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McLean Family Dentistry: McLean, VA / The Blog

Dr. Chand Attends GP Invisalign Summit 2017


In early September, Dr. Chand attended the GP Invisalign Summit for 2017, a four-day conference where the latest technology for Invisalign orthodontics is discussed. The conference is attended by many of the top practitioners in the United States.

This Invisalign Summit functions a live case presentation event, where practitioners can submit their Invisalign treatment plans and outcomes in four different categories for review. The best treatment is voted on during the conference, giving professionals a chance to review different treatments and discuss.

Dr. Chand was thrilled to attend this professional event with sessions led by other dentists and learning about leading Invisalign practices. The conference included the latest technology, workshops, and networking for professionals working with Invisalign. Dr. Chand is proud to be part of such as integrative community that focuses on patients first.

As the lead dentist at McLean Family Dentistry, Dr. Chand was excited to have this educational opportunity to learn about the latest and greatest advancements in Invisalign. After graduating from dental school in 2009, Dr. Chand opened her own practice to focus on family-first dentistry. She brings her passion for dentistry into her care for her patients every day.

Dr. Chand is always learning and growing as a professional in her field, and she looks forward to accumulating more knowledge about everything dentistry, including Invisalign. If you haven’t met Dr. Chand yet, we invite you to make an appointment at our state-of-the-art practice where patients are family!


Can Invisalign Correct My Overbite?

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Invisalign is a unique system of orthodontics that uses clear plastic trays to align your smile over time. Invisalign can treat many of the same alignment problems that traditional braces can treat. Although traditional metal braces are better for more complex cases, Invisalign is capable of treating almost all common problems that braces can treat.

Can Invisalign correct your overbite? Let’s find out what Invisalign can treat and how you can get started with your treatment to secure your perfect smile for life.

Invisalign Corrects Bite Issues 

Invisalign is ideal for treating bite issues, including crossbites, overbites, and underbites. Overbites can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetics, bad oral habits (such as thumb sucking), and even your jaw bone development. People of any age can develop an overbite, although it’s most commonly apparent in childhood.

Regardless of what caused your overbite, Invisalign works to correct the problem regardless of your age. Since Invisalign can deal with many alignment issues, you can talk to Dr.Chand about using this form of treatment to correct your overbite in addition to any other alignment problems that will need to be addressed.

What Else Can Invisalign Do?

Many people have other alignment issues in addition to an overbite. Some patients may have crowded teeth, crooked teeth, or jaw problems that need to be corrected with orthodontics. When this happens, is Invisalign still the right choice for patients who need these other problems solved in addition to their overbite?

Invisalign is perfect for treating crowded or gapped teeth; however, it may not be an option for people who need adjustments to their molars or teeth that need to be moved vertically or rotated. Dr.Chand can help you determine if Invisalign would work for your unique smile.

Getting Started with Invisalign

It’s easy to get started with Invisalign. Simply make an appointment with Dr.Chand. During your consultation, Dr.Chand can examine your smile to evaluate the problems that need to be treated. You can then discuss if Invisalign is right for your treatment.

During the treatment process, you’ll receive a series of trays that are aligned to your smile. Each one will move your teeth into their designated positions over a period of time. You’ll get a new aligner every two weeks during your orthodontist appointment and you’ll need to wear your aligner for about 20-22 hours every day in order for the treatment to work properly.

Have more questions about how Invisalign can work for you? Schedule a free consultation and we will be happy to answer all of your questions!

Patient Understanding & Expectations for Laser Whitening with Biolase

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Are you dreaming of beautiful white teeth but worried about how a professional whitening will affect your tooth sensitivity? With Biolase Laser Whitening at McLean Family Dentistry, you can experience a significantly whiter smile without sensitivity.

At McLean Family Dentistry, we see patients who really want whiter teeth but are anxious about the procedure based on one of the side effects of a traditional tooth whitening—tooth sensitivity.

Many of Dr. Chand’s patients worry about how the procedure will affect their already existing tooth sensitivity, or if it will create tooth sensitivity for a patient who has never experienced it before.

When you visit us at McLean Family Dentistry, we use Biolase Laser Whitening because patients have minimal to no sensitivity after the procedure.  This is especially helpful for patients that regularly experience sensitivity. This system is effective yet much more gentle than other systems on the market.  Our patients have been loving it!

Biolase Laser Whitening with Dr. Chand makes it possible for patients of all different sensitivity levels to enjoy spectacular white teeth without the risk of accruing tooth sensitivity.

Below are some of the most frequently asked questions from our patients about the Biolase procedure and Dr. Chand’s answers.

  1. Does Biolase Laser Whitening Cause Sensitivity?

Biolase is ideal for patients who may already experience tooth sensitivity because the procedure results in minimal sensitivity to no sensitivity at all. Even if you’re worried about increasing sensitivity, Biolase is a great option for those wanting to avoid this side effect.

  1. How Much Whiter Can I Expect My Teeth to Get after Laser Whitening?

You can effectively customize how much whiter you’d like your smile to be. Whether you want a subtler whitening to a dramatic difference, you can expect your teeth to be approximately 4-6 shades whiter after the procedure.

  1. How Long Will It Last?

How long laser whitening lasts depends on you and your unique smile, as well as your diet and oral care habits. For instance, coffee drinkers typically need to whiten their teeth more often than non-coffee drinkers. The same can also be true for other beverages such as red wine and tea.

  1. How Long Does the Procedure Take?

The Biolase system takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour from start to finish. This includes preparation time in order to keep your gums fully protected with the proper isolation techniques for the soft tissue.

  1. What Are the Rules for Aftercare?

In order to enhance the appearance of your smile and protect your newly whitened teeth, it’s important to not consume anything that can stain a white shirt for 72 hours after your procedure. This includes no coffee, no tea, and no red wine. 

Biolase is a safe procedure that uses the same laser used for many dental procedures, just with a different attachment. When you choose teeth whitening with Dr. Chand at McLean Family Dentistry, you can expect a brighter smile and white teeth without a high risk for tooth sensitivity and no enamel damage.

If you’ve been wanting to experience whiter teeth, we invite you to make an appointment with us at McLean Family Dentistry. Dr. Chand and her staff can answer any additional questions you have about the Biolase System we use to bring you gorgeous white teeth. We can also address your tooth sensitivity concerns when it comes to teeth whitening.

We’re proud to offer our patients the Biolase Laser Whitening System to produce brilliant smiles with minimal risk. We look forward to seeing you at our office!

Cavities 101

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Our teeth are made up of three parts:

  • A) Enamel: this is outside layer of the teeth we brush and keep sparkling clean. This enamel contains no nerve endings. Brush it, scrape it, chew on it…it won’t hurt you. This also means you won’t feel a cavity on the enamel.
  • B) Dentin: directly under enamel (about 1mm away to be precise) lays a yellowish layer called dentin. Now this part of the tooth does have nerve endings which will start explaining why some deeper cavities can cause discomfort. Ever drink something cold and you feel some sensitivity? That likely is some exposed dentin on the tooth.
  • C) The pulp: here lies the blood vessels, the nerve, the lifeline of the tooth. This layer is directly below that dentin and is responsible for the dreaded toothache. A major toothache is likely resulting from the bacteria in the pulp which can cause excruciating pain!

Let’s talk briefly about cavities and their progression. A cavity starts on the enamel (because that’s where the acidity, food, and bacteria are). If the cavity has only minimally penetrated the enamel, we place a “watch” on that tooth. That watch goes on your chart and every time you come in for a cleaning we monitor whether or not the cavity has stayed the same size or grown. That’s one reason why fluoride treatment is so imperative as it halts the progression of small cavities and in some cases even reverses them! Now if a cavity has penetrated further through the enamel and is encroaching the dentin, that cavity is unfortunately past the point of no return. Those cavities we do need to treat to prevent them from getting to the nerve. Now let’s say the cavity gets to the nerve. What now? You probably guessed root canal and you would be correct. Once a cavity is at the heart of the tooth we need to clean out that bacteria to prevent or treat an infection from getting to the bone.

I believe, just as I do myself, many well qualified dentists try to avoid doing cavities until they are an absolute must. Until then, we watch and monitor. Unfortunately, there may be a time when they do have to be tackled and we at McLean Family Dentistry determine this by taking low-radiation digital X-rays with extremely clear resolution. We will review these X-rays with you and show you where the cavities are as it’s important to us that you understand completely what is going on in your mouth.

This concludes your Intro to Cavities 101. Dr.Chand is always available for extra tutoring sessions!

School’s Out For Summer!

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It’s here! Summer break that is. Your kids are out of school and at home all day. (Deep breaths). Now I’m sure there are a few trips planned and it’s not all chaos. But I remember what it was like! (It wasn’t that long ago). Oh who am I kidding…it was a long time ago.

I remember waking up around lunchtime, staying in my pj’s all day, playing video games, watching TV and being on the phone A LOT. We ate all the junk food we weren’t supposed to eat and of course quenched our thirst with Slurpees. It was the life. Of course we told our parents we woke up at 9 am, brushed our teeth, showered, ate a healthy breakfast and absolutely did not eat a Cinnabon at Tysons.

That’s why it’s no surprise when I look at the schedule and see little Johnny on the books for a cleaning at 9 am that I know I’m in for some attitude. The last place Johnny wants to be is in my chair getting his teeth polished. Johnny wants to be in bed and we all know it. So I use a technique that I have seen work really well recently: Bribery.

1) Want to watch your favorite show or movie? Sure thing! Open up and let us take some pics and polish your teeth. You can watch Netflix, Hulu, HGTV, ESPN..etc.. Voila! Your wish is granted and you have beautiful, sparkling white teeth.

2) Want to wear your pj’s to your dental cleaning and just go to sleep? Not a problem for us! First of all, our chairs are probably the most comfortable dental chairs you have ever sat in. We’ll put a bite block in there and you can snooze right away. We will clean away your plaque (and your drool) and we’re all happy campers.

3) Want a Slurpee and a Cinnabon?? Tough luck. I like you too much to let you eat that much sugar. But we can use some fun flavors of prophy paste that you may really like. How about Strawberry Cheesecake, Sugar Cookie, Triple Chocolate Brownie, Strawberry Margarita, or Pina Colada as some delicious choices?

Before you know it Fall will be among us and the kids will be back in stressful work mode. I wish you all a safe Summer break and hope you remember to brush your teeth after enjoying that delicious ice cream cone on a hot Summer day. 🙂

-Dr. Chand

A Professional Brighter Smile Awaits. See 8 Shades Whiter in Less Than an Hour!

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Boy oh boy are we a busy society! We are constantly running around. I hear from patients who lapse on their dental cleanings that they simply lost track of time. Busy work schedules and kids activities are constantly on everyone’s minds.

With this busy lifestyle we have created for ourselves, it doesn’t surprise me when patients come in and say they want to whiten their teeth but simply don’t have the time. Most people have heard of ZOOM whitening. It’s a wonderful product which gets your teeth 6-8 shades whiter, but it takes about an hour and a half. Another issue is it causes a lot of sensitivity in some patients. People loved their super white teeth but weren’t ecstatic about the time it took or how their teeth felt the evening after. I used to think of the old adage, “No pain no gain” but now know that’s not true.

I recently purchased a laser for the office. I had spoken to several colleagues who told me about this amazing laser which can complete a multitude of procedures. Of that, one is laser whitening. I gotta tell you, when I first heard of laser whitening, I was a little intimidated. I thought to myself, I can’t use a laser on my patients to whiten their teeth! How wrong I was!

I did some research and after my certification in laser treatment was completed, I performed “laser whitening” on my first patient. Wow! Wow! Wow! The procedure took half the time of ZOOM whitening and the results were just as good if not better! The best part, little to no sensitivity. My patients couldn’t be happier.

If you are looking for a fast way to get nearly 8 shades whiter in less than an hour, call us. The results are incredible and your smile will show it.




Too Embarrassed to Talk?

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How can you be too embarrassed to talk? It’s simple, right? Open, speak, talk. Well, that’s what I thought too. Sure I’ve had patients who have come to me saying they hate their smile and want things fixed so they can look better and feel better about themselves. But it wasn’t until recently that I learned a very special patient wasn’t talking because they were embarrassed of their denture falling out.

Denture falling out…how? Good question! Normally we have patients who come to us who lost their teeth for various reasons and now want dentures to be able to eat and talk. We take impressions of their gum tissue sitting on bone and make dentures to sit on the U-shaped ridges. What people don’t realize is as we continue to put pressure on the gum and bone, the bone recedes. As that bone recedes, the denture doesn’t hold in place anymore. Those u-shaped ridges flatten out and the dentures don’t hold in place anymore. Why not make another denture you may ask? We could but the retention would be very poor as the denture would move around too much with the limited ridge height. And that is why people with ill-fitting dentures are embarrassed to talk. If you hit your tongue along the denture the wrong way, it will come right out. Imagine this happening at a nice dinner or during a business meeting.

Needless to say, patients who wear dentures stop enjoying the food they normally love because they simply can’t eat the same way. The chewing functions don’t work the same with dentures. If you love food as much as I do, the thought of that can be pretty devastating.

Please don’t think this is only happening to our 80+ senior citizen community because it’s not. Early tooth loss can happen very early in a person’s life due to many reasons. Diabetes, genetics, past drug abuse, smoking, trauma/accidents and various other reasons can attribute to tooth loss. And please don’t assume this is an issue with people of low income. You’d be surprised who’s wearing dentures because they simply didn’t know there was another option.

So let’s go back to that special patient of mine. He came to me frustrated with his denture and heard something about screws that hold dentures in place. He was talking about an implant-retained denture. This type of denture is held in place by implants and you don’t have to worry about taking them in and out or worse, falling out. And the best part is…You can eat your favorite foods again! The process is simple, doesn’t hurt, and is done by some of the best specialists in the area.

If you see him now that he has his denture fixed in his mouth, you can see a visible difference in his happiness. He smiles more, enjoys food again, and doesn’t have to worry about his denture coming out at inopportune times.

I hope that none of my patients are ever embarrassed of their smile. I hope that I can help in any way possible to get you the smile you want and deserve. Of course we will continue to be embarrassed of things that happen in our day to day life. After all, it’s life. Let’s just always be proud of our smile. 🙂

Plaque HD: A toothpaste that dyes my teeth?!

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I love dental conventions. There! I said it. But I truly do! Why you may ask? Well, of course for the continuing education courses but most of all to roam the floor of the convention hall. All the latest and greatest in dental technology is out there! The only thing I can compare it to would be a car fanatic in an auditorium full of the shiniest, newest sports cars. Or a kid on the grand opening of a toy shop. Or a woman in a shoe store with everyone begging for her to try on the latest designers shoes. Okay okay. I can compare it to a few things. But it really is a lot of fun for us nerdy dentists. Now the downside is along with shiny, new objects there are always those representatives trying to sell us “stuff” that we don’t need. Trust me..there is plenty of dental junk out there people are constantly trying to get dentists to buy.

Recently I attended the American Dental Association meeting in DC. From the moment I got off the escalator I had people throwing me samples of this and that. That good little voice in my head kept saying, “Don’t buy it until you read the studies and know it’s a good purchase”. Then that other, slightly louder, more aggressive voice would interrupt the good voice and say, “Keep quiet! Let her buy it!!”.

I came across a booth with two very nice ladies who were holding a tube of toothpaste. I almost walked right by until I saw a before and after picture displayed next to the toothpaste. It is a picture I could take numerous times throughout the day. It’s an image of a child’s mouth full of plaque and tartar. Of course, after the cleaning the teeth are nice and plaque-free but I just know it’s only a matter of days before the bad habits begin again and in 6 months it’s the same situation at the next cleaning. We all know that as plaque levels rise, so do cavities. Parents are always surprised by the amount of plaque that comes off their kid’s mouth because they swear they can hear them brushing. I always reassure them that they may be brushing, but just not the right way. Kids are SO much busier these days then from what I can remember. Exams, Sports, After-school activities, Kumon, Mathnasium, etc. have taken over their lives. They are busy and stressed out! The last thing they are thinking about is did I get all of that plaque off of my teeth. That’s why I am so excited to introduce Plaque HD to my practice.

plaque HD

Plaque HD is honestly pretty cool. It’s a toothpaste that dyes plaque green or pink depending on the flavor you choose. If you have kids who do a quick 10 second brush, well they aren’t going to want to go to school with green teeth. It’s also a great product for kids in braces who miss buidup around the brackets. I just read the Wall Street Journal posted an article specifically about Plaque HD stating it removes four times as much plaque as regular toothpaste. That’s pretty incredible.

If interested in trying out a tube, just stop by the office or ask for it at your next cleaning. The instructions are simple and hopefully will lead to better checkups in the future!

A Very Thankful Time of Year

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Two years ago our doors opened for the first time.  I hired one assistant, Elizabeth, who worked as my front desk, assistant, organizer, and basically everything else under the sun.  We would wait for the phones to ring and get excited. In the beginning it was just telemarketers and wrong numbers.  At times I’d get so discouraged and think, Was this the right move? With school loans, mortgages, bills, and now a loan for a dental office, did I make the right move? To be honest, I always knew from the bottom of my heart that it was the right decision. It was really the questions from concerned family members that put fear in me. “Are the phones ringing constantly?”. “No, mom. Not yet.” “Are you really busy yet, honey”. “No, dad. We’ll get there.” ” My parents never had any doubts in me. Even though they shared my concerns, they knew as entrepreneurs themselves that success takes time. They lived the American dream for me and my siblings. There is no such thing as success without struggle.

As most of you know, I was an associate dentist for many years before I decided to open up my own practice. Nobody tells you. And I mean nobody tells you how hard it can be.  As an associate dentist, you do dentistry and go on home on your merry way. You don’t have to worry about computers not working, staff concerns, etc. As an owner, your heart becomes invested in the practice. It’s not just work, it’s your life. I spent more time in the office than I did with my husband because there was always something to do.  It took a while, but I started to understand the importance of a good work-life balance.  There will always be work, but family is the most important thing in the world. Our patients are our extended family.

Our first patients were probably terrified with our enthusiasm. YES! WE CAN SEE YOU!  It was only a matter of time before my staff would say, “Dr. Chand, the schedule is full”. We always look at our referrals and are just so thankful when we see how many new patients are referrals from our current patients. We may be busy, but never too busy to take care of your dental care.You are the heart of this practice and we are forever grateful for the trust you put in us. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Happy Thanksgiving!
-Dr.Chand, Edna, Elizabeth, Angela, Gissella, Katie, and Cheryl.

Happy Halloween

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This post was contributed by Bridget Fay, MFD Office Manager

Every kid gets excited about Halloween candy but it becomes a bone of contention with parents. Candy wrappers are everywhere, chocolate gets on clothes, and there is a struggle to keep kids from thinking that caramel is an acceptable food group. We’ve got some tips on how to keep the candy landslide from ruining your life and keep sugar bugs (cavities) at bay.

The first thing you can do is bring the candy to our office the week after Halloween! We are “buying back” your child’s candy for $2 a pound (up to five pounds) and will send it to troops overseas through a program called Operation Gratitude. Call ahead of time to verify our hours and then come on over to rid your household of the sugar and make cash instead!

In order to prevent your children from staying up for two days straight on a sugar rush, see if you can find a hiding place to store the candy and slowly ration it out over a few weeks time. Just make sure when you are handing it out it’s not right before bedtime and it’s not after nighttime brushing. All that sugar will stick to teeth until the next time they brush or eat something. Though we love to see our patients on a regular basis, we would hate to find new cavities at your next visit.

When it comes to brushing and flossing, you might not want to leave it up to your child to brush for the recommended two minutes, daily flossing, or make sure the brush gets to the gum line. We often see most “fuzzy” plaque along the gum line where it releases bacteria into the soft tissue of the gums. We highly recommend monitoring brushing and flossing routines or at least doing your own exam to make sure they got everything. Four minutes each day is not a lot of time! If you find flossing isn’t happening at all, have floss handy where children are most likely to sit still, like in front of the TV or in the car.

As far as teeth and mouths go, we want to help make the candy season as stress-free as possible. Call the office if you have any questions!