6/23/2017 3:06:00 PM | Robert Wernick

Why Support Lower Dentures with Implants?

Most people experience little to no issues with an upper denture; however, those with lower dentures have an entirely different experience. Lower dentures are often much less comfortable and far less stable than their upper counterparts. This is due to the bones that support our teeth.

When a tooth (or multiple teeth) are lost, the bone continues to experience loss over time. The lower jaw is estimated to experience up to four times the amount of loss as the upper jaw, with most loss occurring within the first year of a lost tooth. Because of this, patients who obtain a lower denture experience the need to make ongoing appointments to continually adjust their denture. The inconvenience of having to regularly adjust a denture alone is enough to drive a patient crazy and urge them to seek a more reliable alternative, which is often how the implant supported lower denture conversation starts.

While there are numerous implant options for patients considering an implant-supported lower denture, the approach you take will be dependent upon your anatomical structures, as well as recommendations from experienced implant dentist Dr. Wernick of Wernick Family Dentistry in Virginia Beach.

Common Reasons Patients Seek Implant Supported Dentures
Discomfort and/or inability to properly fit traditional dentures
Continued bone loss, resulting in loose dentures
Inability to properly eat and/or digest food

Types of Implant Supported Lower Dentures

Ball Attachment Denture

A ball attachment denture involves placing two dental implants in the lower jaw. A denture is then made, which will attach to the implants. This treatment option provides increased stability and improved digestion, though patients may still experience discomfort should food get lodged between the denture and floor of the mouth or gumline. Additionally, ongoing denture adjustments will be needed to maintain the highest level of comfort.

Bar Attachment Denture (including All-On-4)

Similar to ball attachment dentures, bar attachment dentures improve the stability of the lower denture when eating, allowing you to chew food with ease. Dissimilar from ball attachment dentures, bar attachment dentures have four to six dental implants securing the denture to the jaw. The number of implants placed will depend upon the layout of your jaw. This denture is made to snap onto a custom support bar that affixes to the implants, allowing the denture to easily be removed when needed. Because of the added support from multiple implants, bar attachment dentures tend to be more comfortable and cause less rubbing.

Screw-Retained Denture

Screw-retained dentures are a bigger commitment than both bar and ball attached dentures because they are only removed during maintenance visits. Ideal for patients wanting a permanent solution to missing lower teeth, screw-retained dentures are held in by screws secured to the implant. One common question when discussing this treatment option is oral hygiene. It’s important to note that this denture doesn’t rest on the gumline, so you are still able to clean underneath the denture.

At Wernick Family Dentistry, we are happy to provide additional information regarding implant supported lower dentures. Should you have any questions regarding this treatment option, please feel free to contact us.








8/4/2015 3:02:00 PM | Robert Wernick

There may be several diplomas and accreditations that line the walls of dentist’s offices, but there is one that stands out if you know what to look for.  A certification of study from the Pankey Institute is the gold standard of postgraduate dental training.

The Institution's namesake, Lindsey Pankey, was an international leader in the field of restoration dentistry.   As skilled as he was in orthodontics he also had an ease with patient relations bringing more social interaction to dentistry.  After receiving nearly every award for dentistry, Dr. Pankey formed his Institute in 1972 to bridge the gap between what is known and what is practiced.

Dentist’s who have participated in the Pankey Institute’s training programs in Key Biscayne, Florida, are trained in a variety of courses that not only further their treatment of oral health concerns, but strengthen the practice to be better able to serve the community as well.  New techniques burgeoning in dentistry are also taught at this institute to ensure that the dentist’s are at the peak of their practice.  These innovative technique trainings include the latest in TMJ treatment, crown placement, and dental sleep medicines to maximize the patient’s comfort and procedure’s results.  

So when you see or hear that a dentist has been trained at Pankey, know that that is saying a great deal to the dentist’s commitment to his practice.  They sought the best techniques available to be able to give your mouth the care it deserves.

Luckily enough for the residents of the Virginia Beach area, Dr. Robert Wernick, ofWernick Family Dentistry, has attended numerous programs at the Pankey Institute as well as the Dawson Academy in order to continue his dental education with the extensive training programs. The ability to offer patients the best dental care is important to the whole staff. With a team of professionals dedicated to patient education, preventative care and high-tech solutions, Wernick Family Dentistry has become a leading Family Dental office in Virginia Beach. Explore the website or take a tour of the office to learn more about the practice. Appointments can be made through the online form or contact the office to schedule. Wernick Family Dentistry will give you a reason to smile! 



6/3/2015 2:52:00 PM | Robert Wernick


Losing a tooth can be a traumatic experience. Though it may seem that this is a dire situation, modern dentistry is able to provide you with options for replacement.  You will still have to choose between traditional dentures or dental implants, but this article will tell you what you need to know to make an informed decision.

Dentures have been used to replace missing teeth for centuries.  They even go back far beyond the popular legend that Abraham Lincoln had a wooden set!  Dentistry has been able to stay with the times as a tried and true method for tooth replacement.  

Early orthodontists have tried their hand at dental implants as long ago as 600 A.D.  Archeologists have discovered that the early civilizations of the Maya were permanently replacing teeth with seashells!  The techniques used for dental implants have changed greatly, but let’s look at all the parts involved in a dental implant.

A natural tooth is made up of two parts, the root and the crown.  The crown is the visible part above the gum line while the root is the pronged part below the gum line that holds the tooth the jaw.  When a small number of teeth are lost or extracted, a dental implant is generally the best option for replacement.  

When a tooth is lost or removed the supportive gum and bone tissue are dematerialized.  The rest of the jaw is supplied with nutrients while segment under the toothless gum no longer receives the minerals it needs to maintain its health.  As a consequence, the jaw portions neighboring the loss receive less minerals and nutrients as they should, increasingly the likelihood of their eventual loss as well.  As the deteriorated area increases that part of the jaw can severely break down and cause other teeth to shift, facial drooping and speech issues.

The dental implant technique uses a titanium fixture to replace the missing root and revitalize the area.  An artificial crown is then mounted upon the tooth to restore the natural look, feel, and function.  Dental implants are recognized by the body as an organic tooth so the jaw is resupplied with nutrients.  This is the key difference in choosing between dentures and dental implants.  Dentures do not support the jaw and poor jaw health can be anticipated with long term use while dental implants are a better long-term option for younger patients. Implant supported dentures are the best choice for those with several missing teeth in one general area. Dental implants are positioned and the denture plate is designed to snap on to the posts.

Different procedures can also affect your taste of food.  Dentures block part of the palate plate which plays an important role in taste and smell.  With a reduction in the enjoyment of the taste of food, it can reduce food consumption and lead to poor nutrition.  People with reduced or lessened sense of taste lose interest in cooking and tend to eat more sweets.  They also have a tendency to consume foods with higher fat and salt.  Research has also shown that it can lower the consumption of dairy products which can make osteoporosis worse in the elderly women. 

Another technique for dental implants is called All-on 4.  This concept is considered to be the best in its class for permanent dental implant supported dentures.  This concept is a permanent non-removable solution which specializes in tilting the implants to provide more stability to the denture.  It allows for it to have a better anchored anterior bone and avoid important anatomical structures such as facial nerves.  People with supported or permanent dentures also have fewer changes in speech patterns.  Patients are also fitted and able to wear teeth the same day.  To view information about All-on 4’s please visit: http://www.nobelbiocare.com/international/en/home/products-and-solutions/treatment-concepts/all-on-4.html

The care between all of these options is different.  Regular dental implants require only normal brushing, flossing, and checkups while dentures require daily removal and soaking in a cleaning solution. All-on 4’s dentures will require normal brushing and flossing are not as likely to need adjustments or continuing dental visits.  Dentures also require night time removal and cleaning and will snap right back into place the next morning and All-on 4’s are a permanent solution which is left in the mouth. 


Searching for answers to your missing teeth problem? Schedule an appointment with Wernick Family Dentistryto learn about your options and make the best informed decision to ensure a long-term solution.




4/9/2015 2:46:00 PM | Robert Wernick

Colorful cascades can be great when it comes to floral bouquets, but it can be very concerning when it comes to our smiles.  Teeth should carry an even hue, and when one tooth stands out it can bring a lot of negative attention.  An unevenly colored smile can really make someone’s social confidence suffer, so it is important to keep your teeth uniform in brightness.  Here is a little insight into some common antagonists that stain teeth:

Common Causes of Teeth Discoloration


  • Tobacco is a notorious strainer of teeth.  Depending on where the cigarette is when it is inhaled or where chewing tobacco is placed will greatly contribute to a non-uniform coloration.  
  • Dark Foods and Beverages may cause discoloration.  Coffee, tea, wines, liquor, and colas are heavy strainers, but dark juicy berries stain as well.  Don’t think you are safe with white wine or clear liquors either- the reason these stain just as bad is because alcohol decreases saliva production so the mouth can’t properly clean the staining components naturally.
  • Trauma or Impact may be the cause for discoloration.  As any toothache will remind you, your tooth is a living network of tissues and blood vessels under the enamel.  With the tooth being alive at impact the internal bleeding will cause discoloration just as your skin will bruise when it is struck by an object.  The impact causes blood vessels to break and internally bruise the tooth.  Unlike veins, the tooth does not have a way to remove the blood from the ruptured vessels.  This will darken the tooth naturally over time and may take as long as five years to surface and become noticeable.
  • Over Fluoridation may be the culprit.  Fluoride works best in moderation; however, with so many sources of fluoride out there such as toothpaste, mouth rinses, tap and bottled water, over fluoridation can occur resulting in darkened teeth with a swirling color pattern. 
  • Poor Hygiene such as missed brushings and flossing will leave food and bacteria sitting upon your teeth, barraging the enamel and weakening the outer enamel.  This allows dark liquids and food stations to penetrate the tooth.

Certain factors that discolor may be entirely beyond your control like aging, genetics, or even prescription medications.  No matter the reasoning, our office is fully prepared with treatment options right for you!

Before you try over-the-counter tooth whitening remedies to correct your dental dilemma, understand the risks involved. 



Popular drug store whiteners generally use a peroxide solution to whiten, and if it contacts any sensitive areas that you weren't aware of or a hidden cavity it can cause a great deal of pain.  That is why a dentist’s evaluation should precede any whitening treatment to ensure painless and effective results.  Some cases with one or two noticeably discolored teeth may require Veneers, or a porcelain crown to match the whiteness of the rest of your smile.

Don’t hesitate to talk to your dentist about your oral health concerns. WernickFamily Dentistry prides itself on patient care and listening to your concerns. Your dentist will look at the problem and consider the health of the whole mouth for the most informed decision making process. Contact the office todayand schedule a consultation with your family dentist, your best smile is waiting for you on the other end.



2/10/2015 2:40:00 PM | Robert Wernick



As a parent, teething can be an especially trying time during a child’s development.  With their bicuspids breaking through it tugs on your heartstrings to hear a child cry in pain or discomfort, so of course you would do everything in your power to make sure they can cope with it.  Be careful though, some common remedies may actually be harming your child in the long run.

A popular traditional remedy is dipping the child’s pacifier in something sweet to help get their mind off of the pain. This practice, along with allowing a child to fall asleep while drinking a bottle can lead to a condition known by dentists as Early Childhood Caries, though you may have heard of it as Baby Bottle Rot.

Never too early to introduce a tooth brush.
The mouth produces saliva to naturally clean away food and debris from setting on the teeth. While asleep, however, saliva production is slowed and any type of food or drink is left sitting on the tooth. This is especially troubling for babies, because if left to sleep with a sweetened pacifier the sugar amplifies the bacterial growth during their rest. Bottles are not a safer option because milk and formula both have sugars that will bring harm the child’s teeth in the same manner.

If the baby (primary) teeth are going to come out and be replaced by mature teeth anyway, what is the harm if they are lost early?  Well, primary teeth have more roles in a young child’s life than one might think.  Of course they allow the child to develop healthy eating habits; but the importance of teeth allows the child to learn how to eat. Just as a child needs to learn how to walk, how to eat is a skill that they will take with them through life as well.  Improper eating habits can lead to jaw problems down the road.  Teeth also play an important role for speech development as well; without their proper baby teeth in place, speech develop problems are at risk.

Perhaps the most important role for primary teeth is as ‘placeholders.’ Think of the speed a child grows out of clothing and realize that the rest of their body is growing at that rate too.  Primary teeth are able to grow with the child to keep their spacing and placement appropriate for mature teeth that will take their place.  If a tooth is lost too early it could lead to an irregular, jagged smile when the mature teeth due come in.  It may lead to a child needing orthodontics that may not have otherwise needed them.  It is the primary tooth that is needed to guide the adult “caboose-tooth” to the proper position.

Wernick Family Dentistry is dedicated to educating patients and families about their dental health to prevent early childhood caries along with many other preventable oral health problems. Contact the office to schedule regular check-up appointments for the whole family.





12/16/2014 2:19:00 PM | Robert Wernick


 Almost everyone will need a tooth pulled at some point in their life.  This can be due to any number of things including impact, undeveloped or poor hygiene habits, orthodontics or even aging.  With today’s average American life expectancy in the late 70s, many people find that they literally outlast their teeth!  

The word ‘pull’ in terms of tooth removal is fast becoming outdated.  The oral technology has advanced far beyond the dentist yanking the tooth out with forceps.  That old method seemed to be an age-old technique that may have caused more problems than it solved.  The ‘pull’ sometimes damaged the jaw bone supporting the tooth and that area of the bone would not heal properly.  

Brief History of Extractions 


A collaborative team from the United States and Europe sought to develop an alternative to this archaic method.  In researching the last 150 years of tooth extracting they did not find any study.  The procedures for extracting teeth had not change in the last 3000 years!  This archaic method removed the problematic tooth but also damaged the TMJ (jaw joint), caused bone loss, infections, nerve damage and dry sockets.  Rethinking the method entirely, this group pioneered an innovative new procedure known as the Ögram system. Wernick Family Dentistry is proud to have taken and completed the course so we can offer our patients with this non-invasive extracting procedure.

The Ögram technique was conceived by an ancient Indian approach that uses finger pressure to extract the tooth.  The researchers on the project investigated the physics and geometry behind this to lean how this method minimized damage to the area.  They found that the instruments used in Western dentistry were not best suited for extractions.

Literally starting from scratch, the Ögram team developed an entirely new array of tools to use for the procedure. The new tool-set allows for a safer, gentler approach fully accounts for the physics behind the extraction and the biology of the jaw to leave the gums and underlying bone with minimal damage.  This allows for a higher success rate with dental implants used to replace the lost tooth.  It also can provide extractions to be completed in as little as 7 minutes.

The body rigorously conserves minerals, and when a tooth is removed the formerly supportive gum tissue and bone are no longer supplied.  This leads to bone and gum loss.  The Ögram technique, however, leaves the open socket within the bone perfectly setup for grafting.  This artificial replacement prevents demineralization of the area and acts as a base for an artificial crown.  It is even strengthened by the bone!

Advanced Extraction Methods with Wernick Family Dentistry



Advanced dental technologies continue to make dentistry procedures more effective while simultaneously supporting oral health concerns. Wernick family Dentistry crafts treatment plans with complete, long-term solutions to support oral health. If you are looking for a family dentist in the Virginia Beach area, call WernickFamily Dentistry, a dental practice dedicated to complete patient oral health care.



10/21/2014 2:09:00 PM | Robert Wernick


 Is your dental insurance worth the cost?


 Is dental insurance needed?


Many dental plans are unfortunately outdated and don’t cover what patients need. At Wernick Family Dentistry, we understand the needs and concerns of our patients and in turn, created an in-house option to make dental care more affordable for everyone.

Dental insurance is NOT medical insurance and most insurance companies don’t want you to know the following facts.

Life today can leave a person’s weekly planner without much room for the unexpected.  That’s why when unexpected health issues arise it can be an incredible hindrance to try to fit in doctor’s appointments; and, if you weren't prepared, pay for the visits.  That is why we, Wernick Family Dentistry, have our own dental insurance plan that helps make out-of-pocket expenses less of a hard hit.  Due to recent changes in insurances and the restrictions they impose on dental, we here at Wernick Family Dental now offer an in-house dental insurance program to ensure you receive necessary and unexpected checkups at a manageable, affordable rate as an alternative to a more costly and often unnecessary plan.

Many employers fail to provide dental insurance plans to their patients, not realizing the importance of a happy and healthy mouth.  Teeth do far much more than allow us to snack on trail mix at our desks.  They play a very large role in confidence and speech as well which is often a necessary part of the job role we play for our employers.  But even employer provided plans are not perfect and aren't catered to an individual patient needs.  Patients with great oral health pay the same for their policy as patients with extended dental needs.  In the end, the patient with great oral health will likely pay more in one year for their dental plan then the amount of all the care provided by the dentist during that year.  Even worse, you may still be expected to pay portions and deductibles on top of that.  Dental insurance is not like medical insurance.  There are restrictions on every plan from missing tooth clauses to waiting periods to frequency limitations.  There are deductibles and maximums on a couple of x-rays for diagnostic purposes but most have none for emergency treatment.

Recently a patient came to the office with a copy of the two dental plans their employers offered.  We were excited to see an employer still offering dental insurance; however, when we looked at the plans we were highly disappointed.  One plan only provided $50 a year in dental coverage with a $50 deductible to use it (can you do the math there??)?  Unless the patient went to a dentist who was willing to take the insurance companies rates and restrictions to the patient’s treatment, the insurance company would not provide coverage.  However this plan was sold as a plan that allowed them the “freedom to choose their own dentist”.  Dental offices have rising costs to manage health care and performing the procedure below or at cost would not be beneficial to the patient.  Dental offices are forced to cut expenses and where do those “cuts” apply?  The profit a practice makes may have to come from the dozens of non-covered services the plan didn’t offer or choosing an alternative grade material or procedure for the patient.  The patient’s second plan allowed the patient to choose their dental provider without a $50 maximum a year benefit but tack on a $50 deductible and the plan cost $712 a year.  This meant that the patient was paying $383 more in one year than the amount of dental work she had received in any given year for the past ten years.  If she didn't get any work done that year then she paid and received nothing in return.  Dental insurance does not work like medical where its “there if you need it” because the plans typically have a $1,000 - $1,500 maximum limit and often the urgency to a tooth is not even covered.  If the tooth is already missing – then there is typically no coverage at all.  So again, where is the benefit of having a policy that has a maximum allowance for procedures it will never cover?  You will still likely end up being responsible for 100% of the service. 

It was this meeting that prompted us to create our own dental insurance policy – for all patients – ranging from great oral health to complex treatment cases.  We see every day the impact these “dental coupons” create.  What is the goal of the insurance company to offer dental insurance?  What is their motivation?  Is it to have a plan that offers you great health care and a beautiful full set of teeth or to make a profit?  Unfortunately, we all know the answer to that question!  In the end, the insurance company would have profited almost the entire amount, the dentist would have worked for half the normal cost of the cleanings and the patient would have thrown away hundreds of dollars on an unnecessary dental plan and still been stuck covering the expenses of the crown or implant.   Now officially launched to new and existing patients, we offer a plan that helps save patients hundreds of dollars to a thousand dollars a year without creating all the necessary insurance paperwork which adds eminently to the cost of dentistry.  Even better, it allows you to have the treatment you want and need without restrictions from a third party.

The problems that come from trying to work through some dental insurance providers is they try to assert too much control in the treatment plan and wanting to create a lot of paperwork hoping the office will give up on collecting it. They do not understand the needs of each patient nor do they realize every treatment program is unique.  Dentistry is not a “one size fits all” profession.  Every patient is unique with their own health concerns and goals.  Out-of-office insurance plans operate by having an insurance representative decide your case, despite the representative having no understanding of dental care beyond the insurance companies standardized training on how to look and identify anything that will “deny” claims.  While networked dentists under the plan may offer what seem to be incredibly low co-payments on your part, understand that it may reflect the service you receive or the other type of choices you may select.  A low payment on your part may mean you are not receiving the time or tests that your mouth deserves or the quality materials made in the United States or in a local specialized lab.  It may also make it so the dentist cannot provide one hour dental cleanings or limit the time you spend with a hygienist.  Our insurance program fully accounts for every one of the patient’s individual teeth, guaranteeing they receive the time and attention they may need! Without insurance restrictions the provider is not hindered by an insurance company dictating your care and can focus on what you need for your unique case. 

These continuing problems created by dental insurance companies have led us to create an affordable dental program to allow for a third-party-free option that serves the patient directly.  Signing up for the program is easy - Just contact us by phone and we can arrange a meeting or the paperwork for you!  We will contact you after the letter arrives at our office with the effective dates and plan your dental treatment right away.  

We have policies for new and established patients of our practice as well as individual and family plans.  New patients who become patients receive the established plan rates their second year of coverage.


Policies range from $199-$380 a year.  Contact Wernick FamilyDentistry at 757-427-2212 to learn more about our plan options.



9/17/2014 3:03:00 PM | Robert Wernick

We're excited to announce the official launch of our Wernick Family Dentistry blog.

We'll be posting helpful dental tips, news from the dental industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in dentistry.

We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our patients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future patients.

If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Wernick Family Dentistry, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post.

Here's to your best oral health ever!