7 Remarkable Benefits Of Digital Dental X-rays

Dental technology has advanced over the years to deliver patients with care that is comfortable, painless and less time-consuming. Previously, while old traditional X-ray techniques were being used, there used to crop many issues related to waiting time, preparation time (wait time for the film to be developed), environmental concerns and so on. Digital radiography has therefore truly revolutionized the technique of dental X-rays and also the practice of professional dentists.

How does digital radiography work?

The process of digital radiography is quite similar to that of traditional dental X-rays. In digital radiography, a sensor is inserted into your mouth which aids in capturing the images of your teeth. Here lies the difference between old school X-rays and digital X-rays. Although it looks like the film used for traditional X-rays, the digital sensor is an electronic device connected to a computer. The device captures the images and then projects them on a screen instantly for both you and your dentist to view.

Digital X-rays have a lot of virtues to harp upon. Some of them have been listed in this article. Next time you walk in for a dental X-Ray, you need not really panic about its consequences as these are completely safe and without health hazards.

7 remarkable benefits of Digital dental X-Rays

  • Lesser Radiation– Digital X-Rays are known to use 90% less radiation then traditional X-Rays
  • Easier Dental Appointments– No amount of preparation time is needed.
  • Much higher Quality Images– The images can be blown up to any size for your dentist to accurately look for issues, if any.
  • Transferring Dental Records immediately– Since in the digitized form, therefore, they can be instantly sent to any other specialty office for further reference, within seconds.
  • Environmental Friendly– Digital radiography does not have to use any chemicals for developing the film.
  • The complete picture is available– This feature typically ensures that you obtain the best diagnosis possible.
  • Immediate Viewing– Digital radiography allows real time viewing of your oral cavity. With much lesser radiation exposure, this is a unique advantage.

In short, Film x-rays were invented as early as 1895 which is over 125 years ago. Technology has come a very long way since that era and film x-rays are now quite an antique practice.

Although Film x-ray technology costs less than digital x-ray technology, yet, long-term exposure to film x-rays can be harmful. It affects the patient’s overall dental health due to the increased amounts of radiation that are needed to expose these types of films. Most modern dental offices have by now switched over to this digitized form as it ensures –

  • A more than 70% less radiation
  • Lesser discomfort
  • Detecting problems sooner
  • Lesser time in the chair

The qualities of service, shorter time consumed and better access to the information concerned with their own dental health, are some of the factors that matter a lot to patients!

The Bliss Of Cerec Technology In The Dental World

It is evident from the very title of this article that the technology being talked about here, has indeed revolutionized dental procedures. The revolution manifested itself in the form of time. Dental procedures like crowns, inlays and veneers today, do not require multiple dental visits or about a months’ time! The popular abbreviation CEREC stands either for Chair-side Economical Restorations of Esthetic Ceramic, or simply, CERamic REConstruction. CEREC creates the ceramic restorations for your mouth within minutes in the dental office. This automatically implies that the particular treatment procedure ca be completed within just a single visit.

How does CEREC benefit dentistry?

The technology in discussion, uses the computer-aided design (CAD) or the computer-assisted manufacturing (CAM) to make the restorations in office and on that same day! CAM often stands for computer-assisted milling too. So, CEREC is often rightly termed as the CAD-CAM dentistry. It typically relieves you of two things:

  • No need to come for a second dental visit
  • No need to wear a temporary crown

An introduction with the CEREC procedure

The CEREC system or the CAD-CAM system has three major parts. They are discussed elaborately in this article.

The first major component is a high-quality camera and a computer. The function of this unit is to photograph the tooth.Three-dimensional images are created of your tooth on the screen, which is then utilized by your dentist to design the perfect ceramic restoration for you.

The next best thing is the three-dimensional CAD software that allows the dentist to examine the tooth from every angle. It is the closest possible thing that that can be used instead of holding the tooth in the hands and rotating it.

The Milling device: This is the manufacturing part actually. This unit creates the custom restoration using the specifications entered into the computer. A ceramic block that best resembles your existing tooth color is chosen and placed in the unit. Within minutes, the milling device yields the desired results and your perfectly made customized restoration is ready.

Once the custom-made restoration is ready, your dentist performs a dry fit to ensure that the crown is comfortable enough for your mouth. If perfect fit is established, the restoration will be polished and affixed to your tooth using a dental cement.

Why go for the CEREC technology?

The use of CERamic REStoration technology has gained momentum over the years, on account of certain virtues that are an added advantage, to both the dentist and the patient. To have a glance of some of its advantages are:

  • No temporary restorations are needed to be worn
  • Minimal surgical invasion required.
  • Lesser injections and discomfort of treatment procedure
  • Fewer dental visits as same day restorations are easily available
  • Cost effectiveness due to lesser dental visits
  • More natural tooth is conserved
  • Restorations are long lasting. They last for more than 10 – 15 years!
  • Time saving – the entire process takes 2 hours only.

Ceramic restorations are still believed to be costly a procedure by many. But its cost effectiveness is manifested in many ways like reduced dental visits, longer durability as well as your precious time saved! CEREC is one of – if not the most – researched technology in the field of dental procedures and its effectiveness has been proven over the years.

What Makes Dental Implants So Expensive?

Have you been looking at the prices for dental implants, and found that the dental implants are expensive? If you have been asking why does dental implants cost so muchthe reasons are:

  1. Dental Implant is a cosmetic and a complex process
  2. You pay for the skills of the dentist
  3. Implant posts and dental crowns adds to the cost
  4. Additional procedures if required like whitening, extractions and so on.

So, before we start scrutinizing the reasons of implants being an expensive procedure, you must know that dental implants last longer than other alternatives. Analysis on the Current Trends in Dental Implants reads:

Today, approximately 450,000 osseointegrated dental implants are being placed every year, with an expectation of 95% success rate (in the case of single tooth replacement with an implant supported crown), with minimum risks and associated complications

Cited: Gaviria, L., Salcido, J. P., Guda, T., & Ong, J. L. (2014). Current trends in dental implants. Journal of the Korean Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons40(2), 50–60. doi:10.5125/jkaoms.2014.40.2.50


In the long run, your implants will serve you more than what you have actually spent on receiving it! In other words, getting implants is just like installing solar panels on your property. The initial costs might be high, but slowly you will see the savings on your expenses.

This post will help you understand:

  • The primary reasons for implants being expensive
    • Cost Of Expert’s Time
    • Cost Of The Materials Used
    • Knowing If You Are Eligible
    • Additional Dental Procedures
  • Factors that ensure acute placement of dental implants
    • Skilled Dentist and Team
    • Multiple Visits – At Least Twice
  • Can Implants, crowns be acquired from a third party provider
    • What makes you depend on your dentist for implants?
  • Financing options/Insurance facilities for dental implants

The primary reasons for implants being an expensive procedure


One of the prominent costs that come to play when you’re thinking about receiving dental implants is paying the experts working on your case. This not only involves the cost of the dentist but also other professionals working with the dentist on your case.

You must know, apart from the dentist, his/her surgeon, assistants, and hygienists have to work on implants for your mouth. This ensures acute placement of the implant posts along with the dental crowns so that they can not only look super awesome but also function properly.


Primarily, the materials include:

  • Dental Crowns – metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all resin, or all ceramic.
  • Implant Posts – Titanium or Zirconia

Titanium implant posts are the most preferred ones among dentists and patients alike.

The costs of the materials to be used depends on factors like:

✔ Your requirement – Do you need implant dentures, implant bridges or single implants?
 The status of the implant location. Does it require additional treatment before an implant can be surgically placed? Is the location ready for the implant procedure or do you require a tooth extraction done?
 Prior Treatments. Do you have an issue with the implant administered by your previous dentist?

The above questions will be answered when you see your dentist and get an initial check-up done. Your dentist will help you get an overview of the maximum expenses and will also let you know the possibility of availing dental insurances.

Note: Typically, dental implants fall under cosmetic procedures and are not covered by dental insurances. You will have to cross-check with your provider or the dentist if your required dental procedure is covered by insurance.


Prior examinations are a must before you get the “YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR IMPLANTS” notion from your dentist. The qualification process includes tests like x-rays, possibly a CT scan and more which adds to the costs.

The status of your jaw bone will also decide if you are eligible. The implant post will be placed surgically through the process of bone grafting.


As mentioned earlier, the costs of dental implant materials depend on various factors (see again). Thus, if required, you will also need to undergo additional procedures prior to receiving the implants which will also add to your cost.

Factors that ensure acute placement of dental implants also adding to the cost

From the above we know that prior-preparation and the materials required adds to the cost. Now, let’s focus on the factors ensuring 100% success rate of receiving dental implants. This is the area where your expense will have maximum impact and value.


The titanium insert will itself cost a couple of hundred dollars. What you are actually paying for is the skill of the dentist, in being able to position the implant so effectively into the jaw. To do this experts will not only have to have the understanding of how to insert the implant but also guarantee that the bone around where the implant is getting placed is both healthy and dense enough to incorporate the implant itself.


This isn’t just a one-off procedure but will require the patient to pay a visit to the dentist on several occasions, over a period of time. For each of these visits the dentist will need to pay for the staff that will be present to assist. Each and every one of these visits will accrue an expense, all of which is normally included in the overall price that you will pay for the treatment.

That’s for receiving your implants and crowns. However, the entire healing process can take up to 4 to 8 weeks, max. 12 weeks. During this time you may need to visit your dentist for check-ups.

Note: Discuss with your dentist if they include the implant check-up costs to the overall price. This will help you greatly in planning your treatment.

Can Implants, crowns be acquired from a third party provider

Yes, there are many third party providers out there offering a variety of dental implant posts and different types of dental crowns. However, it can be a challenge for you to solely decide what type of implant you will need.

When you see your dentist, you will come to know if you are eligible for implants or not. Next, your dentist will take digital impressions for your permanent crowns which are either prepared on-site or are acquired from a third party provider. At our dental office in Winchester, VA, we get things done on-site and with precision. Play our video for more info.


Most dentists have their preferred suppliers as well as financing options that covers all of it. If your case is eligible for insurance, it’s best to get things done as recommended by your dentist.

Financing options/Insurance facilities for dental implants

As implants are typically observed as being a cosmetic enhancement rather than a necessity, the charge tends to be higher. You wouldn’t expect to get a face lift for a couple of hundred dollars so dental implants aren’t going to be much different. Some would argue in the case of the loss of teeth due to an accident that this is not cosmetic and is a necessity nevertheless, there are other procedures which are cheaper and can be utilized with similar but possibly less effective final results.


If you are set on having implants then there are a couple options available to make it a lot more inexpensive.

Prices of getting implants can vary from dentist to dentist. Thus, it’s wise to connect with your preferred dentist and get an idea of the costs as per your individual requirement. At Smiles Of Virginia, we have amassed many patients helping them to achieve the smile of their dreams. Feel free to check our implants smile gallery.

If you find this post helpful, feel free to share it with your social peers, family and your friends. Have further queries? Connect with us on social media or write to us. Also, keep following this space for more updates on dentistry, dental care and hygiene.

10 Frequently Asked Questions About Veneers In 2019


Veneers are wafer-like thin dental restorations, usually made of porcelain, which is attached to the front portion of your tooth to give it a fresh and natural look. In order to place veneers, only a thin portion of the tooth enamel is removed and this wafer-thin material is then attached to the site.

Today, with the increasing popularity of Veneers, individuals are keen to know all about veneers, especially about their functionality, longevity and effectiveness. According to dental experts, some of the most common questions concerning veneers that surface are:


Porcelain veneers should be preferred to composite bonding ones especially when the required changes are not minor and the teeth are widely spaced, broken, dark, and even if the patient clenches or grinds his or her teeth!


The most important aspect of porcelain veneers is that they are stain resistant and they mimic the light reflecting properties of the tooth enamel more efficiently than composite resin does.


A veneer more or less lasts approximately for 5-10 years and they don’t require any special care other than regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist. If they are taken proper care of then they can last much longer, even more than a decade.


If you are suffering from oral ailments like periodontitis, you might suffer from gum recession that occurs the root of the tooth to become exposed. In such cases, individuals need to go for new veneers.


Ask your dentist to:

  • show the other cases of veneers that have been done earlier, especially the ones that match with your case.
  • How many patients have been treated similarly in the past?
  • Show a preview of your veneers if possible before getting them done finally
  • If they have a lab of their own or whether they specialize in the field of cosmetic dentistry!


Veneers are applied by numbing the area. Therefore, normally there is no amount of pain associated with the process, especially if the number of teeth undergoing the restoration process are few.


Contouring creates symmetry and also lengthens teeth that are short in height. For individuals getting veneers, contouring the gums will give only a better cosmetic outcome.


You need to stop all the ill habits immediately, like nail biting, teeth grinding, opening bags with teeth, pulling on your gloves with your teeth, and everything else that puts undue stress on the veneers.


Lumineers are a commercial brand for porcelain veneers. These veneers can be fitted to your existing teeth without preparation. Consequential your teeth do not require any grinding. Therefore Lumineers are considered as a quick alternative to veneers.


If the condition of your teeth permits, Lumineers can be opted for. But before all this, you need to consult your prosthodontist to apply that in your case!

You could have more common questions about dental veneers when you are contemplating this type of teeth restoration treatment. Talk to your dentist in Simeal of Virginia to have all your queries sorted before you start with your treatment!

Learn more about veneers on our dental veneers page

Oral Cancer Awareness Should Reach Far & Wide

Ways to spread this awareness

The term ‘oral cancer’ is quite an acquaintance for people across all ages. The reason being the statutory warnings that are nowadays mandatorily visible in all tobacco product packages. Oral cancer awareness is no longer a day’s campaign now (spreading awareness via different media on World Cancer Day). It lists as a priority for lawmakers across the globe today. Even the act of smoking displayed in any audiovisual media today is tagged with the statutory warning that appears on the screen!

Anyone of you out there, who has dug deeper into the issue of oral or mouth cancers even? A precise overview of the issue…

Oral cancer belongs to a larger group of cancer that develops in the tissues of the mouth or the throat region. The superset, that is, the larger group is ‘head and neck cancers’. The age group that gets affected the most (according to primary data collected) is 40 to 60 years. The worst part of oral cancer is that in its initial stages it tends to remain dormant. Symptoms don’t trouble the patient, which is why he / she does not resort to a medical check up! When such cancers spread upto the lymph nodes of the throat or neck area, it is usually detected.

When do you need to be alert?

So, some of the early and minor symptoms, (that might seem insignificant) which you should not ignore are:

  • Small white or red patches anywhere in your mouth, be it lips,gums or your tongue
  • Any lump in the throat region
  • Pain in the jaws or gum area that persists
  • A earache that does not tend to go away
  • Pain or difficulty in swallowing
  • Any mass noticed anywhere in your entire mouth

See your dentist immediately

In short, any small irritation in your oral area, especially if it tends to persist for days and weeks together, calls for attention. This awareness infused among the masses would generate real oral cancer awareness! In case any symptom pops up a simple biopsy (tissue biopsy) from the affected area (the tumor, growth or lession) informs the doctor whether the cells are cancerous. At our Smiles of Virginia, Dr. Neil Oestervemb, a well know dentist, follows some check-up protocols in order to detect the metastasis rate of the cells in that area. Curability totally depends upon which stage oral cancer is passing through.

To learn about the signs and symptoms of oral cancer, reach us or schedule a consultation today!

Announcing Our New Cone Beam (Cbct) Scanner

Why we decided to invest in a CBCT scanner

CBCT scanners used to only be found in oral surgery offices and at radiology clinics. But since we believe in only offering the very finest care we felt like this was a necessary step to complement our full range of dental services. Our patients love and benefit from us offering all procedures in houses and we now also offer the most advanced imaging to further enhance our services.


A CBCT scan allows us to see your teeth, jaw bone, joints and airway in 3 dimensions. The benefits are many but to mention a few it allows us to evaluate your airway and nasal passages for problems related to snoring or sleep apnea. Often we end up referring our snoring and sleep apnea patients to their ENT doctor for potential surgery. We can also before we extract a tooth we can see it is touching a nerve to avoid nerve damage. Or treatment plan your implant placement and 3D print a surgical guides that allows for the most ideal placement compared to placing the implant freehand.


A CBCT is short for Cone Beam CT scanner. This is a special dental CT scanner that uses much less radiation than a medical CT scanner. We have decided to buy the Planmeca Promax CBCT since it deliver extremely low radiation using its patented “Ultra Low Dose”™ that allows us get the same diagnostic information with an average of 77% dose reduction.

Learn more about CBCT on our CBCT page.


How Does Arestin Help with the Treatment of Gum Disease?

In the past we used to treat moderate to severe gum disease by also including an antibiotic prescription for the patient to take during their gum tissue treatment. Using the antibiotics systemically (ingesting it as a pill) was effective but it took time for the antibiotics to reach the gums since it had to go through your digestive system – and the concentration would be greatly decreased. Today we have a more straightforward approach – we use local administration of the antibiotic instead of systemic. Arestin is in the same class of antibiotics as the pills we used to use but instead we place it right inside the periodontal pocket, which is the site of your infection.

When you have gum disease, the space between the tooth and your gums (called the sulcus) increases in depth and you develop a pocket (the deeper gum area, almost like a pouch). The problem with the pocket being deeper is that your toothbrush and floss have a limit to how deep you can clean. If left untreated, the pocket becomes so deep that it is impossible to clean. The pocket grows deeper and deeper and the tooth becomes loose.

Treating gum disease (periodontal therapy) is done using scaling and root planning (SRP). Scaling and root planing involves the removal of any bacteria, plaque and tartar/calculus from below the gumline. During a routine cleaning (prophylaxis), we only remove buildup from at or above the gumline. This is why scaling and root planing is sometimes called a “deep cleaning.”

Bacteria are the cause of periodontal disease, which is why placing an antibiotic into the pocket, will help improve the success of the periodontal disease treatment. Arestin contains small microspheres (tiny round particles) that we place in the periodontal pocket to kill any bacteria left behind. Arestin continues to kill bacteria for 28 days after it is placed. In order to ensure long-term success, you still have to continue to come in for your regular maintenance appointments. Periodontal disease (gum disease) is like diabetes, it will never go away but together we can manage it.

Bone Grafting Questions Answered


Question: Why is it important to preserve bone and surrounding gum tissue?

Answer: If you lose bone and gum tissue following your tooth extraction this often will result in both functional and cosmetic defects. Loss of this tissue often gives you a less than ideal and collapsed appearance, especially if it involves front teeth. Furthermore, loss of bone and gum tissue often compromises our ability to adequately replace the missing tooth or teeth with either conventional fixed or removable bridgework or with an implant supported solution. Sometimes the loss of bone is so severe that a separate grafting or sinus lift procedure is necessary prior to replacing the missing teeth.

Question: Do I need socket preservation/ridge preservation?

Answer: It all depends on what your future plans for replacement of your teeth are. It is an additional cost but we can show you pictures of patients that choose ridge preservation and patients that didn’t – the difference is remarkable. Often, opting in for these procedures will allow you to avoid an even more costly separate bone grafting procedure in the future.

Question: Are bone grafting materials safe?

Answer: Bone graft materials are highly purified and go through a highly controlled processing and sterilization procedure to remove any impurities. At the end of this process, every batch has to pass rigorous testing for purity and sterility.

Question: How long does it take for new bone for form around the bone graft?

Answer: We always provide individualized care and we choose the type of bone graft based on your unique situation. Some of these heal faster than others, but in general about 2-4 months of healing time is required.

Question: What special care following bone grafting or socket preservation is required?

Answer: Generally the same care required after any dental surgery procedure is sufficient following tooth extraction and socket preservation. Keep the area clean using a prescribed mouth rinse. Avoid undue pressure over the graft size during healing.

Common Questions About Botox

Botox Questions and Answers

Question: How long does Botox last for?

Answer: Botox usually lasts 4-6 months after initial treatment. But if we are treating jaw pain associated with grinding and clenching, over time you will see the effect for a more extended period of time due to muscle atrophy.

Question: What should I expect during treatment?

Answer: Treatment with Botox usually takes only 10-15 minutes. You should start to feel pain relief within 24 hours. You will be required to follow our recovery guidelines: limit physical activity for a short time, remain upright for several hours and most importantly don’t rub or massage the injection site as this can spread the treatment fluid to other areas causing undesired effects.

Question: Is Botox® right for me?

Answer: If you have ever dreamt of being free from the daily use of your night guard, Botox® may be the solution for you. Dr. Oestervemb will evaluate your specific symptoms and determine if you are a candidate for Botox instead of more traditional methods of treatment for joint and muscle disorders of the face.

Question: What are the risks and benefits of Botox® in the Treatment of TMJ?

Answer: Botox allows the muscle to relax and perform their regular function. Patients suffering from pain caused by myofascial pain and temporo-Mandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome can have great benefits using Botox. If left untreated, excessive grinding and clenching can result in worn and broken teeth and costly treatment for repairs. Botox® can give bruising for a few days and some people can have a mild reaction to it. Dr. Oestervemb will discuss benefits and risks in detail at your consultation visit.