My Blog

Posts for: May, 2016

By Dr. Michael Tisdelle
May 16, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

Are you concerned about a missing tooth but don't want to wear bridges or dentures? Dental implants provide a more natural, comfortable solution to tooth loss. Visit Dr. Michael Tisdelle, your Charlottesville dentist, for more information about this popular tooth replacement option.Dental Implants

What are dental implants?

Dental implants replace the root portion of a tooth. They're placed in a small hole drilled in your jawbone. Over the course of several months, the small titanium post bonds to the surrounding bone in a process called osseointegration. Once the implant fuses to the bone, your dentist connects a porcelain crown to it. The crown replaces your tooth above the gum line.

Why should I choose dental implants?

Implants offer several advantages that bridges or dentures can't, including:

Better comfort: Bridges or dentures rest against your gums. If they don't fit perfectly, they can irritate your sensitive gum tissue. Gum irritation isn't a problem with dental implants. In fact, they feel more like a natural tooth than any other tooth replacement option.

Excellent biting power: When you wear dentures, your biting power is reduced. Foods you used to enjoy, such as raw carrots or corn on the cob, become difficult or impossible to eat. Your biting power is unaffected with dental implants. You'll be able to bite and chew all of your favorite foods with no trouble.

A stronger jawbone: Roots don't just keep your teeth in place. They also provide the stimulation your jawbone needs to remain strong and healthy. Once a tooth is lost, the underlying jawbone begins to weaken and shrink. Over time, loss of bone in your jaw can put your other teeth at risk and cause your face to sag, especially if you've lost several teeth.

Lower cost: It's true that dental implants can be more expensive than other options initially, but over the years, implants actually offer the better value. Bridges and dentures must be replaced periodically, while implants only require a one-time expenditure.

Would you like to permanently replace a missing tooth? Call Dr. Michael Tisdelle, your Charlottesville dentist, at (434) 977-4101 to find out if you're a good candidate for a dental implant. Improve your smile with an implant!

By Michael J. Tisdelle DDS
May 16, 2016
Category: Oral Health

For major-league slugger Giancarlo Stanton, 2014 was a record-breaking year. After the baseball season ended, he signed a 13-year, $325 million contract with the Miami Marlins — the biggest deal in sports history. But earlier that same year, Stanton suffered one of the worst accidents in baseball: He was hit in the face by an 88-mph fastball, sustaining multiple fractures, lacerations, and extensive dental damage.

After the accident, Stanton didn’t play for the remainder of the season. But now he’s back in Spring Training… and he’s got a not-so-secret weapon to help protect him against another injury: A custom-made face guard designed to absorb impacts and keep him from suffering further trauma.

As sports fans, we’re glad that Stanton was able to overcome his injury and get back in the game. As dentists, we’d like to remind you that you don’t have to be a major-league player to feel the harmful effects of a sports injury — and you don’t have to look far to find a way to protect yourself. In fact, you can get a custom-made mouthguard right here at the dental office.

Mouthguards have a long tradition in sports like football, boxing, and hockey. But did you know that far more Americans are injured every year playing “non-collision” sports like basketball, baseball — and even bicycling? And it doesn’t take a major-league fastball to cause a dental injury: The highest incidence of sports-related dental injuries occurs in 15-to-18-year-old males. In fact, about one-third of all dental injuries among children stem from various types of sports activities. These injuries may result in countless hours being lost from school and work, and cost significant sums for treatment and restoration.

Mouthguards have a proven track record in reducing dental and facial injuries: They are capable of absorbing the energy of a blow to the mouth, and dissipating it in a way that prevents damage to facial structures and teeth. But not all mouthguards are created equal: Custom-fabricated mouthguards, which are produced from an exact model of your mouth made right here in the dental office, offer by far the best protection. They fit better and safeguard the teeth more fully than any off-the-shelf or “boil-and-bite” type can. Plus, they’re more comfortable to wear. And let’s face it: No mouth guard can protect your teeth if you don’t wear it.

What’s more, some recent studies indicate that custom-made mouthguards may offer significant protection against concussion. An increasing awareness of the dangers that concussion may pose to athletes is one more reason why we recommend custom-made mouthguards to active people and their families.

To get his face guard, Giancarlo Stanton reportedly went to a specialist sporting-goods manufacturer in Illinois, and paid around $1,000. But you can get a custom-made mouthguard for yourself or your loved ones right at our office for a fraction of that price. And the peace of mind it can give you is… priceless.

If you have questions about custom-made mouthguards, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “An Introduction to Sports Injuries & Dentistry” and “Athletic Mouthguards.”


A traditional root canal procedure can be a “life-saver” for a decayed or injured tooth. But while it’s usually the best course for a damaged adult tooth, variations of the procedure are advisable for a new permanent tooth in a child or young adolescent.

This is because the inner pulp, the focus of the treatment, plays an important role in a young tooth’s development. When it first erupts a tooth’s dentin layer, the living tissue that makes up most of the body and roots of the tooth, hasn’t fully formed. The pulp increases the dentin layer over time in conjunction with jaw development.

Because a full root canal treatment removes all of the pulp tissue, it could interrupt any remaining dentin development in a young tooth. This could lead to poorly-formed roots and a less healthy tooth. For an immature permanent tooth, then, we would use variations of a root canal treatment depending on the nature and extent of the injury, the patient’s overall health and medications they may be taking.

Our main objective is to expose or remove as little of the pulp tissue as possible when treating the tooth. If the pulp hasn’t been exposed by the decay or injury, we may only need to remove the softened decayed or injured dentin while leaving harder dentin nearer the pulp intact. If, however, the pulp has become partially exposed by disease or injury, we would then perform a pulpotomy in which we remove only the exposed tissue and then place calcium hydroxide or mineral trioxide aggregate (MTA) to stimulate dentin growth that will eventually patch the exposure site.

In cases where decay or injury has rendered an immature tooth’s pulp tissue unsalvageable, we may use a procedure known as apexification that seals off the open, cylindrical root end of the tooth. This will allow bone-like tissue to grow around the root to serve as added support for the tooth. Although it can save a tooth in the short run, the tooth’s long-term survival chances may be lower.

By using these and other techniques we may be able to save your child’s immature tooth. At the very least, such a technique could postpone replacing the tooth until a more opportune time in adulthood.

If you would like more information on treating damaged teeth in children, 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 “Saving New Permanent Teeth after Injury.”