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Posts for category: Dental Procedures


Bite problems aren't limited to teeth simply out of position. The problem could be some teeth aren't there—visibly, that is. They still exist below the gums and bone, but they've been crowded out and blocked from erupting. We call this condition impaction.

Any tooth can become impacted and affect the bite, but a person's smile suffers more if it involves visible front teeth. This is especially so if the teeth in question are upper canines or "eye teeth"—the smile doesn't look normal without these pointed teeth on either side of the central and lateral incisors.

Impacted teeth can also contribute to more than a cosmetic problem: they're more susceptible to abscesses (pockets of infection) or root damage both to themselves or neighboring teeth. To minimize these potential health issues, we'll often remove impacted teeth surgically (as is often done with wisdom teeth).

But because of their important role in not only appearance but also bite function, we may first try to assist impacted canines to fully erupt before considering extraction. It takes a bit of orthodontic "magic," but it can be done.

Before we can make that decision, though, we want to precisely locate the impacted teeth's positions and how it may affect other teeth. This initial evaluation, often with advanced diagnostics like CT scanning or digital x-rays, helps us determine if the impacted teeth are in a workable position to save. If they're not, we may then need to consider removing them and ultimately replacing them with a dental implant or similar restoration.

But if their position is workable and there are no other impediments, we can proceed with helping them erupt. To do this we'll have to first expose them by creating a small opening in the gums through minor surgery. We then bond a small bracket to the tooth, to which we'll attach a small chain that we then attach to orthodontic braces. This enables us to exert continuous pressure on the tooth.

Over time, the pressure coaxes the tooth to erupt. We may still need to apply other forms of orthodontics and cosmetic procedures, but using this procedure to rescue impacted canines can produce a healthier and more attractive smile.

If you would like more information on treating complex bite problems, 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 “Exposing Impacted Canines.”

By McLean Dental Care
August 01, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: veneers  

Discover the many ways that veneers can give you the smile you’ve always wanted.

Here in McLean, VA, our dentists Dr. Cecilia Gyllenhoff and Dr. Samuel Cappiello pride themselves on providing the very best dental care veneersto patients of all ages. If you are an adult who is dealing with cosmetic imperfections that leave you hiding your smile then it’s time to talk to us about how dental veneers could benefit you.


What is a dental veneer?

A veneer is a very thin piece of porcelain that mimics the look and translucency of real tooth enamel. This porcelain shell is permanently bonded to the front of each tooth to alter its appearance and improve the overall shape, size and color of your smile. Veneers are great if you are dealing with multiple or more widespread cosmetic flaws. For examine, porcelain veneers may be a great option if you are looking to cover,

  • Chips and cracks
  • Severe discolorations
  • Gaps between teeth
  • Slightly crooked or misaligned smiles
  • Misshapen or malformed teeth
  • Teeth that are worn down

As you can see, dental veneers can hide a wide range of aesthetic problems to give you a more beautiful smile. In fact, simply getting veneers from our McLean, VA, cosmetic dentists could actually give you a straighter smile in just a couple of visits without ever needing to get braces. We find that veneers are a great option for many adults dealing with small gaps between teeth or minor crowding.


What is involved in getting veneers?

In as little as two visits to our office, you could get a new and improved smile thanks to veneers. During your first visit, we will prep your teeth so they are ready to receive your veneers. To do this, we will need to remove a small amount of enamel from the front of your teeth. Don’t worry; you won’t feel a thing. From there, impressions of your teeth are taken and then a dental lab will receive the information necessary to create your veneers.

During your second visit, we will place the veneers. We will check the fit of your veneers and your bite before permanently bonding them to your teeth.

If you want to feel more confident with your smile and are looking to get cosmetic dentistry then call our office today at (703) 734-0100 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Gyllenhoff or Dr. Cappiello. McLean Dental Care in McLean, VA can help you get the smile you want.


Root canal therapy is the unsung "hero" of dentistry. Although often falsely maligned as an unpleasant experience, millions of decayed teeth have been saved thanks to this routine treatment.

But although root canal therapy can save your tooth, we can't guarantee it won't be affected by another infection. There are other factors to consider how long a treated tooth will remain healthy.

Root canal therapy stops and limits the damage from tooth decay that has infected the inner pulp and root canals. A dentist or endodontist (a root canal specialist) drills into the tooth to gain access to the pulp. They remove the diseased pulp tissue and then fill the empty pulp chamber and root canals with a specialized filling called gutta percha. The tooth is then sealed and later crowned to protect it against future fracture or infection.

The probability of that occurring may depend on when a dentist performs the root canal in the disease progression—and the earlier the better. If decay has already infected the underlying bone, the tooth's long-term prognosis even with root canal therapy could be dim. That's why you should see a dentist as soon as possible for any tooth pain, even if it goes away.

The type of tooth could impact long-term health. Teeth with single roots are usually easier to treat. But those with multiple roots and an intricate root canal network can be more difficult to treat, and require specialized equipment and techniques.

Age can also impact root canal therapy longevity. The older a root canal-treated tooth is, the more brittle and susceptible to fracture it can become, which can pose complications. That's why we typically place crowns on treated teeth to protect them from both future infection and undue stress created while biting and chewing.

To help mitigate these possible factors, you should see your dentist regularly for checkups and at the first sign of pain or other abnormalities for the earliest treatment possible. And for more complex tooth issues, your dentist may refer you to an endodontist to perform your root canal. With early intervention and attentive care, your root canaled tooth could enjoy many years of life.

If you would like more information on 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 “Root Canal Treatment: How Long Will It Last?

By McLean Dental Care
June 18, 2019
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: dental implants  

You may have heard of getting dentures as the ideal way to replace missing teeth, but many dentists now recommend dental implants or dental implantimplant-supported dentures. This is a viable solution for patients who have healthy bone tissue and generally good dental health. Learn about the benefits of dental implants, a tooth replacement and restoration solution offered by Dr. Cecilia Gyllenhoff and Dr. Samuel Cappiello at McLean Dental Care in McLean, VA.

Digestive Benefits
When you are missing one or more teeth, chewing your food thoroughly can be a daily challenge. Getting a dental implant to complete your smile can give you back your ability to chew food.

An Implant Is Long Lasting
A dental implant solidifies in your bone tissue through a process called osseointegration. The implant is made of a biocompatible material, usually titanium metal, which bonds with your jawbone. Once the integration process is complete (it usually takes several months), the implant may last for decades. It’s very possible for dental implants placed by your McLean, VA, dentist to remain a part of your smile for a lifetime.

Communication and Socializing Becomes Easier
When you have a missing tooth, especially at the front of your mouth, it can be embarrassing to smile and difficult to feel comfortable around others. You may find yourself focusing more on hiding your dental imperfection than on enjoying your company. You may feel insecure about even taking photos with your friends. Getting a dental implant will help to restore your confidence when communicating with others in social and professional circles.

Decide if This is the Tooth Replacement Solution for You
Consider the key benefits of dental implants with your dentist as you’re deciding if they are right for your smile. Call (703) 734-0100 today to schedule a visit with Dr. Gyllenhoff or Dr. Cappiello at McLean Dental Care in McLean, VA!


There's no doubt treating dental problems can improve your health. But because the mouth is among the most sensitive areas of the body, many dental procedures can be potentially uncomfortable after treatment.

We rely on pain medication to alleviate any dental work discomfort, especially during recuperation. Our arsenal of pain-relieving drugs includes strong opioid narcotics like morphine or oxycodone which have effectively relieved dental pain for decades. But although they work wonders, they're also highly addictive.

We've all been confronted in the last few years with startling headlines about the opioid addiction epidemic sweeping across the country. Annual deaths resulting from opioid addiction number in the tens of thousands, ahead of motor vehicle accident fatalities. Although illegal drugs like heroin account for some, the source for most addiction cases—an estimated 2 million in 2015 alone—is opioid prescriptions.

Dentists and other healthcare providers are seeking ways to address this problem. One way is to re-examine the use of opioids for pain management and to find alternative means that might reduce the number of narcotic prescriptions.

This has led to new approaches in dentistry regarding pain relief. In a trend that's been underway for several years, we've found managing post-discomfort for many procedures can be done effectively with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, acetaminophen or ibuprofen. They don't share the addictive quality of narcotics and are regarded as safer when taken as directed.

There's also been a recent modification with using NSAIDs. Dentists have found that alternating the use of ibuprofen and acetaminophen often amplifies the pain relief found using only one at a time. By doing so, we may further reduce the need for narcotics for more procedures.

The trend now in dentistry is to look first to NSAIDs to manage pain and discomfort after dental work. Narcotics may still be used, but only in a secondary role when absolutely needed. With less narcotic prescriptions thanks to these new pain management protocols, we can reduce the risk of a dangerous addiction.

If you would like more information on managing pain during and after dental work, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.