My Blog

Posts for: March, 2016

By Michael J. Tisdelle DDS
March 24, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures

Magician Michael Grandinetti mystifies and astonishes audiences with his sleight of hand and mastery of illusion. But when he initially steps onto the stage, it’s his smile that grabs the attention. “The first thing… that an audience notices is your smile; it’s what really connects you as a person to them,” Michael told an interviewer.

He attributes his audience-pleasing smile to several years of orthodontic treatment as a teenager to straighten misaligned teeth, plus a lifetime of good oral care. “I’m so thankful that I did it,” he said about wearing orthodontic braces. “It was so beneficial. And… looking at the path I’ve chosen, it was life-changing.”

Orthodontics — the dental subspecialty focused on treating malocclusions (literally “bad bites”) — can indeed make life-changing improvements. Properly positioned teeth are integral to the aesthetics of any smile, and a smile that’s pleasing to look at boosts confidence and self-esteem and makes a terrific first impression. Studies have even linked having an attractive smile with greater professional success.

There can also be functional benefits such as improved biting/chewing and speech, and reduced strain on jaw muscles and joints. Additionally, well-aligned teeth are easier to clean and less likely to trap food particles that can lead to decay.

The Science Behind the Magic

There are more options than ever for correcting bites, but all capitalize on the fact that teeth are suspended in individual jawbone sockets by elastic periodontal ligaments that enable them to move. Orthodontic appliances (commonly called braces or clear aligners) place light, controlled forces on teeth in a calculated fashion to move them into their new desired alignment.

The “gold standard” in orthodontic treatment remains the orthodontic band for posterior (back) teeth and the bonded bracket for front teeth. Thin, flexible wires threaded through the brackets create the light forces needed for repositioning. Traditionally the brackets have been made of metal, but for those concerned about the aesthetics, they can also be made out of a clear material. Lingual braces, which are bonded to the back of teeth instead of the front, are another less visible option. The most discrete appliance is the removable clear aligner, which consists of a progression of custom-made clear trays that reposition teeth incrementally.

How’s that for a disappearing act?!

If you would like more information about orthodontic treatment please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about the subject by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “The Magic of Orthodontics.”


Most first-time root canal treatments achieve their purpose in saving an internally decayed tooth and extending its life to match those of the patient’s non-decayed teeth. Occasionally, though, a root canal-treated tooth may become re-infected by decay.

There are a number of reasons for this: the permanent crown meant to add further protection against decay may have been delayed, giving bacteria an opening to re-infect the tooth; it’s also possible the original seal for the pulp chamber and root canals after filling wasn’t sufficient to prevent bacterial contamination.

There‘s also another reason that’s very difficult to foresee — the presence of narrow, curved root canals in the tooth that can pose complications during the procedure. Some of these known as accessory or lateral canals branch off the main canals to create a complex network that’s difficult to detect during the initial procedure. If they’re not cleaned out and filled during the procedure any tissue trapped in them can remain infected and ultimately die. If these canals also open into the periodontal membrane at the attachment between the teeth and bone, the infection can spread there and become a periodontal (gum) infection that can trigger future tooth loss.

Fortunately, a reoccurrence of infection isn’t necessarily a death sentence for a tooth. A second root canal treatment can correct any problems encountered after the first treatment, especially complications from accessory canals. It may, though, require the advanced skills of an endodontist, a dental specialist in root canal problems. Endodontists use microscopic equipment to detect these smaller accessory canals, and then employ specialized techniques to fill and seal them.

If you encounter pain or other signs of re-infection for a tooth previously treated with a root canal procedure, contact us as soon as possible. The sooner we can examine and diagnose the problem, the better your tooth’s chances of survival by undergoing a second root canal treatment.

If you would like more information on tooth preservation through root canal treatment, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Accessory Canals.”

By Dr. Michael Tisdelle, DDS
March 07, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Teeth Whitening  

What you need to know about teeth whitening treatment options

Does your smile look dull, yellow and lifeless? You can bring back a sparkling, celebrity-white smile and give your smile new life. The answer is a teeth whitening treatment! Dr. Michael Tisdelle in Charlottesville, Virginia wants you to know all about the state-of-the-art Teeth Whiteningoptions available to whiten your teeth, jazz up your smile and give it new life.

Your teeth can become dull and discolored for many reasons, and the main reason is the normal aging process your body and your teeth undergo. Your tooth enamel thins as you age, allowing you and others to see through to the layer underneath, called dentin. Dentin is naturally yellow and darkens as you age. The result is your teeth will look dark yellow to you and everyone else.

Your teeth can also pick up stain from drinking coffee, tea and red wine, or eating foods with dark pigment like blueberries. If you are a smoker, you know how much smoking can stain your teeth!

Over-the-counter whitening treatments can help whiten your teeth, but the effects usually aren’t nearly as dramatic as professional whitening treatments., and the effect might not last very long. Dr. Tisdelle wants you to know about the whitening treatments available at his office. You can choose from:

Whitening kits- which you can take home; these include custom-made trays which you fill with the professional whitening gel supplied with your kit. You can wear these gel-filled trays for short periods of time in the comfort and privacy of your home.

In-office whitening treatments-professional whitening gel is applied to your teeth and enhanced with a high-tech light system. Your teeth can whiten up to 8 shades and the process takes only an hour. It’s the perfect choice if you want whiter teeth in a short amount of time.

Whether you choose the quick in-office whitening treatment or the convenient at-home whitening kit, Dr. Michael Tisdelle is committed to providing the best care available before, during and after your whitening treatment. So don’t wait! Call Dr. Michael Tisdelle in Charlottesville, Virginia and give your smile new life! Call today!