Frequently Asked Questions
What is personalized boutique dentistry?
Boutique dentistry is a small practice offering lots of personalized attention to patients. Why is this important? To Dr. Hal and his team, personalized dental care is all about knowing you, the patient, as an individual. We get to know you and you get to know us. Feeling like you are a part of the "Dr. Hal" family is an important part of our practice mission. Each patient is seen by Dr. Lippard every time you visit. Time is allotted to ensure the team understands the needs you bring to each visit, and to develop the proper plan of treatment. Even though the office is small, it is equipped with all the latest in dental technology, and is designed for your comfort and well-being.
Do you see children?
Yes, Dr. Lippard provides family dentistry to patients of all ages at our Charlottesville dentistry practice. Our adult patients often prefer to bring their children to our practice to visit the dentist they know and trust. We provide a thorough examination, X-rays to check for proper development of adult teeth within the jaw, and hygiene for children of the appropriate age.
Dr. Lippard may recommend additional preventive measures, such as dental sealants or fluoride treatment to keep cavities in check. Our caring team will show your child proper brushing and flossing techniques that you can help encourage at home. Our goal is for children to have a good experience and to develop a positive relationship with the dentist. When appropriate, we may refer your child to a pediatric dental specialist or an orthodontist for more involved treatment plans that require special skills.
My smile is healthy, but I don’t like the way it looks. Can Dr. Lippard help me?
Absolutely! Dr. Lippard offers cosmetic dentistry to enhance the look of your smile. Many patients benefit from teeth whitening by Tres White and Opalescence. We offer customized take-home whitening kits allowing you to lighten your teeth as many as ten shades in the comfort of your home. Patients with multiple imperfections, such as cracks, chips, gaps, misalignments, or deep stains, may find that porcelain veneers are the best option. Veneers are a single procedure that can mask any of these, or a combination of these, blemishes in just a few visits to our Charlottesville dentistry practice.
I’m nervous about my dental appointment. What can I do?
Dr. Lippard understands that some patients may experience mild to moderate anxiety at dental appointments. Whether it stems from past experience or has been a lifelong fear, it can prevent patients from seeking the dental care they need. Although Dr. Lippard does not offer sedation dentistry, we can help you relax prior to your visit with a prescription for anti-anxiety medication. Additionally, our Charlottesville dental practice offers nitrous oxide, often referred to as laughing gas, to help you get comfortable in the chair.
What if I need oral surgery?
Dr. Lippard provides a full spectrum of dental care, including restorative dentistry to return health. However, if the doctor feels that you are in need of an oral surgery procedure to correct a problem, such as advanced gum disease, complex wisdom teeth removal, or placement of dental implants, he will refer you to a trusted oral surgery colleague. Our Charlottesville dentistry practice is conveniently located for patients in or around University of Virginia, North Grounds, Ivy, Crozet, and the greater Charlottesville community.
What is the difference between a "crown" and a "cap"?
Both crowns and caps are restorations to repair teeth that may have suffered from decay or trauma, and they cover the damage tooth to protect the enamel and remaining structure of the tooth. Gold or silver restorations are normally referred to as "crowns", whereas "caps" are porcelain or natural-colored restorations.
What's the difference between a "bridge" and a "partial denture"?
Bridges and partial dentures are used to restore gaps created by one to three missing teeth. This fixtures are created to blend into your smile. A bridge is a permanent replacement, and is usually attached to your teeth with crowns. A partial denture is removable. Both options provide support to your mouth and prevent your teeth from shifting inward to fill the hole.
What about "silver fillings" versus "white fillings"?
Silver fillings can contain mercury, a metal which has been linked to several health problems. White fillings are porcelain fillings, and while not actually white, they blend well with a tooth's natural color. If your fillings are in good condition, and there is no decay beneath the filling, the RDS does not recommend that you have you amalgam fillings (silver fillings) removed or replaced. Removing sound amalgam fillings results in unnecessary loss of healthy tooth structure, and exposes you to additional mercury vapor released during the removal process.
However, if you believe you have an allergy or sensitivity to mercury or any of the other metals in dental amalgam (such as silver, tin, or copper), you should discuss treatment options with Dr. Lippard.
Do I need a crown after a root canal?
It can depend on what your dentist tells you. It's most often necessary to have a crown placed after root canal therapy is performed. Otherwise, your tooth will be left open and exposed to the bacteria which caused the infection to begin with! Our staff will place a crown after your root canal procedure to protect your tooth.
Why do I need a regular checkup if my teeth are healthy?
Several oral health problems aren't noticeable to an untrained eye. Our team is trained to spot gum disease, tooth decay, and other issues. We also take digital x-rays of your mouth during every regular checkup, which can show us problems that occur beneath the gum line. It's important to attend regular dental visits twice a year to help maintain your oral health.
Why should I be concerned about gum disease? Does it contribute to my overal health beyond my teeth?
Gum disease can affect up to 80% of Americans, and a majority of people are unaware they have it. It's also referred to as "periodontal disease", and symptoms can often go unnoticed. When left untreated, gum disease will lead to tooth loss, and it's been linked to diabetes, heart disease, strokes, and other serious conditions. You can schedule an appointment to receive gum disease therapy today.
What is a digital X-ray? How does it differ from traditional X-rays?
A digital X-ray is an image which has been taken with digital equipment, rather than solely with traditional X-ray technology. Digital X-ray machines emit up to 90% less harmful x-rays as compared to traditional X-rays. Digital images are also faster and cheaper to transfer and produce.
How often should I brush and what type of toothbrush should I use?
You should brush your teeth after each meal, or at least once in the morning and before you go to sleep each night. Your toothbrush should be suited to your individual dental needs. Some toothbrushes have soft bristles, for those with sensitive teeth and gums, and others have firmer bristles. Ask your dental team about which toothbrush is best for you.
How often should I floss?
At least once a day. Flossing removes food and debris your toothbrush can't reach. This helps prevent cavities and gum disease.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Conscious Oral Sedation to allay anxiety can be a useful tool to ease your phobia of dental procedure's and to make your visit more comfortable, while our office does not perform sleep sedation or intravenous sedation, we do offer inhalation sedation (nitrous oxide) and pre appointment anxiety-reducing medication's (Ativan, Valium or Xanax) to allow you a more relaxing and comfortable experience, while safely awake.
Links to Additional Useful References
Still have questions? Contact our Charlottesville dentistry practice for your appointment today.