Office Hours: Monday-Friday, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Call us to schedule an appointment: (540) 373-6557

242 Butler Road Ste 101, Fredericksburg, VA 22405   Office Location

Delta Dental • Anthem/Blue Cross Blue Shield

General Dentistry Services

Smiling Playful Family

At Burns Family Dentistry, it is our primary goal to help you achieve maximum oral hygiene and dental care. Our experienced team is here to serve your every need and ensure each and every visit is efficient, effective and comfortable. Whether you are in need of a general cleaning, an extraction or a root canal, we assure you will be treated with extra care and exceptional service.

Another one of our goals is to help our patients when they are in need. We strive to see our patients the same day if they are in any pain. Emergencies are worked into our daily schedule. This may cause us to sometimes run behind on scheduled appointments, but you may appreciate it when you have an emergency of your own.

Dental Cleanings and Examinations

Dental Cleanings and Examinations

General Dental Cleaning and Examination

A dental cleaning is a professional cleaning you receive from a dentist or dental hygienist. At Burns Family Dentistry, we clean your teeth on your first visit. Most dental cleanings take approximately 45 minutes. Cleanings should be performed every six months to remove excessive tarter buildup and staining. Tarter buildup can lead to unhealthy gums, tooth decay and bad breath. Your dental professional will polish your teeth, floss, apply flouride (children) and take necessary dental x-rays. Sometimes routine cleanings will include deeper scaling and root planing or use of an ultrasonic (cavitron) cleaner.

Your examination will include a check for dental caries (cavities), assessment ofperiodontal health (gums), TMJ screening, oral cancer exam, medical history review and recommendations for needed dental and/or orthodontic treatments.



Sealants are used to fill narrow grooves in a tooth that cannot be adequately cleaned by brushing. In some cases, the tooth structure has fine grooves or pits which accumulate plaque, not because the person doesn’t brush, but because they’re too narrow to allow even one bristle into them. To avoid cavities developing over time, the dentist will brush on a coating that seals the grooves and pits, making it possible to brush off all the plaque and keep your teeth healthy. We routinely place sealants on your child’s six year molars when they are fully erupted.



Bonding involves adhering composite resin material that is matched to the color of the tooth, to the front of the tooth, and generally refers to anterior teeth. This is performed to cover stains, repair damage caused by decay, to alter the color and alignment of the tooth, close gaps between the teeth, or for other cosmetic purposes.

First the surface of the tooth is roughened in order to accept the bonding and any decay is removed. Then a gel is applied so the bonding agent will adhere to the surface of the tooth. The composite resin is placed on the tooth and shaped like a putty. It is then hardened with an intense light. The last step is shaping with a high speed handpiece and polishing to a lustrous finish.

Often we can rehabilitate your entire smile in about an hour or two!


Dental Fillings

General Dental Filling

A filling is a way to restore a tooth damaged by decay back to its normal function and shape. If you have a tooth that requires a filling, the dentist will first remove the decayed tooth material, clean the affected area, and then fill the cleaned out cavity with a filling material. A filling helps prevent further decay by closing off any cracks or spaces where bacteria can enter.

There are a variety of filling materials available including amalgam, composite resin and porcelain. The dentist will work with you to determine which material is best, depending on the extent of repair, where in the filling is needed, and cost. Each filling material is briefly explained below.


  • Amalgam (silver) fillings have been used extensively in the past, however, they tend to eventually fail by cracking the tooth and have largely been replaced by other superior materials. Due to their dark color they are more noticeable than porcelain or composite restorations and are not recommended for fillings in very visible areas such as front teeth. Many patients express concerns about the mercury content of their amalgam fillings. Mercury release, however, is negligible from existing fillings and they should only be replaced when signs of breakdown are seen.
  • Composite (plastic) resins are custom made to the color of your natural teeth, creating a more esthetic appearance. Modern composite resins and bonding agents are very strong and can last as long as amalgam fillings. They are specially designed for both anterior and posterior teeth and can restore teeth almost invisibly.
  • Porcelain fillings are called inlays or onlays and are custom created in our office using CEREC CAD/CAM in about an hour and then bonded to the tooth. They can be matched to the color of the tooth, resist staining, and can last 20 years or more if properly cared for. A CEREC onlay restoration replaces damaged tooth structure like a puzzle piece, leaving healthy tooth structure when possible and is the strongest, best restoration that can be done for you tooth. Onlays can often be done instead of crowns and they cost less too!

If decay or a fracture has damaged a large portion of the tooth, a crown (or ‘cap’) may be recommended. Decay that has reached the nerve may be treated through root canal therapy or through a procedure called pulp capping.

Crowns and Bridges

Crowns and Bridges

Crowns and bridges are used to restore and enhance teeth that are damaged or to take the place of missing teeth. A crown (also referred to as a cap) is used to entirely cover a damaged tooth. A crown not only strengthens a tooth, but it can dramatically improve a tooth’s appearance, shape and alignment. Crowns may be used to:

  • Replace a large filling when there is little tooth structure remaining
  • Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
  • Restore a fractured tooth
  • Attach a bridge
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discolored or poorly shaped tooth
  • Cover a tooth that has had root canal treatment

A bridge is an ideal method to fill the space created by missing teeth. A bridge is one or more artificial teeth cemented into place using the teeth on either side for support. This is an option for filling the space created by a missing tooth. Bridge work is as much an art as it is an exact science since it replaces a missing tooth both functionally and cosmetically. The materials used may be gold alloys, porcelain bonded to a metal alloy or Zirconia, or all ceramic material made to match your natural tooth color. The choice of material depends on requirements for strength, wear, and aesthetics. It is important that a missing tooth be replaced as soon as possible. If not treated, the teeth surrounding the gap begin to shift inward. Since teeth use their neighbors for support, if one is missing they begin to “fall” and shift into the open spaces. This may worsen the bite because of the changes in pressure and can eventually result in problems with the jaw such as TMJ.

Traditional Bridges and crowns are made by first taking an impression of your mouth. The impression is sent to a dental lab where your crown or bridge will be custom made to fit your mouth and match your natural tooth color. A temporary crown or bridge will be placed into your mouth until your permanent crown or bridge is ready and cemented into place. Many of our crowns are made here in our office using our CEREC cad/cam technology. That means no impression, no temporary and no followup appointment! Just your custom made, beautiful all porcelain crown finished in just about an hour!

Sometimes it is necessary to reinforce your crown or bridge with a post inserted into the root. This is almost always recommended for teeth that have had root canal treatment. Some offices will use a stock post or, even worse, a screw in post. These can stress the tooth leading to root fracture. These types of posts also require a separate buildup material which can breakdown over time. In our office we offer cast posts that are made from a custom imprint of your tooth. The result is a custom post and buildup that fit passively into the tooth for maximum strength and quality.

Bridges and crowns are very durable and can last a lifetime with extra care and good oral hygiene.

Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Tooth Anatomy

Root canal treatment (also referred to as root canal therapy or endodontic therapy) is made necessary when an untreated cavity reaches all the way to the pulp. Treatment may also be needed when deep restorations or trauma to a tooth cause pulpal damage. Once the pulp becomes infected, it can begin to eat away at the surrounding bone (this is known as an abscess). If the pulp is infected, not only is it painful but it will require treatment as it cannot heal on its own. Symptoms that indicate the pulp has become infected may include sensitivity to hot/cold or sweets, pain, swelling, pain to biting or pressure, and a bad taste in the mouth. However, sometimes no symptoms are apparent and you may be unaware of any problem until a checkup.

A root canal is performed to clean out the infected tooth pulp, disinfect the canals of the tooth and fill them with a material called gutta percha to seal out bacteria. Once the area is numbed a root canal treatment can be quite painless. Single rooted teeth, such as front teeth, can be treated in as little as 30 minutes, however, root canals on back teeth can take 1 1/2 hours or more. The alternative treatment would be to extract the tooth. Once the infection is resolved a core build-up, or a cast post, and crown is recommended for restoring a tooth that has undergone root canal therapy to keep it from breaking.