Sterling Family Dentistry Blog

Sterling Dentist serving Ashburn, Herndon, Reston, & Loudoun, VA

May 24, 2017

Dental Sedation is a common procedure that has often sparked controversy. We know that it can be hard to determine the fact from fiction. Here are four of the most common misconceptions that surround dental sedation.




  1. Any Dentist Can Administer Dental Sedation.

Only certified sedation dentists can administer the sedative. Staff members are trained to track a patient’s vital signs to spot any hazardous activity, but they will not administer the sedative.


  1. Dental Sedation is Unsafe

All invasive procedures pose risks. In modern dentistry, sedation techniques and comprehensive safety protocols have been developed to combat these risks.  Dental professionals exercise great caution. They are well trained and certified to perform sedation.


  1. There is Only One Type of Sedation

There are four kinds of dental sedation.

  • General Anesthesia
  • Inhalation of Nitrous Oxide
  • Intravenous Sedatives
  • Oral Sedatives

They have varying degrees and are administered to patients depending on their

medical conditions, pain threshold, and anxiety levels.


  1. Dental Sedation is Only Used For Complicated Procedures

General anesthesia is administered exclusively for patients who are about to undergo a major dental operation such as periodontal work and root canals. However, dentists also provide other forms of dental sedation to induce a relaxing sensation before a minor procedure is performed. Children and adults with high anxiety levels may find nitrous oxide inhalation and oral sedatives helpful in these situations.


If you have any questions or want to learn more, feel free to give your dentist in Sterling VA a call at (703) 444-3412.

May 12, 2017

Anyone who enters the oral healthcare aisle at the store can immediately feel overwhelmed with all the different selections of toothbrushes. Commercials on television display electric toothbrushes as being the best innovation for your teeth over the manual kind. Let’s examine the two different types to help you make the best decision for your personal oral hygiene.

Manual Toothbrushes

Manual toothbrushes used to come in a rectangular shape, with no angles, and with no added bristles or rubber to the sides that help in overall oral care. Today, they have different sized bristles, cheek and tongue cleaners, soft grip handles and for some youth brushes they have lights that indicate a countdown so the children know for how long they should brush their teeth.

Electric Toothbrushes

Electric brushes seem to have all the bells and whistles, they claim to brush at high-level strokes-per-minute and some can even gauge the pressure that you are putting against your teeth. Inconclusive research does not dictate whether one or the other is better for your oral care, so it is best to understand if you are brushing your teeth correctly, then it doesn’t matter which form you use. What also matters is, which brush is going to get your brushing your teeth properly in the first place?

Proper Brushing Technique

  • Holding your toothbrush at a 45-degree angle, place the head of bristle tips against your gumline. Move the bristles in small circular motions.
  • Always keeping the toothbrush head angled, polish all the individual teeth, maintaining contact with your gumline.
  • Repeat the process on the insides of your teeth.
  • With the front teeth, you may want to tilt the brush vertically to obtain better access.
  • Apply the same, small, circular motions on the back teeth where you chew your food.
  • Don’t forget to brush your tongue as this helps remove unwanted bacteria and helps maintain fresh breath.

Remember to always discuss with your dentist, or oral hygienist, the proper way to care for your teeth. Proper technique will include brushing your teeth for about two minutes and should be followed by flossing and take place twice a day.

If you still feel unsure about what is right for you, discuss it with your Sterling VA dentist at your next appointment. Call us today to schedule your visit at (703) 444-3412.

March 28, 2017

Dental braces are devices used to straighten misaligned or crooked teeth. While general dentists can perform basic alignments of teeth and orthodontics, it may require an orthodontist to fix abnormalities on the teeth. Hence, it is important for you to see our dentist regarding Invisalign in Sterling VA to correct problems with your teeth. Unfortunately, there is a growing trend of people fixing their own teeth using paper clips or rubber bands. The trend of using do-it-yourself (DIY) braces has been frowned upon by orthodontists for a good reason.

Start of the trend

The trend started in Asia where people consider braces and retainers as a status symbol. Since many cannot afford it, they normally use fake braces sold in open-air markets. The trend has reached the United States where the wearing of braces used to be avoided at all costs. Concerns were raised by parents and dental professionals about the trend and are now trying to educate the youth on the dangers of using these DIY braces.

Infection or tooth loss

One danger of using DIY braces is it will increase the risk of oral infection. When rubber bands are used, they have the tendency to reach the base of the teeth and may even go under the gum line. When this happens, it may result in a severe infection or root damage. It may even lead to permanent tooth loss.

Permanent damage

When the rubber band goes under the gum, it may get stuck there. In this situation, there is a big tendency for the tooth to protrude and for the root to be damaged. Once the root is damaged, it may be irreparable. This happened to one man who used a rubber band to fix a gap in between his teeth. He is now wearing veneers after losing a tooth.

While DIY braces allow you to save on the cost of going to a dentist or orthodontist, you may never know that the DIY braces you used will permanently damage your teeth. Thus, you will end up spending more than what you anticipated to restore the smile you once had.

If you're interested in correcting your dental alignment, don't hesitate to contact Dr. Kavianpour if you want to learn more about Invisalign in Sterling VA. These invisible aligners can give you the smile that you're looking for without having to worry about braces and wires. Call our office at (703) 444-3412 today to schedule a consultation about Invisalign.

March 28, 2017

Visiting the dentist is an essential preventative healthcare habit people should form. With the dental checkup, you get to know the state of your pearly whites. Not only that, your Sterling VA dentist can check on symptoms that may lead to dental problems and prevent it from developing further.


However, not everyone likes to visit the dentists. There are even those who really hate the thought of sitting on a dentist's chair. To make these people less anxious during dental checkup is the purpose of sedation dentistry. Here are the several types of sedation dentistry that helped a lot of anxious dental patients.


Oral Conscious Sedation


Oral conscious sedation is the treatment where dental patients are provided pills for sedation. Depending on the dosage, the level of sedation can range from minimal to moderate. The pill must be taken at least 20 minutes before the checkup. That way, the pill will already be working its magic by the time the patient sits on the dental chair.


Inhaled Minimal Sedation


Laughing gas, otherwise known as nitrous oxide, is provided to the patient through a mask. This is a common type of sedation in dental offices because its effects wear off quickly. While in effect, the laughing gas can help the patient relax and relieve anxiety.


General Anesthesia


A sizable number of dental procedures require the use of general anesthesia. General anesthesia is also recommended if the patient is resistant to other types of sedation. Under the effect of general anesthesia, the patient can either be almost or completely unconscious. To remove the effects of general anesthesia, you need to wait until the next day for it to wear off or take medicine to reverse its effect.


IV Conscious Sedation


There are cases when oral sedation and laughing gas are not the best fit for a patient. In this case, IV sedation is an option. The patient will be hooked up with an IV sedative. With this, the patient will remain conscious all throughout the dental treatment. This type of sedative is best when the dentist wants you to be able to follow instructions while remaining completely relaxed.


If you believe your dental fears are getting in the way of having a healthy smile, don’t hesitate to call your Sterling VA dentist, Dr. Kavianpour, at our office today at (703) 444-3412.

February 28, 2017

Sleeping can do wonders to your body. It can boost your immune system, increase metabolism, and rejuvenate body cells. Aside from these, a good night’s sleep can also affect one’s oral health. Not only does it prevent gum and mouth diseases, but it also revitalizes the components of your mouth.

Your Sterling VA dentist shows that there are a number of benefits your gums and teeth can get from a good sleep. In fact, simple sleeping habits play an important role in the maintenance of a healthy oral cavity. To name a few, here is a list of the effects of healthy sleeping habits:


  • An eight-hour sleep paired with good oral hygiene, allows you to prevent the existence or progression of gum diseases.
  • A good sleep can enhance your immune system. With this, it’s easier to fight off bacteria even those found inside the mouth.
  • Proper breathing during sleep prevents you from suffering a dry mouth. Keeping your mouth close during your sleep also keeps your acidity level lower than sleeping with an open mouth.
  • Avoiding midnight snack averts you from any chances of tooth decay. During sleep, there is saliva reduction. If you eat snacks before you sleep, there might not be enough saliva to wash out the sugar and bacteria left in your mouth during the night.
  • Bruxism, or the habitual grinding of your teeth, can cause chips and fractures on the teeth’s surface. If you have overcome this habit, you won’t be worrying about your teeth’s form and texture.
  • A good sleep takes you off from stress. This then protects you from getting bad breath or mouth ulcers which are primarily caused by stress.


If you find yourself to be having troubles with sleep, then mouth and gum diseases are surely not far behind. Enriching your oral health would entail starting a good set of sleeping habits. Hence, start getting yourself a good sleep and give the best care for your oral cavity. And don't forget to schedule your routine dental visit with Dr. Kavianpour, your Sterling VA dentist, by calling our office today at (703) 444-3412.

February 28, 2017

General Anesthesia and sedation have been used in the dental profession since the 19th century. Sedation and General Anesthesia have a lot of similarities, but they have their own set of exclusivities as well.


Sedation is monitored and administered by a licensed nurse and supervised by an actual anesthesiologist. Sedation is also called “lighter sleep”. You will be asleep but can still be stimulated by light, sound, or touch. This medication is best used for medical or dental procedures taking only an hour or less to complete. It’s also recommended for children who weigh a maximum of 60 pounds. Those with complex medical histories are discouraged to take sedation. This is also the option for non-invasive procedures. After assessing the patient, the anesthesiologist will determine if the sedative will be induced intravenously or orally.


General Anesthesia

General anesthesia is also done by a qualified nurse or an anesthesiologist. This is the “deeper sleep” that disables the patient from being stimulated by external pressure. This is ideal for longer, more invasive dental, or medical procedures. The patient will be asleep throughout the procedure. This is for children who weigh over 60 pounds and for people who have a complex medical background.


Are general anesthesia and sedation safe?

General anesthesia and sedation have been effectively and safely used for hundreds and thousands of dental procedures year by year. However, patients can further take extra steps to promote maximum caution:

•    Make sure that your dentist is registered and qualified to provide the level of sedation recommended for the procedure and your condition.

•    Follow all pre-and post-sedation directions laid out by your dentist

•    Update your dentist about your recent medical conditions-- even a simple dizziness, difficulty in breathing, etc. Let your dentists know the complete list of your current medications.

•    If you have any good or bad experience with sedation or general anesthesia before, let your dentist know as well.


If you have any other questions about sedation dentistry, don't hesitate to contact Dr. Kavianpour, your dentist in Sterling VA, by calling our office today at (703) 444-3412.

February 06, 2017

Your dental health says a lot about your health. Your teeth and gums are like windows to the rest of your body’s condition. Doctors can tell a lot about possible health problems by just looking at your mouth. It’s important that you pay attention to the condition of your oral health, so you can seek medical attention if anything is wrong.


Cracking and crumbling teeth

This may be a sign of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Older adults are especially vulnerable to cracking and crumbling teeth. Their tooth enamel becomes thinner and almost translucent. But this tooth erosion is not a normal consequence of aging. This happens to everyone at any age.


Your teeth cracks because the acid that’s coming up from your stomach dissolves them. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is also known as Acid Reflux Disease. GERD causes your stomach acid to come up into your esophagus and then to the mouth. The damaging acid eats away your teeth.


Gums growing over teeth

This is a sign of medication problems. If you notice that your gum is growing over your tooth while taking some medication for heart disease or seizures, you might want to tell your physician about this development. Swelling of your gums over your teeth is often a sign that your dosage of medication needs to be adjusted. There are drugs that stimulate the growth of tissues in the gum.


Grinded down (worn out) teeth

This is a sign of emotion or physiological stress. Grinding of teeth during the hours of sleep, may be a sign of high level of stress. Worn teeth due to grinding at night can result in worrisome headaches in the morning. They can also result in sensitivity to eating or drinking cold and hot liquids.


If left untreated, there’s a big chance that the problem will escalate. Manage your stress level by seeking physiological counseling. Also, check with your dentist for alternatives in treating your worn-out teeth.


Healthy teeth may echo more things about your overall health. In fact, medical professionals use the condition of your teeth and gums to assess vital areas of your body and to predict certain health conditions. Don't wait any longer because your teeth may get worse - contact your dentist in Sterling VA today by calling our office at (703) 444-3412.

February 06, 2017

Protecting teeth also means protecting your gum. Once the gum is not protected, gum recession may happen and may become a serious condition. When you say gum recession or receding gums, it’s a process wherein the gum tissues around your teeth wear away or shrink back. After that, the roots and lower parts of your teeth will be uncovered.


To know if you have receding gums, take a look at these following signs you need to watch for:


• Loose teeth

Typically, periodontal disease and bacteria thriving under your teeth cause loose teeth. When your illness worsens, your gum pockets goes deeper because there’s no attachment structure. Gum disease and gingivitis bacteria can damage your bone and gum tissues that are responsible for holding the teeth in place.


• Exposed tooth roots

Exposed tooth roots may make you feel uncomfortable. Aggressive brushing of your teeth or periodontal disease usually causes exposed roots. You should use extra-soft or soft-bristled toothbrush only in brushing your gums. You need to be gentle too in doing this.


• Sensitivity to cold and hot

A tartar or plaque build-up may lead to gum recession down to your tooth. This may even cause damage to the bone support of your tooth. Worse, pockets could form around your tooth, which makes your teeth more delicate.


• Pain on the gum line

Most of the time, it is not that painful, and signs are minor. But when you don’t pay attention to it, early symptoms could develop and advance to periodontitis. You can say that you have tender gums if you have red and swollen gums, visible shrinking gums, bleeding after flossing or brushing or bad breath.


Gum disease doesn’t really have obvious signs for people but may actually appear when they start with their age of thirty’s or forty’s. Based upon many types of research, men are much prone to gum disease than women. Everyone has a chance of developing gum disease especially those who are not aware of the right ways to prevent it. If that’s the case, talk to your family dentist in Sterling VA soon by calling (703) 444-3412.

February 06, 2017

Tooth enamel covers the outer part of the tooth. It was said to be the most solid tissue in the human body. This covering protects the teeth from its daily functioning such as biting, crunching, chewing, and grinding. Enamel has no living cells; when it is chipped or cracked, it cannot be repaired anymore unlike bones. Tooth enamel erosion is one big problem that can affect anyone. Read on to find out more about tooth enamel erosion.


When you drink tea, coffee, and red wine or even smoke a cigarette, a stain is being left on the enamel of your teeth. To ensure that your teeth are healthy and stain-free, be sure to visit your dentist for a good and proper deep cleaning. Now, what exactly causes tooth enamel erosion?


1. Certain foods causes enamel erosion

Tooth erosion may happen when acids found in certain food wear away the enamel of the teeth. When you excessively consume drinks with a high level of citric acid such as soft drinks as well as drink an excess of fruit drinks, it can be bad for your teeth. In addition, if your diet is high in sugar and starches it can greatly affect the health of your tooth enamel, too.


2. Dry mouth causes enamel erosion

Another reason for tooth enamel erosion is a dry mouth. This condition is known as low salivary flow or xerostomia.


3. Certain health conditions causes enamel erosion

Certain health conditions may cause enamel erosion such as gastrointestinal problems and acid reflux. Taking of certain medications can also affect your teeth.


4. Other environmental causes of tooth enamel erosion

In this category, tooth enamel erosion can be brought about by excessive friction, stress, wear and tear and corrosion. These causes erosion of the tooth surface. Attrition happens when you grind your teeth, especially during sleep. Abrasion is when you brush your teeth too rigidly. It causes the teeth surface to wear away.


Now that you know the common causes of enamel erosion, you can now take care of your teeth better. Remember that when your teeth corrode or break, unlike bones, these cannot be repaired any longer.

February 06, 2017

If you’re experiencing symptoms linked to a dental abscess, you should see your dentist immediately -- be it a periapical, periodontal, or a gingival abscess. Dental infections like tooth abscess need an immediate treatment from your dentist to avoid further complications. Treatment for an abscess may require root canal surgery, tooth extraction, or surgical incision and pus drainage.


In this article, we are going to discuss the common treatment for dental abscesses: the surgical incision and drainage.


What is Surgical Incision and Drainage?

The surgical incision and drainage refer to the procedure to treat a dental abscess by cutting open a small portion of your gum (incision) to drain the pus from the abscess. For an acute dental abscess with swelling and sharp pain, your dentist may proceed with the surgical incision and drain the abscess. However, for severe and life-threatening cases, your dentist may require hospital admission. Your dentist might even suggest further necessary treatment to prevent tooth abscess from recurring.


Most patients usually don’t want to undergo surgical incision and drainage due to the pain associated with it, but it’s not always the case. After the incision is done and the pus is drained out, you will feel immediate relief; the pus will no longer press the surrounding nerve of your tooth which is the cause of the pain. The gum and tooth will start healing by itself after removing the pus which causes the infection due to the bacteria that comes with it.


How is abscessed tooth diagnosed?

If an infection becomes too painful, seeing the dentist should always be a priority. Your dentist will ask you symptoms and will look for swelling and other signs of infections in your mouth. Your dentist might advise you to take dental X-rays and use other dental instruments. After then, your dentist will suggest available abscess tooth treatments.


How is it done?

The dentist will inject you with a local anesthetic solution around the tissue area to numb it. This will be done before the whole surgical incision starts. The incision is usually performed with scalpel which directed to the most swollen area in your gum. Once the area is cut open (incised), the pus will drain out, and it’s left open to continue draining.


To learn more, call your dentist in Sterling VA at (703) 444-3412.