Expert Dental Care Offered by Your Bethesda, MD Family and Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Richard Hunsinger.
We provide cosmetic dental services to help you get the wonderful, confident smile you deserve! Dr. Richard Hunsinger uses today's advanced technology and techniques to restore your smile to maximize function and form. Whether you need to take care of a cavity or want a complete smile makeover, we can create a treatment plan that's right for you. Please take a look below to learn more about the procedures we offer.
General Dental Procedures
Routine dental cleanings are important to maintain good oral hygiene. Professional cleaning by a hygienist can remove mineralized plaque that may develop - even with careful brushing and flossing - particularly in areas that are difficult to reach. It is recommended you get your teeth cleaned once every six months.
Dental Exams and X-Rays
Routine dental exams are important to maintaining healthy teeth and gums. Additionally, they can help to avoid the financial costs associated with large treatment plans later on. The Academy of General Dentistry recommends checkups twice a year for people of all ages. At this frequency, most problems can be caught while they remain in an early stage.
When treating a cavity, Dr. Hunsinger removes the decayed portion of the tooth and fills it with a specialized material. The two most popular options for fillings are composite (white) and amalgam (silver).
Teeth tend to discolor through the years as enamel wears down. The wearing down of enamel allows the dentin, the yellow substance that comprises the core of our teeth, to become more visible.
Compared to fillings, which cover a small portion of a tooth, a crown - or cap - encases the entire visible portion of the tooth. The crown becomes the tooth's new outer surface. A dental crown is used when a tooth is broken or decayed to such an extent that fillings will not repair the problem. The crown provides a protective shell around the damaged or decayed tooth to strengthen it and improve the appearance. Crowns also help restore a tooth to it's original shape, which is extremely important for proper function as well as aesthetics. Maintaining your proper bite will help your teeth and jaw function their best.
Dental Bonding is a restoration procedure in which a tooth-colored resin is bonded to a tooth and cured with ultraviolet light. Bonding is faster and cheaper than veneers or crowns, and can thus be a good option to make small cosmetic improvements to your teeth. Unlike veneers and crowns, bonding can be done within one office visit since nothing has to be custom made by a dental laboratory. Additionally, the procedure typically requires removing less the tooth enamel compared to veneers and crowns. However, since bonding typically doesn’t last as long as other forms of restoration and is less resistant to stains, it is used more often for small cosmetic touchups rather than major restorations.
Dental veneers are thin custom made shells that cover the front surface of your tooth to improve their appearance. They are made of tooth colored materials and can be used to improve the color of teeth that have been worn down or stained. Alternatively, they can be used to improve the shape or size of the tooth.
Dental Inlays and Onlays
Dental inlays and onlays are a more conservative approach to tooth restoration than full crowns. The are used to repair rear teeth that have mild to moderate tooth decay, or for cracked teeth where the damage does not warrant a dental crown. Porcelain, composite resin and sometimes gold are used to create inlays and onlays. Inlays refer to those procedures where the bonded material limited to the center of the tooth, while onlays refer to those procedures where the bonded material can extend further to one or more cusps of the tooth.
Of all the ways modern dentistry has to replace missing teeth, dental implants are by far the best. Implants have a documented success rate of over 95%, which is significantly higher than any other tooth-replacement option. There is no tooth-replacement option that will give you a longer-lasting result. Implants help preserve bone that supports the tooth. If a tooth is not replaced, the supporting bone naturally deteriorates due to that tooth loss. Loss of bone is one of the major hidden consequences of losing teeth.
A dental bridge is a false tooth that is used to fill the gap created by missing tooth or teeth. A gap between your teeth can be potentially dangerous to your dental health, as it can cause your teeth to shift resulting in a change in your bite that could be painful. Dental bridges help alleviate this problem by using the two surrounding teeth as anchors to hold a false tooth in the place where the gap is. Typically, porcelain crowns are placed over the surrounding teeth, and the false tooth, known as a pontic, is fused between them.
Root Canal Therapy
Root canal therapy is treatment used to repair and save a tooth that has been infected due to a deep cavity or cracked tooth. The treatment involves removing the pulp and the nerves of the tooth, and cleaning the infected area. A tooth's pulp and nerve is not important to a tooth's health and function after the tooth has fully emerged from the gums. If the treatment is not performed, bacteria builds up at the root tip and the infection of the pulp can spread to the surrounding bone. The results in pain and swelling, and your tooth would likely have to be removed.