3548 Orange Avenue Northeast,
Roanoke, VA 24012

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By Skinner Family Dentistry
January 29, 2016
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: teeth whitening  

Trying to decide on a dental whitening procedure can be confusing.
If you're considering whitening your teeth with Dr. Gregory Skinner of Skinner Family Dentistry in Roanoke, VA, you're in good company. Tooth whitening is now the leading cosmetic dental procedure, with an estimated 100 million Americans seeking a brighter smile. This teeth whiteningsurge in popularity means that dental bleaching is extremely accessible and affordable, with dozens of options to choose from. With so many choices out there, it's important to make an informed decision about using over- the-counter whitening products or making a trip to your Roanoke dentist's office for a bleaching procedure.
Whitening your teeth at home using over-counter products such as can be convenient and fairly inexpensive. From gels to toothpastes to whitening strips, you may notice there is quite a bit of overlap in store-bought treatments and those you can take home from your dentist's office.

The main difference in these products is the overall concentration and  quality of the bleaching material and the delivery method used. For instance, the trays that Dr. Skinner makes for whitening gels will be customized to fit your teeth, ensuring direct contact with all tooth surfaces. One-size-fits-all trays are often too large and can cause irritation if too much of the bleaching agent comes in contact with the soft tissues in your mouth. With your Roanoke dentist overseeing the bleaching process, you can be sure you are using the best product for your teeth. You also have immediate access to a dental professional who can answer any questions you may have.
If your lifestyle or family history has left your teeth less than sparkling, visit Dr. Gregory Skinner of Skinner Family Dentistry in Roanoke, VA to make a positive change in your smile!

By Skinner Family Dentistry
December 03, 2015
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: crowns  

If you have teeth that are damaged from trauma or decay, dental crowns can help restore their function and appearance. Crowns are tooth-shaped coverings made out of a strong material, such as porcelain or metal. Their purpose is to restore the shape of your natural Crownstooth, keeping your bite aligned and protecting you from further damage. If you are thinking about getting a crown to improve your smile, contact Gregory P. Skinner, D.D.S an experienced dentist in Roanoke, VA.

What Are Dental Crowns Used For?

Dental crowns are often used to cover teeth that have been fractured, severely decayed, or lost. Visible teeth are often crowned with materials such as porcelain which can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Crowns for back teeth are often made out of high strength porcelain or high strength gold, due to their superior strength and ability to withstand the pressure from chewing.

Crowns can protect teeth that have been:

  • Fractured or chipped

  • Weakened

  • Extensively decayed

  • Treated with root canal therapy

  • Replaced with dental implants

The Importance of Strengthening Damaged Teeth

The strong materials of dental crowns act as a buffer to prevent mechanical forces from further damaging weak teeth. A tooth that is covered by a crown is better protected from infection and decay.

Even if you just have one affected tooth, it’s vital to treat the initial damage early. This is because a problem in one tooth can lead to problems in the surrounding teeth as well. A weak tooth is prone to damage and decay, which can quickly lead to infection and the need for more extensive treatment. Damaged teeth can also affect the alignment of your bite. This puts excessive pressure on the surrounding teeth, making them more susceptible to future problems.

Roanoke Dental Care

If you have weak or damaged teeth, it's still possible to protect them and save your natural teeth. Take action now to keep your teeth strong for the long run.

Gregory P. Skinner, D.D.S is an experienced dentist in Roanoke, VA who can help you find the best way to strengthen and protect your teeth. Request your appointment at Skinner Family Dentistry or call (540) 344-6688 today!

By Gregory P. Skinner, DDS, PC
November 05, 2015
Category: Oral Health
Tags: tmd   tmj   jaw pain  

As many as 36 million adults in the U.S. suffer from some form of chronic jaw pain. What’s more, many of these may also experience other painful conditions like arthritis or chronic fatigue in other parts of their body.

Chronic jaw pain is actually a group of difficult to define disorders collectively referred to as temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJD or also TMD). TMD not only refers to pain symptoms of the temporomandibular (jaw) joints but also of the jaw muscles and surrounding connective tissue. Most physicians and dentists agree TMD arises from a complex range of conditions involving inheritable factors, gender (many sufferers are women of childbearing age), environment and behavior.

A recent survey of approximately 1,500 TMD patients found that nearly two-thirds of them also suffered from three or more related health problems like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, headaches, depression and problems sleeping. The understanding of TMD’s connection with these other conditions is in its early stages of research, but there’s avid interest among healthcare providers to learn more and possibly devise new treatments for TMD in coordination with these other related conditions.

In the meantime, TMD patients continue to respond best with the traditional approach to treatment, including physical therapy, thermal (hot or cold) compresses to the area of pain, medication and modifying the diet with more easier to chew foods. In extreme cases, jaw surgery may be recommended; however, success with this approach has been mixed, so it’s advisable to get a second opinion before choosing to undergo a surgical procedure.

Hopefully, further study about TMD and its connection with other conditions may yield newer treatments to ease the pain and discomfort of all these conditions, including TMD. You can stay up to date on these and other developments for coping with the discomfort of TMD at www.tmj.org and through your healthcare provider team.

If you would like more information on TMD, 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 “Chronic Jaw Pain and Associated Conditions.”

By Gregory P. Skinner, DDS, PC
October 21, 2015
Category: Oral Health

As is the case with most celebs today, Beyonce is no stranger to sharing on social media… but she really got our attention with a video she recently posted on instagram. The clip shows the superstar songstress — along with her adorable three-year old daughter Blue Ivy — flossing their teeth! In the background, a vocalist (sounding remarkably like her husband Jay-Z) repeats the phrase “flossin’…flossin’…” as mom and daughter appear to take care of their dental hygiene in time with the beat: https://instagram.com/p/073CF1vw07/?taken-by=beyonce

We’re happy that this clip highlights the importance of helping kids get an early start on good oral hygiene. And, according to authorities like the American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry, age 3 is about the right time for kids to begin getting involved in the care of their own teeth.

Of course, parents should start paying attention to their kids’ oral hygiene long before age three. In fact, as soon as baby’s tiny teeth make their first appearance, the teeth and gums can be cleaned with a soft brush or cloth and a smear of fluoride toothpaste, about the size of a grain of rice. Around age 3, kids will develop the ability to spit out toothpaste. That’s when you can increase the amount of toothpaste a little, and start explaining to them how you clean all around the teeth on the top and bottom of the mouth. Depending on your child’s dexterity, age 3 might be a good time to let them have a try at brushing by themselves.

Ready to help your kids take the first steps to a lifetime of good dental checkups? Place a pea-sized dab of fluoride toothpaste on a soft-bristled brush, and gently guide them as they clean in front, in back, on all surfaces of each tooth. At first, it’s a good idea to take turns brushing. That way, you can be sure they’re learning the right techniques and keeping their teeth plaque-free, while making the experience challenging and fun.

Most kids will need parental supervision and help with brushing until around age 6. As they develop better hand-eye coordination and the ability to follow through with the cleaning regimen, they can be left on their own more. But even the best may need some “brushing up” on their tooth-cleaning techniques from time to time.

What about flossing? While it’s an essential part of good oral hygiene, it does take a little more dexterity to do it properly. Flossing the gaps between teeth should be started when the teeth begin growing close to one another. Depending on how a child’s teeth are spaced, perhaps only the back ones will need to be flossed at first. Even after they learn to brush, kids may still need help flossing — but a floss holder (like the one Beyonce is using in the clip) can make the job a lot easier.

If you would like more information about maintaining your children’s oral hygiene, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine articles “Top 10 Oral Health Tips For Children” and “How to Help Your Child Develop the Best Habits for Oral Health.”


One of the best restorative options for slightly deformed, misaligned or stained teeth is a porcelain veneer. Composed of thin, laminated layers of dental material, the veneer is bonded to the outside of the tooth to transform both its shape and color to blend with other natural teeth.

Veneers are more than a technical process — they’re works of art produced by skilled artisans known as dental lab technicians. They use their skills to shape veneers into forms so life-like they can’t be distinguished from other teeth.

How technicians produce veneers depends on the material used. The mainstay for many years was feldspathic porcelain, a powdered material mixed with water to form a paste, which technicians use to build up layers on top of each other. After curing or “firing” in an oven, the finished veneer can mimic both the color variations and translucency of natural teeth.

Although still in use today, feldspathic porcelain does have limitations. It has a tendency to shrink during firing, and because it’s built up in layers it’s not as strong and shatter-resistant as a single composed piece. To address these weaknesses, a different type of veneer material reinforced with leucite came into use in the 1990s. Adding this mineral to the ceramic base, the core of the veneer could be formed into one piece by pressing the heated material into a mold. But while increasing its strength, early leucite veneers were thicker than traditional porcelain and only worked where extra space allowed for them.

This has led to the newest and most advanced form that uses a stronger type of glass ceramic called lithium disilicate. These easily fabricated veneers can be pressed down to a thickness of three tenths of a millimeter, much thinner than leucite veneers with twice the strength.  And like leucite, lithium disilicate can be milled to increase the accuracy of the fit. It’s also possible to add a layer of feldspathic porcelain to enhance their appearance.

The science — and artistry — of porcelain veneers has come a long way over the last three decades. With more durable, pliable materials, you can have veneers that with proper care could continue to provide you an attractive smile for decades to come.

If you would like more information on dental veneers, please contact us to schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Porcelain Veneers.”

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