Roanoke, VA Family Dentist


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General Dentistry in Roanoke, VA

Cosmetic & General Dentistry in Roanoke, VA

The first step in any smile makeover is a thorough dental examination to make sure that your cosmetic problems really are just that and not a sign of underlying dental disease. Once your health has been established, your smile can be cosmetically enhanced in a variety of ways.

Cosmetic & General Dentistry Procedures +

  • Cleanings & Oral Exams - to keep your teeth and gums healthy, and catch early signs of dental disease
  • Cosmetic Bonding - to repair small chips or cracks
  • Crowns & Bridgework - to replace large amounts of lost tooth structure and/or missing teeth
  • Dental Implants - for the longest-lasting tooth replacement available today
  • Extractions - to remove unhealthy teeth that cannot be saved
  • Fillings - to restore decayed teeth
  • Inlays & Onlays - to fill teeth with larger cavities
  • Invisalign Clear Aligners - for highly discreet orthodontic treatment
  • Oral Cancer Screenings - to detect a dangerous disease that can be cured if caught early
  • Orthodontic Treatment - to move teeth into the right position
  • Porcelain Veneers - for repairing larger chips and cracks, and reshaping teeth
  • Removable Dentures - to help you smile again
  • Root Canal Treatment - to rescue diseased teeth
  • Sealants - to help prevent cavities
  • Teeth Whitening - to brighten a faded or discolored smile
  • TMD Treatment - for pain in the jaw area that can interfere with biting and chewing
  • Tooth-Colored Fillings - for a completely natural, healthy look
  • Tooth Decay Prevention - so you keep your natural teeth as long as possible

When to Visit the Dentist +

Regular dental visits are essential to ensure oral health problems — from tooth decay to oral cancer — are detected and treated in a timely manner. Some individuals may need to see the dentist more often than others to stay on top of problems like plaque buildup and gum disease, but everyone should go at least once per year.

Your regular dental visits will include a thorough oral exam to check the health of your teeth and gums, oral cancer screening to spot any suspicious signs early, and a professional cleaning to remove stubborn deposits and make your teeth look and feel great.

Your Smile Makeover +

It is extremely helpful for you to bring in pictures you have collected — of smiles you like, smiles you don't like, and/or photos of the way your own smile used to look if that's the result you're aiming for. Now is the time to get started on creating a smile that will make you feel as good as you look!

Cosmetic & General Services

  • Smile Makeover 
  • Fillings 
  • Crowns & Bridgework 
  • Inlays & Onlays 
  • Tooth-Colored Fillings
  • Cosmetic Tooth Bonding 
  • Teeth Whitening
  • Removable Dentures 
  • Porcelain Veneers 
  • Snoring & Sleep Apnea 
  • TMD 
  • Tooth Contouring & Reshaping
  • Tooth Wear 
  • Gummy  Smiles 
  • Nitrous Oxide 
  • Tooth Decay Prevention 
  • Adult & Children Mouth Guards
Smile Makeover 
Smile Makeover in Roanoke, VA

Smile Makeover

Smiling with confidence makes you feel great. A beautiful smile is also an important social and professional asset. Yet there are many people who avoid showing their teeth in public or in photographs because they don't like what they see. If that describes you, then why not start the process of getting the smile you've always wanted with a smile makeover?

A smile makeover goes beyond simply responding to dental problems as they arise. It's a comprehensive smile-rejuvenation plan uniquely suited to your facial features and aesthetic preferences. The results can be quite dramatic — both in terms of how you look and feel. These are the major steps involved:

  • Take a look. 
  • Share your thoughts. 
  • Make a plan. 
  • Try it out. 
Tooth Fillings in Roanoke, VA


Fillings do just what the name implies — seal a small hole in your tooth (i.e., a cavity) caused by decay. This prevents the decay (a bacteria-induced infection) from spreading further into your tooth and, if untreated, continue on to the sensitive inner pulp (nerve) tissue located in the root canal. Should that happen, you would need root canal treatment.

Types of Fillings:

  • Metal Fillings (Amalgam, Cast Gold)
  • Tooth-Colored Fillings (Composite, Porcelain, Glass Ionomer)
Crowns & Bridgework 
Dental crowns and bridges in Roanoke, VA

Crowns & Bridgework

A crown completely covers a tooth above the gum line. This is in contrast to a dental veneer, which only covers a tooth's front surface and needs a natural tooth structure to support it. Therefore, if a tooth is missing a significant amount of structure above the gum line, a crown would be the restoration of choice.

Crowning or Capping a Tooth

  • At the first visit, your tooth is prepared to receive its new crown.
  • After the tooth is prepared, impressions of your teeth are taken and sent to the dental laboratory.
  • Before you leave the office, a temporary crown will be attached to your tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready.
  • At the second visit, your permanent crown will be attached to your tooth with either a resin that hardens when exposed to a special light source or a type of permanent cement.

Creating a Bridgework

Two of those crowns will be placed over healthy teeth on either side of the missing tooth; these healthy teeth are referred to as abutment teeth. The two crowned abutment teeth become supports for a third crown placed between them; that third crown is referred to as a pontic. If more than one tooth is missing, more crowns will be needed to bridge the gap between the abutment teeth.


Be sure to brush and floss between all of your teeth — restored and natural — every day to reduce the buildup of dental plaque. When you have crowns, it is even more important to maintain your regular schedule of cleanings at the dental office. Avoid using your teeth as tools (to open packages, for example). If you have a grinding habit, wearing a nightguard would be a good idea to protect your teeth and your investment.

Inlays & Onlays 
Roanoke, Va Inlays and Onlays

Inlays & Onlays

Both inlays and onlays are considered “indirect” fillings, meaning they are fabricated outside the mouth (generally at a dental laboratory) and then bonded to the tooth by the dentist.


  • The first steps in getting an inlay or onlay are numbing the tooth and surrounding area with a local anesthetic and then removing the decay.
  • Once the tooth has been prepared, an impression of it is made (either digitally or with a putty-like material) and sent to the dental laboratory.
  • There, the impression is used to make a model of your tooth for the creation of your inlay/onlay.
  • The final restoration can be made out of gold or a tooth-colored ceramic or resin.
  • Before you leave the office, a temporary filling will be attached to your tooth to protect it until the permanent restoration is ready.
  • At your second visit, the permanent inlay/onlay will be attached to your tooth with either a resin that hardens when exposed to a special light source or a type of permanent cement.
Tooth-Colored Fillings
broken ankle

Tooth-Colored Fillings

The process of filling a tooth:

Tooth-colored fillings are made of a blend, or “composite,” of plastic resins and silica fillers. These substances mimic many of the qualities of natural tooth structure, such as wear resistance and translucency. Dental composites also help strengthen teeth.

  • After the area has been anesthetized (usually by a numbing injection), the tooth is “prepared” by removing decay and making it ready for restoration.
  • Next, the filling material is placed directly into the tooth.
  • Once it has securely bonded to the tooth structure, the process is essentially complete.
Cosmetic Tooth Bonding 
Tooth Bonding in Roanoke, VA

Cosmetic Tooth Bonding

Bonding uses tooth-colored materials to replace missing tooth structures or hide cosmetically unappealing minor defects in a tooth — chips, discoloration, and even minor spacing irregularities. Bonding materials are called “composite resins” because they contain a mixture of plastic and glass, which adds strength and translucency. The composite actually bonds, or becomes one, with the rest of the tooth.

Bonded teeth should be brushed and flossed daily and professionally cleaned at the dental office twice per year, just the same as the rest of your teeth. The most important thing to keep in mind about caring for your bonded tooth is that composite resin can absorb stain, just as natural teeth can. Therefore, you will want to avoid smoking, red wine, coffee, and tea to the extent possible.

Teeth Whitening
swimmer's shoulder


Whitening Methods

Professional whitening makes use of high-concentration bleaching gels that are not available over the counter.

  • In-Office Whitening — This technique offers the fastest results with the most powerful whitening solutions available. 
  • Take-Home Whitening — This is another effective way to whiten your teeth, though you will play a greater role in ensuring the best possible results, and several weeks may be needed to achieve your desired level of whiteness.

First of all, please maintain your usual, conscientious routine of brushing and flossing every day and keep up with your regular schedule of professional cleanings at the dental office. Avoid foods and beverages that stain, including red wine, tea, and coffee. If you smoke, use your newly whitened teeth as an impetus to quit — a good idea in any event!

Removable Dentures 
Dentures in Roanoke, VA

REMovable Dentures

Full or partial dentures consist of a gum-colored base made of plastic resin, which fits over the remaining alveolar (bone) ridge that formerly held the teeth. The prosthetic teeth projecting from the base are designed to look and function just like your natural teeth. 

Types of Full Dentures

Immediate Dentures: These are usually a temporary means of helping you transition to successful denture wearing.

Conventional Full Dentures: These are carefully crafted to look as much like your own natural teeth as possible and are able to function properly in your mouth for a long time.

Implant-Supported Overdentures: To increase the stability of a lower or upper denture, it can be securely anchored using two or more dental implants. Many people find this option offers a great balance of comfort, functionality, and value.

Types of Partial Dentures

Transitional Partial Dentures: These relatively inexpensive removable plastic dentures serve as a temporary tooth replacement and space maintainer as you wait for your mouth to heal from tooth extraction, for example. Once the healing process is complete, dental implants can be placed.

Removable Partial Dentures (RPDs): Usually made of cast Vitallium, these well-constructed, metal-based removable partial dentures are much lighter and less obtrusive than those made of plastic. They are a little more expensive than plastic dentures but will fit better.

Porcelain Veneers 
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Veneers can be used to improve any of the following characteristics of your teeth:

  • Color — Teeth can become stained by the foods and drinks we like, from smoking, and even normal aging. Veneers are available in numerous shades, from the most natural to the brightest Hollywood white.
  • Size & Shape — Teeth can become worn down from grinding habits or may not have the shape or size you want to begin with. For example, some people consider rounder teeth more feminine and squarer teeth more masculine. Veneers can be shaped and sized in whichever way is most flattering to your face.
  • Alignment & Spacing — Veneers can be used to close small gaps between teeth or make slight corrections in alignment while improving tooth color and shape.
Snoring & Sleep Apnea 
Sleep Apnea, and snoring  in Roanoke, VA

Snoring & Sleep Apnea

What to look out for

Obstructive Sleep Apnea is a serious matter as it can lead to heart problems and other health issues. It's possible you may have OSA if you snore and also suffer from any of the following:

  • Excessive daytime sleepiness
  • Irritability
  • Poor memory/confusion
  • Accident proneness
  • Night sweats
  • Morning headaches
  • High blood pressure
  • Obesity

How Dentistry Can Help

Snoring or sleep apnea can sometimes be treated with an oral appliance available at the dental office that's designed to hold the lower jaw forward during sleep. This repositioning of the jaw moves the tongue away from the back of the throat, reducing the potential for obstruction. This treatment is backed by a great deal of scientific evidence; it's a good remedy to try before moving on to more complicated breathing devices or surgery to remove excess tissues in the throat.

Jaw pain solutions, Mill Mountain Dentistry


Signs and Symptoms of TMD

Muscle Pain — This can be felt in the cheeks (masseter muscles) and temples (temporalis muscles), where the two big pairs of jaw-closing muscles are located.

Joint Pain — Pain that's actually coming from one or both jaw joints technically would be described as arthritis (“arth” – joint; “itis” – inflammation) of the TMJ. Radiographs (x-ray pictures) show that some people have arthritic-looking TMJs but no symptoms of pain or dysfunction.

Relieving the Pain

Once you have been examined, a strategy for treating your condition and managing your pain can be developed. Sometimes a temporary change to a softer diet can reduce stress on the muscles and joints. Ice and/or moist heat can help relieve soreness and inflammation. 

Tooth Contouring & Reshaping
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Tooth Contouring & Reshaping

Tooth contouring involves removing a tiny amount of tooth enamel with a drill to sculpt a more pleasing shape and make the tooth fit in better with its neighbors. The tooth is then polished for a smooth finish. The procedure is most often used on the upper front incisors and canines, which are your most visible teeth.

Cosmetic problems that can be corrected with tooth contouring include: small chips, uneven tooth length, slight overlaps, and tooth edges that are too flattened or pointy.

Tooth Wear 
Tooth wear remedies in Roanoke, VA


Types of Tooth Wear

Tooth wear can result from one or more of these processes:


This is caused by the interaction of teeth and other materials rubbing or scraping against them.

Attrition: This is an effect of tooth-to-tooth contact, which happens many times throughout the day as your teeth bite and chew food.

Erosion: When your teeth come in contact with acidic substances in your diet, the acid can actually erode (dissolve) the enamel on your teeth.

Abfraction: This refers specifically to the loss of tooth enamel at the necks of the teeth (the thinner part right at the gum line).

Treating Worn Teeth

You may need instruction on gentle, effective tooth brushing techniques or some changes to your diet. If you have a clenching or grinding habit, a mouthguard can be custom-made for you that will protect your teeth during sleep or periods of high stress.

Gummy  Smiles 
Gummy smile in Roanoke, VA


Let’s Look at Some of the Ways a Gummy Smile Can Be Corrected:

Gums. This problem can be solved with a periodontal plastic surgery technique called “crown lengthening,” which involves removing and reshaping the excess tissue to expose the full length of teeth.

Teeth. There are natural variations in the tooth-eruption process that can result in shorter than normal teeth and gumminess of the smile. If that's the case, your teeth can be made to appear longer by capping (crowning) them or covering them with thin porcelain veneers.

Lip. Treatment can range from Botox shots that temporarily paralyze the muscles (for about six months) to surgery that permanently restricts how high the lip can move, referred to as a lip stabilization procedure.

Jaw. Sometimes the upper jaw (maxilla) is too long for the face. This is a condition referred to as Vertical Maxillary Excess. If this is the case, the jaw would need to be repositioned with orthognathic surgery (“ortho” – straighten; “gnathos” – jaw).

Nitrous Oxide 
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As a form of conscious sedation, nitrous oxide is inhaled through a small mask that fits comfortably over your nose. The gas is mixed with oxygen as it is delivered, and both gases are always kept at a level that is safe for the body. Once it has been verified that you’re calm and comfortable and that the dose is correct, your dental procedure can begin.

Nitrous oxide itself isn't a substitute for a local anesthetic — it's considered an anxiolytic, which means it makes anxiety disappear. For some procedures, you may still need an anesthetic injection.

Tooth Decay Prevention 
Tooth Decay prevention in roanoke, VA


If you’re one of these individuals, it may help you to learn effective brushing techniques and practice other measures at home — for example, using special kinds of toothpaste or mouth rinse. When necessary, in-office treatments such as topical fluoride applications are available. Anti-bacterial treatments may also be beneficial in some cases, as is nutritional counseling.

Finally, if your child's teeth are susceptible to tooth decay, consider having a dental sealant applied. This is a invisible layer of plastic resin that is placed on the top (chewing) surfaces of the back teeth. It's a painless procedure that fills in the natural pits and folds of the tooth, making them much more resistant to bacterial damage.

Adult & Children Mouth Guards
Child and adult mouth guards, Roanoke, VA


Child Mouth Guards

There are several different types of mouthguards on the market, which generally fall into three categories:

  • An “off-the-shelf” mouthguard. Available at many sporting goods stores, this type comes in a limited range of sizes and varies widely in quality.
  • The “boil and bite” mouthguard. These are designed to be immersed in hot water and then formed in the mouth using finger, tongue, and bite pressure.
  • A custom-made mouthguard. Molds or impressions of your child’s teeth will be made, and then tough, resilient, high-quality materials are perfectly fitted to that impression.

Adult Mouth-guards

  • “Off-the-shelf” types. Found in some sports retailers and big-box stores, these inexpensive guards come in S-M-L sizes.
  • “Boil and bite” guards. This type of mouthguard is meant to be softened by heat and then molded into shape by fingers, teeth, and tongue.
  • The custom-fabricated mouthguard. This is the one that’s made just for you: First, a model of your teeth is prepared, then individually fabricated into a piece of protective gear for a perfect fit.

Mill Mountain Dentistry can’t wait to see you!

Roanoke, VA Family Dentist