth surface, but more advanced, modern dental implants use titanium implants with a porous finish achieved from a newer surface treatment. This more porous finish increases the surface area of the implant, which can aid in integration between bone and implant.

Technological advances in dental implants

For patients who require single implants or implant supported dentures, computer programming technology, and imaging technology help design tooth replacement options customized for their particular mouth shape. An accurate 3D image from a CT scan of a patient’s jaw uploaded to special software allows dentists to place dental implants digitally on the 3D replica for an ideal position. Once the dentist has discovered the best placement using computer software, the program creates a custom stent that the dentist places over the patient’s jaw to ensure precision placement. These technological and computer advancements have helped revolutionize dental implant procedures.

Increasing options for dental implants

With the advancements in dental implants, there’s now more options than before for teeth restoration. Dental implant options include implant-supported dentures, single implants with crowns, implant-supported bridges, and All-on-4 implants. Although the cost of implants may seem initially higher than other tooth replacement options, they’re becoming less expensive as technology advances and their benefits are substantial when compared to conventional dentures or bridges. Dental implants are lower maintenance than traditional restorations and don’t usually require the replacements that dentures and bridges may need over time. With proper care including good oral hygiene, dental implants can last a lifetime.

Discuss the possibility of dental implants for tooth replacement with Dupont Dental and move a step closer to achieving your perfect, healthy smile.

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Beautiful woman smiling with new dental implants

Understanding Dental Implants

When comparing dental implants to dentures, implants have several advantages over conventional dentures or bridges. Dental implants are a revolutionary tooth replacement option that can last a lifetime with proper care.

During dental implant placement, your dentist implants a titanium rod into the gums, and this rod bonds with the jawbone in place of the missing tooth root. The rod of the implant receives a dental crown, implant-supported dentures, or implant supported bridge to replace your missing teeth. By replacing the tooth root, dental implants prevent the bone deterioration that can occur with traditional dentures or bridges and lead to health issues and compromised facial features. Dentures and bridges may require replacement after a period time, whereas dental implants generally do not.

Benefits of dental implants

Dental implants offer various benefits, including a restored smile, which has a positive impact on your self-esteem and self-confidence. Implants have advantages over other tooth replacement options, including:

  • Permanence – Dentures, bridges, and other restorative procedures can need additional restorations or replacements over time, but dental implants are a permanent solution that last a lifetime with proper care.
  • Natural appearance and functions – The titanium rods used in dental implants are compatible with your body so they fuse with the jawbone as a natural tooth root would. The rods fit snug in the gums, which helps secure the natural-looking crown, bridge or dentures supported by the dental implants and enables normal speaking, biting, and chewing.
  • Durability – Dental implants prevent the recession of the bone and gums that can occur with other tooth replacement options. With the strong, durable support of the dental implant anchored in your jawbone, you can enjoy normal eating and speaking without worry of dentures slipping or bridges suffering damage.
  • Minimal maintenance – Caring for your dental implants is as easy as caring for natural teeth. With normal oral hygiene including brushing, flossing and exams, dental implants last a lifetime with minimal maintenance.
  • Highly effective and multi-purpose – For patients in good health with sufficient gums, bone structure to support dental implants, they’re highly effective and successful. Dental implants can replace a single tooth, a row of teeth or an entire mouth of teeth and can serve as durable support for dentures or bridges.

Investing in dental implants

Dental implants have a success rate of 95-98% when patients practice proper maintenance and care. Proper oral hygiene, including daily flossing, brushing and regular dental visits are essential for dental implant success as is quitting any tobacco use. Dental implants present a higher initial investment than other tooth replacement procedures, but their benefits over dentures and bridges including longevity, lower maintenance and a smile you’re proud of, making the financial expense well worth it.

If you’re tired of dealing with uncomfortable or ill-fitting dentures or a bridge and need a way to replace one or several missing teeth to restore your confident smile, contact Dupont Dental and inquire about our restorative dental services.

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Invisalign Versus Traditional Braces

Advantages of Invisalign Braces

Having straight teeth creates a more aesthetically pleasing smile and improves oral health as it makes it easier to clean teeth. Clean, straight teeth and healthy gums reduce the risks of periodontal disease while boosting your confidence in your smile. Braces work to align teeth properly, but traditional braces can be uncomfortable, painful and unattractive, especially for older adults. Thankfully, Invisalign clear braces offer a great alternative to traditional braces and have several benefits.

Better appearance with Invisalign braces

While metal braces are an effective way to straighten teeth, having metal brackets and wires in your mouth can make you self-conscious as you worry about their appearance. Food gets caught easier in metal braces and they’re challenging to clean. Invisalign clear braces live up to their name by being nearly invisible and most onlookers won’t even know you’re wearing them. Even if people do notice your clear aligners, they’re considerably more attractive than other forms of braces.

Invisalign braces are more comfortable and can be removed

Metal braces have to remain on the teeth following attachment by an orthodontist and are removable by a professional only, but Invisalign braces are easy to remove when necessary. If there are times when you want to remove your clear aligners, such as to drink or eat, it’s easy to do so as long as it’s only a short period.

Safer and less damaging than traditional braces

Traditional metal braces have wire and brackets that can irritate and scratch the inside of your mouth and your gums. Invisalign clear aligning trays are smooth, comfortable and custom fit to your mouth. Without any sharp edge or protruding edges, they don’t irritate your mouth and gum tissues. Metal braces can negatively affect decaying teeth and use great force to straighten teeth, but clear braces don’t have the same potentially damaging effects.

Shorter treatment time with Invisalign

With Invisalign clear braces, you can have straighter teeth faster than with traditional metal braces. Achieving alignment with metal braces can take up to 5 years, whereas Invisalign usually only take from 1-1.5 years to straighten teeth.

Easier treatment planning with Invisalign braces versus traditional braces

When you wear Invisalign braces, you know what to expect through the process because your dentist works up a computerized treatment plan. This plan helps you know how long you’ll be wearing the aligner trays before you even put a set on. With metal braces, it’s more difficult to plan treatment times, as there is a lot of trial and error involved as your teeth move into position.

The benefits of Invisalign braces over traditional metal braces make them a worthwhile investment if you’re a viable candidate and have concerns over the appearance and discomfort of normal braces. Invisalign braces pose less risk to teeth and gums, work faster, and are more comfortable than other styles of braces. Learn more about Invisalign braces by contacting Dupont Dental today.

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