My Blog

Posts for: February, 2016

By Dr. Jeffrey Harris
February 26, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

How ZOOM teeth whitening from your Warrenton dentist can help renew your smile!

Do you want to have a dazzling, white smile again? Do you want to get rid of the yellowing and staining on your teeth that comes with Teeth Whiteningaging? If you want to renew your smile and look younger, it’s time for a ZOOM whitening treatment, the newest state-of-the-art way to get the bright smile you deserve. It’s time to call Dr. Jeffrey Harris, in Warrenton, Virginia, your cosmetic dentist and ZOOM whitening expert.

ZOOM whitening is unlike any other whitening treatment. If you’ve tried one of the over-the-counter whitening pastes, rinses or strips and found the results less than spectacular, don’t worry! ZOOM whitening results are mesmerizing and you won’t be disappointed. According to the Phillips ZOOM whitening website, ZOOM whitening is:

  • Named the “most effective” teeth whitening treatment by Women’s Health
  • #1 “most requested” patient whitening treatment in the US
  • 99% of patients experience little or no sensitivity with ZOOM

Home whitening treatments can take several days or weeks to brighten your smile. They can be inconvenient for any busy person. Zoom whitening can brighten your smile up to eight shades whiter in about an hour. This makes it the perfect choice for people who want a dramatically whiter smile in a short amount of time.

Your ZOOM whitening treatment with Dr. Harris will include a patented whitening solution placed on your teeth. A special LED lamp is used, which heightens the effect of the ZOOM solution. The result is a beautiful, younger, whiter smile!

Dr. Harris will whiten your smile, and recommend the tools to help you keep it white, including home touch-up kits or whitening pens. He will also let you know how often to get a touch-up ZOOM whitening treatment.

If you want a younger, brighter, whiter smile, it’s time to check out ZOOM whitening. It’s time to call Dr. Jeffrey Harris, in Warrenton, Virginia, and book your treatment. Find out how ZOOM teeth whitening can help renew your smile by calling today!

By Harris Dental Center
February 25, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Veneers  

My Teeth are Ugly; What Can I Do? How porcelain veneers can repair your smile.

For years, you have suffered with crowded, misshapen teeth, right in the front of your smile. You don’t smile as much as you should because you are embarrassed, and now that you are older, your teeth are stained and yellow. It’s time to take actionVeneers and call Dr. Jeffrey Harris in Warrenton, Virginia. He can get you smiling again with porcelain veneers.

A porcelain veneer is a very thin shell of sparkling white porcelain which is cemented to the front surface of your tooth. You visit Dr. Harris for the initial preparation of your teeth, and then he sends a model of your teeth to a dental laboratory. Highly skilled dental technicians will create the veneers custom-made just for your teeth. Because they are individually made, veneers take between two and three visits to Dr. Harris.

Porcelain veneers are designed to be a perfect option for larger cosmetic dental problems and can fix teeth that are:

  • Poorly spaced from factors like genetics
  • Cracked, yellowed or worn
  • Uneven from general or age-related wear
  • Heavily stained from medications like tetracycline
  • Damaged from a traumatic injury

Porcelain veneers are a conservative treatment because very little or no tooth structure is removed. They look completely natural and according to the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, veneers tend to stain less easily than natural teeth because of the high-tech materials used.

When you choose porcelain veneers, you have made a wise investment in yourself, and you have chosen the best with Dr. Harris. He will deliver a comfortable experience and a wonderful result.

Veneers are a strong, beautiful solution to fix larger cosmetic dental issues. They can truly repair your smile and with proper care, they should last for years. If you are thinking about dental veneers, don’t hesitate to call Dr. Jeffrey Harris, your veneer expert in Warrenton, Virginia. Get started on repairing your smile today!

By Jeffrey A. Harris, D.D.S.
February 25, 2016
Category: Oral Health
Tags: thumb sucking  

It’s true — thumb sucking beyond age 4 can cause bite problems for permanent teeth. But prolonged thumb sucking is just one of a number of possible contributing factors for a bad bite (malocclusion). A dentist must identify all the factors involved when a bad bite is present — their involvement is essential for a successful treatment outcome.

A fairly benign habit for infants and toddlers, thumb sucking is related to an “infantile swallowing pattern” young children use by thrusting their tongues forward between the upper and lower teeth when they swallow. Around age 4, though, they usually transition to an adult swallowing pattern in which the tongue rests on the roof of the mouth just behind the front teeth. Thumb sucking stops for most children around the same time.

Thumb sucking beyond this age, though, can put increased pressure on incoming permanent teeth pushing them forward. This could lead to an “open bite” in which the upper and lower teeth don’t meet when the jaws are closed. The tongue may also continue to thrust forward when swallowing to seal the resulting gap, which further reinforces the open bite.

Before treating the bite with braces, we must first address the thumb sucking and improper tongue placement when swallowing — if either isn’t corrected the teeth could gradually revert to their previous positions after the braces come off. Besides behavioral incentives, we can also employ a thin metal appliance called a “tongue crib” placed behind the upper and lower incisors. A tongue crib discourages thumb sucking and makes it more difficult for the tongue to rest within the open bite gap when swallowing, which helps retrain it to a more normal position.

An open bite can also occur if the jaws develop with too much vertical growth. Like thumb sucking and improper tongue placement, abnormal jaw growth could ultimately cause orthodontic treatment to fail. In this case, though, surgery may be necessary to correct the jaw structure.

With all these possible variables, our first step needs to be a thorough orthodontic exam that identifies all the cause factors for your child’s specific malocclusion. Knowing if and how thumb sucking may have contributed to the poor bite will help us design a treatment strategy that’s successful.

If you would like more information on the causes of poor tooth position, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “How Thumb Sucking Affects the Bite.”

By Jeffrey A. Harris, D.D.S.
February 25, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: celebrity smiles   bonding  

So you’re tearing up the dance floor at a friend’s wedding, when all of a sudden one of your pals lands an accidental blow to your face — chipping out part of your front tooth, which lands right on the floorboards! Meanwhile, your wife (who is nine months pregnant) is expecting you home in one piece, and you may have to pose for a picture with the baby at any moment. What will you do now?

Take a tip from Prince William of England. According to the British tabloid The Daily Mail, the future king found himself in just this situation in 2013. His solution: Pay a late-night visit to a discreet dentist and get it fixed up — then stay calm and carry on!

Actually, dental emergencies of this type are fairly common. While nobody at the palace is saying exactly what was done for the damaged tooth, there are several ways to remedy this dental dilemma.

If the broken part is relatively small, chances are the tooth can be repaired by bonding with composite resin. In this process, tooth-colored material is used to replace the damaged, chipped or discolored region. Composite resin is a super-strong mixture of plastic and glass components that not only looks quite natural, but bonds tightly to the natural tooth structure. Best of all, the bonding procedure can usually be accomplished in just one visit to the dental office — there’s no lab work involved. And while it won’t last forever, a bonded tooth should hold up well for at least several years with only routine dental care.

If a larger piece of the tooth is broken off and recovered, it is sometimes possible to reattach it via bonding. However, for more serious damage — like a severely fractured or broken tooth — a crown (cap) may be required. In this restoration process, the entire visible portion of the tooth may be capped with a sturdy covering made of porcelain, gold, or porcelain fused to a gold metal alloy.

A crown restoration is more involved than bonding. It begins with making a 3-D model of the damaged tooth and its neighbors. From this model, a tooth replica will be fabricated by a skilled technician; it will match the existing teeth closely and fit into the bite perfectly. Next, the damaged tooth will be prepared, and the crown will be securely attached to it. Crown restorations are strong, lifelike and permanent.

Was the future king “crowned” — or was his tooth bonded? We may never know for sure. But it’s good to know that even if we’ll never be royals, we still have several options for fixing a damaged tooth. If you would like more information, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Repairing Chipped Teeth” and “Crowns and Bridgework.”