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How Do I Choose a Cosmetic Dentist?

July 13, 2017

Relaxed woman with flawless smileFinding a cosmetic dentist is a little different than finding a general dentist. You’ll need to consider a special set of skills that make specific dentists better suited to creating cosmetic dentistry plans. Before you choose a dentist to transform your smile, read this blog to find out what makes a dentist qualified to provide flawless cosmetic dental care.
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Cosmetic Dentist in Northern Virginia Enhances Smile

January 24, 2017

Cosmetic dentist in Northern Virginia, Dr. Wayne Myles, enhances healthy smiles. Read about the services he offers and how they can change your image.You value the health of your teeth and gums. You practice diligent home hygiene and never miss a dental appointment. As a result, you have great check-ups. Yet, you are disappointed with your smile. You cover your mouth when you laugh or smile broadly in public. Stains and a chip in a front tooth mar your smile. Don’t despair. Your cosmetic dentist in Northern Virginia, Dr. Wayne Myles, has the expertise to give you a wonderfully beautiful smile. Here are the details.

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Foods and Drinks That Stain the Teeth

December 29, 2014

Filed under: Reston Dentistry — Tags: , , — tntadmin @ 7:30 pm

A woman having a cup of coffeeDr. Wayne Myles has helped so many patients in the Reston area with the latest cosmetic dentistry treatments. This includes teeth whitening, an effective way to bleach smiles affected by extrinsic dental stains. Extrinsic dental stains refers to tooth discoloration that originates at the surface layer of the teeth. This is the kind of dental stain most people are familiar with, and in addition to tobacco products, foods and beverages are common causes of various kinds of stains.

We’d like to go over a few foods and beverages that can leave your smile looking not as bright. As you’re about to read with these substances below, if something can stain a white shirt, it can lead to the discoloration of your teeth.

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Tooth Stains Caused by Smoking Tobacco

August 25, 2014

Filed under: Reston Cosmetic Dentistry,Reston Dentistry — Tags: , — tntadmin @ 8:45 pm

A lit cigarette, which has a nearly unrivalled power to stain teethThe dangers of smoking are, by now, well known. While many people continue to smoke in spite of knowing the effects of tobacco on their health, approximately two-million people in the United States choose to quit each year. Unfortunately, one thing that many current and former smokers have in common is that their teeth have been stained through years of tobacco consumption.

Thankfully, professional teeth whitening treatments can restore tobacco-stained teeth to their original luminous state. At Smiles by Myles, the cosmetic dentistry practice of Wayne Myles, DDS, in Reston, tooth stains and the effects of smoking are discussed with patients who consume tobacco during confidential, one-on-one consultations. While teeth whitening can dramatically reduce or altogether eliminate extrinsic tooth stains caused by tobacco, these stains are likely to reappear if a patient continues to smoke after treatment. The surest way to avoid re-staining the teeth – and to ensure a lifetime of good oral and general health – is to quit smoking.

Understanding Tobacco Stains

There are two substances in tobacco that cause the teeth to become stained: nicotine and tar. Although nicotine is actually colorless, it becomes yellowish in hue when it combines with oxygen molecules. Tar, on the other hand, is the naturally dark residue that results from smoking tobacco. It is not, as is popularly believed, the same as the tar used to pave roads; however, in terms of its effects on teeth, it may as well be.

While tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body, it also contains microscopic pores. When people smoke, some of the nicotine and tar drawn into the mouth settles into these pores. Over time, as nicotine and tar continue to build up in the pores, the teeth become visibly discolored. The resulting stains are generally yellowish or brownish in hue and are generally extrinsic, meaning that they affect only the superficial layer of the teeth. Tobacco stains do not generally penetrate beneath the enamel into the underlying layer of dentin.

Removing Tobacco Stains

In general, tobacco stains tend to respond well to professional teeth whitening treatments. The hydrogen peroxide based gel used in teeth whitening is highly effective at tackling extrinsic stains, particularly those that are yellowish or brownish (as opposed to bluish or greyish) in hue. As a result, most people who suffer from tobacco stains emerge from teeth whitening treatment with dramatically whiter, more radiant and healthy-looking teeth.

However, the damage that smoking can cause to a person’s oral health is not merely cosmetic. There is a connection between smoking and numerous oral health issues, including oral cancer, periodontal disease, bad breath, and tooth decay. If you are a former smoker, it is important that you undergo a thorough oral health screening in addition to teeth whitening treatment. If you are a current smoker, the best thing you can possibly do is stop.

Contact Smiles by Myles Today

If you would like to learn more about the effects of smoking on the teeth, or you wish to schedule your initial consultation with Dr. Wayne Miles, we encourage you to contact Smiles by Myles today.

Am I Good Teeth Whitening Candidate?

June 30, 2014

Filed under: Reston Cosmetic Dentistry,Reston Dentistry — Tags: , — tntadmin @ 8:51 pm

A man with bright, white teethHave you wondered who makes a good teeth whitening candidate? Or if teeth whitening will work for you?

Those are good questions because teeth whitening does not work on all types of tooth discoloration. Before rushing headlong into a treatment, you should understand if it will actually work on your type of stains.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening can dramatically improve smiles by removing discoloration. In fact, professional teeth whitening can brighten teeth by as much as eight shades in an hour. A typical treatment involves applying a whitening agent to the discolored teeth. Treatment may also include exposing the whitening agent to a powerful laser light to activate the bleaching solution.

Unfortunately, teeth whitening does not work on all stains.

Understanding what caused your tooth discoloration is the first step in figuring out if you would make a good can candidate for this popular treatment. Cosmetic dentist Wayne Myles in Reston can determine if you fit the profile of teeth whitening candidates, often by simply looking at your teeth. Once he determines the type of stains you have, he can recommend the appropriate treatment.

Tooth Discoloration

Stains are either on the surface of the tooth or on the inside. Surface stains, also called extrinsic stains, occur in the enamel of the tooth and are the kind that make for ideal teeth whitening candidates. Surface stains are often caused by food and drink, such as coffee or tea, and also by tobacco products.   

However, if your tooth discoloration is on the inside of a tooth, then teeth whitening treatments may be of little value. Interior stains, called intrinsic stains, are more stubborn and usually require professional help to overcome. Sometimes the interior of a tooth can be bleached. Otherwise, intrinsic stains can be hidden by using porcelain veneers, dental bonding, or dental crowns.  

Teeth Whitening Candidates

As noted, good teeth whitening candidates are people with stains on the surface of teeth. However, they should also be in good general dental health. You may not be a good candidate for teeth whitening due to:

  • Dental Problems. If you have tooth decay, gum disease, or exposed roots, you will need to have these dental issues dealt with before undergoing tooth whitening. Cavities can expose the tooth root to the whitening agent, which could cause serious damage to the root, perhaps requiring root canal treatment.
  • Sensitive Teeth. Teeth whitening can cause tooth and gum sensitivity. If your teeth are already sensitive, you should discuss this with Dr. Myles before treatment.
  • Restoration work. Though teeth respond to whitening treatments, your restoration work will not. This means that when you whiten your teeth, your older restoration work will remain the same color and will not match your now-whiter teeth.
  • Age. Children under the age of 16 are not considered good candidates for whitening treatments.
  • Pregnancy. There is no solid evidence that teeth whitening can cause harm during a pregnancy, but teeth whitening is still not recommended for pregnant patients.

What Will Work for You?

If you are interested in improving your smile, request a personal consultation with Dr. Myles, who can examine your mouth and explain the treatments that will be the most effective for you based on the type of stains you have. 

Different Types of Tooth Discoloration and How They Can Be Treated

May 30, 2014

Tooth Discoloration Types - Dental Stain Causes and Whitening Treatment OptionsThere is more to cosmetic problems than you may have guessed, which is why it's important to meet with a dentist about all of your options for advanced dental care. This will help you learn more about the cosmetic dentistry treatments that can brighten your smile and remove stains while also addressing other kinds of aesthetic flaws in the process.

One of the most common dental problems that people want to have treated is tooth discoloration. There are a number of things people don't think about with regard to tooth discoloration, and we'd like to take a few moments right now to look at the different kinds of discoloration that may occur.

Extrinsic Discoloration vs. Intrinsic Discoloration

Broadly, there are two kinds of tooth discoloration.

  • Extrinsic Tooth Discoloration – This refers to tooth discoloration and stains that originate on the surface layer of the teeth.
  • Intrinsic Tooth Discoloration – This refers to tooth discoloration and stains that originate from within the tooth's structure.

Both extrinsic and intrinsic stains have different causes, and the kind of stain that a person suffers from will determine the ideal treatment option for their needs.

Dental Stains Caused By Tobacco Products

Tobacco products can lead to major extrinsic stains, causing the teeth to look brown or yellow. There are already plenty of compelling health reasons to avoid cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco, and these aesthetic issues are also worth considering.

Dental Stains Caused by Foods and Beverages

A number of common foods and beverages have been known to cause extrinsic stains as well. These include:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Colas
  • Red wine
  • Beets
  • Curries
  • Carrots
  • Blueberries
  • Tomatoes

In essence, if it can stain a white shirt badly, it can lead to gradual dental stains over time.

Dental Stains Caused by Medications

Medications of varying kinds can cause intrinsic dental stains to occur. Some common medications that cause tooth discoloration include:

  • Tetracycline
  • Doxycycline
  • Antihistamines
  • Antipsychotic medications
  • Antihypertensive drugs

Dental Stains Caused by Fluoride

Fluoride can cause intrinsic and extrinsic dental stains, though not in the way that you'd think. Rather than yellow or brown stains, overexposure to fluoride can lead to chalky and over-white patches on the teeth.

Dental Stains Caused by Tooth Decay and Injury

Dental problems can cause stains to occur, some extrinsic (such as those causes by cavities and tooth decay) and some intrinsic (such as those caused by root canal infections).

Dental Stains Caused by the Natural Aging Process

Over time, wear, tear, and combinations of the various factors above can lead to tooth discoloration and gradual stains appearing on the smile. This is normal, though it can be minimized or even treated.

Options for Dealing with Tooth Discoloration and Stains

For most extrinsic stains and discoloration, professional teeth whitening treatment can work wonders and brighten the teeth up to eight shades. When stains are especially dark, porcelain veneers may be a more ideal solution. For intrinsic stains, porcelain veneers tend to be a better option for masking the discoloration from view.

When the discoloration is related to tooth decay or tooth injury, the best option is a restorative treatment that rebuilds tooth structure and masks the aesthetic flaw from view, such as a dental crown, an inlay, or an onlay.

Learn More About Your Options for Cosmetic Dentistry

If you would like more information about the different kinds of tooth discoloration that people can experience and how our team can help you achieve a more appealing smile, be sure to contact our Reston, VA cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. Our team will carefully assess your dental care needs and help you look your very best in the process.

What Patients Should Know About Zoom Teeth Whitening Treatment

April 25, 2014

Filed under: Reston Cosmetic Dentistry,Reston Dentistry — Tags: , — tntadmin @ 8:59 pm

What Patients Should Know About Zoom Teeth Whitening TreatmentOne of the most common issues that people face, particularly as they get older, is tooth discoloration and stains. There are plenty of products that are out there that purport to brighten and whiten your teeth, but one of the best ways to ensure that your smile is its brightest and whitest is meeting with a cosmetic dentist. A skilled cosmetic dentist will be able to perform the right treatments for you and your needs, allowing your smile to look its best and be its healthiest.

One of the most common and popular professional dental bleaching systems used today is Zoom teeth whitening. Let’s take a moment right now to consider how it works.

Common Causes of Tooth Discoloration

First of all, it may be helpful to list some of the most common causes of tooth discoloration, because they’re more common than you may think:

  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Red wine
  • Colas
  • Tobacco products
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Curries
  • Certain medications
  • The natural aging process

About Zoom Teeth Whitening

Zoom teeth whitening is a professional bleaching system that is used by many dental health professionals around the world. In just a single Zoom teeth whitening sessions, patients have been able to have their smiles brightened by several shades.

What to Expect During Zoom Teeth Whitening Treatment

The Zoom teeth whitening process is simple, effective, and yields excellent results. The first step of treatment is the cleaning of the teeth. Once the teeth are free from plaque and food particles, a special bleaching gel is applied directly to the teeth. This gel is then exposed to a laser light, which helps the gel penetrate the enamel and bleach any discolored tooth structure on the surface.

This entire process is repeated two more times during the same dental visit for maximum effectiveness. Overall, the Zoom teeth whitening treatment will take about an hour.

What to Expect After a Zoom Teeth Whitening Session

After undergoing Zoom teeth whitening, a certain amount of mild tooth sensitivity is common. We will take care to ensure that it is minimal and that patients can manage following treatment. In most cases, the tooth sensitivity will last only a day or two, and it can be mitigated by avoiding foods and beverages that are hot (e.g., soup) or cold (e.g., ice cream).

Repeat Zoom Teeth Whitening Sessions

For patients with major tooth stains, they can undergo multiple Zoom teeth whitening sessions as needed. Scheduling for these additional sessions will be determined on a case-by-case basis and will depend on the degree of discoloration that the patient is facing.

How does Zoom teeth whitening compare to store-bought products?

Zoom teeth whitening boasts results that are faster, safer, and of much higher quality when compared to over-the-counter teeth whitening products. Even the most sophisticated store-bought whitening tray system cannot match the effectiveness of one professionally supervised Zoom teeth whitening session.

Learn More About Cosmetic Dentistry

If you would like to learn more about Zoom teeth whitening as well as your other options for advanced aesthetic dental care, be sure to contact our Reston, VA cosmetic and restorative dentistry practice today. Dr. Wayne Myles and his entire team is eager to help you look your very best and achieve a healthy smile in the process.

In-office vs. At-home Teeth Whitening

February 6, 2014

Filed under: Reston Cosmetic Dentistry,Reston Dentistry — Tags: , — tntadmin @ 9:14 pm

Reston Teeth WhiteningTeeth whitening is one of the fastest and easiest ways to improve your appearance. It is so commonplace, you may think there is no reason to talk with your dentist. But you shouldn’t go it alone.

Even if you opt for at-home whitening treatments, you should have your teeth checked before you begin. If you have a cavity or even just a loose filling, the whitening agent can seep into the interior of your tooth. Not only can this cause extreme pain, it can also damage the tooth’s root, perhaps requiring a root canal treatment.

Dr. Wayne Myles in Reston can ensure your teeth are healthy before you undergo teeth whitening. And, if you are overwhelmed by all the whitening options, he can recommend products or treatments suitable for you. He can also recommend cosmetic dentistry treatments if your teeth are not suitable for standard teeth whitening treatments.

In-Office Treatment

The main difference between at-home and in-office treatments is the strength of the whitening agent; stronger whiteners mean fewer or shorter treatments. The strongest and fastest whiteners are available at your dentist’s office. While it might take several weeks using at-home treatments to get your teeth whiter, dentists are able to whiten teeth as much as eight shades brighter in an hour.

In-office treatments can use stronger whiteners because the dentist supervises the treatment to ensure safety. This is particularly important for people who have sensitive teeth or gums. A dentist can modify the treatment to ensure the best possible whitening without damage.

In addition to in-office treatments, dentists offer professional at-home treatments with trays custom molded to your teeth. Custom trays are key in keeping the whitener in close contact with teeth for the best results. At the same time, a custom fit reduces the chance that the whitening gel will escape and irritate gums.

But the speed and supervision of in-office treatments have a drawback: They cost more.

At Home Treatment

At-home treatments are also effective, and cost much less. However, the whitening agents in at-home treatments are not as strong, so it may take several treatments over a longer period to attain the whiteness you desire.

Popular at-home treatments use whitening strips, which affix to teeth, or trays that hold the whitening agent. Both methods are inexpensive and convenient. You can whiten your teeth whenever you have time.

Of course, over-the-counter trays cannot provide as close a fit as the ones your dentist creates using your teeth as a mold. With generic trays, the whitener may not have good contact with the teeth, reducing its effectiveness. There is also a greater chance gel will leak out, irritating your gums. If you have sensitive gums, this may be important.

A main disadvantage with at-home treatments is that you are on your own. Safe use of whiteners requires that you follow directions exactly to avoid harming your teeth or gums. This is even more important if your teeth are not in optimum health.   

If you are considering whitening your teeth, follow the American Dental Association’s recommendation to have your teeth checked to avoid complications.

Dr. Myles would be happy to ensure your teeth are healthy enough for whitening and can recommend treatments that will work for you. Please call for an appointment.

Side Effects from Teeth Whitening

December 6, 2013

Filed under: Reston Cosmetic Dentistry,Reston Dentistry — Tags: , — tntadmin @ 9:32 pm

Reston Teeth Whitening Side EffectsTooth discoloration can be a detriment to your smile and your self-confidence. Even a few stains can make a big cosmetic difference in otherwise attractive, healthy teeth. Of the various ways to treat discoloration, teeth whitening is a safe and incredibly effective treatment to brighten teeth in just one dental visit.

While a majority of people can be good candidates for teeth whitening, it is important to consider the side effects of any dental procedure. To this end, our Reston office provides the following information on what to expect immediately after a teeth whitening treatment.

Common Side Effects of Tooth Whitening

Even though tooth whitening is one of the safest cosmetic treatments, carrying very limited risks, it is not without a few side effects. Patients who undergo a professional whitening procedure can expect some degree of tooth sensitivity, as well as the possibility of gum irritation. This is due to the hydrogen peroxide used in whitening gel. As this compound works into the enamel of teeth to remove stains, it may also come in contact with the underlying dentin or nearby gum tissue, resulting in these mild side effects.   

  • Tooth sensitivity: Following treatment, patients experience varying levels of sensitivity within their teeth. For some, this is only felt when consuming hot or cold foods and beverages; for others, sensitivity is felt more consistently and acutely. Individual discomfort is determined by a number of factors, such as natural sensitivity, previous dental work, and the overall health of teeth. In most cases, any discomfort will begin to subside after only 24 hours.
  • Gum irritation: As whitening gel is applied to teeth, a skilled dentist will prevent most, if not all, of the gel from coming in contact with your gums. Still, it is common for small amounts of gel to leak out of the tray, resulting in brief chemical burns. Immediate effects include irritation and discoloration of the gums, which should completely disappear within a few hours. Prolonged exposure to whitening gel can cause increased irritation, as well as temporary bleeding or inflammation. However, there are no long-term effects on gums from a single minor burn. 

Multicolored Teeth

In most cases, whitening is a great technique for enhancing the coloration of all teeth, producing a bright, evenly shaded smile. But there are some circumstances in which a tooth may resist the effects of whitening. Deep stains, for instance, are not easily removable through whitening gel. Discoloration from injury, medication, or fluoride stains may remain after treatment, standing out.

Similarly, restorations are not affected by whitening. If you have a replacement tooth, veneer, crown, or similar restoration, bear in mind that its color will remain the same after treatment. If it ends up contrasting with your natural teeth, the restoration may be replaced with a more complementary shade for your new smile.    

The Risk of Over-whitening

A single whitening treatment poses little if any risk to teeth. On the other hand, multiple treatments in a relatively brief period of time can damage enamel and the soft tissues underneath. The result is a dark or yellow discoloration as inner dental tissue is exposed, and teeth are likely to become permanently sensitive and weakened. In such cases, permanent treatment such as porcelain veneers or dental crowns may be necessary to protect the surfaces of teeth. Remember to always consult your dentist before making an educated decision about potential cosmetic procedures.

Speak With Dr. Myles

You can learn more about tooth whitening and similar treatment options by visiting us at our cosmetic dentistry office. Through a consultation with Dr. Wayne Myles, you can determine which cosmetic treatment will yield the best results and fewest risks for you. Contact us today to ask a question or schedule an appointment.

Have Questions? We’ve got the answers.