Monday, April 30, 2012

Papoose boards not used at Mary T. Dooley, DDS

Virginia Beach, VA,  April 30, 2012 – The April 26 episode of “Inside Edition,” the television news magazine    program, is causing an uproar in the dental community. The show aired a segment about a California doctor’s use of a “papoose board” during the treatment of children.  Parents of child patients allege papoose boards, which act as restraints, have caused emotional and physical harm. While the doctor has not been charged with any wrongdoing, and the use of papoose style restraints is allowed by the dental boards, the practice is not common.

  The American Dental Association released a statement about the case Friday, saying in part, “The American Dental Association (ADA) notes that the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD) guidelines state when stabilization is used, it should always be the least restrictive, but safe and effective. “  The entire ADA statement can be found on their website. 

              Virginia Beach dentist Mary T. Dooley says she’s never used a papoose style restraint on a child patient. “If a child needs special behavioral management for care we refer them to pediatric specialists. Those specialists adhere to AAPD guidelines.” Children are a welcome part of Dr. Dooley’s Virginia Beach practice. “Our goal for care is the same as any parent, a happy child with a healthy mouth,” Dr. Dooley adds.

                If you have questions about pediatric dentistry, do not hesitate to ask your dentist.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Dental Implants Preserve Bone

As you may be aware, this is National Prosthodontics Awareness Week, recognized here in Virginia Beach to be so important our own Mayor has issued a proclamation announcing the same locally! Many of our patients and other blog readers are asking to better understand what a prosthodontist is.

Prosthodontists specialize in the replacement of missing teeth. Replacing missing teeth is important because of its side effects. In a recent Institute of Dental Implant Awareness survey, only 36% of respondents who knew about implants knew that tooth loss immediately results in bone loss. A lack of bone then leads to a change in your physical appearance, giving some people a "witchy" look, sunken features and a protruding chin and nose.

75% of respondents who already had bridges, partials, or dentures stated that they would have changed their minds about getting those treatments if they had been aware of bone loss resulting from extractions and that implants can preserve bone.
This patient has a multi-unit bridge. Bone loss is clearly
visible as support under the gums has been lost.
Dental implants are substitute tooth roots, providing the same function as natural tooth roots, including stimulating the bone, therefore preserving it.  By preventing bone loss, the facial structure stays remarkably intact. Bone grafting at the extraction site is still necessary in many cases and improves the likelihood of a successful implant.

Believe it or not, dentures reduce your ability to chew by nearly 75% less than your natural teeth. Restoring your smile with implants at the time of extraction, and treating periodontal disease regularly can keep you from suffering this fate!

As a prothodontist, I know you don't want to lose your natural teeth, or bone! Let us help you stay in the best oral health as possible. Visit my website and watch our videos on dental implants and periodontal disease. If you have questions, call us at 757-486-4880 or schedule your appointment online.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Your FAQ's: Dental Implants

The Your FAQ's titled posts are truly inspired by our patients and prospective patients. Please take the time to read these thorough explanations of the most common questions we hear in our practice.

Most people are aware of implants as replacements for single teeth, but implants as supportive structures under dentures, and partials are growing in popularity. A great deal of patients ask us first about price. Today's post helps adress the question!
Pictured: Mini dental implant supported denture.
Mini implants require less bone to attach securely and have a quicker
healing time than full size implants. Your dentist
will ask for a CAT scan to help determine which kind
of implant is right for you and where to place the implants.

Q: How does the cost of implants compare to alternatives?

A: The perception is that implants cost a great deal more than other methods of tooth replacement or restoration. However, looking at the long term, implants are in fact less pricey that the alternative. For example, if a single tooth is being extracted (or has been lost) and replaced, a bridge would be the traditional treatment. This option is often times asetheticly pleasing, and lasts 5-10 years. Surrounding teeth will be affected as grinding is necessary to fit supporting crowns on either side of the missing tooth. The cost would vary from $6,000. With a single implant and crown, you can expect a 25 years to life expectancy and the added benefit of bone preservation. The implant physically acts as a tooth root and maintains your natural bone. This bone would deteriorate otherwise. The implant costs $2,500-$4,-500, once.

                                      Cost over 20 years
Bridge                  6,000                       Single tooth implant   2,500-4,000
Replacement  #1  6,000                               no need to replace
Replacement  #2  6,000                               no need to replace

Total                  $18,000                  Total                  $2,500-4,000

If you have more questions about full size or mini dental implants, check out our website or give us a call at 757-486-4880.

Do you have a question you'd like us to answer? Submit your questions in the "reply" section here or email us at We hope you've found this questions helpful. Be sure to check our website for a list of other frequently asked questions!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Mayor declares Prosthodontics Awareness Week in Virginia Beach

We are excited to announce a partnership between Virginia Beach City Mayor William Sessoms and our office! Below you'll find our official press release.

Mayor declares Prosthodontics Awareness Week in Virginia Beach

National Prosthodontics Awareness Week 2012 will be April 22-28. It focuses on raising public awareness about the critical importance of a healthy mouth. This is especially important now as the link between oral health and overall health is being increasingly documented.

Seeing the need for immediate treatment in many people in Virginia Beach, area dentist Mary T. Dooley decided to reach out to Mayor William Sessoms to bring attention to the cause. “Oral hygiene and restorations improve an individual’s self-esteem, Many adults who do not replace their missing teeth suffer premature aging, poor diet, loss of function and social embarrassment,” says Dr. Dooley.

Understanding the cause, Mayor William Sessoms issued a mayoral proclamation declaring Prosthodontics Awareness Week in Virginia Beach. It is our hope that his support will give weight to to the matter in the minds of patients desperately in need, and yet unconvinced of necessity.

“By utilizing dental implants, fixed bridgework, removable partial dentures and complete dentures a prosthodontists’ expertise can change a smile and a life.” Dr. Dooley explains. This initiative focuses on the important role prosthodontists have in treating patients with missing, broken and worn teeth. The American Dental Association recognizes prosthodontists as dental specialists with two to three years of additional training after dental school in the prevention and treatment of tooth loss and advanced expertise in comfortably treating even the most complex dental needs of patients. The American College of Prosthodontists is urging all patients to talk with their dentists about how to care for their damaged or missing teeth during this National Prosthodontics Awareness Week campaign and the appropriate time to seek the care of a prosthodontist.

Virginia Beach dentist Mary T. Dooley is proud to have served in the US Navy Dental Corps before having opened her doors to patients in private practice a decade ago. As a specialist in prosthodontics she is able to see patients through all aspects of care, from general cleanings and examinations, through major restorative care and implant dentistry.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

X-rays and Brain Tumors Headline Misleading

Patients should consider factors in wake of new research. Study suggests people who had certain kinds of dental X-rays in the past may be at an increased risk for the most commonly diagnosed brain tumor in the U.S.

The latest dental related headline may be jarring to patients. The results of a new study suggest x-rays could be more harmful than once thought. The findings cannot prove that radiation from the imaging caused the tumors, and the results are based on people who were likely exposed to higher levels of radiation during dental x-rays than most are today."It's likely that the exposure association we're seeing here is past exposure, and past exposure levels were much higher," said Dr. Elizabeth Claus, the study's lead author and a professor at the Yale School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut.
A typical bitewing x-ray. Bitewings are necessary x-rays
to make sure your dentist can make
informed diagnoses.
A panographic x-ray is most often taken while standing.These are helpful for intensive cases and determiningthe development of wisdom teeth.

Here at Mary T. Dooley, DDS, we use digital x-rays, which require less exposure. With panoramic x-rays, we can treat wisdom teeth proactively, to prevent possible life-threatening infections. Every person is evaluated individually as to the frequency and type of x-rays they need to prevent infection and tooth loss. We follow the guidelines accepted by the American Dental Association (ADA), including the use of blankets to reduce exposure to other parts of the body. 
The American Dental Association put out a statement noting that the interviews relied on participants' memories of how often they had different types of X-rays years earlier. The statement added, "The ADA's long-standing position is that dentists should order dental X-rays for patients only when necessary for diagnosis and treatment. Since 1989, the ADA has published recommendations to help dentists ensure that radiation exposure is as low as reasonably achievable."
Portions of this article were taken from Reuters news service. Click here to read the full article.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Caring for your Athletic Mouthguard

More and more people are getting outside and taking advantage of spring with athletic activities! It's a fantastic way to stay in shape, but don't forget to take care of your (or your child's) protective mouthguard!

Once you've gotten Dr. Dooley to make a custom athletic guard, care for it as good as you can. Not only will proper care extend the life of the guard in general, it will help the guard stay odor-free, meaning germ free, and maintain its resistance to cavity-causing bacteria!

Sports such as softball, baseball, lacrosse, and field hockey
recommend the use of mouthguards for players.
Whether you've bought your guard at a store, or wear one that is custom-made, you can care for it quite easily. Follow these tips and ask questions to score smile points!
  • Before and after each use, rinse it with cool water or a mouth rinse. You can also clean your guard with toothpaste and a toothbrush.
  • Store and transport your mouthguard in a sturdy container that has vents to allow air circulation.
  • To keep the mouthguard for losing its shape, avoid exposing it to high temperatures such as in hot water (don't boil it to kill germs) on hot surfaces or in direct sunlight.
  • Do not chew on or cut pieces off your mouthguard.
  • Check your mouthguard regularly for tears of holes and make sure the fit isn't too loose. A poor fit can irritate your gums, lips or cheek lining.
  • Bring your guard to your next dental appointment for a check by our staff.
Its is never too early to start wearing a mouthguard. As soon as you begin to look into sports for your child, consider a guard, and talk to Dr. Dooley. Good habits start early, and use of a mouthguard by children and teens will reinforce wear later in life.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

An Important Notice To United Concordia Tricare Patients

As of May 1, 2012, United Concordia will no longer be your insurance carrier for dental coverage. Metlife has been awarded the new Tricare contract. Rest assured, Dr. Dooley and our staff members are aware of the upcoming change and have been making preparations for the event for quite some time! Dr. Dooley WILL be a provider for Metlife. The Metlife website has NOT been updated at this time to reflect her participation.

To maximize your benefits with United Concordia before the switch, we recommend you make sure you've had your regular visits and any fillings, crowns, or other work recommended performed BEFORE APRIL 30, 2012. This will minimize the likelihood of confusion between insurance companies and lessen the chance you will be responsible for what insurance should pay.

We know you may have questions. Below we've answered a few we've been hearing. PLEASE DO NOT HESITATE to call us if you have any other concerns.

Q. Will Dr. Dooley be part of the new plan?
A. Yes, Dr. Dooley will be a provider on the new Metlife TRDP list.

Q. Will my out of pocket costs go up?
A. We have not been given a copy of the patient plan with Metlife. Ask your superior or the representative handling benefits before you sign up to make an informed decision. As always our office will check your benefits and provide the most accurate co-pay information possible.

Q. What do I, the patient, need to do?
A. Very little. Make sure you've chosen the best plan offered for your family's needs. Coverage should be seamless during the transition. Bring any new insurance cards with you to your next appointment.