Ryan M. Buckwalter, DDS, FICOI
Thomas M. Starkey, DDS (ReTIRED)

1420 Greenbrier Place
Charlottesville, VA 22901

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5 Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

Cosmetic dental treatments offer many direct and passive benefits. Patients gain a new sense of confidence thanks to their clear, bright smiles. Dentists prevent and fix defects before they develop into worse conditions. So, while some might say that quality cosmetic dentistry services are vain, the right team of dental professionals can ensure you receive valuable oral health benefits.

Hillcrest Dental is the top dental practice in Monticello, VA. We provide excellent general and cosmetic dentistry services to all our patients, and our highly trained staff ensures everyone feels like a regular. Our dental practitioner, Dr. Buckwalter is dedicated to helping all of his patients receive effective dental treatments, whether that includes regular check-ups and cleanings, root canals, and tailor-fit cosmetic veneers. We aim to cover all your dental needs.

Below, we discuss the five benefits our patients receive from cosmetic dentistry:

1. Restored Confidence

Many people feel like their smile is flawed. It could be due to how their teeth grew or how their appearance has changed over time. Nevertheless, dentists have developed many cosmetic techniques to improve dental imperfections.

Following cosmetic dental treatment, many individuals have felt a renewed sense of confidence. With an improved smile, patients are free to laugh and speak without feeling self-conscious about their teeth.

2. Repaired Defects in Teeth

Cosmetic dentistry doesn’t just solve issues regarding the appearance of your teeth but addresses their condition. Some patients may have tooth defects that have developed since they were children, while others may have developed similar imperfections after an injury or accident.

Either way, certain flaws in your teeth can feel quite painful and embarrassing to have. Cosmetic procedures–such as dental implants and crowns–repair damaged, decayed, or broken teeth so that they look and feel normal along with the rest of your teeth.

3. Relief from Discomfort

As mentioned in the previous section, your teeth can develop certain flaws that cause various problems. For example, a flaw may involve an uneven dental occlusion, which is where your jaw and teeth meet.

The unevenness in this area may cause consistent pain, discomfort, and irritation. Cosmetic dentistry treatments, like braces, can help reform your teeth and mouth to relieve that discomfort.

4. Renewed Dental Health

Cosmetic dental treatments don’t just restore the teeth’s appearance and shape but also give patients a second chance. Fixing misaligned teeth and whitening a stained enamel often convinces patients to redouble their efforts in taking care of their teeth and gums. This then causes them to form new, healthier habits, ensuring they maintain their dental health.

5. Reduced Costs of Future Treatments

Finally, in renewing your dental health and repairing defects in your teeth, cosmetic dentistry procedures also help to reduce the cost of more severe conditions later on. Many dental issues, if left unaddressed, can develop into serious problems that require more invasive treatments, which are often very expensive.

Thus, an aspect of cosmetic dentistry is that it is partly preventative, helping patients keep their dental health from getting worse and, in certain cases, forcing them to deal with the high cost of additional oral surgery services.

Hillcrest Dental: Cosmetic Dentistry Services in Monticello, VA

Our excellent dental practitioner, Dr. Buckwalter, and our highly trained team offers the best cosmetic dentistry services and general dentistry services available. We don’t just provide check-ups and cleaning but also treatments for gum disease, sleep apnea, teeth defects, dental injuries, and more. Contact us today at (434) 973-2224 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Buckwalter for one of our many cosmetic dentistry services!

What Can Be Considered a Dental Emergency?

A dental emergency calls for immediate medical attention, specifically when the condition involves bleeding, incessant pain, and other symptoms. You can avoid most dental emergencies by maintaining your hygiene, but certain cases require immediate action. In those times, you need to know which practice offers attentive emergency dental services so that you can receive treatment promptly and recover quickly.

Hillcrest Dental provides quality dental services to patients throughout Charlottesville, VA. Our services include regular general dentistry–such as check-ups, cleanings, etc.–cosmetic services – including installing braces and teeth whitenings–as well as emergency dental care and oral surgery. Our practice is dedicated to ensuring patients have all of their needs covered.

Below, we discuss what a dental emergency is and provide some examples of what we consider dental emergencies:

What is a Dental Emergency?

Dental emergencies are common occurrences in which individuals suffer from serious gum or dental pain, incessant bleeding, facial trauma, or related injuries. In contrast, broken crowns, bridges, or retainers as well as mild toothaches and slight dental discomfort aren’t dental emergencies as they do not pose the same medical danger.

Dental emergencies must be treated as soon as possible. These issues can worsen without treatment and bring unnecessary pain to patients who leave them unaddressed.

Examples of Dental Emergencies

Many dental conditions fall into the category of “dental emergency.” These include the following:

  • Pulpitis

Pulpitis is the inflammation of the pulp beneath the enamel of your teeth. The inflammation is caused by dental caries, another disease involving the degradation of your tooth’s enamel and then infects your tooth pulp.

Symptoms include mild pain and sensitivity to hot and cold food and beverages. It is reversible through the removal of the infected tissue and replacing it with a filling.

However, if left untreated it can become irreversible, causing sudden severe and persistent pains and aches, which can only be treated through tooth extraction or root canal procedures.

  •  Periodontitis

The worst-case scenario after developing irreversible pulpitis, periodontitis is when the tooth pulp is so infected that it necrotizes. This is when tissues are now permanently dead but can also risk further infection to the rest of your gums and teeth.

  •  Tooth Abscess

In addition to necrosis of the tooth pulp, periodontitis can also lead to the development of an abscess within the deeper root of your infected tooth. An abscess is a pocket of pus that forms within your root canal, causing severe pain and swelling.

When you are found to have an abscess, it can be treated by simply cutting and draining out the fluid. However, a more definitive treatment for your dentist is to perform a root canal or extraction.

Hillcrest Dental: Responsive Emergency Dental Services in Charlottesville, VA

Dental emergencies must be addressed quickly to get the best outcomes in terms of recovery. If left untreated, there can be serious repercussions not only to one’s dental health, but to your overall health as well. If you are seeking prompt emergency dental services from a trustworthy practice in Charlottesville, VA, consider turning to Hillcrest Dental. Our dental staff is friendly and devoted to the continued well-being of our patients. We desire to make our place a trusted staple for patients throughout the area, ensuring they receive the best possible general, cosmetic, and emergency dentistry they can get. Contact us today at (434) 973-2224 to make an appointment with our staff and learn about how we deal with dental emergencies.

What Kind of Dental Treatment Do I Need?

5 common procedures cover almost all of the problems that people go to a general dentist for. These procedures, such as fillings and crowns could be seen as several types of dental services, depending on the issue that you visit the dentist for. If you need professional dental care in Crozet, VA, then Hillcrest Dental can help you out.

Let us identify your dental needs and act accordingly to clean up your oral hygiene. Throughout your time with us, you will receive the best service, care, and results than surrounding dental practices. The Hillcrest Dental team offers the full range of dental treatments so that you walk out our door with a brighter smile.

Below, we discuss the most common types of dental treatments and why you should trust Hillcrest Dental to perform them:

5 Common Dental Procedures

1. Fillings

Dentists provide fillings when their patients’ teeth have cavities, decay, or a fracture. In this procedure, dentists use a specialized drill to remove any decay or dental tissue inside of the tooth, which is then rinsed out with water and sealed. Fillings are by far the most common dental procedures performed in the U.S.

2. Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are used on teeth that have been damaged from an accident and are one of the only options to save a tooth from being extracted. The crown protects it since it is placed and sealed onto the tooth fully covering it.

3. Tooth Extractions

If a tooth has decayed too much, then it will have to be extracted. Extraction is also needed when a hurt tooth cannot move through the gums or–the most dreaded treatment of all–wisdom teeth removal. When the tooth is above the gum the tooth is loosened from its bone socket before being removed. When the tooth is above the gum, oral surgery is required.

4. Dental Implants

Dental implants are used to replace real teeth that have previously been removed from damage. The implants do require minor oral surgery and will take a few months to complete. But you will have shiny white artificial teeth, making it worth the inconvenience.

5. Braces

Braces are the most standard way of positioning teeth to make them more straight and properly aligned. Nearly 80% of people who have braces are under the age of 18 because people often want their teeth fixed by their adult life.

Why Choose Hillcrest Dental?

At Hillcrest Dental, we provide our patients with the utmost care and personalized planning to ensure healthy dental hygiene. Our services cover all of the most common dental procedures in which we are experienced dental experts. Our goal is to equip clients with the right tools so they know how to maintain their teeth and stay healthy. We have been serving Virginia with top-quality dental care since 1953 and are more than happy to improve your smile.

We also have an excellent staff who provide these high-quality services, from Dr. Buckwalter, DDS, FICOI at the top down to our dental assistants. Your oral hygiene is a serious matter, but we want your visits to be as painless as possible. Day in and day out, we improve our clients’ dental health so that they leave with brighter smiles.

Choose Professional Dental Care in Crozet, VA!

We know what it is like to experience pain from an injured tooth or whatever other dental problem you may be having. At Hillcrest Dental we understand these issues because we have been fixing them for decades. Those who are looking for Dental Care in Crozet VA, reach out to us at (434) 973-2224 or fill out the form on our contact page.

Financing Options at Hillcrest Dentist

Figuring out the cost of your dental treatment can get complicated. That is why we want to help you finance your service depending on your individual needs and treatment plan. We are experienced professionals who want to assess your dental concerns and act accordingly. For those who are looking for a dentist in Charlottesville, VA, you can count on Hillcrest Dental.

At Hillcrest, we pride ourselves on helping our clients achieve the best oral care possible. Our highly experienced team works closely with you in assessing your needs and getting to work on your teeth. You will not only receive expert service but will be met with intensive support along the way.

Below, we discuss your financing options and why you can trust Hillcrest Dentist to help with your dental needs:

Financing Options

When considering how to finance your dental care, we will discuss the costs of treatment as well as your payment options. The cost of your treatment will depend on what operation you plan on having done. We want to help you find the best choice, which is why our team is regularly available to review insurance claims and help with paperwork. We will also work with your insurance provider to ensure your coverage aligns with your desired budget.

We also offer a Dental Benefits Plan which allows anyone to join the Hillcrest Dental In-Office Savings Plan today!

The benefits include:

  • No Yearly Maximums
  • No Deductible
  • No Claim Forms
  • No Pre-Authorization Requirements
  • No Pre-Existing Condition Limitations
  • No Waiting Periods

Save on all our services, including fillings, crowns, dentures, root canals, and implants—almost anything your family’s dental care requires.

Why Choose Hillcrest Dental?

We have served the Charlottesville area with top-quality dental care since 1953. At Hillcrest Dental, we provide our patients with a variety of services ranging from routine dental care to oral rehabilitation.

We also have an excellent staff who provide these high-quality services, from Dr. Buckwalter, DDS, FICOI at the top down to our dental assistants. Your oral hygiene is a serious matter, but we want your visits to be as painless as possible. Day in and day out, we improve our clients’ dental health so that they leave with brighter smiles.

Professional Dentist Service in Charlottesville, VA

While the cost of a dentist visit can be overwhelming at first glance, we can help you finance your visit. Work with us to assess your dental needs and finance your operations so there is less stress overall. If you need a dentist in Charlottesville, VA, reach out to us at (434) 973-2224 or fill out the form on our contact page.

What is Cosmetic Dentistry?

Many people may not realize it, but there are different types of dentistry. For instance, general dentistry services involve common treatments like cleanings, fillings, and dental check-ups. Reliable cosmetic dentistry services focus on improving the appearance of one’s teeth and gums. Seasoned dental practices like Hillcrest Dental provide as many of these services as possible to fulfill the needs of their patients.

Hillcrest Dental has served patients throughout Monticello, VA, and Northern Virginia for over 60 years. As we have grown over the years, we have become more effective and efficient in bringing quality dental services to our patients. Dr. Buckwalter is a highly-trained dentist with a variety of specialties in general and cosmetic dentistry. And all our hardworking staff works to ensure that patients get the dental care they need and deserve.

Below, we detail cosmetic dentistry’s purpose, its benefits, and a few of its standard treatments:

Defining Cosmetic Dentistry

Very few people live their entire lives with “perfect” teeth. Most individuals have some teeth that are chipped, crooked, gapped, or discolored. And when they want to improve the appearance of their teeth and gums, they will need cosmetic dentistry services.

As its name suggests, cosmetic dentistry is all about restoring or enhancing the look and feel of one’s teeth and gums. It is an area of treatment that aims to create a perfect smile and, thus, a renewed sense of confidence and wellness.

Benefits of Cosmetic Dentistry

On top of improving your smile, cosmetic dentistry provides several advantages. We list a few of them here:

  • Improves Dental Health: Most individuals tend to care more for their dental health after they receive a whitening treatment or teeth straightening, which leads to improved dental health overall. Better-looking teeth tend to encourage one to take care of them more.
  • Reduced Pain: Misaligned teeth, or teeth that have grown into skewed and twisted positions, can cause patients all sorts of aches and pain if left unaddressed. But, restoring your teeth to proper alignment can reduce and perhaps even eliminate the pain.

To learn about more potential benefits of cosmetic dental treatments, speak with a seasoned, trusted dentist.

Hillcrest Dental: Exceptional Cosmetic Dentistry Services in Monticello, VA

Cosmetic dentistry is an excellent way to transform or restore your smile. At Hillcrest Dental, you can get high-quality cosmetic dentistry services from an experienced and dedicated practitioner. We carry a longstanding tradition of caring for our patients and holding each and every one of them in high regard. Contact us today at (434) 973-2224 to learn more about our dental services and schedule an appointment with us today.

What Does General Dentistry Include?

General dentistry includes a range of services including dental diagnoses and treatments to help you adequately manage your overall oral health. Your dentist may provide treatments on your gums as well as specific services such as root canals, fillings, crowns, veneers, bridges, preventative guidance and more. Connect with your professional general dentistry near the Monticello, VA, area for assistance!

At Hillcrest Dental, we are known for providing the highest quality of general dentistry services. We will ensure your beautiful smile is properly cared for by a dedicated and professionally trained team. As your primary care dental provider, we would be happy to help you maintain good oral health.

7 General Dentistry Services We Provide

Routine Checkups & Cleanings
We understand going to the dentist on a regular basis can be daunting but going frequently will prevent costly and inconvenient treatments. In your routine checkup and cleaning appointment, we will take a few digital x-rays and perform a comprehensive periodontal evaluation to see the current condition of your oral health.

We also perform a regular oral cancer screening as a preventative measure while checking your jaw and bite movement.

Root Canals
A root canal treatment is nothing to be afraid of. We only perform this when we need to eliminate bacteria that has damaged one of your teeth. In an effort to save the diseased tooth, we safely remove the inflamed, or infected, pulp by cleaning and disinfecting it, and then filling and sealing it.

No matter what you are looking for, we can easily provide partial or a complete set of dentures for you. If you prefer to combine it with dental implants, then we can take those steps to help you achieve your best smile and boost your confidence.

Sleep Apnea Support
In the United States, many people are unaware that they are suffering from sleep apnea. If you are experiencing extreme fatigue during the daytime, frequent headaches, irritation, and difficulties thinking clearly, Hillcrest Dental will provide a complete medical assessment to determine if you need an oral apnea appliance.

Our team will pair you with a high quality oral appliance that suits your needs best, ensuring it is comfortable. We will help you schedule a follow up appointment to make sure your appliance is working efficiently.

Gum Disease Care
Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is a particular infection we specialize in caring for. It has the potential to be a serious gum disease that can damage and destroy the bone, which supports your teeth. It can also lead to loosening teeth or tooth loss.

Night Guards
Have you ever woken up with a sore jaw or experienced frequent headaches? Then you might be grinding your teeth at night! If bruxism, or teeth grinding, occurs often due to stress and anxiety, then it can be quite harmful. We can create a night guard that will prevent your teeth from grinding down too much.

Custom Athletic Guards
If you participate in a contact sport, then a custom athletic mouthguard may be a great option for you. We will create a model of your teeth and develop a custom mouth protector that fits properly and protects your teeth. It also won’t restrict your breathing while you are playing your favorite sports.

Complete General Dentistry Services Available in Monticello VA

If you visit Hillcrest Dental on a routine  basis, our team will help keep your oral health in check by providing regular guidance and thorough cleanings. Protect your dental health with Hillcrest Dental’s general dentistry services in the Monticello, VA area. We have served our patients with the best dental practices since 1953. You can trust our team to provide the routine care and specialized treatments you need to maintain great oral health. Contact our dental office at (434) 973-2224 or fill out our form to request a dental appointment today!

What Problems Can Cosmetic Dentistry Fix?

Your smile is as distinct as your fingerprint. Every tooth in it not only grew in differently but has also received particular wear-and-tear. So, creating your perfect smile will require careful consideration. Thankfully, cosmetic dentistry services can correct common oral ailments: plaque stains, chipped teeth, uneven gums, and more.

If you are unhappy with your teeth or your smile, reach out to Hillcrest Dental in Charlottesville, VA. Our practice stands on a tradition of personalized, friendly care from a staff of committed professionals. We offer everything from general care to oral surgery services and can perform routine cleanings as well as complex treatments. Whether you’re seeking emergency care or a long-term practitioner, reach out to Hillcrest Dental and receive a free consultation.

Below, we discuss the various teeth and oral health issues that cosmetic dentistry can correct:

Cosmetic Dentistry Solutions


Remove plaque stains

The most common cosmetic dentistry service, teeth whitening (or bleaching) involves eliminating stains and discoloration due to plaque. The benefits of teeth whitening include its non-invasive nature, modest price tag, and effective outcomes. Many folks with no cosmetic dentistry experience find whitening a great starting place.

While over-the-counter whitening products exist, their results are inconsistent. Only a professional dentist can guarantee that you get the most out of your treatment.

Mend chipped or cracked teeth

Although some patients might consider it a general dentistry treatment, repairing chipped or cracked teeth qualifies as cosmetic. If the breakage is relatively minor, it can be fixed with one of two treatments: dental bonding or veneers.

Bonding calls for a dentist to apply tooth-colored putty directly onto the damaged area. This can correct chips as well as fill small cavities. On the other hand, veneers involve a porcelain shell to be attached to the front surface of a tooth. This, again, covers the damaged or discolored areas.

Repair moderate damage to teeth

A dentist can use dental caps (also called crowns) to correct moderately damaged teeth. “Moderate” damage may result from breakage or disease, but determining this requires a dentistry professional’s insight. Nevertheless, caps can last decades and so – if supported by strong oral health – may permanently “fix” damage. They can also be applied to correct the size and shape of teeth.

Replace missing or badly damaged teeth

When a tooth suffers severe damage or is missing entirely, a dentist may use a dental implant to replace it. While patients may again feel that this qualifies as general dentistry, its effect on one’s appearance also makes it cosmetic. Although they require a commitment to install, a tooth implant can revolutionize one’s oral health.

Permanently artificial teeth include a root and crown. They look and feel natural so that you can live without worrying about their functioning.

Correct crooked teeth

Other common forms of cosmetic dentistry, braces and aligners straighten one’s teeth to create a symmetrical smile. Crooked teeth can undermine self-esteem and cause further problems: gum disease, difficulties with chewing, and other problems. Thus, straightened teeth can improve one’s confidence and support long-term oral health.

Adjust the gumline

While many folks pay little attention to the gums on which teeth sit, others worry over them. Due to several factors, gums can grow excessively, become uneven, or recede. However, gum contouring treatment from a dentist can correct the appearance and shape of your gums. The laser used for this procedure can cause some minor soreness, but that tends to fade away in a few days.

Professional Cosmetic Dentistry Services Available in Charlottesville, VA

Make the most of your smile by seeking out cosmetic dentistry services at Hillcrest Dental in Charlottesville, VA. As an institution since 1953, Hillcrest offers a range of services to handle routine care and specialized treatments. When you’re a patient at our practice, you’re family – we want you to enjoy our options and your oral health. Reach out to us today at (434) 973-2224 or fill out our online form to request an appointment and get a free consultation.

What To Expect When Considering Oral Surgery

Receiving oral surgery should seem like a pretty daunting event, but knowing what to expect can help ease your mind and ensure you recover quickly and comfortably. If you are considering oral surgery, start by discussing with your dentist what to expect.

At Hillcrest Dental, we want to help our patients to understand as much about their dental health as we can, as well as all of the options they have in making sure their teeth and gums remain healthy and attractive. Our practice provides excellent dental care in all areas, whether it be general dentistry, cosmetic dentistry, and even quality oral surgeon services. We’ve had patients throughout Ruckersville, VA, reach out to us for consistent dental care services due to our friendliness, our prompt service, and amazing results.

Here is what to expect if you’re thinking of getting oral surgery:

Consulting With An Oral Surgeon

Unless you’ve received an injury that requires an oral surgeon to provide emergency treatment, you may consult with an oral surgeon first about any required procedures for pre-existing conditions. You may discuss the details of the operation, your medical history, including current medications you should avoid taking prior to the surgery.

The consultation is a good time to ask about any of the concerns you may have about the surgery, whether it be recovery time, pain management, or payment options. It’s a good idea to have these questions written down beforehand.

How to Get Home After Oral Surgery

For the most part, oral surgeries are considered “outpatient,” meaning you’ll be discharged from the hospital or clinic a little while after the operation. Of course, the drugs used for pain management often leave patients fatigued and incapacitated for some time. Have a family member or friend drive you to and from surgery so that you travel safely and with as little worry as possible.

Also, ask your friend or loved one to pick up your pain medications and antibiotics prescribed by your doctor prior to surgery. The earlier you get them, the less hassle there will be and the sooner you can rest and recover.

What You Should Eat Before & After Oral Surgery

Certain foods can’t be mixed with specific medications, as they may produce more bacteria and cause infection during surgery. It is recommended that you fast the night before your surgery, especially if you are being put under general anesthesia.

In some cases, you only need local anesthesia, which allows you to eat a light meal a few hours before surgery. Either way, you should make sure your teeth and mouth are clean before the operation to reduce any harmful bacteria.

Once the surgery is done, your oral surgeon will advise you to stay on a diet of soft, bland foods so you avoid biting or chewing, which will help speed up your recovery. We would also recommend that you have meals in liquid form, such as protein shakes and juices. Avoid using a straw as that could cause dry socket, which can be painful and harmful to your oral health.

What to Expect When Recovering From Oral Surgery

The length of time it takes to recover from an oral surgery differs according to the surgery. Root canals and tooth extractions take around two weeks, while jaw surgery will most likely take a month to a month and a half to fully recover from. Below is what you can expect, and we also offer a few tips to ensure a speedy recovery:

  • For at least two days after the surgery, you may expect a good deal of pain and swelling, but this should be eased with the prescription analgesics prescribed by your doctor.
  • If you’re still in pain even with the painkillers prescribed to you, or you are noticing excessive bleeding from your surgical wound, contact your surgeon as soon as possible.
  • Call your dentist if you notice you are vomiting or have nausea, headaches, muscle aches, or other symptoms of infection.
  • Make sure your home is prepared prior to your surgery to make it easier for you to recover. Stock up on soft foods and ingredients so that you don’t have to worry about your meals during recovery.
  • Purchase some ice packs, which will help reduce and prevent further swelling.
  • Keep your head elevated so that your jaw and teeth rest in a comfortable position.


Hillcrest Dental: Top Dentist and Distinguished Oral Surgeon in Ruckersville, VA

If you’re expecting to have oral surgery in the near future, knowing what steps to take before and after it will ensure you’re less nervous and more likely to recover quickly and comfortably. And with the assistance of our friendly staff at Hillcrest Dental, you’ll not only get the services of an experienced oral surgeon, but also the care and support of one of the top local dental practices in Ruckersville, VA.

Hillcrest Dental also provides dental services in general and cosmetic dentistry, from root canals and annual tooth cleanings to denture and veneer fittings. Contact us at (434) 973-2224  to find out how we can help you retain your best smile through one of our expert dental treatments.

4 Signs That You have Gum Disease

Your gums are an important aspect of your dental health. Their condition is closely connected with your teeth but also your overall dental health. Signs of gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) can indicate serious issues with your teeth, and perhaps even your overall health. If not addressed properly, gum disease can lead to painful infections and teeth loss.

Hillcrest Dental provides numerous general dentistry services aimed at treating and preventing gum disease. Our highly-trained Blue Ridge VA dentist and staff will help you recognize the symptoms and suggest a course of treatment to ensure your teeth and gums remain healthy for years to come.

Below, we discuss the four main signs of gum disease and what each could mean regarding your dental health:

Bleeding Gums

Simply put, your gums should not bleed when you floss or brush your teeth. If they do, that means that bacteria has built up beneath your gums, causing them to bleed and spread more harmful bacteria in your mouth.

In addition, symptoms like gum swelling, redness, soreness, and tooth sensitivity, along with bleeding, indicates that your gums are suffering from a mild but soon-to-be severe infection. A dentist will be able to identify the severity of the infection and explain the proper course of action to help maintain and even restore your gums.

Furthermore, gum disease has been linked to serious medical risks such as heart attack or stroke. This is because, as your gums bleed, harmful bacteria enter from your mouth and into your bloodstream. From there, the bacteria can then cause clots, thus increasing the chances of a heart attack or stroke.

Gum Recession

Have you noticed your teeth appearing to be “longer” than they were before? This often happens when another sign of gum disease is present: gum recession.

The gum tissue around your tooth does usually recede as you grow older, but if your dentist notices that it’s happening rather quickly, that means you may have a serious case of gum disease that’s quickly progressing.

To identify if the progress of your gum recession is indicative of gum disease, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your dentist.

They will measure the outer surface of your tooth to determine how much of your gum tissue has recessed over time. This can then help your dentist decide what treatments to recommend and whether you should have a specialist involved or not.

Tooth Sensitivity

Sensitivity is another common sign of gum disease, and further stems from gum recession. As your gums recede, more of the root surface of your tooth becomes exposed.

This exposure makes the root of your tooth more vulnerable to decay, deterioration, greater sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures, and can eventually lead to tooth loss.

Take note of how your teeth feel when you’re consuming hot or cold beverages. If your teeth are becoming unbearably sensitive, that means that your symptoms are worsening. A quick dental check-up can indicate whether this is related to gum disease.

High Blood Sugar

Another significant sign of gum disease is having high blood sugar. A higher blood sugar often means that a person has or is at risk of having type 2 diabetes, which has an interchangeable relationship with gum disease. This means that those with type 2 diabetes also often have a higher risk of having gum disease and vice versa.

As high blood sugar is a sign of gum disease in itself, it’s important to know the symptoms to recognize whether or not you have it. Here are some of the signs of high blood sugar:

  • Headaches
  • Frequent urination
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Blurred or impaired vision
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Increased thirst

Noticing any of these signs means you should check with your physician first, and if they find signs of gum disease as well, be sure to check in with your dentist too.

Controlling Gum Disease

If you want to prevent or reduce the progression of gum disease, you have to put your oral hygiene in order first. The main objective is to consistently disturb the plaque and bacteria in your mouth, so that none of it will ever sit too long against your gums and teeth. The best way to do this is by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth as often as you can.

We recommend you do it after each meal, whenever you first return home from work or school, or when you first wake up and before you go to bed. Brushing and flossing are the simplest way to prevent the progression of gum disease. In addition, we recommend that you regularly meet with your dentist for routine checkups and cleanings.

Book an Appointment at Blue Ridge, VA’s Top Dentist!

Taking care of your dental health should always be a priority, as it also affects and signals the condition of your overall health. So, taking care of your teeth means taking care of yourself overall. Hillcrest Dental seeks to provide the personalized dental care that fits your needs. Our expert Blue Ridge VA Dentist, Dr. Buckwalter is highly-experienced in all forms of general and cosmetic dentistry, covering all sorts of treatments that can help improve your smile and hygienic health. Contact us at (434) 973-2224 for more information and make an appointment with Hillcrest Dental today!

7 Fun Facts About Flossing

Our teeth are just  as important as other parts of our body, but sometimes we may not always feel like taking care of our teeth. As it is part of getting a perfect, pearly-white smile, you should pay attention to how you floss. Flossing is an important step of oral care, in which you make sure that plaque and bits of food don’t build up between your teeth. If plaque and other food debris remains on your teeth, it may pave the way to further damage such as cavities, gum disease, and more.

Here at Hillcrest Dental, we strive to help our patients learn the best habits so their teeth remain beautiful long before they come to visit our offices. Our dedicated and skilled dentists and dental hygienists will provide excellent cleanings, general dental care, oral surgeries and more. As a high-quality family dentist practice in Charlottesville, VA, we pride ourselves on making our clients comfortable with us, as some have been coming to us for years for all of their dental care needs. Here are seven facts about flossing that will help you maintain healthy gums and a clean, white smile: 

Flossing Facts

  1. Flossing helps get rid of excess plaque. The more plaque you have between your teeth, the more likely you will develop cavities, which can then lead to gum disease. By flossing regularly, you’re proactively helping your gums defend against buildup and bad breath.
  2. There are three ways to floss: flossing by hand, using flossing sticks, or the hydro flosser, also known as a “waterpik”.
  3. If you don’t floss regularly, then it could lead to sensitive and easily-bleeding gums. However, if you continue flossing, these symptoms will eventually subside, as your oral health improves.
  4. Floss comes in common flavors such as cinnamon, mint, and bubblegum, but there are many more unique kinds found online, such as bacon or wasabi.
  5. Brushing your teeth only removes up to 70% of debris and plaque. However, by flossing consistently, your teeth will be even cleaner and less likely to decay.
  6. It’s important to floss when you have braces, as food is more likely to get caught between the wires. Floss threaders and proxy brushes can help you  better clean those hard-to-reach areas.
  7. There are options available for people with teeth that are very close together and difficult to clean between. Certain brands have produced flossers that have thinner threads so that you can easily slide the floss between your teeth.

Hillcrest Dental: Experienced Family Dentist in Charlottesville, VA

Flossing is an essential part of your oral health routine and we believe that taking care of your teeth doesn’t have to be painful or dreadful. We want our clients to walk into our office with a smile on their face, knowing full well that their experience with us will be relaxing and comfortable. Hillcrest Dental is among the best and highest-rated family dentist clinics in Charlottesville, VA. We offer general dental care and surgical dental care. Our full dental staff is excited to meet you at your next appointment. Contact us at 434-973-2224 to learn about our services and schedule an appointment with us today!

  • "I am very pleased with how my appointment went yesterday. Everyone was really friendly. They explained everything to me about the procedure and stayed late to assure I was comfortable with the work I had done. Dr Ryan Buckwalter and his assistants were awesome. I highly recommend them for any dental work. Thank you."

    Donnette M.

  • "I was having toothache pain in my lower jaw. I called the next day to make an appointment and was given an appointment time for the very next day. I saw Dr. Ryan, who is knowledgeable, caring and has great people skills with his patients. I made another appointment to come back and have the work done."

    Denise K.

  • “Dr. Buckwalter and his assistant did a wonderful job with our 8 year old today. While they were busy talking teeth, my 3 year old was enjoying his new lip balm and balloon! Finished up with a treat from Starbucks with our gift card. So glad our kiddos don’t fear the dentist. More like they want to keep stopping in."

    Logan D.

  • “Unbelievable experience with Dr. Ryan Buckwalter. Night and Day difference from my last dental experience with another dentist. I no longer fear the dentist!”

    David S.