Don’t hide your smile – SHOW IT OFF!

A beautiful smile can make all the difference in the world when it comes to your perceived attractiveness, your attitude, your con­fidence and even the overall youthfulness of your face. And while enamel (the translucent outer layer of your teeth) is the hardest sub­stance in the human body, teeth are still relatively fragile, especial­ly with all the stresses and strains we put them through. Once the enamel is decayed or cracked, it may be only a matter of time before extensive dental care is needed.

Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha from Port Warwick Dental Arts wants you to know that even if you don’t have a vibrant smile now, you can easi­ly have one more simply and in less time than you think, thanks to such technological marvels as porcelain veneers, crowns, and dental implants.

PORCELAIN VENEERS: A veneer is a very thin slip of porcelain requiring minimal to no preparation of tooth structure, due to new techniques provided at Port Warwick Dental Arts. In the past, veneers required aggressive tooth reduction. Not anymore, with the quality skill provided by the master lab technicians with whom Dr. Samaha works. Veneers enhance the color, shape and overall aesthetics of a tooth or teeth. Porcelain veneers can also fill in gaps between teeth, brighten discolored teeth and strengthen a tooth weakened by decay, cracks or inherent enamel defects.

PORCELAIN CROWNS: A crown is a tooth-colored shell of porcelain that is placed over the top of cracked or severely damaged teeth, restoring the strength and beauty of the tooth to near 100% of its original integrity. Crowns protect teeth from splitting, causing painful nerve exposure and/or even the need for extraction. In the past, crown procedures would always include two or three visits to the dentist, who would first take a mold of the prepared tooth and send it off to a dental lab, often taking weeks to be completed. While the new “tooth” is being manufactured, a temporary crown is worn over the tooth. Inconvenient and often uncomfortable, this procedure has been almost completely replaced at Port Warwick Dental Arts. Dr. Samaha offers strikingly beautiful, one-hour porcelain crowns that she designs and mills herself, on high-tech Cerec cad-cam technology. One visit, one hour. Sounds great!

DENTAL IMPLANTS: A dental implant is a small post that is gently placed in the jaw in a matter of minutes, in order to replace a missing tooth. The post is then cov­ered with a crown to make it look, act and feel like a nat­ural tooth.

“If you are missing a tooth, an implant may be the pre­ferred option for tooth replacement,” says Dr. Samaha. “An implant feels and functions like your own tooth and is cleaned just like a natural tooth. Implants are quickly becoming standard care for the replacement of a miss­ing tooth.”

If you’re embarrassed about your teeth, or if you’re ex­periencing gum, tooth or jaw pain because of cracked or missing teeth, let Dr. Samaha and her team put a daz­zling smile back on your face. You’ll be amazed at how quickly most procedures can be done and even more as­tonished by how a few small changes can improve your overall appearance.

Posted in Uncategorized

Just Six Months…To A Beautifully Straight Smile

Recently, we have seen an increase in the number of patients asking how they can get a straighter smile – discreetly, effectively, and quickly. It is at times like these that we are happy that we offer Six Month Smiles®.

When you visit us for your Six Month Smiles® consultation, we begin a careful process to deter­mine if this option will achieve your smile goals. We use only use tooth-colored braces and wires so they blend in with your natural teeth – inconspicuously. In one short appointment, we place your Six Month Smile® appliances and make monthly adjustments. That’s it! The quick, gentle and discreet way to a straighter smile!

Your new smile could be complete by your next dental check-up! Hands down, Six Month Smiles® can be the perfect “quick-turn-around” option for a straighter, healthier and more attractive smile!

If you are seeking a discreet, quick, and effec­tive orthodontic treatment, ask us for a Six Month Smiles® consultation. We will be excit­ed to help!

We are also certified in Invisalign® for those of you determined to “get straight” without actu­al braces. These thin, clear trays may take a bit longer to “do their thing,” but have certainly found a place in our repertoire of options.

Each and every orthodontic case is unique but each end-result is always a more confident smile.

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry, Six Month Smiles

Gentle Dental Laser Treatment

Dental lasers are like many other lasers used in medicine. In fact, lasers are becoming “standard of care” in the medical world. The range of laser use in medicine is vast – including general surgery, neurosurgery, orthopedics, podiatry, cosmetic surgery, and probably the best known, LASIK eye surgery.

What is so special about the dental laser we have chosen to use at PWDA? Our laser is a pulsed CO2 laser. Because our laser has one of lowest levels of tissue penetration of all lasers available, it is incredibly safe and gentle. And because the use of the laser promotes quick healing, it is a wonderful way of doing almost all types of surgical and non-surgical treatment. Whether the laser is used for smaller procedures or larger surgical procedures, the result is the same: a more rapid and comfortable healing process. The danger of bleeding during or after any surgical procedure, as well as the need for pain medication is minimized, and most often nonexistent.

What can our laser do for you? For the greater part of each day, our dental laser is busy helping to improve the dental health of our patients in a variety of ways:

Periodontal disease treatment: We use the laser for the non-surgical treatment of periodontal disease. It plays an integral role in the nationally recognized protocol that Dr. Samaha has developed (and teaches) for the diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease. The CO2 dental laser allows for the disinfection and elimination of diseased gum tissue and also removes the toxins that are embedded in the root surface of the teeth. It encourages gum tissue healing and can even stimulate new bone formation.

Treatment of Herpes and Canker Sores: When the tingling or irritation of a cold sore (fever blister or herpes sore) occurs, the sore can be minimized as the laser vaporizes the virus on-the-spot. If caught early on, treatment can eliminate the cold sore in a few days, instead of 2 weeks. And more importantly, future outbreaks of the cold sore can often be eliminated by several seconds of a quick and painless pass of the laser over the sore. Mouth ulcers can be treated similarly.

Gum lift procedures to remove excess gum tissue: Certain medications, smoking, heredity and periodontal infections can be responsible for excess overgrowth of gum tissue. Sometimes, teeth appear very undersized because of this. Laser treatment is ideal for these situations and can treat this condition in one, gentle visit.

Removal of excessive muscle attachments between teeth or under the tongue: Some people have a gap between their front teeth which is caused by a heavy muscle attachment called a frenum. Other times, the muscle under the tongue is heavy, causing a tongue-tie, or speech impediment. The laser is just perfect in both situations, even in babies.

Discolorations or hereditary hyper-pigmentation of the gum tissue: People of African American, Native American and Indian ethnicity may have a dark, mottled appearance to their gum tissue. Some wish to have it removed. Much like a tattoo, it can be vaporized with a laser. It heals rapidly, often with no pain medication at all. In one visit, the discoloration is permanently removed.

Biopsies of diseased oral tissue: When lumps or bumps occur in the mouth, it is important to have them checked out as soon as possible. They can be a sign of a serious dental infection, such as an abscessed tooth, or they can be a sign of oral cancer. Other times, they can be a hereditary lesion or one that has occurred as a result of trauma. Our dental laser is perfect for removing such lesions and even for biopsying them, (in the case of suspicious lesions). No surgical blades and sutures required!

Hemangiomas of the lips: These are purplish-red isolated lumps of blood vessels which often occur on the lips. Removing them with traditional surgical means can be risky, but with our dental laser, they can be quickly dissolved, once and for all, with no scarring.

What does it feel like to have dental laser treatments – or even laser surgery? Most often, it doesn’t feel like much of anything. In fact, most of our patients say they don’t feel a thing. Some feel a slight rubbing on the tissue. Occasionally, one of our patients might say the laser treatment feels a little warm and/or tingly. In some advanced situations, we might need to gently place a little local anesthesia to assist us in your comfortable care.

Who performs our laser treatments? As the dentist at Port Warwick Dental Arts, I perform all laser treatments on our patients, without question. During the past few decades, dentistry has soared gracefully into the world of high tech. In so doing, procedures have become safer, quicker and gentler. The dental laser is one of the reasons why.

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry, Gum lift, Laser Dentistry, Periodontal Treatment

Is Your Snoring Killing You?

Snoring is something we often make fun of in our society. Loud, gurgling noises occur all night long. But it isn’t funny to the person trying to sleep next to you. And what it’s doing to your body is not funny either. This is because it may be killing you, just slowly. The whole nighttime ordeal can be quite unsettling, even scary, for a bedmate, especially when you stop breathing!

Snoring occurs because there is a disruption of airflow going into your lungs. The usual cause for the disruption is your tongue falling back into your throat and partially blocking air. This causes the gurgling noises. Over time, the condition gets worse. Your throat can become completely closed off so no air goes through to your lungs. This is called Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Sleep apnea is defined as when you fail to breathe for 10 seconds or more during sleep. These ten seconds of not breathing can last far longer and can occur up to hundreds of times during the night. Your brain will detect the lack of oxygen and try to correct it. It will continually wake you up, sometimes with a jerk and gasping for air. Most often, though, you will have no recollection of this happening, as you will be in a deep state of sleep. Your heart will be racing, trying to increase the blood carrying the oxygen to your brain. When you are sleeping your heart should be resting, not racing.

Over time, this physical stress will cause significant damage to your heart. Other health problems will begin to occur as the quality of your sleep continually gets worse. During sleep, our bodies regulate many hormones, some of which control hunger. This is one major reason why you might be gaining weight so easily and can’t get rid of it. And diabetes is just around the corner.

If you’re a diabetic, have heart disease or high blood pressure, it is very important that you find out if you also have obstructive sleep apnea. Heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, stroke, weight gain, memory decline, menstrual irregularities, low libido, erectile dysfunction, teeth grinding, periodontal disease and depression are all symptoms and effects of obstructive sleep apnea. These are all diseases affected because your sleep cycles are interrupted and your body’s hormones are not being regulated.

Most of the patients we treat for sleep apnea are between 35 and 60. Many have great bodies, active life styles, and growing careers. Many of them are on some form of antidepressants and struggle to focus, have trouble remembering names and dates, and fall asleep during the day –often while driving. Their obstructive sleep apnea is preventing them from going through all phases of sleep. Sleep is classified into 4 phases that we go through repeatedly each night: N1, N2, N3/4, and REM. N3/4 is when our brain processes facts and data. If you have trouble remembering what you learned in class or what was said in a board meeting you may not be getting to this stage enough during sleep. REM stage is where we process emotions and events. If you have trouble controlling your emotions it may simply be that you don’t get enough REM sleep each night because you have obstructive sleep apnea.

Diagnosing sleep apnea is not complicated. First we have to figure out if you suffer from it. If you snore, grind your teeth, have reflux, (GERD), have migraines, trouble sleeping, sleepiness during the day, a large neck size, are overweight, have diabetes or heart disease, ask your dentist or family doctor with special training in sleep disorders if they will screen you for sleep apnea. If they feel you may have problems, you will be referred to a Board Certified Sleep Physician who will require that you have a sleep study – either in a sleep center, or at home. Your Sleep physician will determine if you have sleep apnea, to what degree, and will also diagnose other sleep problems. Treating sleep apnea is simply getting air into your lungs while you sleep. Many patients use a machine called a CPAP. It consists of a hose connected to a pump and facemask that forces air into your throat to open the blockage and get air into your lungs. If you have tried a CPAP and can’t wear one, or your lifestyle does not allow you to wear a CPAP each night, you may be able to be fitted with a dental mouth piece. An oral sleep appliance is small, custom-fitted and gently repositions the jaw forward, keeping your tongue out of your throat and allowing you to breath.

The wonderful aspect of the human body is its ability to correct itself. If you can get a good night’s sleep, many of the symptoms of sleep apnea will begin to get better and your health may even return to normal over time.

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry, Sleep Apnea, Snoring

Mind the Gap! Dental Implants Are Becoming Standard Care

A gap-toothed smile is charming on a seven-year old.

Not so much for an adult. But if you’re missing a tooth or teeth, you have several options to restore your smile, says dentist Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha of Port Warwick Dental Arts in Newport News.

Those options are:

  • A removable appliance, also known as a partial or complete denture. That’s the least expensive but also in most cases the least desirable, Samaha says.
  • A bridge. Teeth on either side of the gap are reduced. A porcelain tooth fills in the gap and attaches to the teeth on either side. A bridge is usually more expensive than an implant.
  • An implant. A titanium metal post which is later covered by a crown. “If you are missing a tooth, an implant is the preferred option to a bridge in most cases,” Samaha says. “It feels and functions like your own tooth and is cleaned like a natural tooth. Implants are quickly becoming the preferred choice for replacing a missing tooth.

The success rate for implants is high: 98 percent for lower implants and 91 percent for upper implants, according to the University of Iowa College of Dentistry.

Unlike a removable denture that rests on the gums or a bridge that uses adjacent teeth as anchors, a dental implant is typically a titanium post that is gently placed into the jawbone. The crown is then placed on top, looks and acts just like your natural tooth. Dental implants never slip and don’t make embarrassing noises that alert the world to your false tooth or teeth. Because the implant is fused with the jawbone, bone loss is generally not a problem, according to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.

It is vital that any candidate for an implant be totally committed to a meticulous regimen of oral hygiene as well as preventative maintenance as prescribed by the dentist, Samaha notes, as periodontal infection can occur around an implant, just like a natural tooth. The good news is, implants don’t decay.

Advances in dental technology can reduce healing time after getting the implant post placed. In fact, if you’re getting implants, it’s possible but not typically recommended to get the crown placed the same day as the titanium post, Samaha says. “In general, most situations are not ideal for immediate crown placement,” she cautions, and a few months of healing helps to create greater stability of the implant

A crown is a long-lasting artificial cover for a tooth. It can be made of gold or other metals, porcelain or ceramic or a combination of metal and ceramic. A ceramic or porcelain crown can be made to mimic a beautifully natural tooth, Samaha says.

If you’re getting a crown on an existing tooth, you can even skip the inconvenience of a temporary crown and proceed straight to a permanent crown, thanks to computer-aided design technology. So instead of a couple visits to the dentist over three to four weeks and the hassle of dealing with a temporary crown that can pop out or crack, you can get your new crown in as little as a one-hour visit, Samaha says.

The technology that makes it possible is called CEREC 3-D. Samaha takes a pin-sharp optical image of the tooth. She then prepares the tooth and digitally designs the crown in as little as 5 minutes. No need for gooey impressions, second visits or extra numbing shots.

Tooth-colored CEREC crowns can restore up to 100 percent of the tooth’s natural strength, Samaha says. They are quite stunning, too.

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

So You’ve Tried Whitening Before…

Deep within, we are always ready for the excitement that holidays and special occasions bring. Let our team turn your anticipation of a brilliant holiday season or a memorable event into a dazzling smile just in time for those
heartwarming moments.

So, if you’re too embarrassed to smile, have dark-stained teeth, or just simply want a whiter smile, the excellence of KöR Whitening is waiting for you.

At Port Warwick Dental Arts, we feature the highly regarded KöR custom teeth whitening for a fast, simple way to reverse years of yellowing with less sensitivity and better, deeper long-term results than traditional teeth whitening methods.

The KöR Whitening System produces the most profound whitening with the least sensitivity and is considered to be the most reliable and effective bleaching system ever developed. We have tried most every whitening system available over the years. Since we became certified in the KöR System several years ago, we haven’t looked back. We are always striving to stay at the forefront of technique and we are very proud to be one of a small  number of practices in Virginia to offer this special system.

Perhaps you have only imagined a brighter, more youthful looking smile. Don’t wait for the camera to find you – Call or click today for more Cosmetic options. After all, don’t you deserve a smile worth smiling about!?

Visit our Before and After Gallery online at www.PWDentalArts.com

Call today to schedule a Complimentary Consultation – (A $98 Savings) – and celebrate with the confidence you deserve.

Posted in Cosmetic Dentistry, Teeth Whitening

Dentures vs. Implants

Looking for an effective way to replace missing teeth?

Are tired of your dentures shifting around in your mouth?

DENTURES VS. IMPLANTS

If you are missing most or all of your teeth you have probably considered getting dentures, or you have them already. Like most of the patients who come to us with missing teeth, you might not like the way your dentures feel, or fit, and even how they look. As dentures age, they become worn and the face begins to collapse, giving you an older, tired and sometimes even angry look. A new, custom denture can help all of these concerns and give you the rejuvenated look of a natural facelift – without the surgery!

DISADVANTAGES OF DENTURES CAN INCLUDE:

  • Slipping and sliding
  • Gum irritation
  • Minimal chewing support
  • Impaired talking ability
  • Embarrassing clicking or sucking noises
  • Reduced food taste
  • A sunken facial appearance

Dental implants require very little maintenance other than regular and consistent dental hygiene and professional dental visits. You can care for your implant just like you care for the rest of your teeth.

Even better, they function just like your natural teeth!

While many restorative procedures require replacements or additional restoration after several years, dental implants are designed to last a lifetime if cared for properly. Best of all, they won’t ever decay!

Posted in Dental Implants, Fountain of Youth™

Periodontal Disease and Diabetes— Not a “Sweet” Combination!

Eating too much sugary food is bad for your teeth and your body, especially for people who have diabetes. Combining diabetes and periodontal disease is double trouble. Both must be properly managed for good overall health.

What is diabetes, what is periodontal disease—and what do they have to do with one another? Diabetes is a chronic disease that inhibits the body from producing or properly utilizing insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas and is the means by which sugar, to be used for fuel, gets into the body’s cells.

The causes of diabetes continue to be a mystery and modern medical science has believed that the disease has no cure. However, we do know that periodontal disease—a serious infection of the gums and sometimes, jawbone—can contribute to poor insulin control. Most importantly, we know from sound scientific research that good dental health can help reduce diabetes and diabetic complications.

Is there a relationship between diabetes and poor oral health? Yes. Periodontal problems can double the incidence of diabetes. In turn, diabetes can double the severity of periodontal problems. Hyperglycemia (high blood sugar) can lead to breakdown of the gum tissue and jawbone and a decreased ability of the body to defend itself against harmful oral bacteria. Additionally, periodontal disease contributes to poor blood sugar control by increasing insulin resistance, thus creating a vicious cycle of disease and destruction.

The relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes is one of the strongest of all connections between oral disease and total body disease. On average, people with periodontal disease have a 50 percent greater chance of becoming diabetic. Periodontal disease also puts patients at greater risk for diabetic complications and even death.

“In the mouth, the most aggressive bacteria in the body live in intimate contact with the most delicate tissue in the body,” says Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha, DDS of Port Warwick Dental Arts. “Periodontal disease is an inflammatory and infectious disease that is so highly contagious that if one member of a family is diagnosed, the American Academy of Periodontology recommends that the entire family be evaluated. Without question, by controlling periodontal disease—a dangerous infection—we can decrease insulin needs and help stabilize blood sugar. In fact, as we treat periodontal and other oral diseases, it is necessary for the patient to be watchful of their decreasing blood sugar levels in case their medications need to be reduced.”

How prevalent is diabetes? The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared that diabetes is the planet’s fastest growing disease, affecting about 347 million people worldwide. It is expected that by the year 2030, at least 30% of the American population will be diabetic. Pre-diabetes affects approximately 79 million people in the US, the equivalent to the entire population of 30 states, according to David Armstrong, Director of the Southern Arizona Limb Salvage Alliance. Diabetes is now the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. And worst of all, it takes an average of 8-10 years before a diabetic patient is diagnosed with their disease! Right now, a full 25% of the US population has diabetes and is unaware of their problem.

Is there any good news? Yes. Early treatment of periodontal disease reduces medical costs for those with diabetes, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease and stroke. Continued dental treatments result in a 10-40 percent savings in medical costs for individuals with diabetes and other chronic health conditions. Hospitalizations decreased by 33 percent and physician visits decreased by 13 percent in diabetics who were treated for their periodontal disease.

Periodontal surgery and loss of teeth is avoidable if caught in time. In the past, scalpel/suture surgery was the typical treatment for periodontal disease, but today there are many other options. Because periodontal disease is so complex, its management requires a multi-faceted approach. There are many steps you can take to avoid gum surgery, loss of teeth and complications in the rest of the body, as long as you are under a watchful, professional eye.

Is it time for your next dental visit? Your health—and even your life—may depend on it. If you are overdue for a dental visit, don’t pass up an opportunity to keep your smile bright—and your body healthy. Call today for a periodontal screening and consultation.

Posted in Dental Health

Is a Dental Visit Really Critical to Your Health?

Periodontal (gum) disease is a common and challenging bacterial infection that affects the gums and the bone supporting the teeth. It can also contribute to strikingly dangerous conditions in the rest of the body. And sadly, periodontal disease can have serious consequences even before we have any idea our mouth has been invaded by its dangerous bacteria.

Bad breath and bleeding, swollen and/ or recessed gums can be some of the first signs of periodontal disease, but are usually not found until the middle to late stages of the disease. A professional examination is needed to detect this complex disease.

If periodontal disease is left untreated, bone loss, more serious gum abscesses (“gum boils”) may occur and teeth loosen. The loss of the teeth themselves can be the tragic outcome. Periodontal disease is an inflammatory and infectious disease that can contribute to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, brain abscesses, lunch abscesses, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, kidney disease, Alzheimer’s disease and pregnancy complications.

“I want all of you to know that it was a blessing to meet all of you and I am so glad I found you. The first time I walked through your doors I knew it was the right choice. I felt like I was walking into a spa atmosphere. It was so calming and tranquil and your staff so kind. And Dr. Samaha, I cannot sing your praises enough. You are so devoted and dedicated and truly have a passion for what you do. Thank you for all the time you have spent with me.” – Debbie Fearing Retired Heart Specialist Yorktown, VA

Posted in Periodontal Treatment

Put Your Fear to Rest with Fountain of Youth™

Are you unhappy the way you look in your dentures? Do they move or make a clicking sound while you are eating or speaking? Maybe it’s time to consider The Denture Fountain of Youth®. When Port Warwick Dental Arts creates The Denture Fountain of Youth® for you, you will look years younger, much like you have discovered the Fountain of Youth. You’ll look much younger—without needing any facial surgery!

Read this from one of our happy patients:

“Let me first start by saying that it was hard for me to embark on the journey of seeking out the dental care that I so needed. Then I was finally at a place in my life where something had to be done. The fear I had within me was overwhelming. It took me weeks of researching the internet to get to where I needed to be. Upon entering her office I knew I was exactly where I supposed to be and that my prayers had been answered. The peace and tranquility that I found there – in the setting, her staff and Dr. Samaha – enveloped me, and all my fears were put to rest.

“In no time at all, my journey of transformation began. My surgery and reconstruction was scheduled right away. Sadly, I was going to lose many teeth and advanced procedures were necessary to save what could be saved. Dr. Samaha has such gentle hands that I thought she had only removed one tooth when in fact she had skillfully finished the entire full mouth surgery AND I left with my brand new smile!! I was in awe. But there I was with new teeth in place of the old.

“The first thing I did was take a picture of myself with my cell phone and send it to my children. They couldn’t believe it either. All of them commented on how beautiful I was. My boyfriend was amazed and actually jealous at how white my new smile was. Soon he became my husband – and a happy patient of Dr. Samaha’s, too! Now I face the world with a smile that shines – one that will NEVER be hidden again! It is such a wonderful and transforming feeling. No longer am I the embarrassed girl with the hidden smile.” Billie Jo Grandy Chesapeake, Va

Posted in After Fountain of Youth™
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Port Warwick Dental Arts - Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha
Newport News, Hampton Roads, Virginia Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha Cosmetic Dentistry Dental Implants Restorative Dentistry Dr. Lisa Marie Samaha offers comprehensive cosmetic and reconstructive dentistry including leading edge protocol for diagnosis and treatment of periodontal disease for which she is nationally recognized. If you're looking for a trusted dentist in the Newport News or Hampton Roads area, give Port Warwick Dental Arts a call today!
251 Nat Turner Blvd S
Newport News, VA 23606
(757) 223-9270757-320-2749
info@PWDentalArts.com

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