Browning Family Dentistry
A Great Dentist

WELCOME TO OUR PRACTICE

Providing exceptional dentistry to the families in our Waynesboro, VA community is important to us. At Browning Family Dentistry, it is our mission to provide great value, outstanding care, and gentle treatment for each of our patients.

TOUR OUR OFFICE

"Building long-term relationships between our patients and staff is an important part of providing the best dental care available. We offer high-quality dental services that your entire family can appreciate and afford – all in a happy environment." – Dr. Steve Browning

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can we help you?

Dentistry technology changes fast, and you may have questions about the types of treatment that will work best for you. Some of our most common questions are listed here. If you don’t see yours, give us a call or contact us via the handy form on our contact page.

Other

We ask every patient to bring a list or let us know what medications they are taking due to the side effects which can occur in the mouth with certain medications. There are over 1800 drugs which cause dry mouth.Dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and gum disease due to the lack of moisture and lubricant which coats the teeth and makes them less likely for bacteria to adhere to the surface. Some medications cause an increase in bleeding of the gums due to a decrease in the ability to clot. Bleeding gums resemble a sign of gum disease but if it is only a result of medication then we can potentially rule out gum disease. The side effects of medications vary person to person which is why we request to know which medications a patient takes.

 

How often you should visit the dentist for exams and cleanings depends on your oral health. Each patient is completely different and faces different oral health challenges. Your oral health also changes throughout your life as your medical conditions change. 

For example, pregnant women go through hormonal changes that can affect their oral health, so they may require more frequent hygiene appointments to stay healthy. People with arthritis and other conditions that affect their dexterity (which can limit their ability to brush thoroughly) may require more frequent appointments to prevent conditions such as periodontal disease. Patients who have not visited the dentist in awhile may have some catching up to do to get them back on track.

No matter what your current condition is, we will never make you feel guilty or scold you for missing dental appointments. Our entire team will focus on helping restore your oral health so that you have a beautiful, comfortable smile you can feel good about.

When you visit our office, Dr. Browning will make a recommendation for treatment based on your current needs. For some patients, every six months may be enough, but for patients who have a lot of dentistry or who are prone to periodontal disease, visits up to four times per year can keep you healthy.

Yes, although you might have not stayed on a consistent recall schedule in the past, getting back into the habit of regular dental appointments is the only way to keep you and your teeth in a healthy and stable state.  Do not be embarrassed of the outcome after your first appointment back - giving you an understanding of what treatment is needed and working with you to complete the necessary treatment is what we are here for and we are more than happy to help you.

Please know that you are not alone, but also know that the staff at Browning Family Dentistry is very experienced in making our patients as comfortable as possible throughout their visit. Using devices such as the Cavitron to clean your teeth, or even using nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help you relax will allow you to have a better outlook on going to the dentist.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child have their first dental appointment by their first birthday. By providing your child with early childhood dental care, we can identify and address common conditions such as decay and periodontal disease.

We work together with parents on home care techniques, challenges when it comes to habits such as thumb sucking or snacking, and what to expect as your child ages. By creating a partnership with parents, we can provide your child the best possible outcome when it comes to their dental health.

In your child’s early visits, we will focus on acclimating them to the dental office and helping them feel comfortable and secure while they are with us. We will take your child for a ride in the dental chair, perform an exam, and, when they are ready, we can provide professional dental cleanings to keep their teeth healthy and free from plaque and tartar. 

As your little one grows, we will incorporate digital x-rays, fluoride treatments, and decay-preventing sealants.

Your child is our top priority at our Waynesboro, VA dental office. We look forward to providing exceptional dental care to your entire family.

A dental hygienist is a licensed dental professional responsible for cleaning a patient's teeth, taking dental x-rays, providing other dental related services and care under the supervision of a dentist.

Yes, we offer only digital x-rays in our office. Why? Digital x-rays are proven to expose a patient to 50-80% less radiation than the previously traditional film x-rays. Because radiation accumulates over time for an individual, digital x-rays provide a very small dose of radiation which makes them safer to use. The amount of radiation you are exposed to by taking 4 bitewing x-rays at your dental check up is 60% less than the amount of radiation you are exposed to naturally by the environment everyday. Dental x-rays are only taken every 2-5 years depending on a patient's need, therefore a person accumulates more radiation in a year by natural factors such as the sun and food than they ever would from updating dental check up x-rays every couple of years. Compared to the film x-rays, the digital sensors used have rounded edges to provide a more comfortable feeling when placed in a patient's mouth. Another reason we only use digital x-rays is how time efficient they are being that after an x-ray is taken it is immediately available to be viewed on the computer in seconds. Precautions are also used in our office by having patients wear a lead apron which covers vital and reproductive organs, such as the thyroid gland, during the x-ray procedure.

Better known as a bite or night guard, an occlusal guard is a removable dental appliance used to aid in the cushioning from the impact of the teeth together. Clinching and grinding of the teeth are habits that patients have, which mostly occur while they are sleeping and most people are usually unaware they are doing this in their sleep. The results of clinching and grinding have been known to break and crack fillings and even their teeth over time. The purpose of an occlusal guard is to prevent any further or potential damage brought on by excessive clinching and grinding habits. Overall, it is a good investment to prevent further dental work from needing to be completed.

An amalgam is a silver colored restoration. A composite is a tooth colored restoration. Although they are different colors, both filling materials have the same purpose. Your doctor will usually determine which one will be used based on a variety of factors.

Root canal treatment may be necessary when the nerve of a tooth has become infected or when the pulp chamber of the tooth becomes irritated or infected. A root canal cleans out the bad nerve tissue from the canals in the tooth that is causing the infection. Root canal treatment helps to save the tooth so the patient will not lose it.Root canal treatment may be necessary when the nerve of a tooth has become infected or when the pulp chamber of the tooth becomes irritated or infected. A root canal procedure cleans out the bad nerve tissue from the canals in the tooth that are causing the infection. Root canal treatment helps to save the tooth so the patient will not lose it.

An abscess is a pocket of infection in the body. Abscesses that are associated with teeth most likely occur as a result of the tooth pulp dying within the tooth. There are many reasons why the pulp may have died, and a clinical exam is used to determine the cause. In most cases, the tooth can be saved with proper diagnosis and treatment.

 

Complete and Partial Dentures

Dentures are custom fit to each patient.  We want you to be completely satisfied with your investment.  We will schedule your for impressions and try-ins before receiving the final product from the lab.  This process can take several weeks.

There are many options for missing teeth.  Scheduling an appointment for a full exam with xrays will allow the dentist to discuss your options for replacing your missing teeth.

Dentures may replace some, or all teeth.  Full or complete dentures replace all teeth, and rest on the gums.  Dentures that replace some missing teeth, are called partial dentures.  They attach to the existing teeth and rest on the gums where teeth are missing.

A denture, or full denture,  is a removable appliance that replaces all you upper teeth and/or your lower teeth once they have been extracted. Dentures are made out of an acrylic base with resin or porcelain teeth. A partial, or partial denture,  is a removable appliance that will replace missing teeth and is designed to fit around the existing teeth. Partials can be made from all acrylic, metal and acrylic or a flexible acrylic.

Cosmetic Dentistry

Wanting to look your best makes sense because how you look affects how you feel. If something about your smile makes you self-conscious, we can discuss treatment options to address your concerns. At Browning Family Dentistry, we have a full range of cosmetic services to improve your appearance, giving you the smile you have always wanted.

From simple cosmetic improvements such as professional teeth whitening to full smile makeovers and everything in between, we can offer solutions for even the most stubborn cosmetic dental issues:

Professional teeth whitening – Improve the appearance of your teeth by up to 8 to 10 shades with professional teeth whitening.

Cosmetic dental bonding – Bonding repairs chips and gaps that affect the appearance of your smile in a noninvasive way by using the same composite material we use in tooth-colored fillings.

Porcelain crowns – Because we match the shade of your crown to your natural tooth color, porcelain crowns will provide a seamless improvement to your smile.

Porcelain veneers – If whiter, straighter looking, and more uniform teeth are what you want, porcelain dental veneers can accomplish all three. Porcelain veneers cover your natural tooth structure and can provide you with a completely different look.

Orthodontics – If you want to address gaps, overlapping, or crooked teeth, we offer complete orthodontic services: traditional orthodontics, Invisalign, Clear Correct, and Powerprox Six Month Braces.

Yes. Bleaching For Life is the whitening system we offer to patients at our office. Bleaching for Life involves fabricating a custom tray for your teeth that you place the bleaching material into. This tray can be worn during the day or at night while you sleep. We use Bleaching for Life for our patients because we are able to provide free bleach refills for those patients upholding their regular 6 month recall appointments after the purchase of their custom tray. The whitening results can be seen as soon as you complete the first application.

An amalgam is a silver colored restoration. A composite is a tooth colored restoration. Although they are different colors, both filling materials have the same purpose. Your doctor will usually determine which one will be used based on a variety of factors.

There is no difference between a cap and a crown. It is the same restoration with a different word variation. A dentist may use either terminology to refer to the restoration.

A veneer is a thin covering of material used to improve the appearance of your teeth. Veneers can be made with a composite material or porcelain, and they will both be color matched to the existing teeth. Some of the common uses for veneers would be to close spacing on your front teeth, make the teeth more uniform in shape and size, and strengthen front teeth that are prone to breaking.

A bridge is a restoration that is used to replace missing teeth. A bridge must be supported by one anchor tooth on each side of the missing tooth/teeth.

A crown is a restoration that covers a tooth that has been damaged. It helps to strengthen teeth that have been weakened by large fillings, root canals, and fractures. They are made to look just like a tooth and can be either gold or tooth colored.

Crowns and Bridges

There is no difference between a cap and a crown. It is the same restoration with a different word variation. A dentist may use either terminology to refer to the restoration.

A bridge is a restoration that is used to replace missing teeth. A bridge must be supported by one anchor tooth on each side of the missing tooth/teeth.

A crown is a restoration that covers a tooth that has been damaged. It helps to strengthen teeth that have been weakened by large fillings, root canals, and fractures. They are made to look just like a tooth and can be either gold or tooth colored.

Diagnostic and Preventive Services

How often you should visit the dentist for exams and cleanings depends on your oral health. Each patient is completely different and faces different oral health challenges. Your oral health also changes throughout your life as your medical conditions change. 

For example, pregnant women go through hormonal changes that can affect their oral health, so they may require more frequent hygiene appointments to stay healthy. People with arthritis and other conditions that affect their dexterity (which can limit their ability to brush thoroughly) may require more frequent appointments to prevent conditions such as periodontal disease. Patients who have not visited the dentist in awhile may have some catching up to do to get them back on track.

No matter what your current condition is, we will never make you feel guilty or scold you for missing dental appointments. Our entire team will focus on helping restore your oral health so that you have a beautiful, comfortable smile you can feel good about.

When you visit our office, Dr. Browning will make a recommendation for treatment based on your current needs. For some patients, every six months may be enough, but for patients who have a lot of dentistry or who are prone to periodontal disease, visits up to four times per year can keep you healthy.

Yes, although you might have not stayed on a consistent recall schedule in the past, getting back into the habit of regular dental appointments is the only way to keep you and your teeth in a healthy and stable state.  Do not be embarrassed of the outcome after your first appointment back - giving you an understanding of what treatment is needed and working with you to complete the necessary treatment is what we are here for and we are more than happy to help you.

Please know that you are not alone, but also know that the staff at Browning Family Dentistry is very experienced in making our patients as comfortable as possible throughout their visit. Using devices such as the Cavitron to clean your teeth, or even using nitrous oxide (laughing gas) to help you relax will allow you to have a better outlook on going to the dentist.

The American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry recommends that your child have their first dental appointment by their first birthday. By providing your child with early childhood dental care, we can identify and address common conditions such as decay and periodontal disease.

We work together with parents on home care techniques, challenges when it comes to habits such as thumb sucking or snacking, and what to expect as your child ages. By creating a partnership with parents, we can provide your child the best possible outcome when it comes to their dental health.

In your child’s early visits, we will focus on acclimating them to the dental office and helping them feel comfortable and secure while they are with us. We will take your child for a ride in the dental chair, perform an exam, and, when they are ready, we can provide professional dental cleanings to keep their teeth healthy and free from plaque and tartar. 

As your little one grows, we will incorporate digital x-rays, fluoride treatments, and decay-preventing sealants.

Your child is our top priority at our Waynesboro, VA dental office. We look forward to providing exceptional dental care to your entire family.

A dental prophylaxis is a thorough cleaning of the teeth performed by a licensed dental professional, typically by a dental hygienist every 6 months.

A dental sealant is a plastic coating placed on the tooth, typically on the chewing surface of the back teeth, to prevent the formation of decay in the teeth. Sealants are recommended in children when their first permanent molars erupt around age 6, but they can be placed and recommended for any age on any teeth. If a person presents with deep grooves and pits in the teeth then sealants are recommended due to these areas being more susceptible to catching food and bacteria which can lead to cavity development. Sealants do not involve any drilling to place onto the teeth, they are simply painted onto the selected tooth surfaces and then cured with a light; the procedure is painless.

Bitewing x-rays are recommended every 1-2 years, depending on a patient's need.  These x-rays are needed to show the crowns of the top and bottom of the back teeth simultaneously, as well as being able to see areas in between the teeth that are not easily seen by looking into the mouth.

Full mouth series of x-rays are a complete set of dental x-rays showing every tooth and the mouth, including the root and structures surrounding those teeth.  These x-rays are recommended every 3-5 years, depending on a patient's need.

Panoramic x-rays show the entire upper and lower jaw, including all of the teeth, and are able to show unerupted permanent teeth and wisdom teeth.  These x-rays are commonly taken on patients needing braces or their wisdom teeth extracted.  Similar to the full mouth series of x-rays, a panoramic x-ray is recommended every 3-5 years depending on a patient's need.

Periapical x-rays are taken when you have one specific tooth bothering you in order to try and find the problem and determine a solution.  These are not only recommended but are necessary at any dental appointment you come to with any type of dental pain in order to fully diagnose the cause of your discomfort.

Yes, we offer only digital x-rays in our office. Why? Digital x-rays are proven to expose a patient to 50-80% less radiation than the previously traditional film x-rays. Because radiation accumulates over time for an individual, digital x-rays provide a very small dose of radiation which makes them safer to use. The amount of radiation you are exposed to by taking 4 bitewing x-rays at your dental check up is 60% less than the amount of radiation you are exposed to naturally by the environment everyday. Dental x-rays are only taken every 2-5 years depending on a patient's need, therefore a person accumulates more radiation in a year by natural factors such as the sun and food than they ever would from updating dental check up x-rays every couple of years. Compared to the film x-rays, the digital sensors used have rounded edges to provide a more comfortable feeling when placed in a patient's mouth. Another reason we only use digital x-rays is how time efficient they are being that after an x-ray is taken it is immediately available to be viewed on the computer in seconds. Precautions are also used in our office by having patients wear a lead apron which covers vital and reproductive organs, such as the thyroid gland, during the x-ray procedure.

 Fluoride is a natural occurring chemical used in dental products and recommended by dental offices to prevent tooth decay and reduce tooth sensitivity. We promote the use of fluoride due to its preventative qualities against cavities by making the tooth stronger and more resistant to decay. The fluoride options provided in our office are beneficial for all ages. At Browning Family Dentistry we offer and recommend our topical fluoride options which are applied directly to the tooth surface compared to systemic fluoride which is ingested instead of being directly applied.  A fluoride foam tray is recommended for children age 6 and up which is placed in their mouth for 4 minutes to allow the fluoride foam to enrich the enamel surface of the teeth with fluoride particles to increase the resistance of the teeth to acid and decay. For children under 6 and adults we recommend to have a fluoride varnish treatment which involves the fluoride to be directly painted onto the front side and back side of the teeth. It is easier for children under 6 to manage the fluoride varnish instead of the tray since they are more prone to swallowing the fluoride, as well as it is difficult for them to sit still for very long. The varnish is recommended for all adults, especially those prone to cavities or sensitivity, and this can be directly applied to those areas of the teeth to provide a preventative service as well as sensitivity relief.

Better known as a bite or night guard, an occlusal guard is a removable dental appliance used to aid in the cushioning from the impact of the teeth together. Clinching and grinding of the teeth are habits that patients have, which mostly occur while they are sleeping and most people are usually unaware they are doing this in their sleep. The results of clinching and grinding have been known to break and crack fillings and even their teeth over time. The purpose of an occlusal guard is to prevent any further or potential damage brought on by excessive clinching and grinding habits. Overall, it is a good investment to prevent further dental work from needing to be completed.

A cavitron is an ultrasonic scaler which uses high frequency vibrations and water flow to clean the teeth efficiently. In conjunction with the standard scalers used to clean teeth, a patient receives an overall better cleaning due to the effectiveness of the cavitron removing the majority of the build up present on the teeth with the vibrations, as well as the flushing out of any harmful bacteria present along the gums with the water.

A dental hygienist uses a periodontal probe which is a dental instrument able to measure the attachment level of the ligament and bone surrounding a tooth. The probe is placed between the gum and the tooth and is only placed down far enough to measure the ligament attachment, which in a healthy mouth is only 1-3 mm below the gum line. The space being measured naturally has a pocket that the probe is small enough to fit into so there is minimal to no discomfort when having these areas measured. Every tooth is measured on the sides, front and back to ensure that the gums are healthy all the way around the tooth. Typically a healthy mouth takes no longer than 2 minutes to probe. If a person presents with periodontal disease the probe charting usually takes longer but no longer than 5 minutes. Measuring for gum disease is included in the prophylaxis appointment and has become a standard procedure.

Laser and Drill Free Dentistry

In most cases, the laser will allow us to perform fillings without any discomfort or the need for a shot.

The Solea laser is used to remove decay from teeth in place of a traditional drill. Although they perform the same task, the laser removes decay by a different method (vaporization) than a traditional drill (physical cutting). Due to this difference, the laser is more comfortable than a traditional drill, and 95% of the time does not require anesthesia. Lastly, the laser does not have the grinding sensation or the shrill sound of a traditional drill, and therefore makes the dental visit much more enjoyable.

Orthodontics

Many people associate orthodontics with childhood, so it’s natural to wonder if you are too old for orthodontics once you reach adulthood. For some people, orthodontic treatment was not an option in their youth, and others may have experienced orthodontic relapse because they did not wear their retainers after treatment. 

At Browning Family Dentistry, we offer full orthodontic services for patients of all ages. Dr. Steve Browning received advanced training in orthodontics and spent six years in an orthodontic dental practice. He offers traditional orthodontics, Invisalign, ClearCorrect, and Powerprox Six Month Braces to meet the needs of all of our patients.

If you are an adult looking to improve the appearance of your smile, you may wish to explore options such as Invisalign and Six Month Braces because they are extremely convenient.

Invisalign and ClearCorrect – Both systems use clear, plastic aligner trays to gradually move your teeth into an ideal position. Your clear aligners are removable so that you can eat and clean your teeth normally. Treatment times and costs vary depending on the treatment you require.

Six Month Braces – Powerprox Six Month Braces uses a clear memory wire and orthodontic brackets to apply low force to your teeth and move your teeth quickly. Treatment time is six months, on average, and is often more cost-effective than traditional orthodontics.

Periodontal Treatment

Better known as gum disease, periodontal disease is a state in which there is inflammation of the structures surrounding and supporting the teeth.  Gingivitis is the most commonly known type of periodontal disease where the gums are red, inflamed and bleed.  Periodontitis is an advanced from of periodontal disease when the bone and ligament of the teeth are affected which commonly leads to tooth loss. 

Periodontal disease is broken into two categories - gingivitis and periodontitis.  

Gingivitis affects the gums and is considered reversible with good oral hygiene habits such as brushing and flossing.  A person's overall health can cause gingivitis through an unhealthy diet, smoking or some health conditions that lower the body's immune response.

Periodontitis affects not only the gums but the bone and ligaments responsible for keeping the teeth attached.  Periodontitis is considered irreversible but can be controlled through more frequent recalls (3-4 months instead of every 6 months), having a scaling and root planing procedure done, and maintenance appointments to monitor the disease. Once a person is diagnosed with periodontitis they will be labeled as having periodontal disease permanently due to the loss of bone and ligament attachment that cannot be regrown.

This procedure is best described as a "deep cleaning." Its purpose is to clean underneath a patient's gums in order to remove build up and harmful bacteria which can progress their periodontal disease further. Removing the factors that are irritating the gums and supporting structures of the teeth is an attempt to allow the gums to heal. If left untreated, the disease could progress further into tooth loss. This procedure is different than a prophylaxis due to it involves going underneath the gums, where as a prophy appointment only deals with the removal of build up and bacteria which forms above the gums. A dental hygienist performs this procedure and uses similar instruments regularly used in a normal cleaning, but also has adjunctive services with being able to numb the gums for patient comfort.

A cavitron is an ultrasonic scaler which uses high frequency vibrations and water flow to clean the teeth efficiently. In conjunction with the standard scalers used to clean teeth, a patient receives an overall better cleaning due to the effectiveness of the cavitron removing the majority of the build up present on the teeth with the vibrations, as well as the flushing out of any harmful bacteria present along the gums with the water.

A dental hygienist uses a periodontal probe which is a dental instrument able to measure the attachment level of the ligament and bone surrounding a tooth. The probe is placed between the gum and the tooth and is only placed down far enough to measure the ligament attachment, which in a healthy mouth is only 1-3 mm below the gum line. The space being measured naturally has a pocket that the probe is small enough to fit into so there is minimal to no discomfort when having these areas measured. Every tooth is measured on the sides, front and back to ensure that the gums are healthy all the way around the tooth. Typically a healthy mouth takes no longer than 2 minutes to probe. If a person presents with periodontal disease the probe charting usually takes longer but no longer than 5 minutes. Measuring for gum disease is included in the prophylaxis appointment and has become a standard procedure.

Tongue and Lip Tie Services

To start, Dr. Browning will perform an examination and consultation at no charge. He will discuss the symptoms that you or your baby are having, and then will diagnose any ties that may be present. Lastly, he will discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure to ensure that you are well informed. If the exam is on an infant, we will work with a breastfeeding professional to ensure that an insufficient latch is the source of the symptoms. Once we determine that a revision is the best treatment to ensure a successful outcome, the procedure is scheduled and completed.

  • Increased risk of cavities
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Speech impairment
  • Gaps between teeth where the tie is attached
  • Breastfeeding problems in infants
  • Possibly contribute to snoring or sleep apnea (Research is still underway)

A tongue or lip tie is the laymen term for abnormally attached frenum. It is simply a remnant of tissue that usually recedes during fetal development; however in about 5% of the population it is retained. If this tissue remains abnormally attached, it can restrict mobility of the tongue or lips.This lack of mobility can negatively impact normal function of the mouth.

 

Dr. Browning will perform the revision with an FDA approved soft tissue diode laser in office. Safety of the patient and staff are of the utmost importance, so all necessary safety measures are taken to ensure a successful outcome. Local anesthetic is generally used on patients 18 months and older, and the length of the procedure takes anywhere from 20 seconds to 2 minutes per tie. If the patient is currently breastfeeding, then we encourage mom to nurse immediately after the procedure is completed. Before we end, Dr. Browning will review a set of exercises to perform to reduce the risk of reattachment of the ties.

Dr. Browning cares deeply about ensuring that his patients are very well informed. Here are a few scientific articles involving tongue and lip ties if you are interested in learning more:

  • 2013 Journal of Human Lactation article: https://www.borstvoeding.com/files/JHL2013_kotlow.pdf
  • http://www.drghaheri.com/blog/2014/5/11/the-evidence- supports-treating- tongue-tie- for-breastfeeding-problems

Traditionally, tongue and lip ties have been addressed by cutting with a scissor, or scalpel. Utilizing a laser to revise lip and tongue ties reduces some of the risks involved during the procedure when compared to more traditional techniques. As an added benefit, a laser usually shortens the time it takes for the areas to heal. There is little to no bleeding involved due to the cauterizing action of the laser, and the risk of infection is reduced dramatically. While using a laser, the risk of an inadvertent cut or damage to surrounding tissue is minimized due to extremely precise control and the lack of a cutting edge.

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